Thursday, April 8, 2010

This phone is now on pause

Today I was on hold for (count it!) an entire half-hour trying to set up an appointment with my doctor. Lately the support staff at his office have been missing in action, so it doesn’t really surprise me. At the twenty-five minute mark, I decided to use my cell phone to call the office (while I was still on hold on my home phone). That time it went straight to voicemail - probably because I was holding up the other line.
Left a nasty message and decided to blog about it. While I could have written this entire blog entry while I was on hold, I am not coordinated enough to hold the phone and type at the same time. I am also not tech savvy enough to figure out how to use the speakerphone.
Didn’t find too much about the origins of “on hold” but I did find some interesting stuff out on the Interwebs. For one, there is such a thing as “on hold advertising,” where instead of hearing the blah blah blah make-you-want-to-fall-asleep music, you get to listen to radio-type commercials instead. Fun times.
I also found a list of synonyms for “on hold,” some of them quite amusing. I can just imagine the alternate phrases the answering secretary might say when she puts someone on hold.
1. I need to defer our conversation for a moment.

2. This phone is now on pause.

3. Let’s just pigeonhole (shelve) this for now.

4. We will need to postpone your call until a later time.

5. Your calling time will be unavoidably protracted (prolonged).

6. Let’s take a short recess, before I answer any of your questions.

7. Please remain on the line.

8. I need to shelve this call.

9. Sit tight. I’ll be right back on the line.

10. I apologize but I must stymie (hinder) this conversation.

11. We will suspend this until later.

Now, I have heard that you can avoid telephone menus by pressing “0” as soon is it starts listing options. Usually this will get you to a real, live person. But is there a way to avoid being put on hold? If so, I haven’t found it yet.

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