back to article BOFH: Tick tick BOOM. It's B-day! No we're not eating Brussels flouts...

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "He's getting a bag out of his car," the PFY says, continuing his running commentary of the bloke that's parked in the short-term consultants' parking space a couple of floors below. "It has got coloured balls in it." "Aaaaaahhhhhmmmm, maybe he's doing that sad de Bono thing* with the …

  1. Joe W


    ... would boost my morale no end now.

    1. paulf Silver badge

      Re: This...

      Whereas this comment has made my day and has been added to my growing armoury of phrases to describe work place idiots. IMO it's up there with Sea Gull Management, a growing problem at "paulf and co" at the moment which is made all the worse because they no longer fly off after shitting on everything and just keep making a lot of noise. Also there is no clean up of said shit any more which means it just corrodes things.

      "Now the Boss may not be the sharpest fork in the toaster..."

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: This...

        "Now the Boss may not be the sharpest fork in the toaster..."

        It happened again!

        You learn / hear a new phrase , and the next day there it is again, out of the blue!

        there's gotta be a word for that phenomenon

        1. TomPhan

          Re: This...

          Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

          Basically some people were talking about Baader-Meinhof [as in terrorist group] and then heard lots more people talking about it, and the phenomenon was named.

          And the way it works you'll now start seeing more references to BM.

    2. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: This...

      I used to work for a computer games company here in sunny Cambridge.

      They planned on having a slide from the 3rd floor too. Never happened. Given the appearance of 50% of all games developers (myself included by association) this was probably a good idea.

  2. Alister Silver badge

    Ah Simon, we've missed you.

    And how appropriate that your victims participants should be disappearing out of the window feet-first...

    Happy Brexit Day!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed a trick...

    ""Aaaaaahhhhhmmmm, maybe he's doing that sad de Bono thing* with the hats?""

    "You mean giving all Apple users a free album that they they delete and complain about the wasted space?" queries the PFY.

    "No, the other one"

  4. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Cracking start to the weekend

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    Poor Marksmen

    There are still 3 Wellness consultants that are well, well? What's up with that? Are the BOFH and PFY off their game?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Poor Marksmen

      Never heard of sequels?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Poor Marksmen

        Yes, many BOFH sequels are great, but I don't see three minor actors from one episode making the jump to the next episode. Simon has dotted the T's and crossed the I's on this one, once the slide slid. All red shirts (TOS reference!) would be in limbo until next week if this was a cliff hanger ~ sequel

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          Re: Poor Marksmen

          Making a jump? Perhaps.

          Making a jump into the next episode? Perhaps not.

          Making a slide onto the roof of Mike's car? Probably.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Poor Marksmen

          A victim spared is a favour owed…

          I wonder how many rounds are in this set of favours. Also, don't forget they're all from HR and probably more than happy to, ahem, lose the odd report for harassment…

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Poor Marksmen


            Maybe it was just me, but I thought the story states they are all employees of the company, except Mike.

            Hence why only Mike became a victim.

            1. A.P. Veening

              Re: Poor Marksmen

              I am rather surprised the head of HR survived (or at least his demise wasn't mentioned).

              1. VikiAi Silver badge

                Re: Poor Marksmen

                He saved his skin (this time) by listening to wisdom.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Poor Marksmen

              It wasn't just you. The other commentards must have been laughing too much to read properly.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Poor Marksmen

        If they're back next week I owe you a beer ----->

    2. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Poor Marksmen

      They are still well, but they are also still on the 4th floor with the BOFH.

      I predict two will make it to the 3rd floor. Not counting Mike.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Poor Marksmen

      I think there is an important point here.

      In an ideal world, all four of the Wellness consultants would have done their best imitations of pigeon droppings onto the consultants car.

      In a more pragmatic world, getting rid of the leader and leaving the remaining participants very skeptical of the positive benefits spreads the message to a far wider audience. Plus you have three witnesses to back up the story that Mike cut corners and suffered the results.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Poor Marksmen

      Those three are going to fade back into whatever hole they crawled out of. After a bit of a rest, they will find some other company to ply their snake oil. Will they be back in BOFH Land? Would you go back?

