November Limbo

By: pbcmedia

Nov 04 2009

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Hell, Rants and Raves, Utilities


Focal Length:35mm
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

Who knew?  Dante Alighieri was a contemporary writer despite having died in 1321.

My November began with this view and it’s been straight down, as in hurtling toward the center of the earth Dante “The Divine Comedy” style, since then.

Nothing life threatening, just life numbing.

Dante got close to naming it when he designated “Limbo” as one of the circles of hell.

If he were writing his “Inferno” today, he’d have to include a sub menu for Limbo, initially written as a more ontological state of being.  This modern limbo would be called Automated Limbo: a voice mail hell-state of limbo where live human beings are perpetually promised but fail to appear.

I took this photograph early Monday morning, November 2, and since then I’ve been on a permanent loop of  10-30 minute blocks of automated voice hell alternating between “Your call is important to us” to muzak surely composed by those undergoing electrocution.

The object of my calls has been Verizon and Comcast and a local physician’s office but I know this could be just about any customer service line still in business today.  All businesses with the exception of Nordstroms, which unfortunately (Are you listening President Obama?), is not yet in charge of Utilities such as internet, phone and cable services or the “public” health plan option and medical prescriptions.

The result of all this voice hell?  My residential service was inadvertently canceled so now I have to use my cell phone to get to Dante’s Limbo.  Ever listened to Musak on a cell phone speaker for 10 minutes?The next call shall be to the ear doctor.


Dante and Virgil, his guide, survived the rings of hell, right?

I’m not sure they’re making it out of Limbo Voice Hell to Paradiso in 2009.

©Pat Coakley 2009


8 comments on “November Limbo”

  1. How I empathize. I’ve cracked many a handpiece from slamming it down into the cradle ( do people even use these terms anymore) from being trapped in the Twilight Zone of the impossible exacerbated by the unbearable.

    I deplore automated prompts. How much louder can I yell ” REPRESENTATIVE ” when I’ve been through every number on the face of the phone and still get no where.

    If I may be a sister in arms for the day: Our morning began with the sounds of a low gear, heavy duty truck, known as a bush hog, cutting away some of the massive overgrowth of trees on the road about a quarter mile down from our house.
    Bing! Our two phone lines went dead – one is our house phone, the other our business phone.
    In the car, drive down the hill and sure enough, ” Joseph the Bushmaster ” is trying to untangle his gigantic machine from the likes of a growth that could have come out of a Gahan Wilson cartoon.
    He also cut the phone lines in the entire area.
    It will be a week after forever when it’s restored as it’s now a matter of where the fault lies and who will pay.
    Our cell phones don’t work from the house, blocked by the mountain and to sum it up:
    We have 4 phones, 4 phone bills and no phone service.

    Please anyone reading this, sharpen your telepathic skills and send me and Pat a message of HOPE!!!

  2. Pat, if your November started out as lovely as that photo, it had nowhere to go but down. The annoying thing is there’s really no place you can go to actually talk to a PERSON! I had to laugh at Bonnie’s response – 4 phone bills and no phone service. That about says it I guess.

  3. The way we in the west do business needs to be overhauled.

    Starting with us the consumers; if we expect good service we have to pay more. The fact that we shop around for the best price for things is one of the reasons why companies cut cost but using Indian call centres and automated phone answering systems..

    The other is profit, for which the people who invest money is THE prime motivator.

    Yet here we are, we want to pay less and get more money back on our investments.

    Something’s gotta give…….. and I guess it’s your and Bonnie’s patience.

  4. this all sounds like “limbo schtick”. hee hee!

  5. but i called comcast the other day, about the newly required digital transformer (which predictably, didnt work). i got a real human, but yes this was someone far far away. ‘thank you’ he kept saying, til i finally said ‘are telephone operators there told to say thank you repeatedly when a customer has a complaint?’ ‘…uh not exactly…’ he said. (ah HAH!) “well i appreciate it once but not every five seconds, that is very UNcalled for” i said (the call was “being monitored for training purposes”) so then the guy way over seas has a good long laugh. so i suppose it cant be all bad.

  6. Oh my….you are having a day. I put those darn customer service calls on voicemail so I can walk around and get stuff done. Recently, I had to lodge a complaint with the BBB against Verizon because of fishy charges. They waived them all, but only after lodging a complaint. Oi is right.

    Beautiful photo! I love the fall colors in the background contrasting with the gray wall of clouds above and the dark gray of the lake. Love it! I’ve saved you on my favorites because I do enjoy your photography. Plus, your blog is very refreshing and funny. Have a great day! Hopefully, anyway.

  7. Hellloooo?

    Anybody home?

    Are you ok?

  8. I’m with razzbuffnik.

    Where are you?

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