From Our Listeners

Letters: 'Day In The Life' And Hold Music

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One listener emailed Talk to tell her story of forest firefighting. Also, many listeners suggested ways companies could keep them on hold longer, including letting callers choose their own hold music, or playing live NPR programming.


And now, it's time to read from your emails and blog comments.

The rescue of Jaycee Dugard 18 years after she was kidnapped brought up more questions than answers about the role of law enforcement and parole and about the responsibility we have as neighbors and citizens.

If history has shown us anything, it is that we, as citizens, cannot depend on the police or other local authorities to handle everything. The police and other local authorities cannot simply do it all. I have several small children, and so do several of my neighbors. Collectively, we all make a concerted effort to keep our eyes on the neighborhood children. I believe that we, as citizens, are in some sense our brother's keeper and should be aware of what's going on around us.

That by email from Mike Berry(ph).

We launched a new series last week, Day in the Life. With fires burning around Los Angeles, we looked at the job of forest firefighters. Mary Hueles(ph) in Longview, Washington, has been involved in wild land firefighting for two decades and emailed to tell us: I often work on mop-up, the search-and-destroy part of the fire. This is extinguishing the remaining heat after the fire front has gone through an area.

It's less glamorous than the initial attack, but vital to keep a fire from possibly escaping any containment lines. It's hard, dirty work that can grind on for days. It doesn't give one the adrenalin rush of fighting the flames, but somebody needs to do it. Don't forget the many folks who support the people out on the fire line. The people working on the flaming front get all the glory, but we all do lots of hard work to support them.

Finally, please hold. Your call is important to us. We talked about the science of keeping people holding online. No surprise, none of you told us you like to be kept on hold, but you did suggest way companies can keep you from hanging up.

From Chris Kerrer(ph) in Ypsilanti, Michigan: Why can't we choose our own hold music? While you hold, please press one to listen to the Rolling Stones. Press two to listen to a Mozart sonata. Press three to listen to Cake, and so on. This can't be technically impossible, can it? Nick in Milwaukee suggests tapes of stand-up comedians.

And our staff favorite, from Candice Lapp(ph) in Portland, Oregon: A great way to keep me on hold for any length of time would be to play live NPR radio.

If you have questions, comments or corrections for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name.

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