First of all, I doubt that there is more than one representative on duty. And that one may very well be taking a coffee break. Secondly, I didn't reach this point without first pumping a series of digits from one to infinity to determine the party or department I would like to talk to if anybody is working at the other end today. In the interim there are cheery sales pitches and really awful elevator music. I shouldn't have to say this, I guess, because if you have a telephone, you know what I mean.
While wasting your time and mine, wouldn't it benefit a company to develop a plan to educate or entertain you while the minutes and hours pass. You can always find old fishing magazines in doctors offices and barber shops to keep you moderately occupied until it's finally your turn . Cable companies, however, can get you well into War & Peace before you decide to take a second bathroom break instead. ( A friend lamented to me that it took seven hours to remedy a problem with his computer, which put him on a first name basis with a fellow in India. I think they will exchange birthday cards to honor their global experience. )
For others similarly situated, it would make a lot of sense to have somebody at the other end read from a current best-seller to make the dead time useful. Or from J.D. Salinger's short stories. Or even Pericles' funeral oration as you are being asked to kill an afternoon. A lot of people seem to enjoy figuring out riddles, so maybe that would work, too. Or how about electronic bingo until you find a real person to talk to.?
Remember, folks, I grew up in a small town with four-digit telephone numbers and where my Old World grandmother, upon being introduced to her first telephone as a birthday gift from the family, nearly dropped dead when she was urged to pick up the receiver and hear a cousin's voice.
On the other hand, I might react the same way today if I heard a real voice at the other end, especially if it were a certain cousin.