Find The Dickhead
It's always the smug smf who looks like he came late to the party, Who? Me? with that cheshire cat smile...
This place is a mess. No, worse than that: it's a disaster area. I hesitate to use the analogy "it looks like a bomb hit it" in this lively era of mischievous politics and religious fascism. Besides it's not an appropriate description of the sight before my eyes. No, not bombs. Wild horses, perhaps. Possibly a tornado. Or most …
"Nah...it's the 20-somethings that went out for afterwork drinks the night before and have congregated in the kitchen for free hot drinks (all the money went on drinks last night, so no hipster coffee today...) and leave the mess to mommy or the cleaners...
The only thing worse than finding the mess is hearing the conversations at the time of making the mess."
-- From diary entry from an old, bitter and twisted IT git. Chapter 6 - the force becomes stronger. Oh, that's not the force, you're becoming a psychopath...
From the detail I would hazard a guess that the workplace might well be Sky's West Cross House on the A4. The "kitchen areas" resembled Soviet-era biological warfare breeding grounds and the toilets (if you could get into them) required the use of above-military-grade gas masks to enter. I used to favour spraying a cloud of Dettol air freshener in front of me as I went into their loos. Not surprisingly that office is only used by contractors as the permanent staff have their swanky new offices in the Sky Hub, complete with in-house Waitrose and M&S stores.
I still remember the early microwave in the sports and social club (remember them?) room with the label "Vince is not allowed to cook kippers in here"
Vince also liked to buy unshelled prawns and his van stunk of prawns because he never seemed to finish off the last few and the driver's footwell was crunchy underfoot with the shells... and you couldn't get in the passenger seat because of all the other junk
(for some strange reason no one wanted to use his van while he was off on holiday)
You left out the key part - what happens when things are not left clean...
If you work in a hot country where people drive to and from work, cow orkers who leave the lunchroom smelling of fish can be discouraged from doing so by borrowing their car keys, and placing a fish discretely in the boot/trunk of their vehicle. Ideally before they go away on holiday for a week or two.
Following this, said cow orker will likely avoid fish for sometime.
Works best with management/sales people as the list of people that may have carried out such an act will be extensive...
"Glad my coworkers leave the toilets and kitchen clean after use."
Same here, at least back when I worked in the same place everyday. The one time I went into the kitchen and found a mess I walked back out and said, in a loud voice, "who the hell left this mess in the kitchen? You should be ashamed!". Never happened again.
Nowadays, I'm in other peoples offices everyday and can't say I've ever seen disgusting kitchens or bogs apart from one council depot where the only bogs near the office are the ones used by the mechanics and drivers. Not shitty, or piss-in-the-floor messy, just...dirty/scruffy looking.
Difficult really, as Dabbsy is here once a week, and Simon about twice a year...
Then again, I did notice that Alistair seems to have been getting his inspiration from somewhere in his recent articles. We will know when we see the article about the client getting pushed down the stairs, stuck in a lift over a long weekend or getting home-made ECT in the unlit underground car park...
I once had a client who thought their "completely original" idea of using "letmein" as a password was extremely neat. Not only had she told me it in the first place, she then took a bit of convincing as to why it wasn't quite as neat and original as she'd thought.
But you'd have to share with more people. That being said, it's no less rational than people who buy (more) on a rollover. As if they think that winning far more money than they need isn't enough to squander a couple of quid, but winning far far more money than they need is.
> To be fair, there's an equal chance of getting that combination as any other combination. Of course you would end up sharing the winnings a bit more widely...
In 2009 the Bulgarian lottery drew the same numbers two weeks in a row. There were more winners the second time around because some people choose the previous week's winning numbers, each thinking that no one else would do that. :-)
"In 2009 the Bulgarian lottery drew the same numbers two weeks in a row"
So what are the odds of that happening completely randomly??
And what odds if the random numbers were computer-generated, that there's a "Who, Me?" story behind it rather than the computer randomly generating the same numbers twice in succession?
