back to article BOFH: Elf of Safety? Orc of Admin. Pleased to meet you

There's a small-scale war going on between me, the PFY and the folk in Health and Safety. Now your normal, run-of-the-mill person would rather perform a root canal on themselves with a hammer action drill than take on a Health and Safety role in any organisation. The position itself has all the prestige of an unflushed turd …

  1. Dave K Silver badge

    Nice twist!

    Excellent episode! Must admit, I wasn't expecting there to be a sweepstake running, I wonder who chose over-voltaged cattle-prod...

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Nice twist!

      In the case of a H&S I think everybody is on the BOFH's side…

    2. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Nice twist! - Damn! My money was on the lift shaft.

      Always a favourite in my SOP - well if a garotte would be too obvious.

    3. Daniel B.

      Re: Nice twist!

      I would've lost. I was expecting a high voltage encounter with an Eastern European cattle prod...

    4. Marshalltown

      Re: Nice twist!

      I would have had money on a high-voltage accident involving a UPS in server room.

      "We didn't see what happened. We couldn't see at all until the emergency power kicked back on. Then there was this strange, almost overwhelming smell of barbecue. We've no idea what he did to that UPS; he was only supposed to be inspecting things visually as we understand his SOPs."

  2. Alister Silver badge

    Hah, brilliant!

    Was not expecting that ending at all, loved it!

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Hah, brilliant!

      A boss who is aware of what the BOFH is up to isn't as worrying as the as yet unnamed person who pointed the H&S blowfly to the server room... perhaps we have someone to play Sherlock to the BOFH's Moriarty.

      1. Deimos

        Alas no

        Moriarty or to be exact Artie Murray (the bastard contractor from hell) met a nasty end in 1999. I seem to remember some reichenbach fallers being involved. The incident was so traumatic that the Bastard took many months to reboot.

  3. Big_Boomer

    OOOOohh

    A Boss who understands and respects the BOFH? No doubt he will die horribly in the next instalment after accidentally stealing the PFYs beer, or somesuch :-)

    My money was on an accidental strangulation by CAT6 entanglement.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: OOOOohh

      Or the boss come to an "arrangement" with the BOFH in terms of dealing with problems he has versus supplies of new equipment and the odd jolly to conference events in high-alcohol areas?

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: OOOOohh

        seems the BOFH has now become a sort of black ops hitman / merc / arms dealer to do the jobs the authorities cant admit need doing

  4. Toltec

    Addition to the H&S policy

    Section 17.1, sub-paragraph 14a, codicil 3.1

    Interfering with the BOFH is not recommended on the grounds that ones health can be severely compromised. This entry overrides all other policies.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Ah yes...

    Risk Assessment. Surely an activity that must itself be assessed for risk?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Ah yes...

      We had a rather large H&S manual produced by an overenthusiastic OCD bloke. When asked if I'd read it I facetiously said 'Yes but I got a paper cut' and not long later took delivery of a laminated version that would have given an olympic weightlifter a hernia. I nearly filled out an incident form to complain of hysteria pains.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Ah yes...

        A sharp slap round the mouth often cures that :P

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Ah yes...

        "When asked if I'd read it I facetiously said 'Yes but I got a paper cut' and not long later took delivery of a laminated version ..."

        You know, some H&S guys do have a sense of humour...

    2. Marshalltown
      Pint

      Re: Ah yes...

      Heh. Used to work for the Forest Service long ago. I returned one day from the field with a slightly sprained ankle. The H&S person asked me to detail the accident. I wrote it up. It was immediately returned as an unacceptable explanation. I had explained that while in motion, the safety helmet, which we referred to as micrometeorite protection - totally useless for real world hazards, slipped over my eyes, and I reacted poorly to being unable to see, misplacing a foot and twisting the ankle while straightening the helmet. I was informed that I could not blame safety equipment. So, when I asked what lie the H&S person preferred they left and a report was never filed.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Ah yes...

        So the H&S person was later involved in a terrible helmet accident?

        And are they aware that they are breaking the H&S at Work Act?

        A badly-fitting or unsuitable helmet is dangerous.

        But yes, I have encountered many such H&S idiots. The HSE have spent a lot of time and effort trying to deal with that type of imbecile.

  6. imanidiot Silver badge
    Pint

    Loved it

    A good way to spend the time waiting for my system to finally finish it's testing routines..

