As I am now in the process of moving, there are boxes to pack, things to throw away, stuff to sell and, above all, PHONE CALLS. Just endless, endless phone calls.
Cancelling this, activating that, arranging things.... I know everyone says moving sucks. I realize now how true it is. (I'm still excited but just.... PHONE CALLS!)
I'm a good project manager and got right on it. I threw on the headset and prepared myself for copious hours of shitty hold music and inadequate customer service representatives.
But in the end, nothing - NOTHING - could have prepared me for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
STAGE ONE: THE DIAL
At this point, it could still go well. This could very well be your lucky day! You might get through and find to your surprise there is very little hold time. BOOM! DONE! You are the QUEEN OF GETTIN' SHIT DONE. You are organized, you are STRONG! Suck it, naysayers.
STAGE TWO: TALK TO THE VOICE
You really prefer to punch in your answers - one for "yes," two for "no" - because you're not in your own room right now and the last thing you need is everyone hearing you talk at the operator voice in the phone. But it's technology and stuff so you'll play along. Even if you have to repeat yourself a couple times.
It's okay, though, because you are totally awesome about STAYING CALM.
STAGE THREE: NOT SO CALM NOW
You've recited your zip code at least three times and the voice tells you the hold time might be more than 30 minutes. Your blood boils but a few deep breaths later it's all good. There's no way it's really going to take 30 minutes. That's insane. That's forever. And this hold music is pretty terrible SO HELP ME GOD....
But no. It's fine.
STAGE FOUR: 35 MINUTES ON HOLD
"Your call is very important to us. Please continue to hold; your call will be answered in the order it was received."
"Your call may be recorded for quality assurance."
I hate you.
STAGE FIVE: MY LIFE IS OVER
The world is a cold, dark place where there is only the toxic sound of soul-crushing hold muzak and the VOICE that occasionally chimes in with facts about the DWP and requests to keep holding. It tells you they have things on their website that can help. You check the website. There is nothing. You are stranded in the desert without water. With muzak. You will never hear anything else EVER AGAIN.
Your cell battery is down to 30% and you're starting to panic that no one will EVER. PICK. UP. EVER. AGAIN. You will die on this hold, but that's okay because at least then it will be over. But it's been an HOUR and how much longer COULD IT POSSIBLY BE? Surely someone is about to pick up. Any second now. C'mon, guys....
Someone will tell you to give up. "Call back at an obscure hour." "Try again," they'll say.
DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND??? I CAN'T STOP NOW. I'VE INVESTED TOO MUCH OF MY TIME.
No going back.
STAGE SEVEN: GO TOWARD THE LIGHT
An hour and 47 minutes later... "Los Angeles DWP, thank you so much for holding, how may I help you today?"
No sentence has ever made you happier in your entire life. You can breathe again. You can feel feelings and sing songs. You will live to see another sunrise.
And really, was it so bad? I mean, you put it on speaker and got lots of work done while you waited....
Tomorrow? The cable company.