January 09, 2006

It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it…

'Please hold, and you will be connected to an advisor shortly'...
These are the words which have haunted my dreams over the last few days, as I have spent hours and hours variously trying to sort out:
a.) the ridiculous amounts of money of which I have been deprived due to inaccurate taxing. For some reason, the tax office thinks that I have been working for the university, rather than studying. Ha…
b.) the demise of my car which I am attempting to halt. Unfortunately, speaking to mechanics on the phone is about as mind-numbing as sitting through the entirety of Madeleine Peyroux's latest album.
c.) my attempts to claim jobseeker's allowance (I know, kids. It's not cool. Stay in school.)

A sample conversation of the last few days has gone something like this…

I dial a new number in hopeful anticipation

The phone rings for several minutes

Operator: Hello!
Me: Hello!
Operator: Hello, you've reached the advice line for having someone else pay your rent / having your car welded back together / getting another meaningless job etc. None of our advisors are free to take your call at the moment, so please hold.
KT Tunstall: Suddenly I see, suddenly I see!
Me: Christ!

Several more minutes pass

Advisor: Hello?
Me: Hello?
Advisor: Hello?
Me: Hi, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on not being poor / having a car with four wheels etc.
Advisor: I'm sorry, you've actually been put through to the wrong department. Just let me –
Me: No!
KT Tunstall: Suddenly I see!

Several more minutes pass

Advisor: Hello, you're through to the helpline for customers suffering from nervous breakdowns after being put on hold for half of their life expectancy. Please press 1.
I press 1
Advisor: Please press 0.
I press 0
Advisor: Press 3 to stay on the line.
I press 3
Advisor: Please enter the name of your first pet, followed by the Hash key.
Me: Eh?
Operator: I'm sorry, none of our advisors are on line to take your call at the moment. Please ring back later.

In conclusion, the only thing worse than being employed is being unemployed.


- 6 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. Urgh, the real world not as nice as they have us believe then?

    09 Jan 2006, 12:44

  2. Fleur

    don't even go there Holly!

    Here's one of my latest automated-call-voice-no one-ever-answers-systems experience:

    To a well known telephone supplier

    Numerous button pushing

    "Please enter your phone number"

    01234 56789…

    "Please enter your account number"

    012 345 678

    "Your phone number and account number do not appear to match. Please enter your phone number"
    01234 567890

    "Please enter your account number"

    012 345 678
    "Your phone number and account number do not appear to match. Please enter your phone number"
    01234 567890

    "Please enter your account number"

    012 345 678

    This goes on 6 or 7 times before I get a human voice
    Me: ah, hello your system has been saying my phone number doesn't match my account number, even though I'm reading it off a letter you sent to me

    Operator: Ah, yes, that's because that number is wrong
    Me: oh, right, well could you tell me what the right number is please
    Operator: Yes, let me just put you through

    Automated voice: "Please enter your phone number"

    01234 56789
    "Please enter your account number"

    Me: slumps to the ground with sudden grey hair

    09 Jan 2006, 13:22

  3. Call centres suck, we all know this. No one likes them, but we all have to get trapped in their cycles of frustration sooner or later!

    They're all in India anyway, so think of it as your ear taking a short holiday!

    09 Jan 2006, 17:29

  4. Cathy

    Say you're pregnant, they love giving money to pregnant people.

    My two favourite questions from that jobseekers/suicide conversation were when they asked me if

    a) I was claiming as compensation for my involvement in the 1995 Montserrat Volcanic Disaster or

    b) whether I was receiving a WWII Prisoner of War Pension.

    05 Feb 2006, 11:39

  5. Oh yes! I love the way they ask you if you are receiving a WWII Prisoner of War Pension after they ask your date of birth. Mind you, it's nothing on the questions you have to answer before they'll let you into the States…

    05 Feb 2006, 19:38

  6. Cathy

    I'm all ready with my moral turpitude. Nothing will beat the last time I went in the states- a family of juggling midgets, all 4 ft or under save for the mummy who was 6ft tall.

    Signing on is a rite of passage. I couldn't bear it after about 5 weeks, the old guy who kept calling me crumpet when I walked into the job centre :S urgh

    06 Feb 2006, 19:27


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