    5. M.V. Lipvig

      Re: Poor Marksmen

      Nah, the other three insultants won't know what happened to Mike until they see Mike approaching from below at 9.81 m/s2.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Poor Marksmen

        "approaching from below" ??

        Have the reversed gravity for the duration then? Could make the slide more interesting I suppose.

  6. Dave K Silver badge

    "I like the way you think. We could use GYM signs because they'd be cheaper to print than KEEP OUT."

    Pure quality! Now, where did I put my label printer?

  7. Maverick

    "Now the Boss may not be the sharpest fork in the toaster, but even HE knows that these ideas are about as appetising as faecal transplant pizza "

    absolute gold !

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      The "not being the sharpest fork in the toaster" insult is in my opinion already worthy of a gold award. It's genius.

      I'm still laughing, grin - a wonderful way to head into the weekend.

      1. Myvekk

        I'd put it up there along with "Who is this clown?"

        A humiliating insult that implies that, not only is the person you are referring to, a clown, but they are also so useless, that you don't have any idea who they are, or why they are there in the first place.

  8. Danger Mouth

    My OCD is firing up

    Fantastic to have the second BOFH of the year, but any reason the URL says it's from 2018?

    On a related note...

    We now have fruit delivered every day - not too bad, but you'd better get in quick before all that's left are sour green apples. F*cking bike horns and wall mounted sirens to announce that someone is about to give a talk next to your desk about how wonderful their life is now that they found they can use either hand to scratch their ass. Huge yoga balls that make you look like you swallowed gum and farted. Motivational posters that make you want to slash your wrists, along with posters explaining how and when you should drink water. Contemplation booths that are just full of dust. The people who come up with this b*ll*cks must be stopped!

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      "stopped"? I think, defenestrated is the word you were looking for.

      1. Antonius_Prime

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        You mean "Solutions to "Solutions to problems we don't have"", right?


      2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        Defenestrated? More like "There has been a terrible workplace accident", or was that a windows installation problem? No wait! It was a database normalisation warning!

        Great episode, long overdue, well worth the wait however, and it's nearly beer o'clock too!

      3. cob2018

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        I think that "stopped" is a reasonable option. In this context, I prefer the interpretation of "stopped" as the sudden deceleration experienced at the end of a fall from a 3-4 story slide.

        Just my $0.02 (US) worth on a fine spring Friday.

    2. A K Stiles

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      I was going to suggest that you clearly work in my office, except we don't get the fruit basket, or the yoga balls and the whole water toot isn't on posters but merely spills from the mouths of the slack jaws flapping away in the middle of the large open plan space.

      If they really cared about my wellness (or my productivity) they'd give me some walls of my very own (or at least our team) to block out the extremes of idiocy that shower us constantly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        Ah, you haven't quite worked out yet that anyone standing in the middle yapping isn't near their computer watching its display move all by itself. It's amazing what a machine can produce when its officially and securely logged in user isn't there to watch the screen.

        A few "accidentally" sent emails will either ensure they won't stray form their machines, are escorted out of the building or are collected inside by the local constabulary with grim determination. Just make sure you have a betting pool going..


        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: My OCD is firing up

          A company I used to work for had a mailbox set up whereby you could use an unattended machine and just send a blank email from it to the mailbox.

          The net result was a company wide email with an ASCII picture of a choo-choo train with the text 'Security Hole - coming though!!' from the aforementioned user who'd left their machine unlocked.

          Needless to say no-one did it twice :D

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        Walls? Never going to happen. Walls cost money and also hide you from the bosses. We've come full circle. Some decades ago, everyone worked in "bull pens". Then consultants advised "cubicles", then offices. But offices didn't work for manglement... money and not knowing what you were doing and all that. So, we're almost back to bull pens.

    3. Danger Mouth

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      Oh and we really do have a box of brightly coloured balls sat in the store cupboard.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        Now combine the worst of HR admins with project managers and you get the coloured balls, Agile number cards, sprint planning magic magnet boards and the rest. I find that eventually they run out of useless things to say and slink off back to their office, presumably to play with their balls and mutter about getting even with Digital.

    4. paulf Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      @danger mouth, "Motivational posters that make you want to slash your wrists," I suggest a gradual but complete replacement of these with the fine wares available at See if the manglement and hollistic numpties in the HR department (or whoever put the originals up) even spot the difference.

