Put on hold

29 May 2013

One of the more frustrating things in this modern world is being put on hold. That lovely music, of varying quality, being played to you for 20 minutes while whoever you are phoning tries to find someone else who might want to talk to you. What tends to be worse is when you are put straight into the queue without any form of human interaction, no menu system, just straight to glorious hold music.

I have, however, found a new appreciation for these horrible things after encountering a system which doesn't; my local doctor's surgery. At 8:30 each morning they experience a massive rush of calls from people who have managed to break themselves over the previous evening, but they just don't have the people to answer the phone, or the phone lines. My experience at 8:30 on Tuesday morning was a lovely line busy tone. That was also my experience at 8:32, 8:35, 8:37 and all the way through to 9:03 when I managed to get through to someone who told me to call back at 14:00.

A benefits of the queue system is, while the computer doesn't care about you, it is at least fair - first in the queue, first out of the queue talking to a human. Your place is saved, you don't have to try and phone at the precise moment the other person hangs up.

So it is okay, I'll put up with being put in a queue, but can we please sort out the quality of music that is played? Perhaps a higher bit-rate, maybe some choice of music too? I really don't want to go through the rest of the day with lyrics by Kylie Minogue stuck in my head.

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