back to article She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

“Give it to me pleeeese!” she begs, staring longingly into my eyes. “I’m desperate and will do anything.” It’s 5:30am and we are the only people in the office. I stutter that I’m not at liberty to satisfy her demands right there and then. It’s too early for me. Could she wait a while? She takes a step towards me and begins …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "As he made his way over, he casually picked up the electronic stapler…"

    And thus the legend of the BOFH was born to the eternal delight of all us lowly peons.

    A joy to read.

  2. Laura Kerr
    Thumb Up

    He casually picked up the electronic stapler...

    You, Mr Dabbs, are the original PFY, AICMFP.

  3. cookieMonster
    Pint

    have a pint

    for the Talking Heads reference - class !!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: have a pint

      And another one for remembering Guy Kewney.

  4. Edwin
    Facepalm

    Been there, done that...

    ...and if anyone can recommend a T-shirt, I'm game!

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Been there, done that...

      How about this (as seen on the IT Crowd)?

      http://www.cafepress.co.uk/+no-i-will-not-fix-your-computer+t-shirts

      1. Ragarath

        Re: Been there, done that...

        My Wife purchased me a "No I Will Not Fix Your Computer" Tee.

        When I wore it everyone was really put off asking for help anymore :)

        1. The other JJ

          Re: Been there, done that...

          On my last day on a contract I usually wear my original Network Week BOFH tee with "YOUR computer's broken and it's MY problem?", unless of course it's more appropriate to wear the El Reg "My job went to India and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" one.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Been there, done that...

            At a previous orkplace[1] I had a sign marked "your incompetence does not constitute my emergency".

            It lasted a short while before I was asked to take it down - the main target (yes - the one who always seemed unable to plan his time and projects and was always asking for urgent stuff at 5pm on a Friday even though he'd known about the requirements for 3 weeks) complained that I had "an unhelpful attitude".

            I left that place not long afterwards.

            [1] A large US company that, some say, inspired a lot of the Dilbert cartoons.

            1. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: Been there, done that...

              [1] A large US company that, some say, inspired a lot of the Dilbert cartoons.

              I always thought Scott Adams worked at everyone's company since they all seem inspirational for Dilbert. Or did the cartoons become mistaken for an instruction manual?

              1. Disk0

                Re: Been there, done that...

                yes

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @CrazyOldCatMan (Re: Been there, done that...)

              Not by any chance one that was bought several times over?

              That is rather common slogan there. As is urgent tasks landing 4-5pm on friday. Usually from US as it is only midday for them. Oh and of course because of lack of any kind of planning.

              Given Dilbert strips seem to accurately follow happenings in the company, it was common joke that Scott Adams had to work in the company or have close ties to someone who did.

              AC just because..

              1. veti Silver badge

                Re: @CrazyOldCatMan (Been there, done that...)

                Since Scott Adams quite openly begs for his readers to send anecdotes from their office to serve as fodder for his strips - it's not entirely surprising that he seems to have spies everywhere.

                That's because he does, in fact, have spies everywhere. In direct proportion to the level of his own readership among the employee base.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Been there, done that...

            'On my last day on a contract I usually wear my original Network Week BOFH tee with "YOUR computer's broken and it's MY problem?"'

            Does anyone do an updated version: "YOU'RE running Windows 10 and it's MY problem?"'?

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Been there, done that...

        Or you can get it from the original source they ripped it from, and it'll actually last longer than 2 washings: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/388b/?srp=1

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Been there, done that...

      And Sheena is a t shirt salesman.

      (She didn't know, she wanted to. She didn't know she wanted to until she did..)

      Mines the one with the band you've never heard of on it....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obsessive

    Having been is such a position, but with users who were not IT pros ( and I am at best semi-pro) I quickly developed a degree of applied paranoia. Don't let anyone do anything with originals, do it myself, take every precaution I possibly can to make sure I do no harm, and back up my backups onto a backup of my backup location, then back that up somewhere else.

    And then check everything I've done before I do anything active.

    And don't delete the backups of the backups of the backups until I test the backups of the backups.

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Obsessive

      # Boo, I got a back up plan to the back up plan

      # To back up my back up plan #

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Obsessive

      With only a little more paranoia you'd be a trainee DBA.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Obsessive

        "With only a little more paranoia you'd be a trainee DBA."

        - Also need the same kind of attitude as a comic collector when someone asks if they can take one out of the baggy to read.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: Obsessive

          No, you may not take one of my comics out of the baggy and fondle it with your dirty, sweaty, smelly fingers. No, not even with cotton gloves. Now run along before I have time to fetch one of my power tools from the workshop.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obsessive

      I have long been accused by colleagues and friends of being "too negative" when it comes to changing anything - especially in IT. Then they expect me to pull a rabbit out of a hat when they haven't taken my recommended precautions.