    My money would have been on the old "rack tipped forward and hit him in the head" spiel. Maybe they've used that one too often? --> Because, friday

  7. adam payne Silver badge

    I was expecting something to fall out out of the rack hit him and then for him to stumble into an unearthed electrical cable.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      :O that would be considered a H&S failure.

      Everything that happened could have been averted if the said person had doned safety gear as instructed.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Explosive extension of mounting rails.

    You have the storage RAID array mounted at head-height and the system is designed to extend clear of the rack, into the cool aisle, in the event of power failure. This maximises passive cooling, protecting the data.

    1. Spoonguard
      Alert

      why explosive?

      If you used Linear motors instead you could do it multiple times to multiple people...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        just spring-loaded. Solenoid holds it in place, solenoid controlled by appropriate SNMP trap ....

  9. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Pint

    The position itself has all the prestige of an unflushed turd and, as such, tends to attract the human version of the blowfly.

    Have to remember that line.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Simon

    That's a worryingly aware boss.

    Just once?

  11. IglooDude
    Pint

    Well played, sir!!

  12. Chronos Silver badge
    Alert

    Damn.

    I had a fiver on "excessive potential difference between rack door handle and floor plates." It looks like my BSc (Bastard Systems certification) needs updating.

    1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Damn.

      Well it worked for the Tomb of the Cybermen on Telos.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best Line

    The position itself has all the prestige of an unflushed turd and, as such, tends to attract the human version of the blowfly.

    Thanks Simon, you started my Friday off on the right foot!

    1. PNGuinn
      Go

      Re: Best Line @ac

      So, you put your best foot forward, trod on a blowfly and discovered you'd just put your foot in it?

  14. Korev Silver badge
    Boffin

    Reminds me

    We used to have a H&S lady like that working on our site... She decided to audit the datacentre, one of her findings was that one of the servers (a Sun Fire x4200 which liked to forget its HBAs) was a noise hazard - turns out she stuck her measuring device right up to the exhaust grill on the back...

    She also once asked us what the bottle of oil for the shredder was and where its safety data sheets were. We prevented another "finding" by making sure it was kept in the cupboard below...

    Safety googles because Health and Safety ->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reminds me

      To be completely fair, the noise level in some server rooms is loud enough to do damage to your hearing over time, and certainly gives me headaches in the short term. I used to have a set of earplugs for that reason.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Reminds me

        ...the noise level in some server rooms...

        ...is NOTHING, compared to the noise from the "low environmental impact" turbofan hand dryer in the Gents'

        // it may save the environment, but at the cost of your hearing

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Reminds me

          ...the noise level in some server rooms...

          ...is NOTHING, compared to the noise from the "low environmental impact" turbofan hand dryer in the Gents'

          This!

          I swear, I think our hand dryer is designed to work by sonic waves, and doesn't actually have a fan in it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reminds me

          ...is NOTHING, compared to the noise from the "low environmental impact" turbofan hand dryer in the Gents'

          For most air-dryers, the reduced environmental impact is because the dryer is so feeble that we give up on in and wipe hands on shirt or trou instead of running it for the full five minutes required to actually dry hands.

      2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me

        Just you wait till a power failure requires the room to restart.

        Dust, noise... (smoke even one time)... and that's before the day to day rats nest of cables strung across the room and floor on top of the stacked late 90s hp laser jet printers.

      3. Glen Turner 666

        Re: Reminds me

        I have a plane pilot's headset with bluetooth and it's excellent. Keeps the noise out and you can use the phone whilst in the datacentre. They come up on the auction sites every now and again at a reasonable price. Recommended.

        1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Reminds me

          I use a set of bluetooth headphones, not noise cancelling but it helps when in a server room & talking to a remote network operations bod.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Reminds me

            I use a set of bluetooth headphones, not noise cancelling but it helps when in a server room & talking to a remote network operations bod.

            Used to work in a microcomputer lab in college. Had a pair of non-bluetooth headphones that weren't plugged into anything. Kept the annoying users away

      4. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me

        To be completely fair, the noise level in some server rooms is loud enough to do damage to your hearing over time

        That is true. It was just odd that she picked on the Sun Fire and ignored my HPC cluster which was a lot louder; not to mention some of the big Sun Sparc boxen we had in the room too.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

    .... with Advanced IntelAIgent MMORPGasms

    I trust El Reg is/would be equally diligent and erring on the side of extreme caution should/when officious officialdom comes calling and trawling for information on commentards with views sharing an altogether different live picture with networked events horizoning.

