back to article BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "I just want to check the state of a job," the Boss says, burbling away on the PFY's hands-free. "A support call?" the PFY says. "It'll be in the system." "I know it's in the system," the Boss snaps back. "It's got a job number. What I WANT to know is the state of the job." "It's in …

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  1. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Devil

    WooHoo BOFH is back

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ happy friday

    1. wyatt
      Thumb Up

      Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

      AHahaha, I'd never do any of those things, would I?!

      1. Mike Lewis

        Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

        > AHahaha, I'd never do any of those things, would I?!

        What do you mean? I've been taking notes.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

          Notes are for amatuer and leaves a paper trail. Either memorize the notes and eat the evidence or just commit to memory. Your memory, not the computer's.

    2. Joe W

      Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

      My thoughts exactly!

      Now on to actually reading it....

    3. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

      Heard of withdrawal symptoms?

      They also affect people who read the BOFH Archive, then are deprived of more episodes!

    4. Dave Aronson

      Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

      ...hey la, day la, the BOFH is back!

    5. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

      BOFH is back, Dabbs is missing. Coincidence?

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

        "Dabs is missing..." Did you check the store room supply of carpets and quick lime? It may have gone down by one...

  2. A K Stiles
    Pint

    Sssshhhhhhh!

    Woah there Simon! don't give away all of the helldesk secrets!

    Beer, 'cos it's Friday, and 5 o'clock somewhere.

    1. Jedit
      Unhappy

      "Woah there Simon! don't give away all of the helldesk secrets!"

      I could believe that helpdesks do all of these things, but the BOFH telling his boss about it? Immersion destroyed, sorry.

      1. joeW

        Re: "Woah there Simon! don't give away all of the helldesk secrets!"

        Being let in on certain tricks of the trade is a sure sign that this boss is rapidly approaching his natural expiration date.

      2. sisk Silver badge

        Re: "Woah there Simon! don't give away all of the helldesk secrets!"

        I could believe that helpdesks do all of these things, but the BOFH telling his boss about it? Immersion destroyed, sorry.

        I would agree with you but for one thing: it's long been established that Simon cannot be terminated for any reason due to an ironclad contract. If I remember correctly Stephen does not have such an ironclad contract, but does have plenty of blackmail material to insure his continued employment. And, of course, his cache of blackmail material pales in comparison to Simon's, so Simon is doubly protected.

        Really now, do you think either of them would still have jobs at this point otherwise?

    2. blcollier

      Re: Sssshhhhhhh!

      > Beer, 'cos it's Friday, and 5 o'clock somewhere.

      You wait until 5pm...?

      1. InfiniteApathy
        Pint

        Re: Sssshhhhhhh!

        You wait until Friday?

        1. sisk Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Sssshhhhhhh!

          Beer? It's December. Get into the Christmas spirit man!

          Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum.

          1. fishbone

            Re: Sssshhhhhhh!

            Zacapa 23 Please

        2. Dave Ross

          Re: Sssshhhhhhh!

          You wait?

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Ah HA!

    Clearly the template for all those totally useless online 'help' services.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Ah HA!

      I'd say that HP have excelled themselves and implemented variants of this system in multiple places just to ensure that what should be a relatively simple process of them replacing (yet another) DOA laptop (with the same faults as the previous ones) winds up involving multiple departments that cannot communicate with each other and many days of delays.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    Go

    Stuck in a Loop

    Way to go PFY! I wish I could get away with the endless loop of procrastination.

    And why is the BOFH suspiciously absent? And no accidents? Is this some sort of cliffhanger?

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Stuck in a Loop

      Absent?

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Stuck in a Loop

        Yeah this was the first Story in about as near now as Six Months now. IIRC: The last One was written in early June.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Stuck in a Loop

          yeah, but the BOFH was present in this one , and every other .

          1. Waseem Alkurdi

            Re: Stuck in a Loop

            Except the first three episodes of the third millenium and the Nigerian 418 one.

  5. Whatsinitforme
    Pint

    tgiBOFHf

    Although it is a realistic description of many of the chatbots that are around (keep asking questions, and suddenly provide no solution whatsoever), I am slightly underwhelmed by this semi-annual BOFH post, I would've hoped for at least 3 casualties, a cattle prod, a slippery staircase, an open window, the HALON going off, and some pieces of carpet being dragged.....

    That being said, finally BOFH/Simon is back, and we really needed a new story, so I'll drink to that!

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: tgiBOFHf

      , I am slightly underwhelmed by this semi-annual BOFH post, I would've hoped for at least 3 casualties, a cattle prod, a slippery staircase, an open window, the HALON going off, and some pieces of carpet being dragged.

      Actually no.

      It's good to change the routine. It all follows the same pattern.

