The 5 stages of hold music

Last week, I had to go into the office early because I had a 7 am meeting. It was to be a two-hour conference call in which I would be heavily involved in a presentation to the client, so there was no bowing out.

Dutifully, I called in to the conference line on time, even though I knew it probably wouldn’t start right at 7. The client had to get to our offices (in a different city than I’m stationed in), and there would undoubtedly be delays and chit chat and set up time.

But as time stretched on and I heard the same 45-second loop of nondescript tones that passes as our company’s hold music, I experienced a lot.

Here are the five stages of hold music I encountered. Learn from my experience. Continue reading

Preventing the nation from being caught in a poverty trap

Like all good-thinking Americans, I’ve always considered the food stamp program to be a terrible burden on this country. It forces the nation’s poor into a poverty trap and puts a serious strain on the country’s taxpayers.

That’s why I applauded when Congress came to a bipartisan agreement in January that would cut food stamp benefits by up to $90 a month for around 850,000 families, on top of the $36 a month cuts (the average for a family of four) from November.

But now new information is coming out that shows there might be a cost to these cuts.

Continue reading