View Full Version : The B.O.F.H.
04-26-02, 05:48 AM
It’s backup day today so I’m pissed off. Being the BOFH, however, does have it’s advantages. I assign the tape device to null - it’s so much more economical on my time as I don’t have to keep getting up to change tapes every 5 minutes. And it speeds up backups too, so it can’t be all bad.
A user rings.
“Do you know why the system is slow?” they ask
“It’s probably something to do with...” I look up today’s excuse “.. clock speed”
“Oh” (Not knowing what I’m talking about, they’re satisfied) “Do you know when it will be fixed?”
“Fixed? There’s 275 users on your machine, and one of them is you. Don’t be so selfish - logout now and give someone else a chance!”
“But my research results are due in tomorrow and all I need is one page of Laser Print..”
“SURE YOU DO. Well; You just keep telling yourself that buddy!” I hang up.
Sheesh, you’d really think people would learn not to call!
The phone rings. It’ll be him again, I know. That annoys me. I put on a gruff voice.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I’ve got the wrong number”
“YEAH? Well what’s your name buddy? Do you know WASTED phone calls cost money? DO YOU? I’ve got a good mind to subtract your wasted time, my wasted time, and the cost of this call from your weekly wages! IN FACT I WILL! By the time I’ve finished with you, YOU’LL OWE US money! WHAT’S YOUR NAME - AND DON’T LIE, WE’VE GOT CALLER ID!”
I hear the phone drop and the sound of running feet - he’s obviously going to try and get an alibi by being at the Dean’s office. I look up his username and find his department. I ring the Dean’s secretary.
“Hello?” she answers.
“Hi, SIMON, B.O.F.H HERE, LISTEN, WHEN THAT GUY COMES RUNNING INTO YOUR OFFICE IN ABOUT 10 SECONDS, CAN YOU GIVE HIM A MESSAGE?”
“I think so...” she says
“TELL HIM ‘HE CAN RUN, BUT HE CAN’T HIDE’”
“AND DON’T FORGET NOW, I WOULDN’T WANT TO HAVE TO TELL ANYONE ABOUT THAT FILE IN YOUR ACCOUNT WITH YOUR ANSWERS TO THE PURITY TEST IN IT...”
I hear her scrabbling at the terminal...
“DON’T BOTHER - I HAVE A COPY. BE A GOOD GIRL AND PASS THE MESSAGE ON”
She sobs her assent and I hang up. And the worst thing is, I was just guessing about the purity test thing. I grab a quick copy anyway, it might make for some good late-night reading.
Meantime backups have finished in record time, 2.03 minutes. Modern technology is wonderful, isn’t it?
Another user rings.
“I need more space” he says
“Well, why don’t you move to Texas?” I ask.
“No, on my account, stupid.”
“I’m terribly sorry” I say, in a polite manner equal to that of Jimmy Stewart in a Family Matinee “I didn’t quite catch that. What was it that you said?”
I smell the fear coming down the line at me, but it’s too late, he’s a goner and he knows it.
“Um, I said what I wanted was more space on my account, *please*”
“Sure, hang on”
I hear him gasp his relief even though he covered the mouthpiece.
“There, you’ve got plenty of space now”
“How much have I got”
Now this REALLY *PISSES* *ME* *OFF*! Not only do they want me to give them extra disk, they want to check it, to correct me if I don’t give them enough. They should be happy with what I give them *and that’s it*!!!
Back into Jimmy Stewart mode.
“Well, let’s see, you have 4 Meg available”
“Wow! Eight Meg in total, thanks!” he says pleased with his bargaining power
“No” I interrupt, savouring this like a fine red, at room temperature “4 Meg in total...”
“Huh?... I’d used 4 Meg already, How could I have 4 Meg Available?”
I say nothing. It’ll come to him.
04-26-02, 06:30 AM
I love ithttp://www.clicksmilie.de/sammlung/grinser/grinser024.gif
You kicked asshttp://www.clicksmilie.de/sammlung/teufel/teufel104.gif
I hold my drink up to youhttp://www.clicksmilie.de/sammlung/ernaehrung/ernaehrung015.gif
All I got to say is http://www.clicksmilie.de/sammlung/traurig/traurig023.gif
04-26-02, 11:47 AM
All I have to say is: I wish I had as much easily abused power as you.:D :D :D
Links to this chap's fiction have been floating around a lot over the past few months on message boards. And yes, it's fiction.