    The Great Game is Changed with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Commanders in a Vast Space Control of Multi Media Presentations of Practically Virtualised Realities ........ Novel Orderly World Orders that Create Destruction and Disruption in/of/with Dystopia ........... ergo IT is/is IT a Greater IntelAIgent Game Play to Play?!.

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

      someone's got into the "special" mushrooms again...

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

        Thats just amanfrommars. I'd be worried if he said something all of us could easily comprehend.

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

          Do you think special mushrooms might make him more comprehensible? And would that be with them administered to him or to us?

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

            Parsing amanfrommars is a bit like seeing those stereogram thingies. You have to kind of absorb it as a single picture rather than as a series of words in a sentence.

            Having said that, I think El Reg would sell us out faster than a sheep in vacuum (I'm debating on whether it would require an initial inquiry though - no canary's round 'ere)

            1. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

              What you say about parsing is true and also about being sold down the river although I'm not sure if the speed would be equal to or greater than said referenced sheep. Have an upvote.

              1. Anonymous IV

                Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

                Puts me in mind of the olde saying:

                Parsing is such sweet sorrow...

            2. PNGuinn
              Go

              Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

              Think of him as a new form of super secure CAPTCHA.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

            Kind of like the Bursar from Discworld taking dried frog pills to hallucinate that he was sane?

          3. scoldog1

            Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

            Kind of like how the Bursar from Discworld takes dried frog pills to hallucinate that he was sane?

            1. A K Stiles
              Joke

              Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

              So scoldog1/AC which one of you took the dried frog pills this time?

        2. Midnight

          Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

          I heard that he moonlights as a speechwriter for a recently elected US politician.

          1. Curtis

            Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

            No, I can understand most of what AManFromMars types.

            I can't really say that for President Cheeto (and I voted for the guy)

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

              Were you another ABC (Anyone But Clinton)?

              I've heard it said (no idea if it's true) that around 15% of Trump voters were ABCs.

    2. Mark York 3 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

      He's our very own Captain Fang.

      http://yafgc.net/comic/0493-the-wrong-hands/

  16. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    First Class

    I've had dealings with fanatical HSE droids (haven't we all?) one of which brought an entire printing press grinding to a halt by 'testing' the light barrier while it was running at full speed.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: First Class

      Did he break it? Einstein would want to know if he did/will/had.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: First Class

        Har! Nice one.

        However... in several ways, yes she did. There was a big bang. The event was felt throughout the factory. Her dismissal approached lightspeed. The repair cost was astronomical.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: First Class

          " yes she did"

          Oops, I guess I just credited the female of the species with more sense than that - there's always one though, so my bad! :)

  17. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    Competencies - Good twist!

    I was guessing from needing the cert for going up on a roof, that H&S would have fallen. Never would have figured the boss in on the play...

  18. EL Vark
    Big Brother

    So, not just me

    Wow, geez! The Boss (and The Director) both being in on the game is something I was certain hadn't previously arisen, and given the overwhelming response appears that the senility hasn't quite hit me full on, yet. I'd ask how much rope they're willing to lend but the answer is self-evident: exactly as much as is needed to hang himself, no matter how provocative the pictures our BOFH has secreted in the vault. Anyway, that's what PFY's are for, when falls need be taken.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: So, not just me

      Not sure the Boss and the Director are actually in on the game. More like the company in general is aware the game is happening yet unenlightened as to it's rules. And happy to blunder into mission control at 5 to beer in the afternoon with some inane "issue".

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: So, not just me

      Wow, geez! The Boss (and The Director) both being in on the game is something I was certain hadn't previously arisen, and given the overwhelming response appears that the senility hasn't quite hit me full on, yet.

      Has happened before, way back in episode 3 (and I mean waaay back!)

      http://home.hit.no/~petterse/historier/index.php?idHistorie=52 :

      Two seconds later the red phone goes. I pick it up, it's the boss. He mumbles the username of the person I was just talking to, mentions something about a nasty mail message, and utters the words "You know what to do...", with the dots and everything.

