How much time do we waste simply waiting?

Have you ever wondered how much of your life you have spent

a) waiting for a doctor’s surgery or hospital appointment, and

b) waiting at the end of the phone to reach customer service or a public servant

c) waiting at traffic lights

d) waiting for busses, trains, or ferries that seem to be always running late

In the first instance, I have had a lot of recent experience with injured children and spouse, and, more recently myself.

What bothers me is that they give you a time and place and issue all the threats around the place if you don’t turn up on time, but it seems to be perfectly ok if they are late.

It could be for some perfectly logical reason but most of the time they don’t tell you why they’re running late, and sometimes don’t even apologize.

Then there are the chairs they make you sit in, obviously specially designed so you do not get comfortable, especially in hospitals.

But the most infuriating aspect?  Just how small the waiting room is and how often it is overcrowded with people also waiting to see a doctor.

They ask if we remain respectful but after an hour and a half in those chairs and not treating us with that same respect they ask for, I’m surprised I have only witnessed one case of the angry patient.

In the second instance, there are two circumstances I take issue with.

The first is where you have to select from an automated phone menu and what you want isn’t one of the menu items and there’s no catch-all just disconnection, and

After waiting patiently on the line for up to thirty minutes or more you hear the connection, you think you are about to get to an agent and the call disconnects.

That is only one step removed from being connected … back at the selection menu and then sent to the back of the queue.

I’m sorry, but this technology is no advancement but I doubt if we will get back to the ‘old days’.

Of course, there is that other major advancement in telephone answering technology, voice recognition.  I’ve been on the end of it, and quite frankly, it just doesn’t understand me.

Odd, I Know, because I speak very good English with no accent.  Perhaps that’s the problem.

I can’t wait for the first humanoid robots.  I hope they can understand me better than the inhuman phones do!

One thought on “How much time do we waste simply waiting?

  1. Funny thing… Dr Seuss talks about the Waiting Place in ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go.’ He talks about how ‘everyone is just waiting.’ I used to dramatically pause and deliver that line when I read it to my then small children. They have no idea.
    Then, in relation to your last point my youngest child’s cell phone died. When I called the company to help us, an automated system said it would be a 15-23 (yes that oddly specific) wait time. Would I like a call when it was my turn? I figured why not? To my delight and surprise I received a callback in about 8 minutes. I was indeed shocked. I did speak with a human who was quite helpful. There is hope. Slow yet steady, there is hope.

    Like

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