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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
February 5, 2016

The average lifespan in the U.S. is around 78 years. And if you end up hitting that number, you will probably have spent a distressing, depressing amount of time–43 days, when it’s all added up–on hold.

Days!
The five minutes here and 10 minutes there might actually feel bearable, but put the aggregation in context and it’s pretty brutal.

According to MarketWatch, a study from analytics firm Marchex estimates that Americans spend 900 million hours per year on hold, most likely pacing around, listening to muzak, and desperately hoping not to be disconnected. An infamous study from TalkTo found that most people say they are on hold for 15 or so minutes every week, adding up to that dreaded month and a half over the course of a lifetime.

Marchex’s study had more than just the inordinate amount of time consumers suffer on the wrong end of a phone—it provided some delightful insights as to whose fuses are shortest as well. Apparently, Kentucky residents have an incredibly short tolerance for saxophone and chimes, hanging up the fastest of the 50 states. Not surprisingly, overall, the Northeast is more impatient than other parts of the country.

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