    5. hmv

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      "Contemplation booths that are just full of dust."

      Ship one over here, and I'll move my desk into it (even if I have to bring a saw in to make it fit). Could do with some peace and quiet.

      1. My-Handle

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        At my place of work, there is a cupboard under a set of stairs that currently contains a noisy server. The server is shortly to be moved to a new home. It was jokingly suggested by a few colleagues that I could be moved into the cupboard to replace the server, as there's just enough room for a small desk and a chair.

        The joke kind of backfired on them when I agreed with great enthusiasm. Four brick, slightly soundproofed walls, a door (which I would ensure could be locked) and not enough space for anyone to come in and bother me...

        Sounds like heaven

    6. MJI Silver badge

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      Fruit, sour apples

      Horrid things, I like sweet reddish apples, especially Gala. Other apples are best fermented.

      Oranges, need to be easy peel or it messes my keyboards.

      Now to noise, if that came in to my office I would be on strike until removed, I reckon half a day before done.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        Gala? Cox! Accept no substitutes.

        1. Peter Ford

          Re: My OCD is firing up

          I'd refuse to eat anything but Pink Lady - with luck the cost will bankrupt the project...

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      "posters explaining how and when you should drink water"

      At the other end of the process, we've got posters telling people how to wash their hands.

      Oh, and our counselling service was outsourced to the lowest bidder. I've never had to use it but I guess it's a tape loop that says "You know, you ought to pull yourself together or you might get sacked".

    8. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      We have so far resisted, so far we get boxes of fruit every week and the only posters up show if you need to drink more when comparing the colour of your urine.

      I unfortunatley can't get a rebellion going as the BOFH, only adjusting the air con by 1 C seems to make half the office can get a lynch mob going.

    9. A.P. Veening

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      You only got OCD? You don't know how lucky you are. You should try CDO sometime ;)

      It is about the same as OCD, but the characters are in alphabetical order as they DAMN WELL SHOULD BE!!!

    10. This post has been deleted by its author

    11. Myvekk

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      Quietly start replacing the 'motivational' posters with ones from

      Maybe this one at first:

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My OCD is firing up

        I used to manage the tech support team in an internal IT outfit. As services were competitively tendered we ended up employing a vary nice woman as Marketing Manager, unfortunately she started a campaign to 'improve morale'. As the leader of 13 cynical, argumentative and quite aggressive BOFH's' and PFY's (I am an ex mainframe sys admin), I had to respond when she started to send out daily morale boosting quotations, this was before despair .com and was text based. I started sending out daily demotivating messages, unfortunately my little group of trolls shared them with their friends in the other teams and after a few weeks she came to me in tears asking why I was trying to undermine the good work she was doing. I must admit I felt like a complete shit but at least the happy emails stopped appearing shortly afterwards.

        In those days we had a secure office for tech support, I always though it was to prevent the unwary from entering the office by accident.

    12. Danger Mouth
      Thumb Up

      Re: My OCD is firing up

      I see they fixed the URL :-)

  9. Steve K Silver badge

    When was blamestorming invented?

    ..1953 concept of brainstorming

    ...closely followed in 1954 by the concept of the follow-up "blamestorming" meeting...

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: When was blamestorming invented? puts the origin of 'blamestorming' as around 1995. Coincidentally right at the start of the dotcom bubble.

      1. FozzyBear Silver badge

        Re: When was blamestorming invented?

        Interesting, I would have pegged blamestorming about the time the first time an employer had 2 or more employees

  10. wyatt

    How did they not managed to end up in the pub?

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Too much fun on site - hey a new management technique for retaining staff......

  11. Chris G Silver badge


    It seems to me that windows are a crucial element in streamlining modern management practices.

    Plus the only regular updates necessary are opening and closing (opening is optional).

  12. ecofeco Silver badge


    Seriously I'm getting old and haven't a good out loud laugh in weeks.

    Thanks! Cheers!

  13. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

    "Or a shepherds pie!" the PFY adds unkindly.

    Thanks Simon, now people are looking at me across the office wondering why I'm making strange, struggling-not-to-laugh-out-loud type noises. The office first aider seems to be preparing his special Heimlich manoeuvre glove!