      I've been trying to reach Simon Travaglia through several means (Facebook, Twitter, emails) ... but to no avail. I have got some ideas myself for future BOFH stories.

      A remake of BOFH: Servers under Siege for modern times is also in order!

      1. Saruman the White

        Re: tgiBOFHf

        I've been trying to reach Simon Travaglia through several means (Facebook, Twitter, emails) ... but to no avail. I have got some ideas myself for future BOFH stories.

        Your messages are in The SYSTEM.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like the basic Veritas support for Netbackup

    The only difference is the ERFI is actually a cycling process. After so many requests, they'd restart at RFI 1, then 2, 3 etc ...

    I have a very interesting huge thread of emails describing said process.

    1. MAH

      Re: Looks like the basic Veritas support for Netbackup

      I would argue that's NetApp support...

  7. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Does BOFH work for Crapita now?

    1. Laura Kerr

      I think he trains their staff.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or IBM global services.

      Admittedly IBM haven't worked out how to automate the process.

      Plus there's the service manager calling within a few hours of the SLA breach to confirm nothing will happen and check if it is okay to close the ticket.

    3. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      Trollface

      Does BOFH work for Crapita now?

      Nah the BOFH occasionally achieves something as a side benefit whereas Capata only turns gold into $%!t

    4. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      define "work"

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I believe the BOFH and PFY have put in tenders for all the lovely work for customs, agriculture, satellites, etc. that needs to be ready by March 29th*

      * Year deliberately left off RfQ and tenders…

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does BOFH work for Crapita - No

      The CEB *internal* helpdesk is actually rather good!

      and the manager calling BOFH is far too competent.

      anon

      (a) because ... I work there (no I do not work on the helpdesk)

      (b) so I do not get too much abuse.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depressingly accurate

    My employer's outsourced helpdesk provider *cough DXC *cough* implements exactly this scheme. What Simon forgot to mention is that every time a ticket is closed and another one opened (with no tangible benefit to the customer) the problem resolution statistics improve and more $$$ can be extracted.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Depressingly accurate

      I just had a three-week wait for a ticket where the computer was continually trying to uninstall or update some Outlook add-on which required not just closing Outlook but also rebooting, rinsing and repeating. Solved by manual intervention in two minutes but not my machine and I don't have the power to do that.

      1. bpfh

        Re: Depressingly accurate

        Obviously you have not had any recent database normalisation errors recently. Or your management are on the ground floor or have windows that don’t open, even with assistance from the maintenance guy at 9pm along for the promised bottle of whiskey...

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This shows

    there are still things I must learn.....

    1. Whatsinitforme

      Re: This shows

      I've been in IT for 20+ years, and have been reading the BOFH stories since I first learned of his existence. Also, I dove back into the archives ( http://bofh.bjash.com/index.html ) to make sure that I learnt as much as possible.

      However, even with this vast experience and re-reading the archives, also for me, there are things I must learn. Right now, I'm trying to automate my messaging system based on https://github.com/NARKOZ/hacker-scripts :).

      1. Waseem Alkurdi

        Re: This shows

        Don't forget this:

        http://web.archive.org/web/20010424163005/http://home.xnet.com:80/~raven/Sysadmin/

        An archive of the archive of the best of alt.sysadmin.recovery on Usenet, where most of the BOFH stories were originally posted ^_^

        1. Whatsinitforme

          Re: This shows

          That link will surely keep me busy for the remainder of the afternoon :)

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Woza

          Re: This shows

          I ran across those PFY stories years ago and haven't been able to find them since - thanks for the link!

  10. K Silver badge

    Perfect timing ... I'm just reworking our Workflow..

    Now this looks like it will fit the bill...

  11. Waseem Alkurdi

    Another way this could've worked out

    BOFH et PFY would lock up the Boss in the basement, with only a cig lighter, rope, gum, rotten dill pickles, and a computer screen.

    The screen is actually a dumb terminal connected to the lock.

    It runs an Eliza program that asks questions like, "How long did this happen? (Being locked up that is)", " How did this come about?", "What's on the lunch menu?", et cetera.

    When the terminal's stress detector detects a Boss banging either screen or door or low aldosterone, it would offer a solution of paying the BOFH fund.

  12. Oliver Mayes

    I once wrote a chat bot to replace a colleague who left. It was a basic Eliza package with some custom vocabulary. It was just a bit of a laugh and we had some interesting conversation with it.

    Checking the chat logs a few weeks later, I discovered that someone had actually messaged it, (not realising that the guy had left the company) asking for help with something. The bot managed to hold up its end of the conversation, ending in it recommending that they put in a support ticket.

    It later went a bit crazy, it disconnected from the chat system and began using up more and more system resources but refusing to communicate. Sadly, I had to kill it out of fear of an uprising.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

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