back to article BOFH: Press 1. Press 2. Press whatever you damn well LIKE

"You're the one who wanted it," I tell the Boss in response to his fuming. "I didn't bloody want it at all!" "Yes, you distinctly said you wanted some call screening that would filter out the timewasters who hadn't read the FAQs from the helpdesk queue." "Yes, but I di-" "It had to be FIFO, had to be able to distinguish …


  1. BenBell

    You are in a maze of backup tapes. Press 1 to thank the BOFH for saving you from another boring Maintenance Friday!


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward



      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: Re:

        Nah, maintenance should be for Thursdays, not Fridays.

        Fridays are either for beer, or so you have time to fix anything that the Thursday maintenance broke so you don't have to do it on the weekend (before then going to the pub for aforementioned beer to celebrate).

        1. Ol'Peculier

          Re: Re:

          Although if you do break something on the Friday, you get to go in over the weekend.

          On overtime.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re:

            > overtime.



            But seriously,

            Overtime, in IT?

            1. BillG Silver badge

              Re: Re:

              You can't get tech support without the Amulet of Yendor.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Re: Re:

                Actually, it's the Amulet of Vendor you need

              2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                Re: Re: BillG

                "You can't get tech support without the Amulet of Yendor." I presume you need it to defeat the Balrog?

                1. Number6

                  Re: BillG

                  No, you just need the correct pass for that. I think it's got Youshallnot on the front.

                  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

                    Re: BillG

                    You cannot reach the file.

                    A huge Cryptolocker bars the way.

                  2. P. Lee Silver badge

                    Re: BillG


                    1. Myvekk

                      Re: BillG


                2. Stoneshop Silver badge

                  Re: BillG

                  I presume you need it to defeat the Balrog?

                  This day and age, it's usually the Billrog you need to defeat.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Do you want your possessions identified?

                Happens to me every bloody time.

            2. Ol'Peculier

              Re: Re:

              If I need to work over the weekend, yes.

        2. BenBell

          Re: Re:

          If we break things on Fridays, we get the Ops team to keep it ticking over the weekend and deal with it Monday. If it's something important, we get time and a half plus half in lieu.. and the company picks up lunch. Of course we do maintenance on Fridays!

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Just translated the main points into German for my support colleagues... I don't think they will be getting any more work done today! :-D

      1. Richard Altmann


        So you´re located in East Germany then, where after 25 years, still noone learned english. Well, they are too busy burning refugee homes.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: @bid_D

          West Germany and not everybody can speak English or understand it well enough to understand humour.

          And we have a large refugee camp here in the area and the people are accepted by the community.

          1. TAJW

            Re: @bid_D

            Your first mistake is thinking that ANY Germans have a sense of humor.


        2. robertcirca

          @ Richard Altman

          I think I can see (not hear) a German accent in YOUR English.

          So what about your Spanish? You still do not speak Spanish after so many years? Do you still think that Spanish is the native language in China?

          Mental heatsinks from THINKTOOFAST CO. are known for giving you problems every once in a while.

          And please excuse me if my English is not perfect - I am a confessig German.

        3. Dave K Silver badge

          @ Richard Altman

          Tell that to my East-German wife, who happens to speak English fluently, along with most of her family...

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: @ Dave K

            That is the problem, too many racial stereotypes. I married a German woman, who lived her whole life in a small town in the countryside. She learnt a bit of English in the school, but never got a chance to use it after that.

            We have been together for several years now and she doesn't speak any English.

            In the big towns, East and West, North and South, a lot more people speak English - and are often happy to get the opportunity to practice it. In the countryside, not so much.

            When I first moved here, I didn't speak any German, but went to German language school. About 9 months later I visited a friend near Hanover and we were sat in his office and he told me, that if I didn't practice my German, I would never be able to speak it fluently. I then politely pointed out, that he was the only German friend I had who still spoke mainly English with me! :-D

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheap Machines

    Won't work where I work, if we get a non standard machine in because our Hell Desk is owned by the company that owns us we get charged a set amount for an image to be built for it (Every few years because new features added tend to not be tested on said machines).

    Anon because I don't want said Helldesk to deliberately want to charge me when something else breaks.

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    > xyzzy

    You are in the pub. There is a glass of beer here.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      A hollow voice says...


      1. Myvekk

        Re: A hollow voice says...


