7 Things That Are Going On While You’re On Hold

Every Friday I present a list of 7 Things I have learned/observed/frantically made up for your reading pleasure. Love it? Hate It? Got a great idea for a 7 Things spot? Drop me a line at info@stantonmartin.com

The face of despair.

Not one damn thing. Let’s be honest here: there are times when you are put on hold simply because you annoyed me by making my phone ring. That’s right. All of your suspicions were true! You see, once you’ve worked a job where you’re answering calls, you’ll understand. People. Are. The. Worst. It’s emotionally draining dealing with the scum of the earth everyday, and honestly, there’s a very finite amount of despair I can really handle being spoken into my life on a daily basis. Once the Grim-O-Meter has reached full, I’m shutting it down, and calling it a day. I would suggest that you try again tomorrow. I generally get into the office around 8:30, so I should be good to go until about 9:00.

Finishing up lunch. Let’s be honest here, folks: an hour for lunch is approximately seven hours not enough. I would love to breeze on in to work at nine, eat lunch until five, and go home. That is not how the world works, unfortunately. I do try to get back to the office as promptly as possible, (that means I give myself a fifteen minute window on either side of lunch, I can leave up to fifteen minutes early, and return up to fifteen minutes late) but when I do return, I have a bit of a post-lunch ritual. First, I like to discuss what all my co-workers ate, and subconsciously I decide whether or not I won the (only existing in my mind) best lunch competition. Next, we all talk about how awful the rest of the day is going to be (don’t ever underestimate how important complaining after a full meal can be). Then, I’ll go to the bathroom to text for about ten or fifteen minutes, and return to my desk. After that, I’ll sit for a second, and then go hit up the vending machine for a little post-lunch Snickers bar. That’s what’s happening if you call and are put on hold between the hours of 1:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M.

"We all agree, you're about as sharp as a bowl of Jello."

Complaining to co-workers about how stupid you are. “You are so dumb.” Those are the four most commonly spoken words in my department when someone puts a caller on hold. You have to imagine it said in the style of the Bed Intruder Guy. Now, I could simply be dealing with a particular demographic, (people who don’t pay for their cars) but judging by the masses I speak with on the phone, America is going down the tubes fast, folks. People are always calling up in here talking about how we stole their cars, yelling at us about the outrageous redemption fees, and/or trying to solicit us for a date(rape [I'm assuming]). Did you notice the fancy use of brackets? I’m getting so good at this whole “writing” thing. Anyway. The point is: if you’re stupid, the quickest way to get put on hold is to tip your hand.

Figuring out to whom you can be transferred. I realize that math is hard. I get that. I made a twenty (eighteen the first go ’round) on the math section of the ACT and I have to live with that everyday. But c’mon! How hard can it be to enter the extension of the right employee. We even have this totally-not-complicated forty-seven tiered menu option to help get you to the right guy. That would be too easy though. No. Somehow you always end up on my phone. Do you know how hard it is for me to remember my own age, let alone the four digit extension of seventy-nine twenty-three (as of Thursday at 5:01 p.m.) employees? You may as well ask me to cure cancer. Which I could totally probably do if math weren’t involved. Dammit. 

Restarting the freaking computer. Look, I would be happy to help you, but that requires me to use my computer to look up a file, and considering I can’t empty my recycle bin, print, or right-click without my computer freezing, we may have a rough go of it. If it isn’t my computer, then it’ll probably be our database system that I believe was unburied and found clutched in the claws of a fossilized tyrannosaurs rex. The thing barely ever runs, (a lot like me) and when it does, it runs as fast I do, (approximately six miles per hour) and for about as long (never more than an hour and a half). So, yeah, you’re probably going to have to wait a while.

Don't interrupt a man while he's looking at cardigans.

Shopping online. You wouldn’t walk up to me in the middle of J. Crew and ask me if I’ve sent through the release paperwork to the auto-auction, so why are you going to call over here while I am doing just that… online. It’s really quite rude of you. I mean I didn’t interrupt you while you were in the bathroom popping a squat, and don’t even act like this is different, because it really isn’t. I know what you’re going to say, “but you’re not paid to shop online.” Yeah, well, you’re not paid to go the bathroom, but you do anyway. Besides, I go to the bathroom once a week (more efficient that way), so really I am just repurposing my bathroom time. Did I mention they only offer free shipping until Friday, and I really need a new cardigan. So… No, I think you can wait.

Actually trying to help you with your problem. If you happen to call somewhere in the 3:00 o’clock hour, and you’re put on hold, congratulations! You’ve managed to reach me during the Golden Hour of productivity, and I am most likely actually trying to help resolve your issue. You see, all morning I like to put things off until the afternoon, and then I get so caught up with my post-lunch routine, that I only really have between 3:00 and 4:00 to be productive, because everyone knows nothing get’s accomplished after 4:00. It’s really hard doing eight hours of work in one hour. I should probably ask for a raise.

Do you have any great stories about being on hold / working with phones / how grim people are? I want to hear them. 

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    About Stanton

    I'm just a boy, a boy standing in front of the Internet, asking it to love him. Also: I eat dead animals.

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    10 Responses to 7 Things That Are Going On While You’re On Hold

    1. The Joseph Craven July 29, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

      My very first thought was “Man, Stanton is KILLING some brackets in this post!”

      You’ve made me proud, son.

      P.S. I’m your father.

    2. Katie Peterson Elliott July 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

      You should be outsourced to Mumbai, SIR!

    3. Taylor July 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

      This is probably you’re best blog yet, seriously loved it.

      • Stanton Martin July 31, 2011 at 5:19 am #

        Thanks, Taylor. It’s the one I put the least amount of time and effort into… Maybe that’s what happens when you just write about something you live out every stinkin’ day. ;) 

    4. Zack Owens August 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      I believe you are wearing the same shirt in your banner picture and in your “face of dispair” picture. GET A NEW SHIRT ONLINE WHILE YOU ARE WORK, PLEASE.

      Seriously though, hilarious post.

      • Stanton Martin August 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

        Excellent observation skills, Zack! I am impressed. 

    5. Eldora April 15, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

      Finding this post has anrwseed my prayers

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