Bastard Operator From Hell (http://bofh.ntk.net/Bastard.html)
04-26-02, 02:10 PM
I know, but it's still so awesome!:D
The chronicles of the BOFH, PFY and PHB are what keeps me sane in this IT job of mine. Long may it continue. Users destract me from my favourite pastimes of sloth and idleness. Anyone not capable of distinguishing between a FF and LF should never touch a computer.
My working day is full of the inanity of the BOFH. Computer engineers ring me asking why a printer is printing only the first line of a 4 page job. Because LPD is strema_lf and you did not configure the replacement to change LF to CR+LF you idiot, it's written down. Other so called IT specialists ring my boss complaining I have not correctly configured a printer for a report. After 3 months investigation we find the source code stating this report is wierdly written and several new bugs found when developing the report. You are the support people, you should know this.
04-26-02, 08:06 PM
I’m sitting at the desk, playing x-tank, when some thoughtless bastard rings me on the phone. I pick it up.
“Hello?” I say.
“Who is this?” they say
“It’s me I think” I say, having been through a telephone skills course
“Is this like a knock knock joke?” I say, trying anything to save myself having to end this game.
Too LATE! I get killed.
Now I’m pissed!
“What can I do for you?” I ask pleasantly - (one of the key warning signs)
“Um, I want to know if we have a particular software package..”
“Which package is that?”
“Uh, B-A-S-I-C it’s called.”
>clickety clickety d-e-l b-a-s-i-c.e-x-e<
“Um no, we don’t have that. We used to though..”
“Oh. Oh well, the other thing I wanted to know was, could the contents of my account be copied to tape so I have a permanent copy of them to save at home in case the worst happens..”
“Well, like they get deleted or something...”
“DELETED! Oh, don’t worry about that, we have backups” (I’m such a *shit*) “What was your username?”
He gives me his lusername. (What an idiot)
“But you haven’t got any files in your account!” I say, mock surprise leaping from my vocal chords.
“Yes I have, you must be looking in the wrong place!”
So first he spoils my x-tank game, and now he’s calling me a liar...
“Oh no, I made a mistake” I say
Did he mutter “typical” under his breath? Oh dear, oh dear..
“I MEANT TO SAY: That username doesn’t exist”
“Huh? >whimper< It must do, I was only using it this morning!”
“Ah well, that’ll be the problem, there was a virus in our system this morning, the... uh... De Vinci Virus, wipes out users who are logged in when it goes off.”
“That can’t be right, my girlfriend was logged in, and I’m in her account now!”
“Which one was that?”
He tells me the username. Some people NEVER learn..
“Oh, yeah, her account was just after we discovered the virus.” >clickety click< “..she only lost all her files”
“But don’t worry, we’ve got them all on tape”
“Oh, thank goodness!!!”
“Paper tape. Have you got a magnifying glass and a pencil. SEE YOU IN THE MACHINE ROOM!!!! NYAHAHAHAHAHA!”
I’m such a prick!
Good stuff. I was re-reading a book named "Our Emperors Have No Clothes". The stuff is so real and fun too. Last year I had a consulting gig at a computer company in Northeast that boasts 50 PhDs in the payroll. Well, the very first meeting went like this.
Boss: We have to get rid of this "Horizon" software and buy "Stone".
Boss: I do not know what it does but Peter knows, Peter...
Peter: I dont have much experience with Horizon but I know Stone. I think Stone will do a better job.
Me: How much you have spent so far on Horizon?
Boss: Oh...only about $1.8 mil
Me: Did you get a quote from Stone as to how much it will cost?
Peter: I think we can do it for a mil...or two.
Boss looking at me: You are here to salvage Horizon and see if we are doing anything wrong.
Me: (muttering to myself: You idiots, you should have hired a Horizon guy and not a Stone guy...)
Me: Do we have a requirements document as to what Horizon is supposed to do?
Boss: Oh...the requirement is different now. The marketing and sales people are asking who our clients are...
Me: What is the problem in getting it from Horizon?
Peter: I do not know how to program Horizon.
