Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Good Way to Kill Time

I looked at my watch. I had 20 minutes before my meeting, which should have been plenty of time to order a cake to celebrate a recent promotion in the office. I called the nearby supermarket and said that I’d like to order a cake to pick up on Thursday. The operator politely replied that she’d transfer me to the bakery, and thanks for holding.

The line went dead. I know that this is some companies’ way of putting you on hold, but I never know if that means they “accidentally” hung up on me. I had to order this cake, so I stayed on the line, hoping to hear a voice presently.

“Hi, are you holding for Mark?”
“Um, I’m trying to get to the bakery to order a cake?”
“Oh, okay, hold please.”
“But – ”

And the silence again. Okay, I thought, I know they don’t have hold music, so this is fine. But then I heard a phone ringing, like I had just dialed. What the heck?

“Who are you holding for?”
“I’m trying to reach the bakery about a cake.”
“Hold, please.”

Argh! More silence! Then, the blasted question:

“Hi, who are you holding for?”
“I’ve been on hold for fifteen minutes, trying to reach the bakery about a cake.”
“Oh, hang on.”

For the love! What does it take to order a freaking cake around here?

“Bakery, how may I help you?”


“I’d like to order a cake to pick up on Thursday, for about 8 people.”
“Could you hold, please?”

Are you kidding me?

Two minutes later, I got a hold of a bakery person who, while taking my order, intermittently hollered to her cohorts about where random bakery equipment was located. Now, that’s what I call customer service.

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