Tag Archives: cell phone

Hold On

“Please continue to hold.  Your call is important to us.”

Hold on?  Hold on?  I’ve been holding on the entire time!  I’ve been clutching this phone for about three hours now.  Is that what people mean by “hold on”?  I should “hold on” to my phone.

I’m writing this entry while being placed into the state of “hold on”.  I have my little cell phone precariously perched upon my shoulder.  Technically, I am not “holding on” to anything.  The phone is being pinched by ear and neck muscles.  Who are they to tell me what I should be doing while waiting for the operator to come back on the line?  I’ll do whatever I want while I listen to the static filled bad jazz music.  I’m not actually holding on to anything.  I won’t do it.  In fact, I will not “hold on”, I will use my hands to type!  So there!

“Please continue to type.  Your call is sort of important to us.”

Since I was forced into the action of “hold”, I had some time to ponder the phrase “hold on”.  When I say that I had time, I mean a lot of time.  My teenage children almost grew up, graduated from college, and produced my grandchildren before the operator came back on the line.

The phrase “hold on” has come to mean “please wait”, only it’s not as polite.  You almost never hear someone say “please hold on”.  No.  It’s usually just “hold on”.  I thought about the phrase “hold on” so much that the intended meaning of “wait” started to fade away and the physical meaning of “hold on to something” started to emerge.  Now I can’t shake it.  Now, when someone says “hold on”, I assume they want me to grasp onto something.

I was at the deli counter yesterday and the person working the meat slicer said, “Hold on.  I’ll be with you in a minute.”  There was nothing to “hold on” to.  So I sat on the floor next to my grocery cart.  People were staring, but I was concerned that maybe she had some knowledge of a pending earthquake.  Or perhaps she was about to start throwing large chunks of ham at me, but didn’t want to knock me down.

You can hear “hold on, the doors are closing” when riding a subway or an airport tram.  What happens if you don’t chose to obey but rather purposely keep you hands free of any and all objects?  What if you didn’t hear the announcement and you didn’t “hold on”?  The doors might never actually close.  You be faced with an angry mob of people trying to get to their destination.  They’ll all be glaring at you while they “hold on” to the rails and you stand there all clueless with absolutely nothing in your hands.  Things could get ugly.

If we tell my dog that we are going for a walk, he goes nuts until we are outside.  He will start barking and running from door to door trying to figure out which side of the house we will be exiting from.  I’ll say, “Hold on.  I have to get the leash.”  That’s kind of rude of me to say “hold on” to a dog.  The poor creature doesn’t even have thumbs.  He couldn’t “hold on” even if he wanted to.  I can picture him saying, “Hey, I wouldn’t ask you to carry me, if you didn’t have arms!”  Only, my dog can’t talk.

I heard a mother tell her infant baby to “hold on”.  She was pulling a bottle from her bag as her kid was crying.  “Hold on.  I almost have it, sweetie.”  Although the baby did in fact have the required opposable digits to achieve the action of “holding”, she did not yet develop the dexterity to actually be able to “hold on”.  The only thing her thumbs were good for was involuntarily scratching her own cheeks and gouging her own eyes.

Hold on.  This blog entry is about to end.

I can see all of you actually reaching out to “hold on” to something.  Not really.  I can’t actually see you.  That would be creepy if I could.

Hold on.  You are about to buy my books.

Hollywood Phone Calls

Why doesn’t anyone in Hollywood understand how to properly use a phone?

This observation may not sink in with you immediately, but the next time you get to see a Hollywood phone conversation on your favorite show you’ll agree with exactly what I’m about to describe here.

Actors in the movies and on television hang up on the person they are speaking to without ever ending the conversation like a typical person would in the real world.  Pay attention next time you see a Hollywood phone call in progress and you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about.

Jack says into his phone, “I need the schematics made available immediately.”  The person on the other end of the phone says, “Alright.  I’ll get right on that.”  Click!  And he hangs up!

You wouldn’t do that in the real world.  No one said goodbye.  In the real world there would be at least an additional question or a concluding statement.

“Anything else?”

Jack says, “No.”

“Ok then.  I’ll talk to you later.”

Jack should then conclude with an “Ok. Bye.”  And then the hang up would occur.

What if Jack was about to add to the conversation, “and there is a bomb in your building.”  The guy on the other end of the phone would have had no clue.  He probably deserves to get blown up for exercising poor phone protocol.

