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back to article BOFH: Our Excel-lent new boss and the diagram plan

"Okay, I get what you're saying, but what does it mean precisely?" the Boss asks. "It means that we're giving the app support people a VPN connection so they can login remotely, and we'll put them on their own VLAN with firewall pinholes to permit them to access the App server and Database server, as well as having limited …

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J P

Please don't publish BOFH this early on a Friday - I won't get _any_ work done...

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Just read faster ... :)

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That just means that you finish the "reading" task and get to start the "giggling like a loon for the rest of the day" task that much earlier.

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Indeed, but isnt that the whole point anyway :)

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good one!

About a 3rd through I thought this guy deserves the worst the BOFH has ever dealt out.

...but they the way they force fed him his own medicine was awesome!

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Re: good one!

A process-obsessed complete plank, easily manipulable into signing anything and stumps for curry and beer under the guise of "team building"? This one's a keeper.

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Anonymous Coward

The worst part of reading BOFH

is when you catch yourself nodding and thinking, "I recognise this. I've lived this. I've worked for this fuckwit".

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Unhappy

Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

no the worst part is when you _still_ do . . .

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

Or worse, "I recognise this. I've lived this. How did I let myself become this?"

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Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

No - the worst part is when you realise that the project you've just been given looks suspiciously like a Project L.

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Facepalm

Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

Not even close...

The worst part - is that you know that the _next_ person you work for at an entirely new company will be exactly the same...

until you retire (if the government will let you) in 30 years.

A bitter twisted soul (with a quicklime allergy).

*sigh*

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Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

Ah, I think you'll find that if you _don't _ recognise it, then it's you who everyone thinks is the fuckwit

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Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

It gets really bad when you realise that not only do you work for that fuckwit but you're self employed!

They've even infiltrated customers....

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Meh

Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

I think its really bad when I realise everyone has said everything above and I can't place a witty comment :(

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Pint

Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

No, the worst part is when you still do and she's a woman with a college degree, weak skills, and a brain the size of a chick pea.

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Unhappy

Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

Nope. Worst part is when you recognise all the characters, and all the situations, but by a cruel twist of fate, are powerless to effect any of the much-needed remedies.

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Re: The worst part ... is when you _still_ do . . .

Damn it man!

Get creative.

Arrange for a generator accident. (i.e. NEVER manually switch the power to the generator from the utility; with the front of the transfer switch OPEN.)

Arrange for him to perform an elevator inspection (I believe you Brits call it a 'lift'?); with a faulty upper limit switch. He will experience how it feels to have his head jammed between the top of the cab and the top of the shaft. If that can't be done, and you are in one of those old building with a motor-generator set for the elevator power, then tell him to check the belt tension. Pray that his tie gets yanked into the pulley grooves.

Arrange for the fool to perform a test of the Halon system. And make sure that the doors close quickly, so he gets trapped inside.

Tell him that there is some water trapped in the refrigerant lines between the air handler and the outside compressor. Hand him a hacksaw, and tell him that he needs to cut a slot in the copper tubing to let the water out.

I mean, shit, get creative; and rid yourself of such a clusterfuck mangler.

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Pint

Re: The worst part of reading BOFH

Sorry, to all the above, although you all have good points.

The very worst part is when you know that you could never have / use / get away with

Cattle Prod

Pinch

Van, Carpet & Quicklime

You know that you need to deal with a Luser / PHB who so needs to be introduced to 1 or more of the above.

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Coffee/keyboard

ROFL

The blocked toilet analogy is the best ever. Tears after the "proverbial chain".

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It reminded me fondly of an agricultural company I once worked for. Every decision ever made in IT resulted in our finest Nobo whiteboard sketches. Like a giant game of corporate draw something.

Top Tip - if you draw on your whiteboard with permanent marker just draw over whatever it is with your wipe off pens and then just wipe away the lot.

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Anonymous Coward

FTW Whiteboard games

Furniture polish on the whiteboard, or change the tips of the whiteboard pens.

