Your Call Is Very Important To Us. Your Hold Time Is Approximately One Minute.
“Time Warner Cable, this is Erin speaking, please hold,” I say.
“Oh, I just wanted—”
“Please hold,” I say again, despite the woman’s exasperated tone. For the good of mankind, she’s going to have to wait.
Your Call Is Very Important To Us. Your Hold Time is Approximately 33 Minutes.
What the world doesn’t know is that Time Warner headquarters guards a secret portal that leads to Barack Obama’s bedroom. Also, scientists have created portals. There’s a bunch the world doesn’t know.
In any case, Time Warner employees are actually CIA operatives keeping you safe from imminent danger, and you’ll never thank us. Once you’ve read this it will be erased from your memory. Also we can erase specific memories with technology that’s implanted in your brain at birth. Again, there’s just tons you don’t know.
I look up from my cubicle at two Russian spies. They are dressed in black, holding crowbars, and coming right for me.
Your Call Is Very Important To Us. Your Hold Time Is Approximately 27 Minutes.
Teddy, in Sales, dives for one of them. He’s wearing a headset.
“Yeah, the price does go up significantly after a year,” he says to the person on the phone as he roundhouse kicks the spy.
“You’re right, it does sort of seem like a trick,” he says, elbowing the spy in the face. He looks over at Danielle, his manager. She’s got a knife in her teeth as she ties up another enemy of the state.
“My manager is busy at the moment, would you like me to … well, now, that’s very nasty language.”
He delivers a final blow to the spy’s chest, knocking him out cold.
“No, ma’am, there are no other service providers in your area. Guess you’re stuck with us!”
He smiles at me and tosses me a router.
I aim carefully and throw the router at the second spy’s head. It knocks him out, and I quickly move the router away from his unconscious body because that shit causes cancer.
Your Call Is Very Important To Us. Your Hold Time Is Approximately 24 Minutes.
I take a breath and listen to the sounds of the office. The sound of battle. The muffled profanities of unsatisfied customers on the other side of the phone. It’s the sound of American freedom.
Silently, two interns and I follow the remaining infiltrators down a hallway.
“Erin,” says one of the interns.
“Yeah?” I say, very slowly moving my foot to hit a wire that will set off a trap.
“I should go. I had a cable box drop-off window this morning from 9–12 a.m. and it’s 7:30 p.m.”
“Sure,” I say, moving my foot steadily. The intern leaves. I hit the wire.
Two of the enemies are captured, suspended by Ethernet cables. The third shoots her ray gun at the second intern and runs toward the portal.
I look at the wounded intern. She nods, though she is dying. She hits a button on her headset.
“Hi, sorry about that. Yes, 47 minutes is a long time. No, I don’t know why your internet is down. Do you want us to send someone out? The wait time is 30 days.”
As the person on the other end starts to yell, the intern closes her eyes and dies the death of the valiant.
I blink back tears and follow the last enemy into the laser field.
I really should learn the interns’ names.
Your Call Is Very Important To Us. Your Hold Time Is Approximately 19 Minutes.
By the time I get to the laser field — a room filled with laser beams pointing in every direction — she has already activated them. She is holding herself upside down, resting all her weight on one pinkie, a bead of sweat gathering on her brow. Considering she isn’t evading the lasers yet, it seems a little unnecessary.
I glance behind me to see Teddy from Sales. The spy dives into the lasers.
“Is there anything else we can suggest to clients other than turning the router off and on again?” Teddy asks.
“No, we have no idea how that stuff works,” I say.
I watch the spy flip and twist through the lasers, missing them all. There’s nothing I can do. She gets to the door, holding her entire body up with her tongue. She risks a look back at me, and winks.
The wink causes that bead of sweat to roll down her cheek and fall into a laser beam. In what seems like slow motion, a transparent box encloses her, and she’s trapped.
“Maybe buy a new computer?” Teddy says, resuming his phone call as he carts the trapped prisoner away.
Your Call Is Very Important To Us. Your Hold Time Is Approximately 11 Minutes.
It takes me 11 minutes to tidy up, make a quick smoothie, and watch a YouTube video.
Your Call Is Very Important To—
“Hi! This is Erin, how can I help you?” I ask.
“I’ve been waiting for over half an hour!”
“Yes,” I say.
”For fuck’s sake, I’m a paying customer, I pay money for this. Look, I’m calling because our internet has been really slow lately and I was wondering—”
“Yeah, there’s nothing I can really do about that. Our internet service isn’t great.”
I shake out my hair and pull a small piece of singed cable out of it. I smile.
“Seriously?” she says.
“Yeah,” I sympathize. “Time Warner sucks.”
As she starts to list her various disappointments with the company, I look up to see one of the spies I’d left for dead, ray gun pointed at my head.
As I stand to face my enemy, I end the conversation with the customer the only way I know how.
“Please hold,” I say.
She’ll hang up eventually. But for now, I’ve got a world to save.