back to article Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

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 …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge

    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...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Find The Dickhead

      "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...

      1. Spamfast

        Re: Find The Dickhead

        In my experience, the age of the morons is irrelevant. Plenty of 40- or 50-something neotonous twonks in engineering.

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Find The Dickhead

      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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Something orange has been proficiently exploded inside the microwave, entirely obscuring the little window; even with the door closed, it smells of fish"

    This happens several times a week in our office. It's not so much a smell of fish as of Scampi Fries in Gentleman's Relish.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Devil

      RE: AC

      Gentleman's relish sounds like a euphemism for spunk...

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: RE: AC

        Full name Patum Peperium The Gentleman's Relish

      2. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: RE: AC

        Gentleman's relish sounds like a euphemism for spunk...

        It was the title of a series of fuckbooks that did that rounds at my alma mater in the 80s.

        1. Spamfast

          Re: RE: AC

          Also quite a funny film - click here.

    2. MaltaMaggot

      I once saw a microwave heaved out a first floor window for just such an offence,

      Its contents, an Eskimo's lunch, still inside

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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)

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Glad my coworkers leave the toilets and kitchen clean after use.

    Same goes for me. If I want it clean, I leave it clean. Simple as that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You left out the key part - what happens when things are not left clean...

      i.e.

      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...

      1. mr-slappy

        Cow orker

        How does one ork a cow? Is this a euphemism or a real thing?

        1. bpfh Bronze badge
          Joke

          Re: Cow orker

          Cow Orking. Still legal in parts of Wales.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cow orker

          It's not discussed in polite circles...

          Some people you work with are co-workers. Others clearly ork cows. Amongst their other disgusting habits. I have no desire to find out more details.

          1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Cow orker

            Not in the boot/trunk - you discretely secrete it in the air vent intake under the bonnet/hood.

            That way when they smell it and turn up the air to try and clear it...

            Or I guess you could put a cow's ork in there if that floats your boat.

            1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

              Re: Cow orker

              Best if you cut the fish into two pieces and hide them separately - then when they find the first one they stop looking and think that they've fixed it and the smell will dissipate eventually.

            2. paulll

              Re: Cow orker

              Actually the correct procedure is to place the olfactory messaging device in the cabin air filter box, usually above/behind the glove compartment. Just toss the filter if it doesn't all fit, they need a new one anyway.

        3. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Cow orker

          "How does one ork a cow?"

          There is a chance that there is an instructive scene in the 1982 film version of Animal Farm, fairly sure Orwell had nothing to do with it.

        4. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Cow orker

          The term comes (AFAIK) from the old Dilbert newsletter (AKA Dogbert's New Ruling Class), along with the term "induhviduals", from back before Scott Adams went full Trump.

        5. David 18

          Re: Cow orker

          "How does one ork a cow? Is this a euphemism or a real thing?'

          I'm not sure, but I believe it's the end-game of the cow-tippers, when they are left undisturbed for a while.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "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.

  4. imanidiot Silver badge

    And the worst part is

    If YOU as the outsider ever so much as put a dirty teaspoon on the counter you'll be apologizing profusely in the all-staff meeting called just to shame you.

  5. Alan Sharkey

    But...

    We want to know who the culprit was and what actions you took .

    The story isn't over.....

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: But...

      Are you confusing Dabbs with the BOFH?

      1. bpfh Bronze badge

        Re: But...

        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...

        1. Alistair Dabbs

          Re: But...

          >> Alistair seems to have been getting his inspiration from somewhere in his recent articles

          I'll have you know I write about toilets every other week.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: But...

            & as soon as you mentioned that, I thought of this.....

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2OmmcsAZnw

            Icon because of the alleged spillage....

          2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: But...

            "I'll have you know I write about toilets every other week."

            Nice and regular.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: But...

              "I'll have you know I write about toilets every other week."

              Nice and regular.

              If that's your version of nice and regular, could I recommend more fibre in your diet?

          3. Fungus Bob Silver badge

            Re: But...

            "I'll have you know I write about toilets every other week."

            ....no shit

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: But...

          and Simon about twice a year...

          I have it on good authority that he will soon be making an appearance :)

          (Enjoy this if it helps your creative juices, Mr T :) )

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But...

      Suspect that they all dirty, lazy gits that justify themselves that they give jobs to the cleaners.......

  6. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Meh

    Inquiring minds want to know...

    "Er... 21 million passwords for 773 million email addresses?"

    How many times does password or password123 feature?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

      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.

      Users... sigh...

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

        Users ( the public) still aren't really aware of how many other people there are just like themselves. On the interwebs. Each thinks they are pretty unique individuals and no one else will have thunk of their clever little phrase.

        1. blokedownthepub

          Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

          In the UK national lottery 10,000 people pick 1,2,3,4,5,6 every single week

          https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/17/national-lottery-numbers-20-years-katie-price-win-jackpot

          1. tony2heads

            Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

            at least they won't forget their numbers

            1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

              at least they won't forget their numbers

              And it neatly deals with remembering their luggage combination as well...