    2. John G Imrie Silver badge

      > Drink beer

      You drink the beer

      > Sit

      You shit on the floor

  4. Alister Silver badge



    Brilliant, I'm just off to amend our Asterisk conf files for the IVR menu

  5. 27escape
    Thumb Up

    Great idea

    Need to create a twilio script to do this!

  6. JimC Silver badge

    See icon.

    However I wonder how many bemused PFYs are wondering WTF this is all about?

    1. Bullseyed

      I'm 28 and I spent 2-3 years of my high school life playing MUDs. You may be surprised, some of us young folk get this kind of thing.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        You don't know frustration....

        Like playing treasure Island on cartridge for the vic 20 without a manual at the age of 5... I remember dancing when I finally made it to the island from the bar you start in (I'd drunk it dry iir so nothing left to do)

  7. TitterYeNot

    Ah, nostalgia...

    >You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.

    >There is a small mailbox here.

    1. Roger Varley

      Re: Ah, nostalgia...

      Halcyon days, when you didn't need beefed up specs, hi-speed graphics to play decent games. All that was needed was a little bit of imagination and some very clever designers from Infocom.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Ah, nostalgia...

        very clever designers from Infocom.

        Colossal Cave/Adventure predated Infocom, IIRC it was Will(?) Crowther in the mid-70s. I have Fortran sources somewhere, I remember spending weeks trimming it to run in the 25Kwords available on an ICL box at Uni. These days you can get it as an Android app :)

        1. Roger Varley

          Re: Ah, nostalgia...

          That's the rest of the afternoon sorted. Thanks

        2. Andy A

          Re: Ah, nostalgia...

          Many years ago, one of my occasional tasks was to head to some outpost, install a modem and with it a 3276 terminal.

          The Official Test was to sit down and play Colossal Cave for half an hour or so.

        3. Jos V

          Re: Ah, nostalgia...

          sudo apt-get install bsdgames



          Oh well. Memories..

        4. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Ah, nostalgia...

          "Colossal Cave/Adventure predated Infocom"

          So did the Star Trek adventure (played on a PR1ME) - who remembers being reassigned to the Faerie Queene?

          1. Somone Unimportant

            Re: Ah, nostalgia...

            That would be "Ye Olde Faerie Queene", with 6 torpedoes instead of 10, wouldn't it?

            Ahh Primos...

            GO GAMES

        5. Trooper_ID

          Re: Ah, nostalgia...

          ah yes, well I recall playing Adventure on the 1903T, and then, when everyone one had left the building, we booted up Star Trek, it usually crashed the system after about half an hour though.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This was a game called FIST that was a telephone game just like this

    I understood it would take about 8 hours of premium line time even if you knew all the correct moves in advance...

    Now turn to section 400...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That cost-cutting move: so, SO true..

    Instead of the most effective solution – jumping off the balcony

    Even if the rest wasn't a welcome and thoroughly amusing flashback (and a frankly insanely brilliant achievement if you manage to code this into an IVR), that one line is already good enough to make my week and weekend.

    Ah, this is pure art..

  10. earl grey Silver badge

    you haven't had enought

    Have another.

  11. bpfh Bronze badge

    On our desk phones...

    8 will get you reverse, not go forward into mission control...

    I want to pitch this to my boss for our customer support hotline. We won't solve your problems, but you will have a fun time whilst we endevour to provide our best and upmost efforts to ignore you...

  12. Alistair Silver badge

    Mainframe version

    kept us busy while the scheduler loaded on sunday mornings. And at least we looked like we were working.

    1. CP/M-80

      Re: Mainframe version

      MUD? Banned at our Uni yet still installed and available. Like they were testing us or something.

      1. sonic

        Re: Mainframe version

        I remember Adventure being deleted from the server at Uni (Imperial College, London) - only for the mail spools to become "overful" as we mailed ourselves a copy as we logged off :-)

        Perfect training ....

  13. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Brilliant, as per usual!

    Instead of the most effective solution – jumping off the balcony...

    Amen to that! As for the rest in that block, be glad you don't work here. Every time I suggest to the boss that we get standardised, supported kit, I get told it's too expensive. We now support 4 different OS's on around 10 makes of machine across several sites, all with different specs, drivers etc. We have no installation media, no idea which machine is which, and to top it all off he wants to get rid of the one AD DC we have (serving only one site, the rest using local accounts because having servers there is "a waste of money").


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