We are unable to connect your call.

“Due to call volumes, we are unable to connect your call.”

I need to make a call a government agency (one), their choice, not mine. I have been calling for the last two hours. On the first call I actually got into a queue, waited 30 minutes and was privileged, after my wait, to speak with a representative. She wanted a detail from a second government agency (two), a detail I was not given by the other government agency. So, I got off the phone and called the other government agency (two). I only waited five minutes on hold to speak to a representative at the second government agency, who provided me with the information I needed.

So, then back to the first government agency (one) with the info from the second government agency (two). Only I haven’t been so lucky getting into a queue to talk to the first government agency again. I have called six times, and each time I must go through four levels of transfer, enter two codes on the telephone, and after all that get to hear the message “due to call volumes, we are unable to connect your call.” Then they hang up.

All of this bureaucratic buffoonery, for sake of a discrepancy of $3.73.

I hope to manage to get in touch with the first government agency again this week.

Computers have not improved efficiency in government.

Attila and I have an equitable distribution of labour. He does a lot of the manual labour around here, chopping wood, shovelling snow. And me, I donate years of my life to dealing with the bureaucracies that seek to intrude upon our peace of mind. We trust one another to keep things running as smoothly as possible, and appreciate how valuable our contributions are to the life we want to lead.

This entry is being uploaded in the dribs and drabs. I hit the send button too early, in error. Now I am catching up with the rest of the entry. I keep getting distracted by the intense avian dispute taking place just outside. The blue jays are offending the robins, who are retaliating loudly and physically.

Ontario Barns April 21, 2013 [Taken at 90 km an hour, through a closed car window.]
Web 005 red barn

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Light Rain Pressure:
101.5 kPa Visibility:
11 km Temperature:
9.4°C Dewpoint:
8.7°C Humidity:
Wind: SE 18 km/h


I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.”
C. S. Lewis
1898 – 1963

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Yes, they can be distracting–and LOUD. I never realized before I started bird watching/feeding recently how aggressive and determined they can be.

I remember one time being on hold for 30+ minutes, as you describe. I made the mistake of lying flat on the couch, and, in my boredom, fell asleep. When they finally came on the line, I was so befuddled (I must have sounded like a mentally deficient person–maybe I was) that they hung up on me.

Haven’t done it since (nap off, I mean). I play solitaire or surf the net instead.


I still haven’t managed to reconnect after almost a dozen calls today! I use the speakerphone, and like you, play solitaire or work on my genealogy database while waiting.