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On Hold: Live Blogging an Eternity

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11:03 am: "There is one call ahead of you. Please continue to hold or press 1 to leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible".

11:05 am: I am on hold if you haven't figured it out. I have been on "hold" listening to the same insane message playing between five-second intervals of silence for the past several minutes. According to my calculations, this means that I have heard this voice and THAT message more than 200 times so far. TWO HUNDRED TIMES and COUNTING. Yeah. I'm yelling.

11:09 am: That my chin is cradling the phone as I type this means that my neck will probably "stay that way" for the rest of the day. My mother never warned me about my neck "staying that way". I couldn't be that lucky. Now I'll have to pay for a massage or a chiropractor to get the knots and kinks out. The only kind of kink I like is none of your damn business.

11:12 am: You are probably asking yourself why I don't just go ahead and press one.

11:13 am: I TRIED that.

MORE THAN THREE TIMES. Between 11:05 and 11:09. I'm persistent.I I got the following "message" each time:

"One is an invalid entry. There is one call ahead of you. Please continue to hold or press 1 and someone will return your call as soon as possible."

It's like damn groundhog day in my ear. Now I have an earworm. My symptoms are mounting.

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11:15 am: I know that if I hang up and call sometime later, the possibility exists that there will be 17 people ahead of me and the thought of that makes my brain want to explode. Nobody is cutting in line in front of me. I have been here for more than 20 minutes, damn it. I could get a table at the Cheesecake Factory in less time.

11:24 am: We are now beyond 23 minutes and counting. By the time I finish typing this sentence, we will hit 23.30 of time on the phone. That nifty little feature that tells you how much time you spend on each call comes in handy when you have nothing else to do eventually get a human being. IF you ever get a human being. I love starting my conversation with someone by telling them how long I have been on hold waiting for them to answer. Yeah, it puts us both in defense mode a really good mood for whatever business we are about to handle.

11:28 am: Maybe there really ARE 164 people ahead of me and EVERYONE gets the same message saying there is only one call ahead of each of us to keep us ALL hanging on the line and ruining our necks. Pfffft.

11:29 am: We are after all, calling a DOCTOR'S office.

11:29 am: THAT'S how they get more business.

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11:29 am: Duh.

11:33 am: We're at 30 minutes even now. I have now heard this annoying woman's voice more than anyone needs to. I would recognize her voice whispering in a movie theater even if she had just had her tonsils ripped taken out or was suffering from a bout of laryngitis. I hate her. Do any of you know who she is? There's an extra $50 in it for you if you can produce her address and phone number.

11:34 am: So, this is what they call live-blogging? Following the stream of events as they take place and reporting on them in real time? Well, I sure chose an interesting topic.

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Patricia A. Smith is a writer and artist (and sometimes both at the same time). A former columnist, restaurant critic and cruise line executive, Smith has lived in London, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Egypt, Costa Rica and France. She returned (more...)

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who can't relate to this. These recordings cost us... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Dec 27, 2009 at 12:23:24 PM
the crossed-out text word. A nice, useful innovati... by GLloyd Rowsey on Sunday, Dec 27, 2009 at 1:49:52 PM