I’ve seen basically the exact same conversation played out with Jack being the one who hangs up on the person he called too.

Jack says into his phone, “I need the schematics made available immediately.”  The person on the other end of the phone says, “Alright.  I’ll get right on that.”  Click!  And then Jack hangs up on him!

In this scenario, I always feel bad for the guy who has no chance to ask a follow-on question that he may have.

“Jack, I need to know what floor of the building you need the schematics for.  Hello?  Hello?”  And then he thinks to himself, “That stupid loser just hung up on me!  I don’t remember saying goodbye.  Screw him and his schematics.  Let him find the bomb all by himself.  I’m going to lunch.”

Boom!

And then there are the more romantic Hollywood phone calls.  Same thing happens here too.  No one in the real world ever hangs up on someone they care for after someone says something like “I miss you” or “I can’t wait to see you again”.

Try this on your significant other.  After they say “I miss you”, you say “I miss you too” and then just hang the phone up.  I guarantee you’ll be getting a call back in ten seconds or less.

“Why did you just hang up on me?”

“I thought we were done talking.”

“Maybe I don’t miss you so much now.”

Boom!

Buy my book.  Alright?  I’m still on the line waiting for a response.

Cell Phone Contract

I had to fire my cell phone provider the other day.  I can feel some of you thinking, “I wonder why?”  If you didn’t, perhaps you should move on and not read the rest of this.  Why should you waste your time if you’re not going to be curious about topic at hand?

Still here?  Good.  So, I’m in the middle of a two year cell phone contract with Cincinnati Bell.  (You’ll note that since I spelled out exactly who the carrier is, I have no problem throwing them under the bus.  Let the bad light shine.  Bad cell phone people.  Bad.)  With about a year to go before the signed and agreed-upon contract is to expire, I get a letter stating that my monthly rate is going to increase in the next billing cycle.

Really?

What part of signed contract do they not understand?  People sign contracts in order to lock-in an expected bill each month.  Suddenly, I feel like I am dealing with an American pro athlete.  Only, before my phone company demanded a new contract for more money, they forget to have a great year of performance first.

I make the call and I explained my plight.  I ask to speak to their supervisor.  I then ask to speak to the supervisor’s supervisor.  And then their supervisor.  And then their supervisor.  I got to the point where my opening line was, “can I speak to your supervisor, because you either can’t or won’t help me.”  Finally, I reach the top most tier of customer support accessible by someone other than the pope.

In a calm manner, I explain that raising the rates in the middle of my so-called contract is assuring that fact that there is no way that I will be signing another contract with the company that is currently keeping you (the top most supervisor) employed.  Don’t you see that your company is nearing the end of its own existence?

The best that this poor soul could do is explain that this is a corporate business decision that was “hard to make” and that all of the contracts are being subjected to this same increase.  And that it is included in the very fine print that the company is allowed to take this action legally.

“So I’m not alone?  Oh, good.  That’s makes everything better.  Sorry to have bother you.  Have a great day.”  Not really.  I told the person handling my frustration that if I could cancel this contract without any financial penalty, I would do it in a second.  Ethically, what you are doing here is wrong!

The response was, “Ok.  Hang on for a minute and I’ll see if there is something I can do for you.”

Great!  After 55 minutes of pleading, we are finally making progress–on the road to resolve.  I was then on hold for about seven minutes or so, being subjected to some very bad jazz music, when click!  My call was dropped.  I wasn’t even driving.  I was at my desk, sitting still.  What happened?  Now I’m going to have to crunch through the entire wait queue and talk to 15 more people’s supervisors to get back to the person that was finally helping.  Frustrated!

I go to hit redial.  “Emergency calls only.”  No way.  But it was true.  They cancelled my phone contract on the spot and disabled my ability to make calls effective immediately.

If I had asked for my family’s phones to be shut off on any other given day, it would have taken the same amount of phone calls, the same amount of debating, and it still would have needed to be signed, notarized, and hand delivered to the supreme supervisor by a leprechaun riding a unicorn.  But today, click and done.

The wife and I visited the four major cell phone providers that evening.  We signed a “contract” with the best we could find (they all have issues).  Ironically, the new contract’s monthly bill is the exact same amount as what the increased rate would have been.

But morally, I feel so much better.

buy my book!