When I plug my headset into the telephone, I sit and listen to silence,
save for the condenser mic picking up my breath or my lips smacking or
whatever…  and I wait until I hear a tone.

When I hear the tone, it’s showtime.  I look at the telephone’s
LCD screen to know who I’m representing at the moment, and I greet the
listening caller.  I do not have to ‘pick up’, in fact, I’m not
even allowed to ‘let it ring’.

I have no immediate way to know how long this person has been waiting,
if the person was even on hold, nor do I know if any are waiting in the
queue behind my caller, save for the din of other operators talking
from their cubicles.  The caller has no clue either, save for the
din of the office that makes it into my microphone, if the caller is
that observant.

In a retail store, you know how busy a store has become by observing
the number of customers in it, and you know the size of the checkout
line instantly.  This causes people to either politely try to keep
the line moving, or become upset and be ire while in line or otherwise
walk out of the store without buying anything.

Aside from folks that hang up on or complain about the hold music, there’s no such phenomenon on the telephone.

Now, if you consider that most of what I’m doing on the telephone is a
kind of ‘overflow’ from website order business, imagine what sort of
‘lines’ form on the internet, and are invisibly dispersed…

Well, as it so happens, my company’s powers-that-be do have statistical
ways to measure the sizes of these ‘lines’ and know exactly when we can
expect the calls to come flooding in.  Sometimes I’m privy to the
information and well, sometimes I’m not.  And of course, sometimes
the unexpected does happen.

The question I have, however, is, why is this so?

We’ve got these machines that work almost ceaselessly for 365 days out
of the year, and people minding the telephones for just as long, so why
is it that everyone phones about their Christmas shopping on Monday
before Christmas over lunchbreak?

This is true in brick-and-mortar shopping as well-  I visited the
24-hour WalMart in town on three occasions in the week leading up to
Christmas and the place was loaded.  I knew full well that staying
up to midnight or waking to shop at 4am meant no lines whatsoever.

Many of us work on weekends or on graveyard shifts- why hasn’t this change shown an obvious effect on shopping habits?

Just something to think about…

Thank you all for your comments.

A week ago I had a slight mishap with the car which I will report about
on the car’s website once I get around to photographing the
results.  For now I’ll suffice it to say that my car’s coolant
system now has an aluminum bottle to remind me to expect the unexpected.

I hope everything has gone okay for everyone and I wish the best over the coming year.

I’m fairly confident for this one considering the past few.

See you next time.


One thought on “

  1.   Nothing personal against you, as these things are only barely related, but I hate it how companies distance themselves from customers by sending complaint calls (or calls of any type for that matter) to some country thousands of miles away to be handled by a man or woman who takes an American sounding name and speaks with a generalized English accent (and they actually have a class on “how to speak generalized-sounding English” in their job-training), and who can’t really do anything to solve your problem.  I had a run-in with AOL, and this basically happened to me.  It took me three months to get everything sorted out, and I had to use all the reserves of patience inside me to keep from screaming at and berrating these innocent people in India about how AOL had fucked me over.  These people can’t help it, it’s the companies’ fault.  I just thought I’d mention that, lol.


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