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The cost of waiting skyrockets

A man works to clean up the branches that were blown off the tree in his front yard in Nashua, N.H.

For the folks on the Eastern seaboard still waiting for utility crews to fix their power lines after the recent freak snow storm -- and for each and every one of us who has waited at home for a crew to show up -- here is a number to raise your pulse: $37.7 billion.

That's the estimated cost of waiting for in-home appointments. You know, the cable guy, the contractor, etc. TOA Technologies, which does mobile workforce management software, commissioned the "Cost of Waiting" survey (PDF).

For people earning $50,000 a year or less, waiting for just one hour typically costs $13. Typical wait: 4.3 hours. So, a typical wait will set you back about $56 bucks. Worse yet, half of everyone who waited was burning up a sick or vacation day.

About the author

Matt Berger is the former Digital Director at Marketplace.

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