  19. Maverick
    Thumb Up

    oh yes

    one of the best for a while Simon

  20. Baldy50

    Working at....

    A hospital a little while back, having spent plenty of time dragging data cables and clipping them to steel I-beams above the staff below, I'm as careful as chuff and only fallen once, from a two-stage scaffold, cos I forgot to level the wheels, the floor in this part wasn't good anymore.

    Did a cracking SAS roll as I hit the ground, not a scratch, bump or mark anywhere!

    So now getting back to the point, go up one step on a step ladder and you have to put a hard hat on, winds me up to the Nth degree.

    Working in a department store in north Manchester a long time ago me and the lads found a room full of old clothes and wigs on dummies in a dusty store room upstairs.

    So every now and then the staff would look up, cos we'd caught there eye crawling around above and we'd have dresses on plus wigs, old suits on with Elvis-ish wigs on and shit like that, staff and customers crying laughing at us while we toiled away, so funny, couldn't get away with it now though.

    I can understand the health and safety argument to a degree, cos some of the jokes I've seen played on fellow workers were very dangerous!

    1. Montreal Sean

      Re: Working at....

      I work for a large IT services company in Canada.

      One of our large clients (a major petroleum corporation) has some pretty strict H&S policies for contractors.

      I need to reverse the car into any parking spot at their petrol stations and put on a high vis vest and steel toe boots that protect the ankles before stepping out of my car.

      I need to wear the high vis vest inside the store while working on their computers. And put on cut resistant gloves if I need to touch any cables under the counters because there might be rough edges on things.

      We also have to fill out "work safe" forms detailing what we will be doing and every potential risk of injury we could encounter along with preventive measures to avoid said risks.

      Even if all we are doing is replacing a mouse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Working at....

        Sounds like P***o-Canada, mind you at S***l you need to wear gloves to use a knife or sharp objects to open a box.

        I have a week of different courses ahead of me for a new clients plant operations, not looking forward to that at all..

    2. Horizontal

      Re: Working at....

      I was installing wireless AP around the perimeter of a warehouse, in a safety cage on a forklift. The AP were only just above head hight but as step ladders were not aloud to be used in case of a fall, I was driven around all day by a FLT driver.

      Anyway, being the professional that I am, I had got most of the PPE on, hard had, hi-viz etc, everything but the full body harness, which was in a heap in the bottom of the safety cage.

      At one point during the day the H&S 'Git' came walking past and pointed out that I wasn't wearing the harness, and that I 'must' put it on or I will be removed from site. I smugly pointed out that the risk assesment that I did prior to the job states that the harness is not suitable. The 'Git' was still adamant that I wear it. I then pointed out the it wasn't suitable because the harness had a 3m fall arrester on and that should I fall I would most probably break my legs before the harness had any real effect.

      He didn't know what to say, but low and behold the following day there was a suitable harness in the cage.

    3. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

      Re: Working at....

      How appropriate! The left-handed guy with the hardhat and clipboard is also a cross-dresser.

    4. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Working at....

      So now getting back to the point, go up one step on a step ladder and you have to put a hard hat on, winds me up to the Nth degree.

      Want to stand on something the height of a table in NZ? Safety ropes or railings, or a safety line +harness. Ladder must be tied (which helps a lot TBH), and those "gaming laptops" (IIRC about a 21" screen) that were out a few years back I think qualify for heavy enough to require 2 people to carry them. As would any comprehensive dictionary (I think the cut-off weight is something like 4kg but can't think where I'd find that today). Flat roof that is big and strong enough for a car park? Must have safety lines to prevent you falling off it, even if you're working in the middle. Of course, a ramp up the side and markings that make it look like a carpark would be a different issue, coz then it would be a car park and not a roof so wouldn't need safety lines and harnesses.

      Great work for those who install safety lines, not great for the people who have to pay waaaaay extra for all this faffing around.

      (I spent some time working for a demolition company - you learn very quickly how to be safe in that work, you learn very quickly what building practices will get you dead fastest and how to deal with them, and you learn how to safely handle heavy stuff at heights, or you find work elsewhere - oh, and you also learn very that being tethered to any structure can be incredibly fucking dangerous if you need to move in a hurry!)

  21. ma1010 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Thank you, Simon

    Nothing like a BOFH to help make the day go a little better. Please keep them coming!