"To be fair, there's an equal chance of getting that combination as any other combination. Of course you would end up sharing the winnings a bit more widely..."
There are also significant number of people who use signification dates such as birthdays for their picks so all their numbers are below 31. You have less chance of sharing your win if you pick at least a few numbers over 31. No doubt there are entire websites out there dedicated to telling people how to pick the "best" lottery numbers.
With increasing age increasingly damaging my memory, I try to limit the number of passwords I have to use on a variety of devices. The password I use where I judge security needs are modest - no money involved - is composed of the characters of a name in the language of country B combined with a date of relevance to country C; I am a native of country A.
An honest request for advice: how secure is this password? How great is the risk that I may have to spend a day changing my password on some 200 sites?
"An honest request for advice: how secure is this password? How great is the risk that I may have to spend a day changing my password on some 200 sites?"
This password is not secure. Actually, that's misleading. The password itself is probably fine, depending on length; I assume your name and date combination push the length up, and it is likely not used by others. In that, you're fine. Your problem arises because you use it on multiple sites. This is where it is bad, because it only takes one site to store it in plain text, hash it badly, or have someone persistent check a lot of combinations for them to break into all your other sites. If that happens, it is likely going to happen before you know that one of the sites lost their password database.
1. Use a password manager to not have to remember each password. Allowing that to create passwords will ensure that they are strong and unique to each site. You only have to remember the master encryption password to unlock that file. If you routinely have to log in on other devices with no access to yours or you mistrust password managers, you can go with another option, but this is really quite a good option.
2. Use your base, but include a site-specific component to your password. An important note, make this specific part difficult to identify; if it's just the name of the site, it won't stop someone for long. This isn't as secure, but it will protect you from a lot of things.
3. Periodically change the passwords. If you are going to have passwords that are insecure, make sure that they aren't valid for long. If it takes a hash cracker a few weeks to get the database and get your password from it, your password could have been changed before they can use it. Forcing password changes is usually a bad idea because it leads people to use insecure ones, but if you keep having passwords of similar security but change them often, you'll have better insulation against attack.
4. Be vigilant. Keep a list of sites where you have this insecure password system, and if you ever see that one of them is insecure or has been breached, change the passwords immediately.
Again, I'd really suggest using option 1 unless you have a specific reason you don't want to.
With increasing age increasingly damaging my memory, I try to limit the number of passwords I have to use on a variety of devices.
I work it like this.
Bank, email, and server logins - as strong as I can make them, stored securely on PAPER until I can remember the, changed on a semi-regular basis as needed. Either random tool to create one (repeated till I get a fairly easy to remember password) or created using a unique pattern each time.
Sites like El Reg and a few other forums I care about but it won't matter much if they get cracked - created at initial login, only changed in the event of a clear need.
The rest - Completely random password remembered long enough to get it into the login. Usually I'm using 10minutemail.com to create the account and even if a 'real' address is used, I don't expect to return in a hurry. If I do return, there's the options of creating a new account or using the password 'reset' function. I sometimes use a pattern involving part of the site's name and some other stuff, but of late that's dropped in favour of 'I don't need to ever remember this'.
Also sometimes I save the password in the browser, but only for sites I don't care about.
Someone described their login process to me as "I type user1 user1" at which point we both realised that half of that was meant to be the secret password. I believe I promised to forget this, obviously I haven't - but I did change the name in this telling.
"password": This password has been seen 3 645 804 times before
"password123": This password has been seen 116 847 times before
Of course, this is over the whole HIBP database from all loaded leak, not just the latest one.
Also required reading:
not as unique as you thought, eh?
Once worked at a place which required a 6-digit PIN to make long distance calls (it was a while ago)
Several thousand people worked there, each with their own, unique, PIN. Do the math. Bored? Pick a number, then start counting up.
The PIN code was changed to 7 digits shortly thereafter.
