The common woes of telephone support
We’ve all been there at some point. It’s that dreaded point where your computer won’t boot up, or your satellite has gone wonky, or any other number of things go wrong, and you realize that you’ve attempted to fix it on your own long enough. You’ve worn a worry path in the floor, you’ve broken more tools than you can hide, and the significant other you tried to convince that you could fix it on your own will be home soon – time to call in for reinforcements, quick.
So there you sit, still thinking maybe you can try one more thing, but realizing the longer you wait, the less chance there is that whoever you call can fix it in time for you to pretend that you did it, after all. Your palms sweat, you reach for the phone, shaking. You finally get the number dialed – only to get that hateful automated message, “Thank you for calling (insert company name here), all our technicians are currently unavailable, please hold for the next available technician.” Cue elevator music even Bill Cosby would cringe at.
Once you’ve counted every water spot on the ceiling, gaping nail hole in the walls, and thread in the carpet, you finally get a human response – you think. “Thank you for calling (insert company name here), we appreciate your business, please hold for the next available technician.” Surprisingly enough, your phone is still operational after you bang it on the nearest hard surface a few times.
My latest experience was with activating a credit card. Now, I realize that it doesn’t fit into the “broken household necessity emergency” category, but seriously, how long can it take to give your permission for a company to pillage your bank account and potentially destroy your ability to ever get a loan in the future?
Longer than I thought.
I spent the infuriating half hour listening to some warped accordion version of the Macarena. I wore a dent in the desk with the phone. I did my nails, I wrote out some checks, I even trained our dog to balance an address book on her nose.
Once I did actually get through to someone, the reception was horrible and I found myself talking to a woman with a very thick Indian accent. I couldn’t understand a word she said and, being the polite person I am and not wanting to make her repeat herself a billion and one times, I agreed with everything she said to me. Though I’m sure she was very nice (there were a lot of “thank you”s), I soon became certain that she was speaking German, and that not only had I activated my credit card, I had agreed to adopting a Nigerian orphan, donating a Land Rover (which I don’t own, by the way) to the Red Cross, and a marriage proposal.
I was hanging up as my husband came in from work. I must have looked pretty frazzled, because he immediately asked me if anything was wrong. I gave him the most coherent answer I could muster.
“I got a new credit card,” I told him, “But I think there’s something wrong with the phone.”