back to article BOFH: We're only here because they said there would be biscuits

"We just DID this!" the PFY snaps - before I can beat him to it. "Yes, but there have been significant changes to the company since then and these need to be reflected in the company branding, the logo, our mission statement and the website," the Director says. "There's going to be a meeting about this, isn't there?" I sigh …

  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Episode 2?

    Sadly the follow-up is likely to be the cancellation of the new servers, because manglement has blown the whole discretionary spending budget on paying a design agency to create the new brand. Which will probably look like an artistically-italicised cattleprod sticking out of a plastic duck.

    1. Dave Ross

      Re: Episode 2?

      or Lisa Simpson giving head...

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Episode 2?

      If we are going to go with fairy tale endings, it might as well be inspired by Grimm, Anderson, et al., rather than some watered down version in which the bright young sysadmin wins by dint of personality and pluck... unless pluck refers to what the crows enjoy at the end.

  2. Korev Silver badge
    Pint

    Pantome

    I love "Pantome"

    A pint for the Mr Travaglia ->

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Pantome

      A sort of "Pantome Menace"', if you will...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Pantome

      Is there a mime type for it?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you spying on us?

    How did you know we were told to order hundreds of web cams?

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Are you spying on us?

      And us. We're rebranding - AND being all "digitised". Heck, we've got Orifice365, Shouty sorry, Yammer and intranet applications that are about as quick as a duck swimming through concrete after it has set and as comprehensible a an EU directive

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you spying on us?

        We've been rebranded. They asked nothing, so they came out with an overused name, a silly "mission", and then used a ugly color combination for the company logos, etc... plus an esoteric font to be used for the company identity, that needs a license, which of course only the graphic designers looks to have...

        Replacing broken disks may take months, replacing the brand was immediate - MiniTrue wouldn't have been so quick.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Are you spying on us?

        AND being all "digitised"

        Digitised? That's so last millennium. It seems to be digitalised these days.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you spying on us?

        "digitised"? Is that what a doctor does when he gives you a prostate exam? Well, yes, that does seem quite the same as what happens to a company when it gets digitized. ;-)

        Anon Y. Mous

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you spying on us?

        My engineering group (25 of us) recently spent an hour brainstorming nouns and adjectives in preparation for the development of a Mission Statement.

        Well, not really so recently -- it was about 6 weeks ago. You see, company Management thought it was important for all the departments to have Mission Statements. To provide guidance and inspiration to the workers, presumably.

        Well, we're a group of mechanical, electrical and software engineers. We specify and develop products for our clients. That's pretty much our mission. Some of us have been doing it for upwards of 20 years, and we're getting quite good at it.

        Nevertheless, we're told that we need a Mission Statement. And something out of the many online generators won't do...I asked.

        We came up with several large pieces of paper with nouns and adjectives stuck to them. But no Mission Statement. You see, that's too important a task to be left to the workers. It requires Management knowledge and skill. The director of the group, and her chosen advisors are working on it. Should be completed "shortly".

        I'm not holding my breath.

        (But, should it appear, I will post it here)

        // Anon. Because you never know who's reading these...

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Are you spying on us?

      Well, you know how you decided to save money by buying discount webcams from "Cisko"?

      Well, how can I put this, they're all riddled with viruses and currently all of those webcams are mining dogecoin for some Chinese kid in a basement somewhere...

      If you ever want to have secrets again, I'd tip every one of those webcams into a landfill. Apart from the one in your boss's office perhaps...

  4. wyatt

    Sounds like our meetings/internal courses: where's the lunch/biscuits? None? Oh.. why are we here again?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      where's the lunch/biscuits?

      AaaaaCHOOO!

      Sorry.

  5. Isendel Steel
    Boffin

    pantome

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267770648_Pantome_an_integrative_architecture_for_speech_and_natural_language_processing

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: pantome

      "https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267770648_Pantome_an_integrative_architecture_for_speech_and_natural"

      That'll be one of the entries the PFY created from his phone to bump his fake site into the search engines.

  6. Chris Jasper

    Biscuits?

    People get biscuits?

    Bugger....

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Biscuits?

      People get biscuits. You don't qualify as "people".

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Biscuits?

        "People get biscuits. You don't qualify as "people"."

        The green biscuits ARE PEOPLE!!!!

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Biscuits?

      Cookies are for closers....

    3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Biscuits?

      Polly wanna cracker!

    4. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Biscuits?

      Crumbs!

  7. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    "Who's chairing it? You know, who's riding that pony off the cliff?"

    nice

  8. earl grey Silver badge
    Pint

    I laughed

    A good start to the weekend. Have another.