// Probability and Statistics textbook in the pocket
I worked a University where they did this as well. They had 5 digit codes. The unfortunate part was that they (at that time) used DIAL telephones, and it took a while to get thru.
I don't remember how many people were in the staff directory, but as I remember it was over 1k, probably 5k.
not sure aout the 73 million, but in troy's entire database ( 551,509,767 passwords)
password has appeared 3 533 661 times
pasword123 has appeared 114 262 times
123456 has appeared 22 390 492 times and is the most common one, followed by
123456789 at 74.8 million
qwerty at 37.5million
then 111111 at 3 006 809 rounding out the top 5
password 123 comes in at #467
This is one thing that I do not miss, now that I work from home. (I do miss office banter - as my colleagues are spread very thinly around the world, most don't understand the nuances of banter in a foreign language!)
However, I do find that I cannot really settle down to work until the family have left for work and school, and I can tidy the house.
I don't think that I have OCD - rather CDO (as the letters are now in the correct order!)
Icon choice: just hover over it!
It's not what I would call "clean" dirt like a factory environment, this is environmentally hazardous, deliberately created, and usually malodourous laziness.
Where you don't even want to sit on the chairs because you cant tell if the unidentifiable stains on the chairs are still moist, and the toilets smell so bad that you would rather hold on till bursting than actually use them. Indeed using the floor may actually make the place cleaner...
Using the kettle you find it contains a layer of discoloured slime that may be from accidental ingest of soup powder or simply congealed rust, the mugs are filthy and the sink is so full of dirty items you cant even see if clean water may drop from the tap. Bearing in mind that you could only reach the tap while wearing gloves of a length that a farm vet would envy...
I wonder if they treat their customers the same way they treat their own office...
After a bout of misbehavior I was sentenced to serve my time each day in an a barely illuminated, unventilated, 4-person cube farm. This had a vault door with an aggressive alarm, if open for more than a few seconds the security forces would be called out, so I received replenishment air in differentially small volumes.
And lo! My office mate could not be bothered to leave our nest to go outside to smoke. She merely covered the smoke with really cheap perfume. I walked out every day smelling like I'd spent it in Vegas.
I think, considering the cramped conditions, you were well within your rights to call that person out.
Having once worked in a similar situation (minus the national security implications and blessedly only for a couple of weeks), we laid down some ground rules at the start, and it made the entire experience much more enjoyable for all involved. Saved the smoker a packet as well, since being forced to go outside for his smoke, meant he cut back. At least until the after work trip to the pub..
A very sensible approach, and I hope you and the smoker had many excellent pints.
I should have negotiated a better solution and doing so would have helped my colleague's health out a bit as well. Looking back I was too "boot" - fresh out of the service plus too immature and insecure to challenge an older employee higher on the food chain.
I went through my professional phase where I think I would have handled this well, and delightfully have now reached the age where I can be a full on BOFH if I'm bored.
At one job in the eighties, I was the only non-smoker in a room with five smokers. I was a contractor with a three-month contract. After two months, I had to break my contract - I couldn't bear it any more. Only time I ever did that.
That was the only job I've ever been in where smoking was allowed in the office. After that, I used to check before joining a company whether smoking was allowed.
Also in the 80s, I found myself in a big open-plan office. Twentysomething altogether, including about five smokers. And those days smokers had the upper hand.
I took the initiative, and found other places to take my work. One of those was outside on a table+bench in the grounds of the offices. That turned out to be unforgiveable.
Later in the '80s and 90s I suffered smoke by stealth. One company had me in another open plan office: notionally non-smoking, but smokers had offices off it, with doors opening into it, and would also wander through trailing their filth. In another, it was individual offices, but large quantities of smoke would be borne in from neighbouring smokers through the air conditioning.
Nowadays we've beaten the tobacco smokers, but instead we have those foul wood-burning stoves. So instead of a room becoming foul, a whole street suffers. And it contains many times more carcinogens than tobacco smoke or diesel.
