Mom’s right-ear hearing aid broke a couple of weeks ago. I’ve since been trying to get it fixed and waiting for the audiologist to call me. The hearing aid needs a battery cover/holder that has to be ordered. Mom is down to one hearing aid and I’m sure that she and those that take care of her are struggling to have pleasant conversations.
Wednesday, as I was on the highway, headed home from a meeting, the phone rang. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear it because I forgot to un-silence the phone and had the radio turned up to a sing-along volume. It was a call from the audiologist.
I called the number she left on voice mail. This number is a main answering line that services two or more locations. I can no longer contact the audiologist directly at her location. Calls are now funneled through one number. Herein lies the issue. Upon dialing the number, I get a standard, automated message: “Press 1 to make an appointment, press 2 if you want to speak to a nurse, press 3 if you want to reach Dr. So-and-So, press 4…”
You get the point.
I chose to stay on the line until I could be transferred to further automation.
“Thank you for calling. You are 7th in line. The wait time is two minutes.”
Oh boy! Only two minutes! (Herein lies a totally absurd assumption by me that it would be only two minutes.)
Que the symphony/piano Muzak. I would have preferred Journey or Whitesnake, but so be it.
“Thank you for holding. You are currently 7th in line. The wait time is two minutes”
Ummmmm…didn’t you tell me that two minutes ago?
More Muzak. And waiting. I believe 5 minutes has passed.
“Thank you for holding. You are now 5th in line. The wait time is one minute.”
One minute! WooHoo!
The boring Muzak continues and I’m getting sleepy.
“Thank you for holding. You are 4th in line. The wait time is three minutes.”
Hey, wait a minute! You told me the wait time was one minute about two minutes ago. What’s this three minute nonsense?
I’m beginning to tire of the deadly symphony Muzak. I may need to pull over and take a nap while waiting.
“Thank you for holding. You are 4th in line. The wait time is four minutes.”
There must be something wrong with the timer for the wait time.
Five or six or seven or ten minutes later…
“Thank you for holding. You are now 3rd in line. The wait time is six minutes.”
I am [this] close to hanging up.
Nope, I made it this far. No Muzak or automation is going to hold me back from a deed that must be done.
“Thank you for holding. You are still 3rd in line, you naieve twit. This may take a while.”
No, it didn’t really say that, but it may as well have.
Shut up, stupid Muzak. I hate you!
There goes another five minutes of my life I can’t get back.
“Thank you for holding. You are next in line. The wait time is two minutes.”
Well, that’s more like it.
At this point, I am singing the Jeopardy last-question song. It goes on for another five or six or seven or ten minutes.
Finally, someone answers the phone.
“Hello, this is __________. How may I help you?”
“Yes, I would like to speak to Cathy ________ at your Oshkosh location.”
“What is this about?”
“It’s about my mother’s broken hearing aid. I’m returning Cathy’s call.”
“Okay, just a minute and I’ll send you through.”
Several more rings.
“Hello, this is Cathy _______. I am unavailable at this time. Please leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m able.”
“Hello, this is M-J, calling about my mother’s hearing aid. Please call me at this number.”
End of call.
So in summation: It took exactly 22 minutes and 53 seconds to dial a number, be placed on hold in the queue for most of that time, listen to crappy Muzak, talk to a live body, be transferred to voice mail, leave a message and hang up.
I suppose it could have been far worse.
I could have been on hold for 90 minutes…listening to a bad polka band.
And then get cut off.