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It was interesting to see an open threat to do something rather than skipping straight to a mishap. BOFH gone soft in his old age?

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Anonymous Coward

It was interesting to see...

... a project plan that might actually be realistic (I so wish I was referencing Project K), rather than the unbelievable bollocks I get to read on a regular basis.

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Happy

not soft at all....

Follow the project order... He's created a rubberstamping Lackey.

Well.... until PFY annoyance crosses the trigger level... Which may or may not happen before the year is up.. ;)

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Anonymous Coward

" he barely has the technical wherewithal to interact with a parking meter.

... Which leads to his favourite things: diagrams and KPIs"

My boss is clearly moonlighting as the Boss!

(AC obviously ...)

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Too RIght

Why do people insist on going to analogies - when all they really need to do is find a simple explanation? - Well it's usually because someone wants to have "involvement" in IT without actually needing to understand any of it.

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Pint

Re: Too RIght

Analogies allow us to explain things to an idiot without calling them an idiot or treating them like an idiot. They are still unlikely to understand what you're saying, hence their need to see a drawn diagram. Ever heard the expression when explaining something to someone who isn't getting it- "Want me to draw you a picture"? BOOM!!

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Re: Why do people insist on going to analogies

Because, dear boy, you sometimes have to explain things to people who sign your paycheck!!!!

It is one thing to take your cheap shots at some damager, who is nothing more than hired help; but insulting the owner of your company is a serious career killing move.

Also, sometimes you have to play nice with (l)users, if you want to get ahead.

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Who would have thought how thin the line is between serial killer and self-defence...

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Pint

Not quite accurate

For that entire situation to be accurate, the Excel charts would have had to be copied and pasted into a Powerpoint slide for boss-level-consumption. They're an easily startled creature and raw Excel sheets can send them into a blind panic.

Now, if I could build a macro that takes an MS Project file and translates it into a tarted up Gantt chart in a Poweroint slide, my working day would be reduced to about 40 minutes.

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Facepalm

Re: Not quite accurate

Wow, you have the technically able boss. Kind of a high-functioning moron, if you will. Mine tried to make me print them out, and put them in a binder. My answer is that "I ain't your fucking secretary. Do it yourself."

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Vic
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Re: Not quite accurate

> My answer is that "I ain't your fucking secretary. Do it yourself."

I'm self-employed. So when one of my customers asks me to do something like that, the answer is always "Certainly, Sir".

A few invoices later, and they stop asking me to do mundane shite :-)

Vic.

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Pint

Re: Not quite accurate

You probably could do a macro that takes an MS Project file and translates it into a tarted up Gantt chart that will satisfy your boss's need for tarted up Gantt charts.

@ Vic: I worked for one Project Manager who didn't get the "I'm not your secretary" bit even when "and I'm getting $125 an hour" was added.

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Black Helicopters

@Vic & Rambler88

Yes, I am more than willing to take it out on him in the invoicing, but he's playing with somebody else's money, and doesn't care. While I'm not so proud that I wouldn't wash cars and type papers for $300/hr, it sets a bad precedent, and hard to get that sort of work at that rate once I let it get started. Far better to whip my cattle prod out early in the process, show him how it's all charged up & ready to go. I do it for the satisfaction of the look on his face.

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Vic
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Re: @Vic & Rambler88

> While I'm not so proud that I wouldn't wash cars and type papers for $300/hr, it sets a bad precedent

Suit yourself.

You stick to your guns, and I'll do a bit of photocopying & printing for that rate. I'm not fussed.

Vic.

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Re: A few invoices later,

No doubt you make sure that there is a healthy amount of PROFIT when you invoice them.

What is that formula, oh yes, $0.25 a page plus time at $50/hour with a minimum of one hour. That sounds about right!

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Linux

Re: A few invoices later,

Use the bank formula - the British banks have been known to charge £20 per sheet for a fax. I've charged those cretins £25 per sheet to reply to them - AND got it paid!