"Nowadays we've beaten the tobacco smokers, but instead we have those foul wood-burning stoves."
In the late 1970s my gran used to get me copies of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science, the American magazines. I'm pretty sure they used to include articles and ads featuring wood-burning stoves with catalytic converters. A quick web search suggests those are still available, perhaps someone ought to tell Michael Gove. (Incidentally, those magazines also ran interesting articles about solar energy and energy-efficient houses (often earth-sheltered).)
Having to work this weekend on a tender for a SIEM solution so enjoying the banter of commentards for a bit of light relief :)
Each year there are more and more assholes on Earth. Sometimes I believe the ones for next year are already there.
The 'Me first and don't give a fuck about the others' attitude seems to be more and more common, I see them everywhere, it's probably a clear sign I'm going to have my member card of the Grumpy Old Grandpas Club.
For the ones sensible to the sweet and delicate music of Soulfly, here's a cover of a Soulfly's ancester Sepultura song which is IMNSHO to discover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h25Qw9s1jU.
Not a story about kitchen filth, but more about (someone else's) OCD so just about relevant.
Much like Dabbsy I was visiting a client and was told that I was free to help myself to the hot beverages from the kitchen. One morning I found a large queue outside the (admittedly tiny) kitchen area and an ungodly smell coming from it. Turned out that one of the DBAs had a fondness for microwaving his morning bananas, which was the cause of the smell (and if you have never smelt hot bananas it is utterly utterly horrifying) but he was also the cause of the queue as he had filled the 3 litre kettle to the brim and boiled it, but would not allow anyone else to take any water from it until he had finished "cooking" his bananas as they wouldn't leave him any water.
Next morning the MD was one of the people in the queue and told him in no uncertain terms that he had the future choice of holding the kettle to ransom, or poisoning the office with awful smells but both would not be tolerated again.
I used to work a lot in railway depots and sometimes the toilets there were pretty much as described by Dabbsy.
Whenever I now enter a workplace gents and see a sign that says "please leave these toilets as you would expect to find them" I always wonder where I will find the time and energy to smear crap over every surface and steal all the bog rolls.
1. Any notice that has to have "Polite Notice" written on it probably isn't!
You miss the point of those. It's so the illiterate will read it as "Police notice" as if the rozzers don't have better things to do than concern themselves with some petty little arsecrack's passive-aggressiveness and nothing whatsoever to do with minding one's Ps and Qs.
Polite Notice We noticed you noticing this notice. It has been noted.
The one on my garage door simply reads "Daihatsu." I think that's fair warning that I have low range, difflock, a sturdy chain, an early start, no inclination to waste public funds dealing with anti-social halfwits and zero tolerance.
Dost thou not pisseth ere the full light of the morn? Dumpeth thou also but a short while hence from imbibing thy caffeine, for t'would be most unseemly should thou shittest thyself ere reaching thy place of perpetual toil.
Obviously you weren't subjected to "The Bard" and his ramblings which seemed to infect the translation of the heatstroke-addled rants of various ancient conmen. Thankfully, both Pastafarianism and Discordia dodged that particular conceit; the FSM would say "I'd really rather you didn't turn up to work smelling like an open cesspool." Eris wouldn't care either way.
Pretty much every engineering office in which I've worked has the problems described by Mr Dabbs.
Basically it's because said offices are still largely occupied by unreconstructed male Archlöcher who've spent their entire lives being cleaned up after - first by their mothers, then their girlfriends and eventually by their wives. (Any woman who refused the unpaid cleaning lady role will of course have been dumped for being an unreasonable bitch.)
So they've hardly ever done the washing up, put the crockery away or loaded or unloaded a dishwasher. (The number of times I've found both clean and dirty stuff in a work dishwasher is ridiculous.) And they've never, ever in their entire lives cleaned a toilet or even used the toilet brush after punishing the porcelain.
