Can you hold the line please …

I don’t know whether it is just me but when I phone a company I am told to hold the line please.

I don’t want to hold the line while you play ghastly musak to me. All the tunes used by various companies are the same and if I have to listen to Greensleeves one more time I am going to throw the phone out of the window.

I think my record of staying on the line was 35 minutes. Yes I should have rung off but I was afraid I would lose my place in the queue. I have been told that” your call is important for us and you are currently 3rd in line”. If I ring off I might end up as the 25th holding on the line. However looking on the bright side, during the time I was waiting I made a cup of tea, answered my mobile and delved into the freezer to find something for supper. I felt like kicking the cat but that wouldn’t be fair as she hasn’t ask me to hold!

I loathe the companies who ask you to speak to their machine answering all sorts of ludicrous questions. I find myself shouting out Yes, No, Yes and No again and again.

I think my blood pressure has gone through the roof and the dog is hiding because she thinks I am shouting at her! Why on earth do they want to know my date of birth? Are they checking that I am over the age of 18 or what?

When they want to know my last two addresses I have lived at is wonderful as I lived in France for six years and could give them that address but for some reason they are a bit flummoxed by that. I felt a teeny bit of remorse after when they asked if my brother still lived with me and I answered “ He is dead”. That stopped the conversation. Why did they want to know as I was only trying to get through to my bank not to the Council Tax people?

Another bug bear is being diverted to a call centre in America or China. I hate it when they say “Have a nice day”. I would be having a nice day but I am not because the sun is shining and I am sitting in doors hunched over my telephone trying to get an answer to my questions. And listening to more Musak. If I wanted to listen to some music I would chose something soothing to calm my nerves.

There are some companies who give into my demand to speak to a person rather than a telephone. When I rang British Gas with a query and finally got a really nice sounding chap he agreed with me wholeheartedly. If I do lose my temper, which I am afraid is quite likely during the process of getting the information I always apologise to the poor person I have just shouted at. Imagine if that happened all day on the other hand they could always choose another job.

I also loathe please hold for an advisor – hold which bit of the advisor? There are an awful lot of pops too. I’ll just pop you onto the right person. We will pop straight back to you.

I don’t want any more popping thank you. Today trying to order a jacket by telephone the chap who spoke to me (after only 5 minutes) kept saying “All right my love”. I am not his love and never will be. I felt like putting on a Margaret Rutherford’s booming voice and saying” You do realise young man that I am old enough to be your grandmother and NOT your love”

You might think that I am an impatient lady and you are quite right, but only on the telephone. In despair and desperate to keep my sanity I now just hang up. Unfortunately it means that I will have to start all over again but the sun is shining today and I am going to do some gardening. At least plants don’t ask me to hold them!


Written by Jane Buckle 

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Jane Buckle

My Grandfather was called Bertie Buckle. He was a journalist in Fleet Street then went to live in India and founded the Bombay Gazette. I am not certain this was true but that was what my father told me! I always wanted to be a journalist but ended up doing Public Relations and Advertising, both of which meant that I was writing Press Releases, brochures and articles about clients. I formed my own little business specialising in P.R and Advertising. Unfortunately my clients drifted away one by one. They thought young and enthusiastic girls were preferable to an old lady of 55! I then moved to France where I lived for six blissful years. I renovated and sold houses and finally I realised my dream and wrote for three magazines there. I even had my own column in one of them. On my return to England I pitched for freelance work with all sorts of magazines and papers. I did write some pieces but I was over the moon when Silversurfers accepted an article. I like to think Bertie would be proud of his granddaughter.

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