      Have lost count of the number of times that the obvious Plan "B" wasn't good enough - and ended up having to use Plan "C" or "D" - or more.

      It's like the mythical Cassandra - fated to warn people of impending dangers but forced to suffer the effects when they come to pass. The Ancient Greeks obviously had their own equivalent of being IT support.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Obsessive

        "The Ancient Greeks obviously had their own equivalent of being IT support."

        Of course they had. They needed it for the Antikythera machine.

    4. Disk0

      Re: Obsessive

      27 copies of Hello World on 13 different types of media in 7 locations. ALWAYS use prime numbers for everything. Visual copies on microfilm stored in a saltmine, as well as the whole thing painted on the roof of the building in the form of QR codes.

  6. Novex
    Happy

    Unmitigated Arse

    Yep, that sounds about right. Thank you for a break from it, and bringing back such happy memories of times I've had that were similar :-)

  7. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Sham about the image

    Of all stock images to use, they have one of Rosalind Russell as Hildy Johnson, one of the most famously competent and cool characters in the history of cinema? Does the person choosing know what where this still is from?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Sham about the image

      It's not a sham, it's a real image. I picked it because its underlying references to a publishing office, a man and a woman talking to each other, being in the past, and of course because it's Friday. It's not supposed to be an illustration of the actual events related in my story, which BTW isn't a true one anyway.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Sham about the image

        What, you mean you lied?

        I trusted you Mr Dabbs, I trusted you so much and now it's gone. Gone, like my soul!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sham about the image

          Did you back up your soul? Or is that last Friday's soul?

  8. Mage Silver badge

    Drag and drop between windows

    Did I update a backup or revert an old version?

    Obviously EVERY drag and drop should be to a fresh directory. Now that we have 5T byte instead of 5M byte HDD, why does no FS by default keep all versions of all the files?

    1. collinsl

      Re: Drag and drop between windows

      I can understand that for small files, but if you are moving uncompressed photos or video files around I don't think even 5TB would last very long.

      Now what you could do is have a storage array with differential de-duplication on it, but that's current enterprise tech anyway.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Drag and drop between windows

      why does no FS by default keep all versions of all the files

      You mean like VMS did 30 years ago?

      I believe you can get similar safety feature on modern journalling filesystems, but I think you have to be using Linux.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Drag and drop between windows

        @Kubla Cant

        I do use Linux, since 1999.

        No distro has a default FS that does that by default.

        The default FS doesn't even let you see file creation dates easily (and only recently did EXT even store them). Yes, VMS was good and NTFS wouldn't have been too bad if they hadn't handed the NT OS over to the students and Interns that wrote Win95, It went downhill after NT3.51.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Drag and drop between windows

        "I believe you can get similar safety feature on modern journalling filesystems, but I think you have to be using Linux."

        Maybe you're thinking of ZFS - Sun, BSD & just recently on Linux.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Drag and drop between windows

      The ONLY good thing about Novell was the "salvage" command

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Drag and drop between windows

      why does no FS by default keep all versions of all the files?

      No FS does? I work with one that keeps any number of previous file versions I deem appropriate.

      So nyah.

  9. Potemkine Silver badge

    In Mr. Dabbs's titles I see a trend...

    So how is the therapy going? ^^

  10. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Drunk History, Alistair.

    ICL 900 series mainframes beat Microsoft by decades. To make George stop a job you had to type "go". Specifically; GO job name 29.

    1. Disk0
      Coat

      Re: Bah!

      To be fair it was short for Get Out

    2. vcayenne

      Re: Bah!

      Oh God! I shudder in remembrance. I worked with an ICL 1902 -- 4 KB of core memory before an upgrade to 16 KB! No disks, just tapes. And, yes, GEORGE and EXEC…

  11. brotherelf
    Paris Hilton

    one-word bingo?

    "Customer Delight Implementation Executive"? Got to love it. I found that the big all-knowing data grave has a page on customer delight, but with phrases like "During contacts with touch points in the company, more than just customer service can be delivered. The person at the front line can surprise by showing a sincere personal interest in the customer, offer small attentions that might please or find a solution specific to particular needs.", I think Dabbsie put the page there for us to find.

    Paris, 'cause I hear her touch points for particular needs are quite famous.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reading this leaves me with one simple question...

    Instead of continue to argue against it, why didn't you simply restore the files for her?

