Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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I ran across this list of shortcuts to automated phone systems (via Jon Udell) and thought it was too good not to post. How many times have we all been stuck on a phone wading through number after number trying to speak to a customer service rep. What’s even worse is those ones where you speak your problem because it’s almost like you’re being laughed at. It’s like the customer service people are in the background saying, “we know you want to talk to us, now not only do you have to navigate a maze, but you have to do it by talking to an obnoxious computer voice . . . MWAHAHAHAHA.” Seriously, it’s awful.

What really gets me though, is the listing for Compaq, which, unfortunately, offers no tips. I can’t tell you how many times I sat on the phone, heart rate increasing by the minute, trying to get on the phone with a Compaq customer service rep. Only to have them tell me they didn’t know what was wrong with my computer, or, my personal favorite, that although I had purchased an extended warranty good for three years, they did not have it on record.

Damn you Compaq! Damn you to hell!

[Deep breath.]

July 1, 2005