  9. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    Rebranding exercises and websites.

    Last time I dealt with a rebranding mess (being a Canuck is relevant) was "Our accents keep coming up on the english pages!"

    Layup done my CSS. Calling with locale set to en_CA_fr into an i18n package that only existed in $(apacheconf). No idea how apache worked, or the point of locale or internationalization. not one clue. Why I ask(ed) would one accept application *configuration* advise from a *DESIGN* house?

  10. Dave K Silver badge

    More spying?

    "I'm betting that 20 of the laptop cameras will have been destroyed by people trying to ensure they can't be snooped on by the invisible internet demon."

    Simon's obviously visited our office recently. It's really quite staggering how many old laptops we get back with a piece of gaffer tape stuck over the laptop's webcam...

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: More spying?

      Given that multiple stealthy webcam activating nasties exist and corporate espionage IS actually a thing, I don't get why corporations even BUY laptops with a built in webcam. Granted, mine's just internally unplugged instead of gaffer taped, but I get the sentiment. On top of that SOME corporate manglements simply cannot be trusted to not use a webcam against it's own people. Even if it is against the law.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: More spying?

        Sophos actually seems to be selling those long thin post-it notes as branded webcam covers.

    2. Number6

      Re: More spying?

      I'm a bit more careful with mine. A small square of cardboard behind a piece of black tape so I don't get glue all over the lens. Standard fitment for laptops in my possession. Even the desktop webcam spends most of its time hanging from its cord, pointing at the base of the monitor stand where it can record the steady accumulation of dust particles.

    3. DuchessofDukeStreet
      Paris Hilton

      Re: More spying?

      Less the invisible internet demon, more the revoltingly visible PHB...

      One of my former PHBs had an obsession with hosting team meetings by video rather than phone conference (we were scattered across a few countries so face to face was once a year or so) which he also liked to have on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons (a decent BOFH would never have permitted this inclusion into beer o'clock but we weren't even trainee BOFHs). (He also repeatedly suggested that we should actually work permanently with the video camera active on a webex session so that we could just look up and engage with the faces of our colleagues even if they were hundreds of miles away).

      However Friday was the day that a lot of folks worked from home so you got all sorts of backdrops from offices to kitchens. Then we got a young female trainee who clearly still lived at home and her backdrop was teenage girl's bedroom with the uncomfortable combination of Hello Kitty bed sheets and discarded underwear. I suppose some people would pay good money for that view but most of us found it rather awkward and inappropriate.

      Video conferencing died a death when one slightly eccentric team member firmly stated that as Friday was his WFH day, it was also his "naked" day and he wouldn't consider dressing for meetings.

    4. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: More spying?

      My laptop camera is only enabled when I am actually going to use it, otherwise who knows who could be watching me fire up the communicator to the mothership?

      Nice to see openware for Windows (Floor to ceiling edition) back in use, especially as there seemd to be no gingernuts on offer with the tea.

      1. Marshalltown
        Pint

        Re: More spying?

        Until you catch the webcam popping out of the lid to watch the key board as you type in your passwords, your biggest worries are mainly about being caught napping or someone noticing how often you seem to be AWOL. And, just for laughs you can make faces at the camera, rude gestures, and if the spy can read lips, more fun. Now the lass attending meetings from her bedroom, well either she should worry about her webcam more, or she has alternate income streams.

        This episode really makes me appreciate my old boss. He was odd, left pr0n up on other people's pc's and forgot an at least quadruple-X magazine in the [female] office manager's scanner once, started an inhouse plague international computer viruses until we destroyed his infected floppy disk, but by and large, really kept out of the way.

    5. Dave 32

      Re: More spying?

      Ah, but what y'all don't realize is that, if you stick the right kind of gaffer tape over the built-in web-cam, it causes it to function like an x-ray camera, and allows it to form images of people under their clothes.

      Of course, it has to be the right kind of gaffer tape, such as this stuff I'm selling for one hundred dollars per piece. ;-)

      Anon Y. Mous

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: More spying?

        I used to tape over the webcam, then I moved on to disable the drivers.

        Now I just drill a hole in the fucker.

        ->> Goggles, safety first kids.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    video conferencing

    We actually have video conferencing and webcams on every desk, which makes for much hilarity when the person behind does something noticeable. But this happened not a very long time after it was discovered by senior management that trying to develop your own version of IP phones and put them on your own internal proprietary (non-IP) network was not an entirely good idea.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: video conferencing

      Using VOIP: the modern equivalent of crackling paper next to the mic and whispering 'what was that, the line's really bad!' whilst omitting the odd consonant along the way.

