They should provide callers with FLoyd-sized phone books to rip into shreds while listening to endless loops of musicoid sounds played underwater, followed by fiendishly-designed call trees:

“You have called to make changes to your Medicare Card. Please select one of the following choices to help us direct your call to the appropriate service:”

Say or Press 1 if you are five feet tall or less, or say or press 2 if your favorite color is magenta.

I am still listening to underwater Barry Manilow and have no more phone books, but they do regret that I’ve been holding for so long.

My call will be taken in the order in which it was received, which means the guy who called 36 hours ago will be first to experience the horror of being reconnected at last to the beginning of the endless loop.

You said “take this phone and shove it. Is that correct?”

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Be thankful that you don’t have “service” from AT&T – there are no live Americans at AT&T – you will be directed to India (after navigating 5 levels of a telephone tree), where “Mary” or “Edith” will be happy to help you. And then, since you are a mere idiot, you will have to endure being asked stupid questions, because, after all, you are a moron and know nothing …

  2. You have my sympathy.

    Doesn’t help; but, it’s what I have to offer as I haven’t figured out either how to get around these things.