    Can't say I really enjoyed this story, it was too obvious.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Reading this leaves me with one simple question...

      I didn't know which files she wanted to restore. Neither did she, as the story recounts. Or wasn't that bit obvious enough?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reading this leaves me with one simple question...

        "I didn't know which files she wanted to restore. Neither did she, as the story recounts."

        Did she really now?

        They’re last Friday’s files! I don’t want last Friday’s! I want yesterday morning’s files! Now I don’t even last night’s! How do I get them back?

        Looks to me as if she knew exactly what files she needed, but the problem here is that you didn't even bother to ask.

        1. John 110
          FAIL

          Re: Reading this leaves me with one simple question...

          @ShelLuser

          "Looks to me as if she knew exactly what files she needed"

          Do you work in IT? They NEVER know what files they need. But they DO know that the ones you painstakingly retrieved for them are the wrong ones...

        2. Disk0
          Trollface

          Re: Reading this leaves me with one simple question...

          Obviously she did not know what she wanted, what she was doing, or what she was looking for, or she would have restored just those files.

          Isn't it interesting how IMPORTANT stuff is to users when they have to actually pay attention to what the EFF they're doing, even more interesting to see how they can't be arsed with the details once they hit the grind and RESTORE ALL TEH THINGS because that will probably be the best solution to retrieve the document where they changed every instance of "You're stoopid" to "You are stupid" but forgot to click the floppy icon....

  13. Mr Dogshit

    "back in the day when IT managers didn’t want to have anything to do with Apple Macintosh computers"

    They still don't.

  14. Packet

    Mr. Dabbs, love your word-smithing - particularly this gem that i hope to re-use in the near future: "...carpet-bombed the paddy field of her entire production desk with the metaphorical napalm..."

  15. Arachnoid
    IT Angle

    Shirley........

    You now a Harry Potter emulation specialist with all the dark arts you use!

  16. Patrician

    "back in the day when IT managers didn’t want to have anything to do with Apple Macintosh computers"

    Do they even now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the smart ones embrace the macs - for those who need them.

      at a prior employ, there was a windows admin who despised them - with hate-induced masturbatory fantasies about wanting to destroy all apple related kit... sodding little psychopath that he was...

      thankfully though the IT managers were smarter than him and knew what generated money (the shop being a print / proofing place for a newspaper...)

      1. Disk0

        It's called job security, computers that just work leave you with nothing to do and management wondering what the hell you are doing all day.

        Ironically I failed miserably at establishing job security by standardising, idiot-proofing and automating everything, which was my job.

        Now I do nice home renovations for people who are actually happy with my work, and generally assume they do not understand what is going on so they leave it to me. Another plus is I never get any calls about the oven drivers being out of date, thermostats not playing fullscreen or the laminate flooring not being colour accurate....

        I know we'll get there soon enough, I already run into the odd drooling IoT aficionado wanting me to hook up their nest, but at least now I can fake ignorance convincingly.

        I still also do IT work, but nothing that has to do with users fortunately...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "It's called job security, computers that just work leave you with nothing to do and management wondering what the hell you are doing all day.

          Ironically I failed miserably at establishing job security by standardising, idiot-proofing and automating everything, which was my job."

          You seem to have been very unlucky. Most companies simply go out and recruit a better class of idiot.

    2. JustNiz

      For a more modern analogy simply replace "Apple" With "Linux".

  17. Disk0
    Boffin

    Dee dabb doo da doo dabbs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1IqqlW1U4k

  18. 9Rune5

    Slacking off

    Great story, but I would like to know what Alistair has been up to this week seeing as he had Simon sit in to write the ending.

  19. Down not across Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Customer Delight Implementation Executive

    I might just have to borrow that on occasion.

  20. Camilla Smythe

    Ah Yes... Windows .tmp files.

    Something like that anyway.

    "job: 36890786: logged from user XXXX

    Hi my computer has crashed. Help!!"

    Pays to visit.

    "Hi. Problem?"

    "Yes it just stopped working and my Power Point Presentation has been lost."

    "Oh. OK. Let's just have a look in here. Hmm sort by date."

    "Wow! what are all those ~weird files?"

    "Err. Those are the ones that are using up 94% of your hard drive."

    "OK. Let's just rename the last one to .ppt and have a looksie."

    "Oh great thanks. I would have hated to have lost all that work."

    "No Problems. What do you want to do with the other ones?"

    "Uhm?"

    "Looks like two years worth of crashes."

    "All my work!!!?"

    "Yup. Do you remember what it might have been."

    "Uhm.... No."

    del *.*

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