  12. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Nice one

    The (rather inevitable) ending, that is, where nice == brutal

  13. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Quicklime

    I'm surprised Its abandonment by Apple wasn't a sufficient reason to cancel the videoconferencing idea - or perhaps an excuse to order up the remaining stocks.

  14. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Get up-to-date

    Surely all you need is a "Smart Logo" I have no more idea of what that may be than what differentiates any other "smart" device from its dumber brethren. Thermochromic ink, perhaps?

    1. Steve 114
      IT Angle

      Re: Get up-to-date

      When they pointlessly turned our well-known acronym into lower-case everywhere, nobody caught on. Then they had it moulded into violet glass discharge tubes, so people woukd notice. That's 'smart'.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't Facebook's "new" workplace tool give you this wide ranging video conference ability?

    1. Kaltern

      Sure. Along with free 'data management'...

  16. dmacleo

    PFY rocks

    needs a raise.

    perhaps just upgrading his acronym to MBA (My Best Assistant) would do?

  17. dvd

    So company stories are a thing, then? I thought mine thought up that wank on their own.

  18. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Full stop

    "Brand Promise and Value, Recognisability and Position and finally the Company Story. Once we have that, we feed that into the design process to come up with a logo, banner, stationery elements and then at the very end we have the website restructure and rebranding."
    I would have ended the meeting right here and taken the "Expert" to the window without further delay.

  19. EveryTime Silver badge

    I am so glad that pantome.com is

    not redirected to a NSFW midget scat bondage site.

    Admit it.. we all checked it out.

    1. Twist Rolarian

      Re: I am so glad that pantome.com is

      That's likely the .gov version of the site.

    2. MisterHappy
      Coat

      Re: I am so glad that pantome.com is

      Is there a SFW midget scat bondage site?

  20. fijired2

    This...!

    "Like magic you mean?" the PFY asks. "I've heard good things about Avada Kedavra."

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: This...!

      keep away! That Avada is a real bitch!

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: This...!

        Apparently you've got to really mean it (who knew!?).

        Watch out for back-fires.

  21. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Actually a trifle surprised

    that an ambulance was required, I was expecting an unmarked van or some version of a council bulk waste collector.

    Ambulances do carry the non-survivors, usually without the lights and sirens (dont want to wake them up) but it involves official recognition. Unless the BOFH has a deal with the driver/crew - which is entirely plausible.

    Probably spend more time analyzing BOFH episodes than on work

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would be more believable...

    if the boss had simply delivered a rebranding which is of course 90% digital nowadays, to the BOFH team AFTER all consultation. You see, they never tell us nuffin' round here. They'd have their all company consultation but IT would have been left out because for some strange reason unless the business IS IT, IT don't seem to be considered part of the business.Most of this rebranding seems to go on in secret until they've spent £400,000 got as far as three identity concepts IF they put those out for consultation at all rather than delivering a fait accompli. We've had it. 200 year old established branding being thrown out because it's old fashioned, to be replaced with something a chimpanzee and a box of crayolas came up with. Bins, benches, cast iron railings, mosaic floors, etched glass windows, a dozen street signs, road names, tube maps, council owned on-street directories... the ripples of changing a 200 year old educational establishment's name aren't so much ripples as a bloody tsunami. And all because an international focus group research study paid for by a marketing consultant as a free market research activity showed that there was confusion in the existing branding of a university as a college and that "the current branding undersold the establishment in the global student marketplace". Of course they would fix that for an initial £80,000 fee, plus an ongoing advisory relationship and change management transition package of £180,000 a year, over the next 10 years and going forwards.

    The consultant in the story got less than they deserved.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It would be more believable...

      "They'd have their all company consultation but IT would have been left out because for some strange reason"

      The reason isn't that strange. IT know that it's all bollocks and are apt to say so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It would be more believable...

      unless the business IS IT, IT don't seem to be considered part of the business

      At the company for which I work, IT IS the business, and no, we don't get considered either when it comes to the pointless branding.

      AC, for obvious reasons.

  23. Berny Stapleton

    Cost saving

    I never really would taking the BOFH to be cost saving, why wasn't the bloke implementing it rehired under a BOFH umbrella company, run till the last day till marketing decides that the project does suit the company ethos and it's disbanded with the BOFH getting a 4x penalty rate for the project because of cancellation before delivery written into the contract?

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Headmaster

      Re: Cost saving

      You're thinking of the next consultant hired to complete the project after this one was carted off.

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