Frustration! Everyone has experienced this if they own a phone. Any kind of phone – cell or the old-fashioned, stuck-to-the-wall kind.
Technology, no matter how advanced, has not found an alternative to being put on hold and forced to listen to novocain-to-the-brain “hold music,” which is twin to “elevator music.”
Elevator and telephone hold music never has and never will entertain anyone because any elevator trip or phone call involves people whose tastes in music differ. What happens is an attempt to please everyone and we all know what Abraham Lincoln said about that.
Case in point is a lush orchestral version of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.”
We are lucky here in the Chagrin Valley because our buildings are not tall enough to require elevators, but we all own phones, which leads us to the second of this week’s frustrations.
My auto insurance company sent a notice saying I could get a rate decrease by plugging a small device into the car’s diagnostic port then drive normally for the next few weeks.
The plug-in gadget knows when your driving is not up to snuff and snitches on you to Big Brother at the insurance company. It logs stuff like hard stops which means you were not paying attention to traffic ahead.
It can’t tell when the hard stop is caused by extenuating circumstances like a jaywalker appearing from nowhere.
But anything to save a buck, right? So I signed up for the program and received the walnut-sized monitor a few days later. All I had to do was plug it in.
Eager to start saving money, I dashed out to my car, found the diagnostic port and popped it open. There were a lot of wires and numbered fuses but nothing that looked like it would fit the thing I was holding in my hand.
The diagnostic port was simply not where the owner’s manual said it would be. I could see the floor through the space where it was supposed to be. Could an assembly worker in charge of installing it have taken an unauthorized trip to the potty when my car came down the line?
I called the service department of the dealership. The guys there would solve the mystery. I was put on hold and waited for someone to answer my question. I listened to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Pack Up Your Troubles,” both of which I found ironic.
Eventually a recording asked me to leave my name, number and brief message. They promised to get back to be as soon as possible. That was a week ago.
Yesterday, I called the dealership to talk to the salesman that sold me the car. He told me he would be there for me if I ever had a question.
I was put on hold and listened to a “South Pacific” medley of “Bali Ha’i,” “Some Enchanted Evening” then “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” which was interrupted by a recorded apology for the “unusually long wait time” but invited me to leave a message.
My friend the salesman never called back and neither did his manager. I waited for him through “Light My Fire,” which didn’t, and the theme from “The Pink Panther” which brought back memories of Peter Sellers, the movie and the California drive-in where I saw it.
In a stroke of brilliance I called the service department. Again. The same service department which has the answer but would not answer the phone or return my call. The car needs an oil change and there will be a person there who can solve the case of the missing diagnostic port.
So, things are looking up. There is “hope in my heart,” as the lyric goes. There is just one lingering irritation. No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop humming “There is Nothing Like a Dame.”