While you’re on hold, we promise not to waste any more of your time than we possibly can

     (AP Photo/Miguel Villagran)

    (AP Photo/Miguel Villagran)

    We are currently experiencing longer-than-usual holdtimes. This is due to unprecedented demand for our services.

    You have to wait for more than an hour because we don’t actually care about you at all. We sold you our mediocre high-tech product or service. You’re on your own, Buddy.

    You are right, of course: The contraption just might quit forever, lie down and die, or otherwise kick you in the bucket seven minutes after the warranty expires. So? Not our problem.

    While you are holding, we have several options for your listening pleasure.

    • A nonstop narrowcast selling even more inferior products, so that you cannot concentrate on anything else you were thinking of doing today.

    • Annoying made-for-hold-time unmelodic tunes to drive you berserk, so that you cannot concentrate on anything else you were thinking of doing today.

    • Silence, so that you constantly wonder whether we are still connected, resulting in your inability to concentrate on anything else you were thinking of doing today.

    As we say, those are the options. For now. We might switch ’em up sometimes. Change the algorithm, as it were.

    We will break into your reverie several times, emitting random sounds imitating a human picking up a phone. Don’t be fooled. We’re just messin’ witcha.

    About those holdtimes: You might already have guessed: There’s no unprecedented demand for our services. Truth is, we’ve cut way back on staff — those unwarranted sick days are costly — and you just have to wait.

    When we eventually answer, your ears are still in our grimy hands. We will start you off with a low-level tech (actually, he showed up in HR this morning, and we’re testing him). We don’t know if he can spell your name, even if it’s B O B.

    Although he will ask tons of irrelevant questions, such as the date of your last tooth extraction, he will not understand your answers. Nor will you understand him. Nor will the phone connection work for long. You will scream, and he will suggest that you calm down. You will label him an imbecile, and he will re-confirm that he is one. Frustrated, you will slam your finger on the red icon of a phone receiver.

    Ice that finger and call back.

    “We are experiencing longer-than-usual holdtimes.”

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