back to article BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

Keeping up with the changing face of IT is a pain in the arse at times. Half the time I'm looking at some bleeding edge technology wondering what the hell it does, who would want it and whether it's worth the effort. All too often the answers are "No idea", "no one" and "no". Still, it grates a bit when a consultant is …

"How can you die of a vision-related illness?"

Love it.

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yes, yes, YES!!

Sorry Alastair, couldn't help it with exclamation marks. The remote possibility of the BOFH breeding. I won't sleep for weeks. That consultant rings so true to life in so many companies I have lurked in. Congratulations Simon, an excellent mid-weekend read.

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Re: yes, yes, YES!!

Consultants..

'"See," Gina says, "I do this crap year in year out, and I hate it – but it pays really well'

Wow, that's my career all in one line :D

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Headmaster

What's a female BOFH?

Operatress? Operatrix?

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Childcatcher

Re: What's a female BOFH?

A variant of Dominatrix, except not interested in getting the client any release. I don't want to know. Whats the icon for fear ?

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Re: What's a female BOFH?

She would be an Operator.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's a female BOFH?

I think Operatrix would be the female equivalent of Operator (Dominatrix is the feminine version of Dominator, and the Moderatrix was the female Moderator of this very forum)

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Re: What's a female BOFH?

Bitch Operatrix From Hell

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Re: What's a female BOFH?

Seems about right: my words.exe (aging but useful Latin dictionary):

=>operatrix

rix SUFFIX

-ess, -or; -er; indicates the doer; one who performs action of verb (act.ess);

operatrix N 3 1 NOM S F

operatrix N 3 1 NOM S F

operatrix N 3 1 VOC S F

operatrix N 3 1 VOC S F

opero, operare, operavi, operatus V (1st) [EXXDX] Later lesser

work; operate (math.);

operor, operari, operatus sum V (1st) DEP [XXXBX]

labor, toil, work; perform (religious service), attend, serve; devote oneself;

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Re: What's a female BOFH?

FemBOFH?

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Re: What's a female BOFH?

I see what you did there, watkin5. Have an upvote.

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Re: What's a female BOFH?

Bob, until they've survived their probationary period. Or in exceptional circumstances where your own survival is less certain, call them whatever they'd like.

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Re: What's a female BOFH?

This also has the advantage that you don't need to change the notepaper.

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Re: What's a female BOFH? (@ Anonymous Dutch Coward)

Holy Mother of Cheesus! I need another dictionary just to understand words.exe's output! :-)

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Pint

Oh nooeessss...

Has the BOFH met his match? In both senses of the word...

Guess I'll have to stayed tuned next week, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel...

Really good stuff!

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Wow

Out BOFH'd by a primary BOFHess! Excellent stuff! There had better be a part 13!

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Holmes

"Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

A couple of years ago, we had a consultant company audit our operation. Then after interview after interview with all the different focus groups and their subgroups, a shiny wonderful report was produced with lots of big tech company's logo's plastered all over it. It was a real piece of work. However, in the first section, it faulted the organization for having an understaffed IT department. Funny how that consulting company isn't ever mentioned any more.

So in the end, if they had spent the money used for the consultant, they could have hired another IT staffer, and surely better performance from the IT group, which is what they wanted in the first place.

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Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

In a company I once worked for, we referred to all of the consultants as seagulls.

They fly in, make a lot of noise, shit on everything, and then fuck off with your chips.

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@ MrDamage Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

Sir, that was probably the most brilliant analogy for a consultant I've ever heard. My I use it, please?

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Joke

Re: @ MrDamage "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

I was about to write: You do know that analogy also applies to Manglement?

BUT, I don't like how it reads, so let me fix it:

You do know that description1 also applies to Manglement?

1 Seagull: As in "flies in, creates a mess, shits all over the place and then flies off, leaving you to clean up afterward."

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Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

@MrDamage

Have an upvote for clearly correcting my nice way of putting it!

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Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

@chivo243

"Funny how that consulting company isn't ever mentioned any more."

Their mistake was to tell the truth rather than say what the managers wanted to hear. Successful consultants will get a feel for what the management is pre-disposed towards and what they are against and product a report that caters to that.