  14. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    "So did thalidomide," I counter. "Tell me, Mike – does your car have an alarm?">

    Classic, I could predict what was going to happen

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy Friday

    BOFH goes full psycho again! They even implemented the fruit thing in the office a few months ago.

  17. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Workplace Accidents and How to Engineer Them by Simon Travaglia et al.

    Just got the latest edition!

  18. Tim99 Silver badge

    You spoil us

    Something for the Weekend, On Call, and BOFH - All within the last 3 hours.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: You spoil us

      Who? Me?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I work for the NHS and we have no truck with that Wellness crap - it's demotivational all the way!! (Although we do have one Consultant who owns a manually-pushed lawn-mower and keeps wittering on about Mindfulness...)

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Luckily....

      Manually pushed lawnmowers are useful in IT. They strengthen the parts of the upper body you need to close a slightly carpet bulging car boot.

    2. A.P. Veening

      Re: Luckily....

      "Although we do have one Consultant who owns a manually-pushed lawn-mower and keeps wittering on about Mindfulness"

      Tell him to mind his own business.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least the windows open...

    Right now that would be heaven...

    For the record I work for a ftse 100 company in a 6 floored building with no working aircon (save for comms rooms on their own system) and a heating system that can't be turned off (outside temp 6 degrees.. Inside 28.5... Somewhat uncomfortable) and not a single window we can open (oh and a promise it'll be fixed in the next month. Damn things been wonky for at least 2 years so I'm not holding my breath).

    Anon because I'm not saying which company.

    1. Patched Out

      Re: At least the windows open...

      Guessing your company is easy - you must work for the same company that I do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: At least the windows open...

        If you guess the city I might confirm for you...

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge

      and not a single window we can open

      "There's no problem that can't be solved by the judicious use of high explosives"

      Windows won't even resist an office chair or, even better, a desk bike used as a battering ram.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: and not a single window we can open

        You'd be surprised how tough windows are in tall buildings - they are designed to stop people 'accidentally' falling out. Office chairs bounce off normally hitting someone other than the thrower!

    3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: At least the windows open...

      If my employer didn't ensure adequate ventilation, I'd be bringing my glass-cutting gear in and making an opening myself.

      A neat, defined gap in the glass is less likely to result in being fired than smashing the window (and having to re-do it each time they replace it)

    4. VikiAi Silver badge

      Re: At least the windows open...

      I like my office (I have my own room! Woot!!) cooler than the building central AC likes it, so I installed all my battery chargers directly under the thermostat box.

  21. SVV Silver badge

    Office slide

    Could be good, but the couch at the bottom feels a bit too dad at the disco for the hipster generation. In order to go full Shoreditch, it should of coursse deposit its users in the office soft play area.

    These motivational courses can actually be used to effectively increase productivity in the workplace, but only if you send the management on them for 3 days every week so that everybody else can get their work done without pointless annoying interruptions.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Office slide

      it should of course deposit its users in the office soft play area

      In the ball pit made from lots of those stupid balls?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Office slide

        Replace balls with broken glass and you might be onto something.

        1. VikiAi Silver badge

          Re: Office slide

          Loose tangles of razor wire are harder to claw ones way out of.

      2. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Office slide

        Make sure you get a couple two year olds to pee in the ball pit, for that authentic experience...

      3. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: In the ball pit made from lots of those stupid balls?

        The only appropriate ball pit for the end of a 20m slide in a Shoreditch office would be bowling balls, as any fule no.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Office slide

      How many hipsters do you think would survive their first day in the BOFH environment?

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: Office slide

        If things hold up, about just as many as your (and my) downvotes ;)

      2. Siberian Hamster

        Re: Office slide

        Easy question to answer - None of them!

  22. Chris King Silver badge

    Plausible deniability

    What brand of dandruff shampoo was that again ? Asking for a friend...

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Plausible deniability

      Medication, not shampoo. But you're probably safe with saying Lithium or ritalin.

  23. stiine Bronze badge

    "So did thalidomide,"

    Thanks Simon, I just fell off of my chair laughing. And as a thalidomide baby, cheers!

  24. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Cant upvote this enough

    and you owe me a

    1. stiine Bronze badge

      Re: Cant upvote this enough

      After this many BOFH installments, you should know better than to consume beverages whilst reading... here, have another...

