Houston's Worst Places to Get Put On Hold
Joe V's Smart Shop is a Houston-based offshoot of one of the state's most successful brands, H.E.B., aka the H.E. Butt Grocery Company. Or, as it's known in my home, The Butt. If you're a fan of The Butt -- and really, who isn't? -- you know why it's an awesome place to shop. I don't know about you, but when I'm in The Butt it just feels right.
Photo by Nic McPhee/Flickr Commons
As it were, Joe V's recently emerged from The Butt and it's still a little sloppy. When I called to ask about a certain item, someone answered by saying "Hold on a second..." The second turned into about a minute and a half. When she returned, she simply said, "Hello?"
"Is this Joe V's?" I asked, because, what, what, that's not how they do it in The Butt. You're greeted like your call is the only thing keeping them from bankruptcy when you dial up H.E.B. proper.
Anyway, while I was waiting for the phone operator to return from whatever was more important than my question, I listened to the hold music. It was a loop of annoying royalty-free piano music that made me want to fly to Vienna, dig Beethoven from his grave and bitch-slap him. And, from these odd thoughts came the following exercise, one man's attempts to track down some of the worst hold music on Houston business phones.
I phoned an auto insurance company called Aggressive Insurance and a recorded voice assured me they're "driven to serve you." As I waited for a human voice to join me on the line, I heard The Beach Boys' "Little Deuce Coupe." Not bad. Then, The Cars' "Drive" -- sung by the more handsome Car who didn't marry the model -- played in its entirety.
I was halfway through Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" when I realized 1) there's an auto motif to Aggressive Insurance's hold music; and 2) holy hell, how long have I been on hold? I hung up angry that the insurance company was toying with me by calling itself "Aggressive" and leaving me on perpetual hold to have songs about cars mock me.
I went to Best Buy because I wanted to purchase a new laptop with some of the severance-package shekels my former employer tossed at my feet when I was fired. I've got to say, I was probably fired because I can be such an a-hole at times. Like when I am waiting in the computer section of Best Buy for one of its Geek Squad people to come help me.
I phoned the store from within.
"Hello, are you still hiring holiday help?" I asked whomever answered.
"No, we hired everyone we needed a month ago," I was told.
"Well, you should have hired more people for the computer section than you did. I've been standing alone over here for 45 minutes, grumble, growl, grumble, growl, growl..."
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