Managers can help streamline this process by engaging a consultant that deals with whatever solution they (the managers) are already considering.

For example, if you want to move to a 'cloud' service then engage a consultant that specialises in cloud computing or - even better - is from a company that sells cloud services.

That, after all, is clearly the best way to get a balanced, unbiased opinion.

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Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

@dan1980

Actually they had said all the right things in all the other sections of the report, maybe staffing should have been the last section, and maybe more people would have tired of the tripe, and not read cover to cover...

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

Thanks MrDamage, a genuine guffaw that made heads turn in the open plan office.

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Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

Heh, there is no company on the planet, for profit or NPO that doesn't want to reduce the staffing levels in hopes of a bigger bottom line. You might think NPOs would be immune but that is not true, and in some instances, like healthcare orgs, not even humourous. The plan is inevitably to be "more efficient," keeping the client/patient happy by smiling more (no joke). My SO works in a hospital where the management thought that a patient's stay should be pleasant (in hotel terms of pleasant) and that less face time with nurses for instance could be repaired by the nurses smiling at the patient.

Nurse rushing in to room to turn off call on for half an hour: "There you are Mrs. *****!"

Smiles broadly.

Patient no response: "How are we today??"

Even broader smile: "I'm so sorry it took so very long to respond. There's only me on the floor at the moment, and I was attending to another patient."

Nurse whispers, "They've let go all the attendants."

Patient: No response.

Nurse: "Mrs. *****? Are you awake? I have to take your vitals while I'm here. Oh my gosh!" Hits emergency button.

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Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

@dan1900

The classic example of this is in education.

The then government, already wanting to see "phonics" as the be all and end all of teaching reading. (It being simple, cheap, easy for the electorate to understand, popular with the big publishing companies who could sell schools lots of cheap kit expensively and a good sound bite) appointed a "commission" to decide the best way to teach reading. Chaired, of course, by someone who had already made clear that he believed that phonics was the be all and end all of teaching reading.

You'd never have guessed his conclusion (would you?).

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Devil

Best

in years!

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Devil

that was an interesting twist

I can't wait to see how this turns out.

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Re: that was an interesting twist

I can't wait to see how this turns out.

She'll never marry him. He might get two weeks of shagging in France if he agrees to pay for and take the wine...

...or he might find out later that she prefers her men a little younger, when the PFY returns exhausted and tanned two weeks later.

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Joke

Highly unlikely

We use consultants on £1000+ a day, it's unlikely they would bend down to pick up £2000!

Anyway blackmailing a sysadmin when there are accountants and HR people still alive is just so wrong !!!

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Re: Highly unlikely

Now a politician might do it for £2000 - they are cheap - but a professional would be asking for much more and not so directly in my experience. She's an amateur and she's going to get caught.

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Re: Highly unlikely

Caught? Beware, I hear vision-induced terminal accidents are quite common this time of year...

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sequel!

awesome. we have to hear more of the fbofh!

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"next week, same Bat Time"

i wish i had that kind of blind optimism

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Ok, how about

"next week, same echo location"?

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Holmes

Wow!

I feel a sudden lurch in the entire space-time continuum.

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Re: Wow!

Ed(w)i(na)'s in the space time continuum?

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Dyslexia rules KO ...

Am I the only one who read it as "so I can go back in time and *excrete* Simon Cowell" ...?

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Swoons

OK, is it me or am I the only one who finds this female character arousing?

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Re: Swoons

You are not the only one. She slams my doors, too.

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Beware!

She's not a genuine BOFH!

She drinks expensive wine, not Guinness!

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But yeah

In every field there are these types, usually coming from big named companies, who vacuum up a big chunk of the budget to issue a bullshit report based on a mythical expertise that is often invented by the company that employs them. It's all smoke and mirrors, but with the force of the big consulting agency wafting them onwards. There never seems to be any real evidence to support the underlying assumptions and any "research" is usually created by themselves to justify their own claims.

