back to article BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*

"Your first mistake was asking for input," I explain to the Boss as he scans the huge volume of new email in his Inbox. "You really don't want to do that." "No," the PFY echoes, "Never do that." "Why not?" "Never seek user input on a technical document unless what you're asking about is so vague as to be useless," the PFY …

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  1. James Boag

    Well Done.

    It's Not officially a Friday,

    But due to the seasonal nature of this week it is.

    Now what to do till home time.....

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Well Done.

      I am moving the suggestion box

    2. earl grey Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Well Done.

      You mean, Now what to do till beer time....

  2. Ralph B

    Funny

    Funny, especially it was Microsoft's similar arrogant disregard for users' opinions that produced Vista and Windows 8.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Funny

      Well, why weren't you at Ballmer's Meeting?

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: Funny

        It was at lunchtime. Who goes to a meeting at luchtime?

        1. Montreal Sean

          Re: Funny

          I went. Steve had already taken all the chairs and emptied the buffet table.

  3. redniels

    ALT-A? a BOFH should know it's CTRL-A, SHIFT DELETE.

    basic BOFH 101, course 1, lesson 1, page 1.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      A slight oversight giving away the fact he'd remapped the bosses keyboard using a special semi-Dvorak 135-key extended VT-102 layout he'd devised.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sure about that?

      Given it's the BOFH I wouldn't be surprised that he'd remapped people's shortcut keys so Ctrl-F deletes all emails.

      Ctrl-H, of course, electrifies something humourous.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Sure about that?

        I did say "special" mapping... ;-)

  4. Sean Kennedy

    I sometimes wonder if the author works where I work, or have worked. Too many stories mirror reality too closely. Sadly, this reduces any enjoyment I may derive from the stories and instead threaten, at times, to give me flashbacks.

  5. Isendel Steel
    Pint

    Happy "Season"

    No Egg - Have a Beer

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BOFH works for the Civil Service too?

  7. MrT

    It's the unwritten part of GTD...

    "OK. So: First ALT-A, then drag them all into the Deleted Items folder."

    CTRL-A/CMD-A, Delete: any really important stuff will be sent again in a few days... loads of correspondence dealt with and plenty of time left for other stuff - *that's* Getting Things Done ;-)

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: It's the unwritten part of GTD...

      Of course if the boss had asked the IT team to handle the responses in the first place any tech worth his salt would have taken that as an out-of-band special project (at double time) and spent at least three days of the four day bank holiday week developing and testing a horrendously complex mail filter / rule set to classify, sort, redirect and file the responses automatically. The net result of this "data cleansing" would, of course, reduce the incoming flow to effectively only two emails; those matching the filter "If (sender matches BOFH@company.com) or (sender matches PFY@company.com) move email to mailbox APPROVED, append file 'approved_by_CEO.txt', forward to PURCHASING@company.com"

    2. Vic

      Re: It's the unwritten part of GTD...

      > any really important stuff will be sent again in a few days.

      The Zambezei Principle :-

      "And if a bill comes in

      Just throw it in the bin

      Because I'm sure to get some more another day"

      :-)

      Vic.

      1. Craig 21

        Re: It's the unwritten part of GTD...

        So what wikisalted page, has the details and theory of the Zambezei Principle?

        1. Vic

          Re: It's the unwritten part of GTD...

          So what wikisalted page, has the details and theory of the Zambezei Principle?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5IFkU8zciA

          Enjoy :-)

          Vic.

  8. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Laptop! Lucky bastards

    Our BOFHs have us all on VMs.

    I'd rather get a new laptop and not be consulted about it rather than be on a VM.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Laptop! Lucky bastards

      Serves you right for not attending the consultative meetings in the back car-parking basement

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Laptop! Lucky bastards

      > Our BOFHs have us all on VMs.

      Yeah, must be awful not having iTunes installed... ;-)

      1. Billa Bong

        Re: Laptop! Lucky bastards

        VM as in you have an empty desk? I think Simon could really make something of upgrading the whole company to virtual (non-existent as opposed to the other kind) machines and cloud (perhaps by filling the building with smoke through the aircon). Man, this material just writes itself, doesn't it?

    3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Laptop! Lucky bastards

      Our BOFHs have us all on VMs.\

      It's for your own good; besides, that's what the comittee decided. Of course, we'd be glad to reconsider. Just drop us a line in the suggestion box.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

    Who do you know that could survive interviewing Simon for a job?

    1. The Wegie

      Re: Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

      I'm not certain that anybody would survive the experience, but I'd pay good money to watch Dominic against the BOFH in an interview...

      1. Mike Smith
        Mushroom

        Re: Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

        Thanks for a most intriguing suggestion. I'm still trying my damndest to sell a BOFH TV series - I've accumulated enough rejection letters now to wallpaper my office - but in spite of that I'm starting to plan the third series. In which the BOFH needs to find a new job.

        Interviewed by Dominic... hmm, I can see where that's going to go. Yep, I really like that idea.

        The icon's not a spoiler, because we know how it'll end up. But the journey will be entertaining, I can definitely promise that.

      2. Steve Knox

        Re: Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

        I'm not certain that anybody would survive the experience, but I'd pay good money to watch Dominic against the BOFH in an interview...

        Whilst it might be fun to watch the fur fly, there's the much more sinister possibility that they actually get along... Would it be worth the risk?

