Dial 8 for Dido at the bank

A strange thing happened to me this morning when I tried to get hold of someone from the bank. The strange thing was the fact I managed to get hold of someone from the bank. Usually I call the number on the back of my card having taken the adequate precautions. The sleeping bag is ready along with enough tins of beans to survive a nuclear winter.

And then I will go through the whole process of pressing numbers on cue and being put through a labyrinth of options before giving away precious chunks of my life that I'll never get back again by listening to an automated voice that tells me a service representative will be with me "shortly." The message should really say "longly shortly," but that's not great grammar.

This time I was asked to press 1 for a service rep and then a very weird and disturbing thing happened; a human voice answered immediately. This was so unexpected I found myself floundering, my tongue flipping around like Free Willy in a fish tank, utterly in shock and almost forgetting why I called in the first place.

The other surprising aspect of this call was the fact I was able to achieve what I wanted without having my request denied because I couldn't recall the middle name of my great aunt Beatrice's long deceased gold fish.

There was a brief interlude during which I was treated to Life for Rent by Dido. This got me thinking about music on corporate voicelines and wondering why it's usually of the Dido, Celine Dion ilk. While I'm rather keen on Dido but not so keen on Celine, it would be surely be more interesting if banks opted for something edgier.

Suede, for instance, a band that never made it big in the US but had something of a heroin chic cache in Britain during the '90s, although I have little idea what they were singing about, but probably not the woman who works at the buchers'.

"She sells heart, she sells meat
Oh dad, she's driving me mad, come see."

If Suede won't make it onto Bank of America, the Sex Pistols really don't have much chance.

God save the queen
The fascist regime
They made you a moron
Potential H-bomb

But you think they'd consider The Smiths and the one line that resonates most with me (unfortunately).

I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
But heaven knows I'm miserable now.

Especially after waiting for 40 minutes to be told your overdraft limit will not be extended by some snotty rep from Rockville hovering on pubescence who probably plays Join the Dots with his acne every morning. It's enough to turn the mildest mannered individual into Sid Vicious after a couple of Tia Marias.

Personally I'd be a lot happier hanging on the telephone, in the immortal words of Blondie if they had Bowie on there. Ashes to Ashes would be the most appropriate song not only because it's probably the most amazing song ever written, although that' s a big claim, but because by the time the folks at the bank have finished with us we all feel like Major Tom.


  1. Waiting on the phone line and being given a menu of numbers and options to choose from drives me crazy. That's probably one of my least favorite things to do. Having some good music to listen to while doing it would help somewhat, I suppose.

    Your example, "the middle name of my great aunt Beatrice's long deceased gold fish," gave me a good laugh. :D

  2. I can't begin to imagine being put through to a real person straight away, are you sure you didn't dream it? I do like the idea of mixing up the 'on hold' music and the suggestions are good too. Hanging on the Telephone by Blondie would be appropriate.

  3. I think that Hanging on the Telephone in that situation would feel sarcastic.

  4. hmm. I've never really thought about it before but I wonder if businesses have to pay royalty fees on that music. Maybe there's a giant catalog of boring hold music somewhere that places get to pick from.

  5. I think we should have the option to choose our play list as we wait.

  6. I know Daisy - bring a good book. Blondie would be great Abi, it was such a mega shock. I'm all for sarcasm, Starla, haven't given much thought to it meself Alyson. You could be on to something Lidia

  7. I hate it when they have holiday themed hold music. Although there is a lone bio-tech company out there that has Elvis hold music. That's pretty fun!


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