Friday, August 24, 2007

Please Hold

Working in sales now I'm making a lot more work-related phone calls than I used to. It's given me a chance to become familiar with different systems' approach to the "hold" music.

One of my customers' wireless services apologizes for the delay and plays Vivaldi (The Four Seasons); my own service, of course, plays a series of clicks which, if nothing else, at least indicate that the phone hasn't died.

China Mobile, on the other side of the world, plays an electronic version of something pianistic -- beloved wife said she thought she recognized incidental music from Dr. Zhivago, which seems odd for a Communist government. Unfortunately they play it at about 85 decibels, which is a bit tough when you're wearing a headset and the first chords explode upon the ear.

Award for the worst music is the internal system of another customer. Near as I can tell, the music is only four measures before it repeats. If they answered the phone within five seconds, you might just hear the first repeat -- but they don't. That one can ruin your day if it goes on much longer.

I'll have to consult the beloved wife about the background music at the doctors' office this afternoon -- it was beach music, and I can't recall the song now, but it had a prominent line about "this is the end" or "it's killing me" -- something which seemed unproductive for a medical office.

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