Do you remember a few months ago, when I was suffering from changing long distance carriers for our office? Well, it seems that even though I started the changeover last July, this week we still had several But then again, I could be wrong...of our 18 phone trunks that were either still with the old carrier, or the old carrier had somehow snatched them back.

(If you ever need to check who your carrier is, just dial 1-700-555-4141, and there’ll be an announcement that tells you, but we have a bunch of lines that are in the PBX phone switch in our basement, and you can’t tell which line you’ve got because it picks the next available one automatically, so there’s really no easy way to test.)

Anyway, here’s the rant:

I call up SBC (oh, did I say that out loud?), and the auto-attendant greeting says, ‘To experience our world-class customer service, press 2 now, and an SBC representative will be with you in a moment.’ OK, well, that sounds great, so I press 2.

I get to enjoy about a minute of delicious Muzak&#153 in the ‘on-hold’ style that we all love, and then I hear, ‘Please hold for just a moment, and a representative will be right with you,’ and again, I’m thinking, well OK!

About 5 seconds after that, it says, ‘Due to an overwhelming number of unexpected calls, we are unable to service your call at this time,’ hangs up on me, and I get a fast busy.

‘An overwhelming number of calls?’ This is supposed to be The Phone Company!

This goes on for 3 or 4 cycles of calling, waiting, and being hung up on, then I finally get through to a warm body and they answer the phone, ‘I’m Theresa… How may I provide you with excellent service this morning?,’ and I explain to Theresa that evil forces seem to be in control of my phone bill. She takes a look at our account and says, ‘Hmm. Well, I don’t get this… can you hold for just a second,’ and proceeds to put me on hold for 14 minutes 27 seconds (our phones have a display that tells call duration). After said 14:27, someone named Ky comes on the line and says, ‘Hi, I’m Ky. How may I provide you with excellent customer service?’ and I say, ‘Gosh, I don’t know but I hope it works out better than the excellent service I was getting from Theresa when she put me on hold about 15 minutes ago!’

The good news is that I honestly believe that Ky got things straightened out, but it took phone conversations with at least 5 different people over a period of almost 3 hours, and most of those people honestly couldn’t help me.

By the way, since I mentioned Theresa and Ky (and Mary Alice, you rocked!), I feel I should quote Kurt Vonnegut’s foreword to Sirens of Titan, to wit, ‘None of the names have been changed to protect the innocent, as God protects the innocent as a matter of heavenly routine.’

More links in the Great Chain of Being...I’m about to leave you with a few quick linky doodles, and I’m considering turning this into a pattern of ranting or providing a meaningful essay followed by a bunch of interesting links. By the way, if it isn’t obvious, ‘linky doodle’ is a free association off of ‘Yankee Doodle,’ as in, ‘here’s a linky doodle dandy.’ But I digress…