The other day I got a call from my doctor’s office. As soon as I picked up the phone, the person on the other line said, “Please hold.” Ten minutes later I was still waiting. In fact, I was on the verge of hanging up when a voice came on the line and asked who I was. Turns out the office had completely forgotten they’d called me in the first place!
I feel like I while away a lot of time on hold, and apparently, I’m not the only one. The average person spends a whopping 13 hours waiting “on hold” every year, according to a recent poll commissioned by text message service TalkTo. (That’s 43 days in the average lifespan.) What do we do while that Muzak plays? One survey, conducted by Wakefield research, shows that roughly a quarter of us have “made a meal,” or “watched a full episode of a TV show” while waiting, and more than a third of Americans have gone to the bathroom. Seventeen percent were able to completely clean a room in their house. (Maybe they used one of our speed cleaning checklists.) As for me, during my ten minutes of waiting last week, I cleaned up the kitchen, made myself breakfast, fed the cat, and then stood around, well, waiting.
What do you when you’re on hold? And what’s the longest you’ve ever waited?