Elevator jazz, assurances of "unusual call volumes," having to leave your phone on speaker mode—waiting on hold stinks. Free service LucyPhone can listen to the hold music for you, then call you back when a real human picks up.
Head to LucyPhone's site, look up the number of the company you're calling (or add it to their database), then hand over your own number. LucyPhone calls you and rings the company, Google-Voice-style, and you then navigate the company phone tree the way you normally would. Want to quickly connect to an actual human? Try GetHuman's database of phone shortcuts.