Sometimes when I am feeling like cutting my toes off with my electric saw – or plunging my hands into boiling oil – I think – no I will just ring the Commonwealth bank. This will be just as painful but will leave no permanent physical scars.
I only ring the bank when I really, really have to.
They have a number which they say operates 24 hours per day. It does not say someone will talk to you.
So I rang the number and started the tortuous adventure thru the telephone tree. Now I have never once used a telephone tree where what I wanted to do was listed. I am always the person who ‘wants to do something else’ and have to press 6 - which banishes me to the vast wastelands of telephony.
I have found with the Commonwealth bank that if you just keep banging the hash key you will eventually be referred to the first available operator.
But there isn’t one.
Unfortunately they are experiencing a higher number of callers than usual – or all their operators are busy talking to other clients – or clipping their toe nails – and I will be dealt with by the first available operator – because we really value your call – so much that we will not answer it – and – after a long period listening to excruciating music – the line goes dead.
The bank used to say ‘we are experiencing a high number of calls at the moment – please call later’ and then the line went dead. I think I preferred that to the current system.
But I really wanted to do something so I held on. It is only a short tune – played endlessly - which sounds like six cats trapped in a drum with a score of violinists and cymbalists going over the Niagara falls.
This is interrupted by some woman saying every 2 minutes – ‘Thank you for waiting – we appreciate your patience – someone will be with you soon’.
But she is lying.
The first time I lasted 17 minutes with no result. The second time 11 minutes with no result.
What they should say is:
‘We do not give a rat’s ass about your call. Wendy is the only person on tonite and she has just found out that her fiancée is shagging her best friend - so she is completely useless. You can hang on here until the cows come home but honestly you would be better off going and sticking your head up a dead bear’s bum’