Management consultants are the worst, since they are all, by definition, NOT managing anything if they are out being consultants. And, I should add, education management consultants are the worst of the worst ( I know, I've done the training). They aren't managing *or* teaching. I wouldn't leave any of them alone in a room with the silverware.

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last audit came after a two day system crash due to not investing in some software that we use crititcally, estimated losses about 4 million USD in retail operations :)

so auditors came armed with VMWare and Windows expertise however we are running legacy systems on RedHat4 (Yep!), Oracle 10g, and CentOS and Debian stable distributions with only one Windoze server, their report included a schematic taken from "netstat" readings that put the NMS at the center of all things, thinking it was the most critical server (As it is talking to all the servers :P )

The following was the last meeting:

- Upgrade RH4

- Sorry can't do that legacy software and all

- Upgrade Oracle 10g

- Sorry can't do that legacy software and all

- Server with name WATSON is very critical

- No it's not, that's NMS

- Your windows server need upgrading

- Could you do it while logged on? (I really hate that server takes 45 minutes to restart :)

- Switch all your VMWARE hosts to vmnet adapter from e1000

- Like hell, get the f*** OUT!

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Ha, we just upgraded _to_ Oracle 10g! Up until July it was on 9i (and no, that box doesn't have any internet access, thank you for asking) - joy of legacy systems, eh?

Ad

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Vic
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we are running legacy systems on RedHat4

Ha! And I though it was just me...

"rpmbuild -ba" ftw...

Vic.

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Upgrade

I worked for a large, multi state, bank here in the US. One audit recomedation was that we upgrade the OS2 running on our IBM 3890's to XP, 3890's run Pentium II, 233 MZ, 512 mb, 2GB hard drives. The real hold up was legacy software that REQUIRED ie6. All connected with Server 2003. Pray tell which upgrades first?

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laughed so hard i nearly blacked out!

This is the first episode I have come across,and thank you. I'm waiting for the line..."i have the whole thing recorded,so get your skanky butt out of my sight!"

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Devil

Simon wouldn't slip up that much

Simon knows that if the power play did not go well he would need evidence the consultant had it in for them.

She should know a lot better than to admit its fake when on the client's premise.

She'll get her 8k but the report will have an emphasis about needing additional IT spending.

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One Small Step for Man into Women ..... One Giant Quantum Leap for Man and WomanKind

"Ideally I feel the company's direction is shaped by the desires of our client base and yet we've really not done any in-depth work - as a discovery exercise - on what THEY will be looking for from US. Whilst we have some idea about what attracted them to the company in the first place, it's difficult to know whether the technology adoption we've currently got in play is tailored to their future needs without some form of rigorous investigative process. Otherwise, REALLY, we're leading a horse to water before we shoot it in the head."

If anyone can make anything out of that load of swill they've got my vote.

Thanks for the vote, Simon T.

And is … "What I'm more concerned about is that we're investing in hardware capable of several million tera mega flops whereas we might be better placed changing our focus to scopable tapered bandwidth provision with a view to getting full saturation of our core technology platforms, which would, in the broadest sense mean that we're effectively utilising our investment to the tune of 95 to 100 per cent”….. fine wine steganography revealing modi operandi et vivendi for successful expanding capture and failsafe enough retention of leading intelligence readership with virtually remote controlling command support of IT governed and governing space places/SCADA Operating Systems/CyberSpace Command and Control Centres of QuITe Excessive Exceptional Exclusive Executive Excellence ….. XSSXXXX Quantum Internetworking Tech for Virtually Impregnable Savvy Introducing Omniscient Node Lode/SMARTR IntelAIgent Source?

Is that El Reg’s novel noble reconstituted raison d’être, for there is no possible viable reason why it shouldn’t or couldn’t be in these days of new ages and anonymous autonomous zeroday vulnerability exploits to negotiate and monetize?

And bravo, Simon T, for introducing such a succulent saucy Gina for the gander. She’s surely bound to have captivating BGFs and Stellar Mates too. It is certainly only natural in such fields of endeavour and expertease.

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Subtle...

"Would you marry me?" instead of "Will you..."

Subjunctive mood; condition contrary to fact. It ain't gonna happen...

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