Boss looking at me: That is why you are here.
Me: (muttering to myself: You idiots, you should have hired a Horizon guy and not a Stone guy...that does not want to learn a diffrent software)
Me: I will definitely see if Horizon can be salvaged. BTW, what is the benefit of this project?
Boss: I was told by my boss that it will increase our sales by $30 million.
Me: $30 million per year?
Boss: $30 million per quarter.
Me: (muttering to myself: You idiots, you should have hired a Horizon guy then again, I would not be here making the big bucks...thank God for the idiots)
04-27-02, 10:49 PM
...LOL Kmguru... :) :)
04-27-02, 10:53 PM
So I’m working so hard I barely have time to drive into town and watch a movie before I told people their printing will be ready. The queue’s WAAAAY too long to have everything printed (and sorted) by the time I told them, so I kill all the small jobs so there’s only 2 left and I can sort them in no time.
Then, after the movie, (which was one of those slack Bertolucci ones that takes about 3 hours till the main character is killed off in a visionary experience) I get back and clear the printouts.
There’s about 50 people waiting outside and I’ve got two printouts. That’s about average for me. I thought I’d killed more though. Anyway, I put out the printouts and walk slooowly inside, fingering the clipboard with “ACCOUNTS TO REMOVE” in big letters on the back. No-one says anything. As usual.
. . .
I’m sitting back in the Operations Armchair, watching the computer room closed circuit TV, which just happens to be connected to the frame-grabber’s Video player (sent off for repair, due back sometime in ‘94) when the phone rings. That must be the second time today, and it’s really starting to get to me!
“Yes?” I say, pausing the picture.
“I’ve accidentally deleted my C.V!” the voice at the other end of the line says.
“You have? What was your username?”
He tells me. What the hell, I AM bored.
“Ah no, you didn’t delete it - I did.”
“I deleted it. It was full of shit! You didn’t ever get more than a B- in any of your subjects!”
“And that crap about being a foreign exchange student, that was your girlfriend and we both know it.”
“Your academic records. I checked them, you were lying..”
“How did y..” He clicks. “It’s you isn’t it? THE BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL!”
“In the flesh, on the phone and in your account.... You shouldn’t have called you know. You especially shouldn’t have given me your username..” >clickety click< “Neither should you have sent that mail to the System Manager telling him what you think of him in graphic terms...”
“I didn’t send any..”
“No, you didn’t did you? But who can tell these days. Not to worry though, it’ll all be over VERY soon..” >clickety click< “..change my username back, and...”
“b-b-b..” he blubs, like a stood-up date
“Goodbye now” I say pleasantly, “you’ve got bags to pack and a life to start over...”
I hang up.
Two seconds later the red phone goes. I pick it up, it’s the boss. He mumbles the username of the person I was just talking to, mentions something about a nasty mail message, and utters the words “You know what to do...”, with the dots and everything.
Later, inside the Municipal Energy Authority Computer, as I’m modifying the poor pleb’s Energy Bill by several zeros, I can’t help but think about what lapse of judgement - what act of heinous stupidity causes them to call. Then, even later, when I’m adding the poor pleb’s photo image over the top of the FBI’s online “MOST Wanted Armed and Dangerous, SHOOT ON SIGHT” offenders list, I realise, I’ll probably never know; but life goes on.
A couple of hours later, as I see the SWAT vehicle roll up outside the poor pleb’s apartment I realise that for some, it just doesn’t.
But tomorrow is another day.
05-14-02, 11:11 PM
It’s a Thursday, and I’m in a good mood. It’s payday. I think I’ll take some calls. I put the phone back on the hook. It rings.
“I’ve been trying to get you for hours!” the voice at the other end screams
“Not, it can’t be hours” I say, putting Blade Runner back into it’s cover and looking at the back, “it was more like 114 minutes. I was on a long phone call with the big boss, trying to get you users some better facilities”
Hook; Line; and Sinker... “Oh. I’m sorry.”
“That’s ok, I’m a tolerant person” I make a mental note to change his password to something nasty in the next couple of days.
“Um, I need to know how to rename a file” he says.
Oh dear... Hang on, it’s payday isn’t it?! I’m in a good mood.