  10. John G Imrie Silver badge

    This is not good

    The BOFH, PFY and Boss all seam to be working together. This can only lead to bloodshed.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: This is not good

      Bloodshed?

      For whom? The boss who is not getting in the BOFH's way, or the beancounter who turns down the boss' most excellent suggestion for new kit desperately needed for his support team?

      You know, those 4k monitors and extra storage arrays for "speciality" content?

    2. fishbone

      Re: This is not good

      Necessary bloodshed by a responsible anarchist, probably a civil servant

  11. Andy Landy

    "it's a dead end!", priceless!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Quite literally.

  12. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Security Breach

    Ok, so who leaked our process documents?

    1. Rick Giles
      Joke

      Re: Security Breach

      @Admiral Grace Hopper

      Snowden.

      1. AceBitbucket

        Re: Security Breach

        Possibly the only person I can think of who might stare down the BOFH

  13. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Pint

    The BOFH is evidently

    as student of C. Northcote Parkinson

    Excellent

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Nothing new to see here, move on please.

    "Course you can! You put out a memo saying that you're heartened by the huge number of responses and that many very valid issues have been raised and will need further discussion. So much discussion that you're forming a small development discussion group which will meet each lunchtime until all the issues are sorted out, prioritised and project planned."

    Methinks that is patently presently designated as the workings of Cabinets, Simon. A sad and traditionally bad and even quite mad collection of motley blunt tools failing admirably, in this posting modern technocratic age of rolling and roiling events news and deep packet intelligence injection analysis views, to not be discovered and uncovered as fine fetishist fools, and vice versa.

  15. davidp231
    Coffee/keyboard

    Yup..

    "Like Vista and Windows 8," the PFY says.

    "OR, You could make the upgrade so appalling that when you gave their old crap back to them and they'd think THAT was an upgrade!" I say.

    "Like Vista and Windows 8," the PFY repeats.

  16. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Almost had a heart attack

    Thought I was in on a bank holiday there.

  17. ShadowDragon8685

    This is bad.

    This boss appears to be worthy enough for Simon and the PFY to actually induct him into the Arts of Bastardry rather than do him in.

    I feel sorry for literally everybody else. But most of all the lusers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You feel sorry for the lusers?

      Really?

      I'll admit it's an interesting concept!

      1. sisk Silver badge

        You feel sorry for the lusers?

        Really?

        I'll admit it's an interesting concept!

        Feeling sorry for the lusers is actually quite a common disorder. Don't worry though, we have a very effective treatment program for it called "working the helpdesk".

        1. 33rpm

          I did do that the other day. The help desk was at half strength due to a cold bug and now I need to borrow the PFY's forest in Scotland. I do have my own shovel.

    2. Rick Giles
      Pirate

      Never!

      @ShadowDragon8685

      Never feel sorry for the users!

      Empathy leads to caring.

      Caring leads to elevating.

      Elevating leads to them being domineering.

    3. Steve Knox

      This boss appears to be worthy enough for Simon and the PFY to actually induct him into the Arts of Bastardry rather than do him in.

      The two are not mutually exclusive.

      They generally let a few secrets loose shortly before the offing -- gives them a little more motivation.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        A bit like the bomb that shouts, in the local language, when thrown "I'm a 30 second bomb! I'm a 30 second bomb! 29... 28... 27..." It lets you in on the act, but there's f* all you can do about the inevitable.

        1. AceBitbucket

          Ah, yes

          A great Starship Troopers reference

  18. sisk Silver badge

    Good one

    Gives me a few ideas for a committee that's accomplishing nothing at an alarming rate actually.

    Hrm....I don't have a fire escape or a parking garage. We do have a utility closet where a water pipe keeps springing leaks over a breaker box though....

    If only.

  19. Frank N. Stein

    AWESOME!!

    Way to go, Simon.

    That is exactly the way to handle a "user input" situation. I see that sort of thing happening all the time, minus the darkened lower level parking garage located suggestion box.

  20. Herby

    So we should call today...

    "Good Thursday".

    Sounds good enough for me.

  21. Mark 110

    Superb. Thanks. I should distribute this to the Business Analysts. Wish the bloody projects would think about the needs of IT support 1% as much as they think about the needs of the business :(

  22. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Consulting the users

    Ah yes. A wide ranging consultation of all stakeholders and other interested parties.

    99% want green. 1% want blue. You want blue. You get blue.

    If anyone asks, you consulted and did what was requested by "many" stakeholders, being careful not to mention the words "most" or "majority" and very especially to never mention absolute numbers or percentages.

    Cynical? Moi?

    1. JimC

      Re: Consulting the users

      consult/consultancy /consultant is a very interesting family of words in contemporary business speak.

      consultation is of course a process where you ask the users /public what they want, and then ignore it and do what you were going to do anyway.

      A consultantcy is an organisation that tells you.what you already knew in a form your executives might listen to.

      A consultant is someone who does exactly.what your permanent staff would have done, but gets away before the problems are visible.

      But on another topic, the reason BOFH sounds as if its a mole in your own office is because people are people, private sector or public, big company or small, we're all much the same.

      1. JimRoyal

        Re: Consulting the users

        Can't believe the amount of negativity about user's ideas. They do sometimes make relevant points or useful suggestions. In such cases they should be taken on-board.

        Of course, you will claim that you had already thought of them and that the fact that your ideas are the same is indicative of the passionate customer focus you have. You can also praise the users creative thinking which means you will always have someone in the future to support any ideas you put forward.

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