  22. non_hairy_biker
    Pint

    Marvelous

    Happy BOFH day one and all!

  23. Chris King Silver badge

    As one former colleague used to say...

    "Come on in, we don't bite... often"

  24. Chris King Silver badge

    IN CASE OF STUPIDITY, PULL HANDLE

    I was thinking along more the lines of an old, hollowed-out server on greased rails at the top of the rack, wrapped around a large lump of depleted uranium - and a spring-loaded release mechanism...

  25. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Is this a stealth rerun?

    I happened to note that the filename in the URL is "bofh_2016_episode_2"

  26. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Some years back, during my construction site manager days, on the building site of a new logistics centre I walked past a couple of guys working on one of the high racks. They had their hardhats and harnesses and safety cords - the works, as per regulations.

    Still, something didn't seem right and kept nagging me, so I went back... Couldn't put my finger at it. Went on... went back again, and this time I realised what it was: the guys were working 12 m above floor level. Their safety cords were about 15 m long.

  27. really_adf

    Prestige of an unflushed turd?

    Too generous. I'd go for unflushable turd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prestige of an unflushed turd?

      That's shorter too, as you'd call that a floater :).

      1. FeRDNYC

        Re: Prestige of an unflushed turd?

        On the ISS they call them "escapees" and they have to chase them down in zero-g. Everything about space is AWESOME, even defecation!

  28. FeRDNYC

    I hear they're doing amazing things with retinoids and androgen blockers...

    How many years can the PFY remain the PFY, before it's time to consider the possibility that his acne condition may require more aggressive medical intervention?

  29. GBE

    reduced fat lard?

    OK, I know it's a humor column...

    but is "reduced fat lard" really a thing in England?

    1. Midnight

      Re: reduced fat lard?

      Isn't that when you use half as much?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: reduced fat lard?

        Where proper lard is concerned, you never use less. More is always better.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: reduced fat lard?

      Yeah, it's probably hydrogenated vegetable;e oil with less transuranic fatty acids sold under the brand name of Sapphire and Steel.

      1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: reduced fat lard?

        & ".......may not be used where there is life"

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Repurpose some old Zip drives

    The ones that eject halfway across the room. With the discs removed from the plastic case and sharpened.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Repurpose some old Zip drives

      I used to have a 4mm dat drive that shot tapes 4 meters across the room and shattered them against the concrete block wall. Never thought about repurposing it as an intruder removal device....

  31. cd / && rm -rf *

    "The position itself has all the prestige of an unflushed turd and, as such, tends to attract the human version of the blowfly"

    The H&S guy at one place I worked was not known as the Work Prevention Officer for nothing.

  32. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Pint

    Grey area..

    Great one and I can agree 100%

    We have a shop floor area where you used to be able to stay on the grey lines and walk through without needing steel-toe shoes. This included the stairs well away from the shop area and any machinery. A shit fit was raised by H&S when someone was caught approaching the stairs with no protective gear because there was no grey patch in the last 15 feet leading up to the stairs. Numerous memos and meetings later, 15 feet of concrete near the stairs was then painted grey so people could walk on them with no steel toes.

    A month later the whole grey area concept (very aptly named I guess) was abolished and you needed steel toes everywhere on the shop floor.

    As a side note, I once poked myself in the eye with my safety glasses..

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Grey area..

      "As a side note, I once poked myself in the eye with my safety glasses.."

      Once did an installation job at a school which was still in the process of being built. Full PPE required to get to the work site, but not required once there. Thank fuck, because the only "injury" I got was fecking blisters from the brand new safety boots that hurt like hell. Spent most of the work day with just socks on my feet (which probably broke H&S rules too, but they were too busy playing around on the construction site). Took my shoes with me the the rest of the week and changed once on site.

  33. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    At a previous contract job

    when they dropped twelve hundred of us with no notice, they said I could keep my hard-toe shoes.

    Y'know, the ones I'd worn only once - to try on - in five years.

    They didn't seem surprised when I declined.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahh... Gotta love it...

    "And don't tell me," the Boss says, "even after all those years the hammer still looks like it was only bought this afternoon and is no doubt completely clean of fingerprints?"