“Sure. You just go ‘rm’ and the filename”
“No worries” (Now I’m in a REALLY good mood. I think I just might write that script to make saving impossible on rogue at random times like I’ve been thinking about)
The phone rings again.
“Hi there” I say
“Is this the Operators?”
“Yes it is” I say, nice as pie
“Could you get my printouts out please. I need them urgently, and I printed them over 5 minutes ago”
“Your username?” I ask
He gives it to me, and I write it down for later. “No worries at all!” I say, and head to the printers.
There’s a HUUUUUUUGE pile of printouts there, and sure enough, his is at the top of the pile. I pick it up, split it out of the rest and pour our ink-stained cleaning alcohol all over it, run it over a couple of times with the loaded tape trolley then slam it in the tape safe door some times as well.
“Here’s your printout” I say “Sorry about the delay, we’ve got a few printer problems.”
He takes a look and shits himself.
“Well, can I print it again?” he asks, worried
“Sure you can” I say “But no promises, the printer’s a bit stuffed today”
“Well can I print it on laser - is that working?”
“Yeah of course, but that’ll cost you” I say, oozing compassion for the geek
“It doesn’t matter about the cost, THIS IS URGENT!”
I slide-on back into the printer room and put in the toner cartridge we save for special occasions - the one that prints thick black lines down the middle of the page and is all faint on one side. It took me quite a while to make it like that too. The printout shoots through and I bring it out immediately - I don’t want to miss this!
“W-w-what’s happened to my printout?” he geek-squeals at me.
Lucky I wrote that username down - I’m really starting to develop a taste for torture.
“Well nothing. I mean sure, it’s a little soiled, but that cartridge has already done 47 thousand pages and been refilled 17 times. It’s quite good compared to some we get”
Geek pays up and starts blubbing.
“Hey now. There’s no reason to cry! Have you got a disk with your work on it?”
He gives me a box of diskettes and I step inside and run them across the bulk eraser. I come back out again.
“Sorry, I just remembered, our machine is on the fritz, you’ll have to take these to the other side of campus to the machine there, it’ll print them ok, and it had a brand-new toner yesterday.”
“No worries. Oh, and hold the disks above your head the whole way there, the earth’s magnetic field is particularly strong today.”
“No arguments, just do it.”
He wanders off, hand held high. Shit I hate myself sometimes.
05-15-02, 10:20 AM
Don't hate yourself, Banshee. Just write more! More more more!!!:D Write a book! Get them published! Now!!!:D :D :D
Bastard Operator From Hell is my favourite read during reboots, formats, checkups, doing backups and what not else tht takes time. The guy who wrote tht is genius...... I know how frustrating it is to explain complete obvious things to complete #%^$#&^# idiots.:mad: :bugeye: ..... especially over net. I once broke my *ENTER* key when hitting the answer.
"Links to this chap's fiction have been floating around a lot over the past few months on message boards. And yes, it's fiction. "
Maybe so, but these these are some really old sets of fiction! And why don't people just link to them other than spamming the forums then, eh? ;)
05-20-02, 09:02 PM
I’m bored senseless, so I pass the time by reading users email. I must admit that today’s lot is PARTICULARLY boring, not one good message in all of them. I was expecting at LEAST some veiled reference to a grope in a storeroom, but nothing. So I’m bored senseless by the usual drivel about some relative’s surgery and how the weather is over the other side of the world - that sort of crap.
To relieve the boredom, I remove a e-mail party invite from a user’s mail and post it under the senders username to to alt.singles.with.severe.social.dysfunctions on news, and make a note in my diary to be there with my camcorder. Should be a blast!
Next in line is the online medical records database, in which the company doctors store the current medical histories of the staff. I grep it quickly for “herpes” and “syphilis” and sell the results to the local scum newspaper.
I cover my tracks by adding an entry to one of the doctor’s online electronic diaries for yesterday saying “$500, Med Recs To Paper” I think that’s all it should take..
I move some tapes from the racks to the trolley to make it look like we really use them, then start looking thru archie listings for a hidden x-gif site. I find one then start a batch job running under some user’s account to get them all back, charged to him. I make sure he’s got enough disk for the job by removing any files not related to the task at hand. Like all those “Doctorate Final Report” papers that have got quite large in the last couple of weeks.
