(Image stolen from here)

As I type I am enjoying some quality classical music courtesy of Expedia. I am not sure if I am still ‘in line’, if they are really thanking me for my patience sincerely, or if the jaded Britney-Spears-microphone-wearing call centre mule in downtown Mombasa is taking a smoke break and purposely leaving me here to start going slightly crazy. Oh my god. I swear I just heard them change the CD! Being on hold is one of the most mind numbingly boring things to experience, but I must say, no one does it like Telkom, South Africa’s telephone “service” monopoly, and you know when you call them you should settle down with your Verimark footspa, a large cocktail and several very hard Sudoku puzzles. Weirdly, I do miss those pan pipes. Doo doo doo doo de doo doo, da da da da de doo da. Roberto would be so proud.

One of the funniest things about the automated systems here is that they very often can’t understand my accent. Especially my cellphone service provider, Fido. For some inane reason they have programmed the voice recording to seem as if it is a real person. Apparently her name is Andrea and she would be a total slut if she was real because it seems that with her, no means yes. She also permanently wants to try and change my airtime rate, even though I don’t want her to. Wilful cow.

Oops. Momentarily flustered as friendly call centre lady just answered. However, I am back on hold because she couldn’t answer my question. Or she needs another cigarette. Yipee. Now I get to phone ANOTHER toll free number. I wonder what music they have? Ooooh, to ensure I have a great experience, the call may be recorded. So what did they do to people before they started recording calls? Make them cry? And why has Alaska Airlines employed a monkey with a Casio for their on hold music? Apparently they will answer my call in THREE minutes. That’s if I don’t take some Valium and accidentally drop the phone without noticing first…


PS – Look out for new posts after our trip to California, and in the mean time, share your exciting on hold stories!