          2. TheProf

            Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

            "10,000 people pick 1,2,3,4,5,6 every single week"

            And yet that sequence is no less likely to be drawn than any other six numbers.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

              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.

          3. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

            "In the UK national lottery 10,000 people pick 1,2,3,4,5,6 every single week"

            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...

            1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

              Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

              > 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. :-)

              1. jmch Silver badge

                Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

                "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?

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

              "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.

          4. John Presland

            Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

            The lottery is a voluntary tax paid by the poor.

        2. short a sandwich

          Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

          Induhviduals I believe is the Dilbert classification.

        3. John Presland

          Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

          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?

          1. doublelayer

            Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

            "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.

            Some recommendations:

            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.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

              "2. Use your base, but include a site-specific component to your password"

              "make this specific part difficult to identify"

              yup . that .

          2. Kiwi Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

            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.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

        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.

    2. bpfh Bronze badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

      "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.

      https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

        Obligatory Dilbert :)

    3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

      Also required reading:

      http://www.datagenetics.com/blog/september32012/

      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

      1. Herby Silver badge

        Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

        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.

        Oh, well.

        I don't remember how many people were in the staff directory, but as I remember it was over 1k, probably 5k.

    4. EnviableOne Bronze badge

      Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

      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 password

      then 111111 at 3 006 809 rounding out the top 5

      password 123 comes in at #467

  7. Caver_Dave
    Holmes

    Avoid the sh1t

    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!

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Avoid the sh1t

      I don't think that I have OCD - rather CDO (as the letters are now in the correct order!)

      I larfed...

    2. Spamfast

      Re: Avoid the sh1t

      The problem I often have working from home is that I find myself tidying the house/doing the laundry/anythng at all instead of actually working.

      I have to consult Wallace to knuckle down. ("Gromit! Stop prevaricating about the bush.")

  8. Giovani Tapini

    Yes, I have been to places like the one described

    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...

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Yes, I have been to places like the one described

      From Dabbsy's story my first thought was to the rest of the work they do there. (Undefined).

      Would I want to be a customer? No.

    2. A. Coatsworth
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Yes, I have been to places like the one described

      For some reason I find "congealed" to be the most disgusting word of the English language... it simply evokes utterly nauseating images in my mind.

      Probably the same effect the word "moist" has on some people (or so I've heard)

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: Yes, I have been to places like the one described

        https://i.ytimg.com/vi/sm6-WIrLKTI/hqdefault.jpg

      2. Graham Dawson

        Re: Yes, I have been to places like the one described

        Combine it with "moist" for added disgust.

        1. Spamfast

          Re: Yes, I have been to places like the one described

          There's a Colonel Melchet quote in there somewhere.

  9. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Most inconsiderate

    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.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Most inconsiderate

      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..

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: Most inconsiderate

        @lglethal,

        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.

    2. Martin

      Re: Most inconsiderate

      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.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Most inconsiderate

        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.

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: Most inconsiderate

          "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 :)

        2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Most inconsiderate

          "but instead we have those foul wood-burning stoves."

          Indeed. very middle class.

          I worry they are going to burn all the wood.

          Worst thing is , they think its a good thing , and that they are being green.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Most inconsiderate

        Before accepting a deployment to a site, I check if smok*ERS* are allowed on site.

  10. Crisp Silver badge

    "On average that your unique password is being shared by 35 other people. "

    Possibly. But I'd imagine the mode of that data is something like "Password12345!" and shared by around a third of the accounts.

  11. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

    "...a drug-crazed troupe of uncharacteristically violent Morris dancers."

    The Stick and Bucket dance?

  12. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge
  13. juice Bronze badge

    In a previous life...

    The politics around the kitchen area got to the point where we ended up with a CCTV camera pointed at it.

    Oddly, things drastically improved once the video could be rewound to find the culprits ;)

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: In a previous life...

      I have watched staff, equidistant from the sink and the dishwasher, dump stuff in the sink. I don't get it.

  14. Kez

    I would like to say I'm entirely innocent of leaving the office kitchen a bombed-out wreck, but when you're stumbling around in a haze searching for the first coffee of the day, like some primordial slime hunting for life-giving nutrients, who knows what actually happened?

  15. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Windows

    In Need of Positivity

    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.

    1. Jonathan Richards 1
      Stop

      Re: In Need of Positivity

      215 views in 3 years, 4 months and a day. That one went anti-viral, for sure.

  16. TheProf
    Devil

    Vyvyan Basterd

    "Which of you filthy bastards...? And how...? When...?"

    You'd better not need the toilet on the way home either.

  17. Franco Silver badge

    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.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Toilet Ninja"?

    What's a toilet ninja's preferred method for killing people? Something like this (NSFW) perhaps?

