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The Diary of Anne Ku
1 June 2000 Thursday
QUEUING ON THE TELEPHONE
I would rather queue for the loo (also known as toilet) than for the telephone booth. Both the mean and standard deviation are smaller for the loo, whereas the wait could be infinite for the telephone.
Queuing on the telephone is just as bad. The travel agency Trailfinder tells you the average waiting time (e.g. 4 calls per minute) and your number in the queue. It is supposed to "manage your expectation." Somehow, it got too smart in the process and transferred my call to the London office to their Bristol office. After finding the most suitable flight for me, the travel agent asked how I was going to pick it up. I asked her to mail it. From Bristol, she would have to courier it at an extra charge. From London, there would be no problem with the Royal Mail. So I asked if she could get her London colleagues to ticket it, as I had never intended to call the Bristol office in the first place. She said she couldn't get through - would I please call. I said,"What if they transfer me back to you?"
I decided to ask a local travel agent to ticket the same flight. Since it was under STG 100, she said she would have to add STG 5 to make it profitable. I've never heard of such a thing, so I pointed out that in less than five minutes she had a done deal. Would she rather serve the other customers, most of which were enquiring on how to get a cheaper deal and not pay on the first visit? She had a sure thing from me. Instead, she just shrugged her shoulders and said,"Go tell the airlines to give us more commission. You can always buy your ticket directly from the airline and pay an extra STG 25 to collect at the airport."
I'm tired of waiting on the telephone for the wrong person to answer. I wonder sometimes if it's a deliberate strategy to get me to use the Internet instead.
bring May flowers
but in London
a tune in June !