Friday, February 26, 2010

Hideous Music

Today, terror struck my heart.

Well ..... hokay ..... it wasn't so much terror as it was the fear I'd been put on interminable hold.

A hold from which there is no release.

A hold of which you cannot relinquish .... because if you do, you'll just start the process all over again. You would be required to start anew ... and there's nothing on God's green earth you can do about it.

A hold you sigh audibly over because you know "they" have you. By the short hairs.

Of course, I'm talking about telephonic purgatory.

I called my daughter's school Friday morning. Paperwork was required. I spoke with "Nancy". She was very accommodating. "Yes ... if you don't mind holding, I'll see if I can locate that for you right now and I'll have a copy waiting when you come in."

I thanked her and was immediately put on hold.

That's when my heart froze.

It only took a few chords and I knew what the music was.

It was the hold music of which I was oh, so familiar when I was dealing with EarthLink (my internet service provider at the time) back in April of 2009.

And May of 2009.

And June of 2009.


It was that exact same music I was submitted to each and every time an Indian-accented employee of EarthLink asked if I would kindly wait for a few minutes while he looked up my account. And those minutes turned into tens of minutes.

Many tens of minutes.

Which turned into "I almost have all your information pulled up, Sir, just another minute or two." Or twenty.

For two and a half months I was placed in an Escher-esque netherworld of time displacement ... an otherworldly, gray cipher of time. I spent a huge amount of my April / May / June, 2009 in between nothing and frustration, slow burning all the while.


And then Nancy came back on the phone after little more than 23 seconds. "I have it right here. You can come pick it up when you pick up your daughter this afternoon."

The fog lifted and I felt the cobwebs of my mind swept away, dissolved by the disconnection click of my phone.

The hackles on the back of my neck slowly receded and I breathed easier.

..................... Ruprecht ( STOP )


  1. My hackles were up when ya wrote the word "India".....My local paper uses people in the land far far away, known as India....and I spent better part of 20 minutes TRYING to explain my problem and then FINALLY I told the guy I wanted to speak to someone from the city my paper is written in.

    The CSR gods were kind and they promise to have someone call me and about 10 minutes later, I did talk to someone here in the good old US of A who was able to take care of my problem.

    Mannnnn my blood pressure is in ther statosphere just typing this!

    Happy Friday, wellll now Saturday :)
    XOXOXOXO DivaBeth :)

  2. AOL did that to me. I was on hold for 20 minutes. Options were given by the automated system. None of which were "press zero for customer service." I wanted to cancel and they weren't going to let me. I was shouting at my phone. There I was, pleading with an inanimate object.
    Eventually, a human being got on the line but he kept putting me on hold and trying his best to get me to maintain my account. Argh. A very blood boiling situation, indeed.

  3. I wonder if was the same "music" I am , oh,so familiar with when being put on hold by dispatch. I believe, if I hear that "tune" in a public place, I may not be responsible for my actions. I also think the Nazis were developing that form of torture in World War II. But, I could be mistaken. The Nazis weren't that cruel.

  4. You do understand that they choose the music most likely to turn you into a Zombie, right?

  5. Oy. Sounds like good therapy for getting over the phobia caused by too much hold music. I still harbor a fear of the Prudential Retirement Services Muzak. I'm afraid I will never be cured.