back to article BOFH: Hordes unleashed... by a RAM upgrade

BOFH Volume 5 It’s the same old story – you make some tiny change and before you know it they're oozing out of the woodwork. You know who I'm talking about – the idiots. They notice that your signature uses Garamond instead of Times Roman and before you know it they're on the phone wanting to know if there's a new …


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  1. John Riddoch

    Wait, what?

    "PFY's fault for pointing out that the desktops we were dumping had the same memory as half the desktops we were keeping and so if there were free slots on the keepers we may as well use them"

    This sounds remarkably customer focussed for the PFY & the BOFH... What about the opportunity for a bidding process and all the back-handers & corporate freebies such an exercise entails?

    1. kyle elliott

      Sometimes making a little work saves a lot

      As an IT pro, I've learned that sometimes that adding memory to the desktops may create some work up front, but will save you a lot of "it's slow" calls later down the line that eat up tons of your time only to get rejected whenever you put in a request for new equipment. That little tiny bit of customer focus was entirely self motivated because everyone knows that the only response to "it's slow" is tell them to shut up and deal with it.

      The mistake came into play when they told someone they were doing it. Never tell people about upgrades, because the moment you do everything is at fault of the upgrade. I have literally heard someone bitch about the fact the damned microwave wasn't working on a computer software upgrade on a server. Users hear upgrade and think "this is my chance to bitch about everything" so never tell the user there is an upgrade. Ever.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So familiar...

    Whey does this sound so similar to my day-to-day work? Oh, right. Beacuse this is exactly what my users do, every day.

  3. Ryan 7
    Thumb Up

    BOFH? In my RSS feed?

    It's more likely than you think.

    (Nice one, guys.)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    frightening but true

    waitaminnit-I thought BOFH stories were supposed to be dramatized fictional accounts, not true stories?

    Oh the horror. Seen it too many times to count.

    stories like this is why I won't support relatives' hardware.

  5. zb
    Thumb Up

    Better than last week :)

  6. Herby Silver badge

    In days of old, one fielded questions like...

    ...But I only changed one card, what could be wrong?

    Of course, memory was measured in k's not gig's.

  7. Rosuav
    Thumb Up

    See, they really are sysadmins. RAM available and slots available? Upgrades! They're not _purely_ the sources of evil that amuse us.

  8. D. M
    Thumb Up

    So true, yet so sad

    People are that stupid. I really wish this is only fiction. I have to deal with this sort of users at my work.

  9. FozzyBear Silver badge


    I was waiting (hoping) for the flicking sound of the excuse calendar, a declaration of some elegant technical issue, followed 5minutes later by multiple <zzert> sounds and the lights dimming briefly. The investigation of the aftermath finding the (L)user and corrie email friends all held hands, whilst the main culprit tested the mains using a straightened paper clip and his tongue.

  10. Chris Morrison

    Surely some mistake?

    Surely they would have scrapped the computers and then sold the RAM back to the company for upgrades?

  11. Been there, done that, it never ends

    Correlation is not causation.

    But I don't think that is ever going to make it into the murky minds of those looking for simplistic answers.

  12. Zombieman

    I'm with the BOFH at the end

    A Corrie company mailing list!!?? Literally *cough* *splutter* when I read that... Oh and that Outlook bit is so true, and *SO* annoying..."this email address isn't working" *thwack* yes it is, just Outlook THINKS it isn't because it isn't trying properly...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ho yuss

    My wife does teh sysadmin stuff for academic staff at a Major University. There are two things I can do to her which make her laugh hysterically for about five minutes, and the second thing turns out to be reading this to her over the phone.

  14. TSM

    Have to agree with John Riddoch

    This is the same BOFH and PFY who have a history of stealing the RAM from users' newly-upgraded PCs to use in their own gear. Now they're reclaiming RAM from computers they're getting rid of and just *giving* it to the users? It doesn't fit - unless they're damaging it first in order to rack up the overtime support charges, but that doesn't seem to be where this is going...

    1. Michael Chester


      It's old enough that it won't fit in their personal computers any more

  15. ahfakopsdfi

    User perception of upgrades

    We had an IT-illiterate senior PA, and we always knew that any change, she would be convinced had affected her PC. New printer, new microwave, clock change ... anything. So when we were planning a PC replacement roll-out, we left her tatty old mouse, keyboard and monitor (complete with password post-its!) in place and just swapped the base unit - which was out of sight under the desk. Not a word of complaint: she may even have thanked us for leaving it all alone for her! A few months later she was complaining about how slow her PC was compared to everyone else's new ones: so at that point we "speeded it up" by swapping the peripherals!!

  16. Christoph R. Hawley

    perfect counterpoint

    When the BOFH / PFY wage evil, they win ten times out of nine. (Math error? Why, no... Has sir counted sir's change of late?)

    On the atypical occasion when their behaviour diverges from strictly evil (a naïve observer might misidentify their actions as "positive" or even "charitable" – stop sniggering, damn it), *that's* when they reap a shafting of truly Royal Order.

    Thus is balance reflected in the Tao.

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