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BlueWolf's Howl

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June 16, 2003

Breaking Point

All of us have been on hold at one time. You sit and listen to the elevator music and wait and wait and wait... or do you?

What is the breaking point? Is there some certain amount of time based on the quality of the call that is a "reasonable" wait time? Is it based on your current circumstance or is it based on the desire to reach the party on the other end?

I've been on both sides of the queue. No matter how many or how few people are in line - the person you rush off the phone is ticked that you rushed them, the next person in line is ticked that you didn't answer faster, and you're ticked that you're taking the heat for your manager/owner who thought it a stroke of genius to make understaffing a company policy. It was a stroke, alright...

And what is the best way to handle being on the other side of that phone call? Do you leave a voice mail and wait for a few *DAYS* for them to return the call? Do you hang up? Do you try to call back later? Is there really a "good" time to call? It seems that long queues are *always* busy. It's like trying to dial into a radio station to win concert tickets...

I'm sure there must be some best way to play this game. I know that at some point (usually after 15 to 30 min), I find that I *can't* hang up. I feel like I've already invested too much time to step out of the line and miss my turn.

I never hang up right away or after only 5 minutes. I tell myself that I'll only have to call back again, so I might as well wait. I tell myself that if I don't wait, I'll never get through.

I try to compensate for this by doing something while I'm waiting. It's no consolation. I'm tethered to the phone and can't really concentrate on the other task. I'm sure someday I'll find the perfect balance. But, not today.

Today I met the ultimate phone hold siren. I was on hold to check on something and every few minutes she picked up the line. She told me that my call was important. She told me that all calls would be handled in order. Then she cast her spell. She told me that my position in the queue was..... ONE.

Posted by BlueWolf on June 16, 2003 06:34 PM