Point out that mummy/wifey doesn't follow them to work and it's not the cleaners' job to clear up their shit - metaphorical and literal - and they treat you like you're some sort of weirdo - often with suggestions that any man who cleans up after himself must be some sort of loser or closet homosexual.
And they wonder why I'd rather shoot myself than socialise with them out of office hours. Jeez.
Too true. These days teenage/tweenage girls can be as gross as their male counterparts.
Same issue though - always had someone cleaning up after them.
Which gets us onto the issue of pathetic parents who run around after their kids as if they're still toddlers.
Okay, Poor wording on my part, I agree.
The cleaners are there to clean but within very specific parameters - they don't have the time and aren't being paid to put up with the sort of filth that many so-called professionals leave behind themselves in the toilets or to clear up dirty crockery littering every surface or repeated major spills in the kitchens.
The toilet brush in each cubicle is there for the user to clean up his own fouling during/after flushing. It's not just there for the cleaner. Simiarly, the washing up liquid, sponges, paper towels etc. in the kitchen are there for us - the cleaners usually have their stuff on a trolley.
A cleaner is a co-worker and should be treated with the respect any colleague deserves. Sadly, nerks with white collar jobs often don't see it that way.
"the sort of filth that many so-called professionals leave behind themselves in the toilets"
...and take out with them. I drive. A lot. So I use motorway service most days (just for a pee mind, they look clean but I'd rather not sit down in there) and the numbers of blokes who walk out after both #1's and #2's who either don't even approach the sinks, or at best wave their hands near the water (no soap) is staggering. On weekdays, during working hours, outside of holiday periods, the majority are in sharp suits, well groomed etc, with shot and piss on their hands (or at least the bacteria associated with it)
I assume it's the same in the Ladies, but I wouldn't know.
with shot and piss on their hands (or at least the bacteria associated with it)
Apologies in advance. I know some of you haven't thought of this.
I try to know which places have the toilets with an open door between the wash basins and the rest of the world, so I don't have to touch any part of the door to open it after I have washed my hands. There's no part of the door/handle that hasn't been touched by someone just after they used the toilet, nothing safe.
Failing that, I at least look for those that have paper towels and a waste bin near the door where I can use the towel to open the door then toss it in the bin. And failing that I'll carry the towel to another nearby bin, or go elsewhere.
Icon - these people also touch their mice and keyboards. I often carry my own, or alcohol-infused tissues.
And smartphones which you've been given to repair, and touchscreen queue kiosks at banks, etc.
I changed jobs, no more touching filthy phones for me! (well, except my own?).
I may have to stop reading this thread though. Gonna end up OCD myself soon, unable to touch anything in public...
..that our toilets at work have auto flush. But having used public toilets that do not, I'd say the most disturbing is when someone leaves their crowning achievement for all to admire, but there isn't any toilet paper in evidence in the bowl. These are the things I think of when I take a seat somewhere and it's still disturbingly warm from the last occupant.
".. and it's still disturbingly warm from the last occupant."
One of the many reasons that I *NEVER* use Public Transport/Public toilets.
Spent 10 years suffering every indignity possible from passengers *and* staff on buses & trains.
So grateful when I could use a car and get expenses back to cover costs, even when I had 3-4 hrs a day commuting just to/from the main office.
People can be *disgusting* when they really try !!!
Now I would only use Public Transport if I could wear a 'HazMat' suit with its own air supply. :)
"I'd say the most disturbing is when someone leaves their crowning achievement for all to admire, but there isn't any toilet paper in evidence in the bowl. "
You never dropped a load that doesn't flush on the first go? Everything else goes, but the captains log is still waiting another entry. No, I always check, just in case another flush is required.
...for a large company who had a multi-story building in London. It happened that the office I worked in was on the same floor as the staff restaurant.
It wasn't long before I realized that the toilets were generally pretty clean on every other floor except ours. Ours were generally pretty rough - a common trick being peeing without lifting the seat. (For some reason, we didn't have any urinals in the men's loos.)
