Burn Baby Burn
Bell Labs, formerly AT&T Bell Labs and now under the umbrella of the $21 billion Lucent Technologies, has announced Inferno, software they hope will soon be everywhere. It can run on a wide variety of platforms, from remote controls up to workstations and servers. It offers operating system functionality, a platform-independent and buzzword-compliant language called Limbo, a virtual machine termed Dis, and, to make the marketer's product naming nightmare complete, a network protocol called, affectionately enough, Styx.
Five years ago today in Suck.


The Virtual Customer Service Rep is perfect for those companies that don't have the resources to hire and train a team of real humans to handle those pesky customer inquiries!

The Virtual Customer Service Rep responds to each customer comment or question with that caring voice that lets the customer know that he's being heard, that he matters, and — most importantly — that the future of the company lies in his hands alone!

Voice- and mood-activated, The Virtual Customer Service Rep has four settings — Empathetic, Full of Useful Information, Full of Childlike Wonderment, and Full of Shit.


  • "I can understand how you'd be frustrated."
  • "You sound very upset."
  • "No problem. Just let me know when you've stopped crying and tearing your hair out, and we'll continue."

Full of Useful Information

  • "Well, our Cleveland office is so backwards. You wouldn't believe what a mess that place is!"
  • "Oh! Our system just went down. What a day I'm having!"
  • "California! Is it raining there? It's raining here. It's been raining all week. The weatherman keeps saying we're in for sun, but he's been wrong day after day, and I keep forgetting my umbrella!"
  • "Oh! Your account information just disappeared. At least it's Friday, know what I mean?!!"

Full of Childlike Wonderment

  • "Your name isn't coming up. I wonder what's going on!"
  • "That's strange. I wonder why they're not picking up in that department. Maybe there was a bomb threat!"
  • "I wonder why it's taken so long to process your order. It almost never takes so long. I wonder why you should have to suffer more than most people. I wonder why God hates you so much!"

Full of Shit

  • "You canceled the order. It says so right here."
  • "Actually, you're SPEAKING to the owner of the company. I'M the owner of the company. I'm very rich."
  • "Someone's going to call you back within the hour."
  • "Everything's taken care of."


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