    A light scrub with abrasive, eg sandpaper, a spritz with something acidic eg graprefruit juice, a wipe with a clean cloth to remove most traces of the substance used, a few days in the sun followed by sitting in the rain for a couple of days then more sun can really "age" metal tools. I'll leave the reader to spend a few minutes with Google to come up with way the fingerprint problem can be solved.

    Posting anon coz, well, someone might think I know this from nefarious experiences, not from a neighbour who was crap at caring for other's tools. Except for the fingerprint issue. I am sure that someone has some suggestions on Google somewhere, and someone even more stupid will use Google to search for "how to fake other people's fingerprints" from their home PC.

  35. Arachnoid

    What no mittens!!

    As a precautionary measure I would have insisted on them wearing fingerless mittens to prevent accidental insertion of digits into moving parts or high voltage electrical components ,,,,,,,,and a ski mask to prevent chill blains from the extreme cold of the server room.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This BOFH story reminds me...

    ... of the time we had just built a new server room for a government agency.

    The Safety Elf insisted on a visit and was allowed (escorted) past the door. He was furious that I wouldn't give him a keycard for the door(s). I pointed out that he had the wrong security clearance and he'd have to go and get a better one if he wanted a keycard, but even then I wouldn't give him one because he didn't have a need to know what data we processed and wasn't even going to be allowed into the outer sanctum. He spat feathers in impotent rage then demanded an escorted tour.

    Aisles of closed racks with nothing visible except the rack numbers, electronic locks and the door handles. He was, again, furious and demanded to see inside the racks. I asked to see his security clearance. He screamed that I had already seen it. "Yes, but I need to confirm that you have the appropriate clearance to see inside the racks." He showed me his pass. "Oh dear, you don't have the appropriate clearance to see inside the rack."

    He screamed again and tried to inspect what he could see. I told him I'd have to report his curiosity to the vetting team because they had a note that said any person showing "excessive interest" in the system was to be reported. I observed that it was possible that he'd have a note made on his record that he was trying to access systems that he was not authorised to see, which would preclude him from having a higher security clearance.

    He went purple and then cried a bit, shouting that he hated all the geeks and we were just out to get him. The first moment of clarity in his entire life, I reckon.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh joy...

    I miss working in a place where server racks were intermixed with 7500 V switch racks. You could hear the 60 Hz tone getting louder if you leaned on the doors of the high-V ones.

    And the correct action to leave those panels, should you lean against one, was to re-position your feet and then lean back away from it, instead of just pushing yourself against it. Bad things happened to those that didn't follow that simple procedure.

    Everybody was really respectful when entering that room, not leaning against any equipment.

    That gentle 60Hz buzz (like a swarm of angry bees, but louder) was the most effective deterrent ever devised.

  38. Dave Lawton
    Coat

    How did everybody miss this ?

    A 'gun range for the blind'

    Definitely a LOL moment there.

  39. Lost it

    Halt and Stop

    One of my Construction Manager best moments. The day I Red Carded the H&S advisor off my site...

    I had a site with the vehicle park about 30 yards away from the site offices. So I put a "Green safe route" between the two, mapped designated, signed and barriered.

    I got in to work one night to find the route removed by our H&S because of the risk.....

    So I looked at the signage, stayed sat in my car. When the worker bee's came in I told them to stay in their vehicles and do not approch the site under any circumstances.

    The client rolled up. As usual about half hour after everyone else, looked at me, walked over and asked what was wrong. So I pointed at the signs, told him that technically he was breaking the rules standing outside his vehicle, and until H&S sorted this out we would all be staying in outr vehicles. I couldn't do anything about it, my PPE was in the site office.

    So next our H&S weenie rolled up. Looked at me, looked at the rest of us and then walked across the car park to the site office in his trainers and jacket.

    Then he came back out to see what was wrong. By then I had informed head office that I was Red Carding him and removing him from site for a gross misdemeanor. And until someone rolled up on site with PPE that could go to the office and bring MY PPE to me so that I could get to the office we weren't going anywhere near work.

    I was told by him that I couldn't red card the H&S guy. I pointed out that as an F10 site, under CDM it was MY responsibility to mangle the H&S on site so yes I definitely could red card him and remove him from site. I also out ranked him having better H&S qualifications but there you go. Have to be honest I enjoyed it...

    A certain famous car manufacturing plant that was...

    The lads all bought me my coffee for the rest of the job. You know, I didn't care less if they sacked me...

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