    Rather them than me.

  19. Elwood Red

    Polite notices

    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. Spamfast

      Re: Polite notices

      Two things really.

      1. Any notice that has to have "Polite Notice" written on it probably isn't!

      2. The correct wording is "Please leave this toilet in a state in which you would prefer to find it."

      1. Chronos Silver badge

        Re: Polite notices

        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.

  20. David Roberts Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Seen in the Postmen's Toilet (many years ago)

    Will the person with the three speed arse please engage bottom gear when using this toilet.

    Certainly painted a picture.

    1. gerdesj Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Seen in the Postmen's Toilet (many years ago)

      "Postmen's Toilet"

      Now there's a phrase looking for something to eupheme about. Probably be next year's Viz Annual title.

  21. DanceMan
    Facepalm

    Worst bathroom

    Men's bathroom at an arena after a paint rave.

    What's that you ask? A rave at which water based "paint" is sprayed at the audience. Picture them leaving at the end and trying to find a taxi that will take them.

  22. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Biblical solution to bathroom issue

    1 Samuel 25:22

    So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

    Translation: if he pisses against the wall, whack him!

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Biblical solution to bathroom issue

      Piss-eth? How's that a word?

      1. Chronos Silver badge

        Re: Biblical solution to bathroom issue

        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.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi

          Re: Biblical solution to bathroom issue

          I'm familiar with old English ... but I thought that piss was modern English.

          Thanks for the explanation!

      2. dajames Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Biblical solution to bathroom issue

        Piss-eth? How's that a word?

        It's, like, Old English, innit?

        I do, thou dost, he doth ... so: I piss, thou pissest, he pisseth.

        Back in the days when we all wrote in FORTRAN (before Fortran had discovered lower case) we all spoke like that.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi
          Happy

          Re: Biblical solution to bathroom issue

          Back in the days when we all wrote in FORTRAN (before Fortran had discovered lower case) we all spoke like that.

          Thanks for the laugh!

  23. Spamfast
    Flame

    Arrested development?

    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.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Arrested development?

      Agree, except some of the worst offenders in the dishwasher/leaving pots and packaging lying around dept have been 20 something girls, who, mostly still live at home.

      1. Spamfast
        Trollface

        Re: Arrested development?

        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.

        Discuss ...

    2. Spamfast

      Re: Arrested development?

      Apologies for the typo - it's Arschloch, not Archloch. (My other half would give me an F- for that!)

    3. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Arrested development?

      cleaners' job to clear up their shit

      I totally agree with you, but this?

      Although the guys at your place are clearly wrong, cleaners are called cleaners because they clean the gents' and ladies. Am I wrong?

      1. Spamfast

        Re: Arrested development?

        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.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Arrested development?

          "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.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: Arrested development?

            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.

            1. Waseem Alkurdi
              Thumb Up

              Re: Arrested development?

              these people also touch their mice and keyboards.

              And smartphones which you've been given to repair, and touchscreen queue kiosks at banks, etc.

              1. Caver_Dave

                Re: Arrested development?

                Touch screen to log in at the Doctors!

                1. Kiwi Silver badge

                  Re: Arrested development?

                  Ugh.

                  Glad I haven't been sick in a while!

              2. Kiwi Silver badge
                Coffee/keyboard

                Re: Arrested development?

                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...

          2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Arrested development?

            That's why I go to the toilets via a food outlet and pick up a handful of paper napkins.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The comments tell the story

    We're all far more excited about the workplace lunchroom than password security but it's just the same - password security? No worries mate, I can change it anytime. Lunchroom mess is no biggie - the cleaners will fix that later - it's not my problem.

  25. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    WTF?

    Grateful..

    ..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.

    1. Spamfast
      Unhappy

      Re: Grateful..

      Eeew!

      Thanks so very much for that image.

      I'm frightened to go into an office now!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grateful..

      Unicornpiss,

      ".. 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. :)

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Grateful..

      "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.

  26. Martin
    Unhappy

    I used to work...

    ...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.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: I used to work...

      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.

      Or possibly people using the toilets after having ate?

      1. Martin

        Re: I used to work...

        Either way, I think my decision to eat elsewhere is reasonable.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Should have put the lot on some sort of warning and made them clean the toilets themselves.

      The people to blame would have been found quite quickly by the people who were 'wrongly' accused !!!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Work Kitchens

    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.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Work Kitchens

      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.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Work Kitchens

      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.

  29. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    I anonymously bought our office a dish rack , to try to contain the crockery , and encourage a bit of actual washing.

  30. brian@themcgees.org.uk

    Sitting Down

    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.

  31. Kiwi Silver badge

    Sign..

    I recall one toilet I saw a while back with the sign "Please step closer. Its not as big as you think".

    I was only there briefly and did not know if it'd had the desired effect, though the floor did seem nicely dry.

  32. JulieM Silver badge

    Spoons

    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.

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