As far as I could see, the main difference between the toilet users on the various floors was that ours were mainly used by the restaurant workers.
So I went out to lunch, rather than using the canteen.
After a recent reorganisation, and number of departments were moved into shiny new buildings. One lot turned up in the building and on the floor I work on, last November.
After a few weeks, the cleaners refused to clean the gents on our floor, the cubicles were so badly fouled. Site management locked the cubicles, and anyone needing a crap had to go on... I mean *to* another floor. This resolved the issue, and after a few weeks the cubicles were reopened. Funnily enough, the interim offices the new lot had been in had had the same ...erm... issue.
Where I used to work we had 'kitchens' for drinks with a couple fo dishwashers and cupboards full of mugs (when they had been returned and cleaned). Often one of the dishwashers would die and then it was merely several months before a replacement came, but that is just big stupid corporate crap.... Anyway, the kitchens got messy every day. A few people could not put a dirty mug in the dishwasher and dumped them on the work surface. The place then looked a mess and then everyone else would follow suit because no one could be arsed. We'd have 200 or so dirty mugs. Sometimes on nights I would spend an hour unloading and loading the dishwashers and generally tidying the place up - it was far more satisfying than "work". Fellow workers would pass by and cheerily say - "good work" etc and within a few hours the place was a mess again. I'm not particularly tidy or clean myself but I'd get sick of it an need something to keep me awake. I think it was that people might put a mug in a dishwasher but not set it running or know when to unload it or just not have time to do it. I also think some staff just thought it was below them. I don't think we could pinpoint any particular group of staff.
I think it was that people might put a mug in a dishwasher but not set it running or know when to unload it or just not have time to do it.
The problem I've seen is that the first people putting stuff in don't want to start it because then others have to wait. It should be the last person to put something in.
But the last person to finish their break is often some entitled twat and "it's not my job, that's servant work" or words to that effect.
A bit of signage could often help. But then, those types with a huge sense of entitlement seldom read such stuff. Again, it's for the serfs, not them.
It only takes one lazy sod to dump a mug or two on the work top. After that everyone else follows suit, until or unless a responsible minded staff member clears them. But there's inevitably an inverse rule working. The greater the number of mugs the lower the chance of any decent hearted fellow worker putting them in the machine. Because at a group over about 5 or so everyone is going to look at them and say "bugger that for a game of soldiers" and quite possibly even add their own to the mess.
This is very timely as we have just been having this same conversation in our office. Although it certainly doesn't reach the kind of crudiness described, it has been "mentioned in dispatches" recently. However, a number of years ago I was junior management (and programming, troubleshooting etc so not a PHB) working in an office in Northern Ireland which was having this kind of problem. I went in to the toilet one morning as normal and had to come straight out again. I went to my desk and immediately sent an email to all the male employees in the office (and the managers) which read "If you can't hit the toilet, sit down. This toilet is shared by clients and is a complete disgrace." I would like to say that it got cleaned up (or that I helped) but it was too long ago. I do remember that I got a number of good responses from management who had been thinking the same thing but couldn't bring themselves to do anything. It did improve for a while though.
In my workplace kitchen, there are many "tea" spoons, yet only one of them has a sufficiently stiff handle to withstand actually squeezing a teabag. The others are fine for stirring and measuring, but their handles have the consistency of solder.
Every time I come to make a cup of tea, the decent teabag squeezing spoon is invariably covered in horrible sticky brown blobs of coffee. (I sometimes drink coffee, but I have never managed to make such a mess of the spoon.) And when I place clean, dry spoons in the coffee and sugar canisters, for the purpose of measuring out ingredients without cross-contamination, somebody seems to think they were put there so they could take the spoon out and use it to stir their coffee.
Every. Single. Sodding. Time.
The only thing keeping me from sending an e-mail to all staff is the thought that I will be the one who gets called the whiny b***h.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019