Going dilly while put ‘on hold’

You press your key and sit through The Four Seasons overture for 15 minutes when a voice interrupts the good parts …

IS IT just me or do you also find it frustrating to get a simple, straightforward answer from the municipality? 

The other day I had the greatest difficulty getting the number of the local traffic licensing department.

For goodness sake, don’t they have a list of the various departments at their fingertips for queries like this?

Like me, many of you must often have been driven dilly “holding on” for service of one kind or another.

Apparently the average person spends a horrifying 45 hours a year “on hold”.

That’s nearly two days of drooping over the telephone listening to a pre-recorded android chant: “If you would like information, press one; if you have a complaint, press two; if you would like to blast this organisation to kingdom come, press three and if you have been reduced to a gibbering idiot capable of only communicating in beeps, press four.”

You press your key and sit through The Four Seasons overture for 15 minutes when a voice interrupts the good parts to urge you to be patient, how important you are to them and that your call will be answered soon.

And when your ears are numb and you’re in a catatonic state of suspended animation, someone will say: “Hello, all-weather components, Carl speaking, how may I help you?”

So you tell him what you want and he says: “Just transferring you now,” and it starts all over again.

Unless you have a hobbyist’s interest in the digital rendering of poor theme music, there’s only one thing to do to avoid spending the best days of your life being fobbed off by a telephone black hole. Write to them instead. Only you may have to phone for the address.

Civil servants prayer

These verses have been in my files for years. Titled, “A prayer for civil servants,” I’m sure they would have given dear old John Batting a good chuckle. So here they are for your amusement.

“O Lord grant that this day we come to no decisions,

Neither run we into any kind of responsibility, but

That all our doings may be ordered to establish

New departments for ever and ever, Amen

Thou who seeist all things below, grant

That Thy servants may go slow, that

They may study to comply with

Regulations till they die. Teach us

O Lord, to reverence committees

More than common sense; to

Train our minds to make no plan

And pass the baby when we can.

So when the tempter seeks to give

Us feelings of initiative, or when

Alone we go too far, chastise us

With a circular. Mid war and

Tumult, fire and storms, give

Strength O Lord to deal out

Forms. Thus may Thy servants

Ever be a flock of sheep for Thee.”


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