I go back to the mail now, as something’s bound to have happened. I do a grep on all mail files for the words “pregnant” and “family way”, and post them anonymously to the local general interest newsgroup.
Then, before anything can happen, the power goes out! The next second, the phone rings.
“Hello?” I say, annoyed - the coyote was just about to kill roadrunner again!
“Has the comput..”
I hang up. This is a matter of life or death. Quick as I can I rip the computer power cable out of the UPS and plug the TV in. Damn! Wylie missed again!
Meantime, all the alarms are going off like crazy as the disks spin down, but that’s ok, because my Mac and Terminal are hardwired to the UPS in any case; and I’m at the Beer Factory level in Dark Castle too.
The phone rings, so I pull the PABX breaker on the UPS switchboard and it stops. Now to look like I’m working. I break out the puck and the hockey stick and play a little one-on-wall. From the observation window it’ll look like I’m being blindingly efficient, as per usual.
10 Minutes later, the power is back and we’re two HDA’s down, but what the hell, I haven’t lost a man, I’m onto the final screen, and there’s more cartoons!
The phone rings, it’s a luser. (What a surprise)
“Computer Room” I say, being efficient
“Hello, when will the compu...”
I hang up.
I’m doing well in the screen, all I need do is get past the wizard who throws spells at you and I’m in!
The phone rings again. I put it on hands free
“Computer Room” I shout, still deep in the game.
“I’ve lost my files” a user whines over the loudspeaker
“You bet you have” I say, as my concentration lapses just long enough for me to get zapped by the wizard.
“What was your username?” I say, all sweetness and smiles
He tells me, I look, and he’s right. Shit, and I didn’t even do it!
Not to be outdone, I change his login directory to the null device, set his path to “.” and redefine the command “news” to execute a script in his old login directory to send a nasty message to the equal opportunities officer, then delete itself.
Now that’s trying!
05-26-02, 11:08 PM
It’s Friday, so I get into work early, before lunch even. The phone rings.
I turn the page on the excuse sheet. “SOLAR FLARES” stares out at me. I’d better read up on that. Two minutes later I’m ready to answer the phone.
“Hello?” I say.
“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, I’VE BEEN TRYING TO GET YOU ALL MORNING?!”
I hate it when they shout at me early in the morning. It always puts me in a bad mood. You know what I mean.
“Ah, yes. Well, there’s been some solar activity this morning, it always disrupts electronics...” I say, sweet as a sugar pie.
“Huh? But I could get through to my friends?!”
“Yes, that’s entirely possible, solar activity is very unpredictable in it’s effects. Why last week, we had some files just disappear from a guys account while he was working on it!”
“Straight Up! Hey, do you want me to check your account?”
“Yes please, I’ve got some important stuff in there!”
“Ok, what’s your username...”
He tells me. Honestly, it’s like shooting a fish in a barrel. Twice. With an Elephant Gun. At point blank range. In the head.
(Do I really need to tell you the clicky clicky bit? I think not)
“How many files are in your account?” I ask
“Um, well there should be about 20 in my thesis writeup, 10 or so with the data for it, and another 20 or so in a book that I’m writing”
“Hmmm. Well, I think we caught it just in time. You’ve still got 2 files left... .cshrc and .login”
He sobs into the receiver a bit - it really turns my stomach.
“What can I do?” he sniffs
“Ok, do you have any of your stuff backed up on floppy?”
“Some, but it’s weeks old!”
I fire up the bulk eraser.
“Ok” I say “How about I come out and load all that data onto your account pronto so you can get some work done?”
“That’d be great, but it’s all at home” he wimpers. “I suppose I’ll just load it all in myself tonight”.
“Sure. But remember what I said, solar flares are bad for disks and machines. Protect your disks from solar activity to prevent them losing their data”
“How do I do that? Wrap them in tin-foil?”
“NO! TIN FOIL’S THE WORST THING! YOU KNOW WHAT TIN FOIL DOES IN A MICROWAVE DON’T YOU?!”
“Then don’t use it. There’s only one thing that protects disks from solar activity..”
“MAGNETS. Wrap your disks up in a pillow case with lots of magnets - Solar Flares hate that”
“No worries at all...”
Shit I’m good!
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