  25. baud

    I wonder what the BOFH and PFY were doing in a wellness meeting since it didn't look like it was going to impact them, except perhaps in an attempt to grab an empty space from them for that gym space.

    Still it's gold

    1. VikiAi Silver badge

      They were going to install all the fruit baskets and GYM signs, since IT obviously has nothing more important to do!

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      It did have an impact...

      Just not to them directly.... And in a more literal sense.

  26. TRT Silver badge

    One does wonder if Simon has been to my building...

    You see, it happens to be constructed over one of London's infamous "lost rivers". These waterways once criss-crossed the capital and over time have been culverted, then capped over, then built-on-top-of and then built-on-top-of again and again and forgotten to all but a few people who, say, have ever been inquisitive enough to have ventured behind that locked door in the sub-sub-basement (you know, the one next to the plant that's below the server room and which has to be checked semi-annually) and found a locked, modern trap door which can be lifted out to reveal a concrete lined pit, at the bottom of which is an ancient wooden trap door which, with a liberal application of WD40 and elbow grease, has opened into a pitch black, water filled river. Or "Well" as we used to call them.

    Any "Wellness" consultant should, upon making any initial fact-finding inquiry into the state of "Wellness" in the building, be taken and SHOWN the state of the wellness in the sub- sub-sub-basement. Very closely indeed. With extreme prejudice.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: One does wonder if Simon has been to my building...

      So you just need to put a sign on the door, saying "GYM" and wait for the splash?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: One does wonder if Simon has been to my building...

        Plunge pool --->

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fruit baskets

    We had them introduced by a new HR bod. Delivery once a week, and if you want anything out of it, grab it within 10 minutes or forget about it.

    Then the building guys realised that the mouse problem the building already had but was more or less under control had got a shit load worse.

    So now, the staff take the fruit back to their desks, only for the building staff to come round in the evening and chuck away anything that hasn't been eaten, which is most of it because you're not going to eat 5 apples in an afternoon.

    But they can't get rid of the fruit because of all the bragging about how much they cared about us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fruit baskets

      We don't get fruit baskets but there seem to be plenty of fruit cakes employed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fruit baskets

      At least you got real fruit. They filled our baskets with the waxed stuff!

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Fruit baskets

        "If life gives you lemons....

        ..ask to speak to life's manager!" (Cave Johnson)

  28. sisk Silver badge

    Honestly the fruit baskets aren't a bad idea.We get them occasionally and you really only have to beat one person - who will take the whole danged thing so that she can take it home. Maybe I'm just lucky to not have to work with a bunch of inconsiderate twits or maybe the people delivering them know and thus deliver a lot.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Honestly the fruit baskets aren't a bad idea."

      They do them at our head office, if the emails are to be believed. But then I'm one of the regional remote staff, part of a team of 50 scattered all over the UK. For administrative purposes we are classed as based out of the HQ. We all get included in all the site-wide emails telling us it's national pizza day, don't forget to get your free slice, national ice cream day, come get a free ice cream and all sorts of other regular "promotions" that we get to read about but never experience. I'm still not quite sure if I should be pissed off or glad to have dodged the bullets.

      1. VikiAi Silver badge

        That sounds like here, with the occasional spare cake that anyone can have a slice of. On the worksite across the other side of the city where I am stationed on my own (generally worth missing out on the cake, to be fair).

        I occasionally buy a cake at the supermarket on the way in, put it in my fridge here, and email-announce that anyone who wants a slice is free to come over and get one.

        Then I eat all the cake as, apparently, no-one wants to make the 80-minute round trip to get a slice!

        1. Joe W

          I would. On company time..

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        John Brown (no body)

        Both .

        And make sure the grievance is taken out and waved at management regularly..

  29. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    00-LA-LA What a Swell Idea to Behold and Ponder on Tempting with Engagement ......

    ...... for SMARTR Sorties in LOVE*

    Cat Houses in the Neighbourhood would certainly surely Energise the Enthusiasm of Many and, no doubt, an Almighty Few too. :-) Of that you can be sure. The pleasures made available to satisfy and energise are so heavenly and absolutely empowering.

    * the Live Operational Virtual Environment available with Current Communications Channels being Reprogrammed and Updated for Brand Spanking New AIMachines which Populate Worlds with Human Input and/or Alien Output?

