“Is it OK if I put you on hold for a minute?” she asked sweetly.
Anyone who has ever called a doctor’s office has heard this before. Once we shimmy our way past the voice prompts to an actual person, they will often place us on hold while they do whatever it is they do after that hold button is pressed—make an appointment, look up some billing information, check their Facebook updates—it doesn’t matter because we all know that “hold” is going to happen.
When she asked me to hold, I said sure, put my phone on speaker and set it on the kitchen countertop next to a small prep sink. I thought I’d make some coffee while I was waiting, so I took the kettle off the stove and brought it over to the sink. The tall, gooseneck faucet only dispenses filtered, cold water and when we built the house, I thought it would be a great idea. So far, it’s been useful for filling either the teakettle or the little watering can my wife uses to water houseplants and that’s about it. In the grand scheme of bad ideas, this ranks around a seven.
I placed the kettle in the sink, took off the lid and turned on the water just as the person who placed me on hold came back on the line. My phone was still next to the sink, on speaker.
“Hi, sorry to put you on hold, would you be able to … able to … um ………… would you like me to call back?” she said.
“No, I’m almost done,” I said. “Go ahead.”
It was just then that I realized what the slow running water must’ve sounded like on her end of the phone, as I’m sure people do all kinds of things since the advent of cordless technology that are not limited to making coffee.
Rather than explain anything, I just shut off the water. “OK, all set,” I said.
After all, why spoil a good awkward moment with unnecessary explanations?