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Re: A few invoices later,

I hope you included a few notionally blank sheets of paper ("This page intentionally left blank") so that the number of pages is a power of 2.

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Coffee/keyboard

Quote of the Week

"It's a bit like flushing a blocked toilet – you think the extra water might help clear things out, but in reality you just end up dealing with someone else's crap."

Absolute genius from Simon. More of this sort of thing!

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Devil

Re: Quote of the Week

I had users who thought that print jobs worked that way; if the document does not appear at the printer, print another, repeat until either a) the print server falls over, or b) you are presented with 40 copies of your 100 page document the next morning.

I cannot count the hours I had to spend in the server room, trying to clear the print queue on an old 486 machine running NT 4, which had become almost completely unresponsive (and a reboot had absolutely no effect whatsoever, apart from causing the problem to last that much longer).

I used to ask them if they really thought that sending more print jobs down the queue would add weight and force the print job out the printer's business end, like a plunger in a blocked toilet, but never received any coherent answer, apart from a sheepish grin.

The worst offender was a colour wax printer (can't remember the make), that generated enormous print jobs for each copy of any requested job, rather than storing the job in memory and then printing x number of copies. So the queue could easily contain forty or more Powerpoint print jobs exceeding 100 MB each, on a machine sporting a massive 2GB drive.

I think that that was what caused me to hate Windows (OK, maybe Exchange 5 played its part as well, with the MTA regularly hanging and hundreds of messages in the queue and almost as many frantic calls from users, complaining about Outlook hanging. And then requesting that I send an e-mail to everyone, advising them of the problem!).

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The way things are in the new real world with virtual sectors in spooky vectors and vice versa

The blank look the Boss gives me reinforces my original idea of telling him we were just going to do some magic and it would all work out well.

:-) That really works best every time, Simon, and allows for immediate project implementation and program deployment without being hindered by cuckoos in feathered nests. And so nice to see it shared and printed in plain unambiguous text.

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Re: The way things are in the new real world with virtual sectors in spooky vectors and vice versa

And according to Arthur C Clarke, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” and that is a revealed, nearly 40 year old well known secret, and beautifully used buy those who can exercise it sublimely and masterly in pilot programs and crushing flash crash projects.

So is that what you can expect, and expect to get trapped and excited into perpetuating and supporting. ........ http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/1506975 ........ or would it be your free choice course of action [and default failsafe engaging able capability in NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT]?

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Happy

Re:all

I am sure none of you guys exist . It's just Simon under a few nom de plumes ....))) either that or some of you can spin just as well as he does.

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Anonymous Coward

This is our security management :/

Heard a very good description of this in relation to our security change management at the coffee machine the other day. "If you need a firewall opening it's not enough to write 'I need TCP port this and that open from this IP to this IP because of new requirement such-and-so', but draw a fucking cloud with two lines and everyting is suddenly A-OK!"

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Arrgh!! No! don't do that to me.

"...Perhaps you could use some different-coloured pens...." That phrase sent a cold shiver down my spine. I've heard the exact same phrase used by the Consultant Project Manager on a major project for a large City money broking firm. The project was a horrendous failure. The charm of BOFH is a bit like Dilbert, it is so close to real life! Unfortunately in real life we're not allowed to use Semtex as a motivational tool.

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Re: Semtex as a motivational tool.

I didn't know that you were into car seat ejector mechanisms.

A couple of kg of semtex under a seat, and you give blow it out your ass a new meaning.

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Dear Simon ...

Perhaps:

"The second, and larger, mistake was adding an analogy to someone who is patently overanalogised."

Should read:

"The second, and larger, mistake was adding an analogy to someone who is patently over-anal."

Colin

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happy anniversary

I think that's the 100th BOFH(!) and a new boss is schooled :)

A small typo: I sit anD wait patiently

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Pint

How about a plot twist where you've got a lady boss? Would love to see how that episode completes. :-)

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Happy

Re: Lady Boss

A sort-of IT Crowd?

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