    What/Who Supplies your Future? Anything/Anyone you can talk to to offer your version for inclusion and rewarding with priceless gifts of gratitude. :-)

    Do you have a Future Pusher Man or/and is All CHAOS** and Practically Virtually Unknown to you?

    **Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems

    1. Cliff Thorburn

      Re: 00-LA-LA What a Swell Idea to Behold and Ponder on Tempting with Engagement ......

      Wouldn’t it just be easier to explain what they actually want amFM?, isnt that the basis for any agreement?

      Perhaps a cameo in Plan et of the Ap es could be on the cards, nothing would suprise one anymore!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 00-LA-LA What a Swell Idea to Behold and Ponder on Tempting with Engagement ......

          see, doc, you're engaged without even requesting a cv or a role of habits ;-)


      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Alistair Silver badge

      Re: 00-LA-LA What a Swell Idea to Behold and Ponder on Tempting with Engagement ......


      Of course, it does somewhat depend on *what type* of cat you populate the houses with. Pretty Kittens and Cute Cats with caffe latte seem to sell well just about anywhere.

      Lions and Tigers and Meercats, not so much.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 00-LA-LA What a Swell Idea to Behold and Ponder on Tempting with Engagement ......

      hello, speak please :-)

      you lock the door

      and throw away the key

      there's someone's in my head

      but it's not me

      okey-dokey, to make things a shiny bit clear, both sun and moon are welcome. a thoughtless/thoughtful walk is better by the moon, and while yet it's a lonely travel, many would agree with this humble assumption

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 00-LA-LA What a Swell Idea to Behold and Ponder on Tempting with Engagement ......

      "Reprogrammed and Updated for Brand Spanking New AIMachines" - temptation and unrest are certainly the key drivers here, there and everywhere... probably ;-)

  30. Herby Silver badge

    Fruit baskets NO!

    Donuts YES!

    Say in nice Homer Simpson voice!

    Oh, and probably cheaper as well, and less messy too.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Fruit baskets NO!

      Daily donuts used to be SOP at HP. It was widely thought that stopping the supply was a sign of worse to come. It was.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Fruit baskets NO!

        Was that HP in Bristol? Went for interview there once, long ago. When I was a twentysomething grad, and there was no 'net as we know it today. R&D work looked great, but I couldn't have faced that airless, windowless office.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Fruit baskets NO!

          "Was that HP in Bristol?"

          That was HP world-wide AFAIK. It included attendees on courses as I found by being on an HP-UX course once. I think it must have been a Dave and Bill thing.

        2. ICPurvis47

          Re: Fruit baskets NO!

          I spent much of my apprenticeship at Ford's Dunton Research Facility. The Apprentice Training Department was slap bang in the middle of an enormous open plan office, broken up by tall filing cabinets to surround each of the individual departments. There were windows, but they were so far away from AppTrg that you needed a stepladder and a pair of binoculars to actually see them, and no light ever had the temerity to reach us in the gloom. On the other hand, there were perks, once you'd escaped into the Development Labs building, lots of lovely toys to play with, and the management actually encouraged you to try to break the kit in an effort to find out how long it would last out in the real world.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fruit baskets NO!

          I know that office... IIRC it had eco-friendly natural air-con... except half the floor air vents were opened up leaving holes in the floor because people were all so hot!

  31. swm Bronze badge


    In the research labs I used to work in "they" decided that we needed mind-numbing music piped in to all of the offices and labs. I watched one scientist open up the control panel and started cutting random wires until the musak stopped. At this point "they" realized that scientists had tools and weren't afraid to wield them. The music stopped permanently.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Musak

      I wouldn't mind it so much if the occupants were allowed to specify what was playing. (i.e., put in a speaker system, and a couple inputs so people can plug in a radio or an media player or something).

      That's practically a requirement for any of the workshops I occupy for any good amount of time. (the ability to play music or noise or something, that is)

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Musak

        I would. There are some environments where you could get a lot of benefit from music, but there are environments where I could get a lot of despair from having to listen to someone else's music while I'm working. When I want to work to music, which I do at times, I put on some headphones. The headphones do a lot better of a job making sure other people aren't forced to listen to my music than the job they do insulating me from music others are playing on speakers. I've also seen competitions where multiple people attempting to win the bigger-jerk award fight over whose input is going to the speaker.

        I understand that there are some jobs where you can't wear headphones. Of course, if you're alone or everyone else also wants to hear the same music, more power to you. Otherwise, please keep in mind that I get annoyed with high volume and/or repetition, and I usually have screwdrivers.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: Musak

        You want to listen to music while you're working?

        Get some headphones. There is zero excuse to involve anyone else in your fetish.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Musak

      "started cutting random wires until the musak stopped"

      If the feed is via the usual flat twin driving a pin through the pair shorts out all the parallel-fed speakers. Snip off the protruding ends of the pin and it's hard to find exactly where the short is.

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Musak

      Have an upvote for the story. Anyone who shuts up muzak in a place of work (or any public place) deserves respect.

      Wonder if I could do that at our local Sainsburys, who have taken to inflicting it on us this year? I've been taking the cowards way out - just going to Lidl instead for regular staple stuff - but that's not ideal 'cos it's significantly further to go and not a nice walk. Hmmm ...

      I seem to recollect a news story a few years back: a trade union won a case on behalf of shop workers that muzak in the shop was torture. I *think* that was with reference to christmas crap, but it should apply equally at other times if they won't shut it up. My faint memory also thinks it may have been in Austria, but isn't sure. I just recollect it as a story in which a trade union made itself positively a hero!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Musak

        Upvote for Lidl. I only go there occasionally but it's a haven of peace and quiet compared to most of other supermarkets. I don't think it's just a matter of no muzak either, there seems to have been some acoustic treatment that dampens general noise levels.

        1. Scroticus Canis

          Re: Musak - acoustic treatment that dampens general noise levels.

          It's called stock on the shelves. I find that lately the traditional supermarkets have problems keeping decent stock levels. JIT deliveries have now become Just To Late.

    4. FozzyBear Silver badge

      Re: Musak

      They tried something similar years ago at one company. However their (HR pukes) choice of music was along the lines of Kylie Monigue and Rick Ashley. From 9.30am to 5pm every day (Hr Never got in on time). I lasted 3 days before I started hunting down the System and replaced the feed with a healthy selection from the IT department. Heavy metal, Death metal, Industrial, you know, easy listening music.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Musak

        After Uni, at a loose end, I became a trainee croupier. They played their bloody ( Christmas time) carol tape over and over again rotating in a delightfully cheery way that had me on the edge of mass murder. I was very relieved when I was finally booted out ( careless incompetence, nothing to do with the Muzak).

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: Musak

        I spent long, long years of my life working for a company that insisted on playing music in the office.

        I tried many, many approaches to shut it up. At one point I replaced the entire music library with differently-labelled versions of Never Gonna Give You Up, so it no longer mattered what anyone chose from the playlist, they got rickrolled anyway.

        Unfortunately they had backups. Eventually I gave up and left, and to the best of my knowledge they're playing their crap still.

  32. earl grey Silver badge

    Thank you

    Well done. Please sir, may i have another?

  33. MrDamage


    Good. Down the slide, one window each.


  34. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    BOFH is baaaaaack

    We missed you!!

    PS when’s the next book coming out? Even on Kindle the current ones are getting all dog-eared...

  35. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    "episode 2" ?

    Why is this "episode 2" ?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: "episode 2" ?

      Because it follows episode 1, perhaps?

  36. SoaG

    Wikipedia, El Reg? Really?

    Since when does The Register link to Wikipedia, instead of mocking it?

  37. TomPhan

    Business Chemistry

    Just completed the "test" from that and going on a days training next week. If only rolls of carpet and quicklime could be used without repercussions.

  38. MJI Silver badge

    Christmas music

    And do you know what is worse?

    Covers of Christmas music.

    A few genuine is nice, but 5th time today of Fairy Tale New York or Merry Xmas Everyone it gets to grate.

    But a shitty Sladeless cover of Merry Xmas Everyone, brings on the killing feelings.

    And I like the song! But requires Noddy to sing. Was fun in August 81.

  39. E_Nigma

    Ah, the good old onion bhajis! I was afraid Simon quit them. Good to know all is well.

  40. perlcat

    Great writing.

    I could hear the thud/car alarm going off in my mind. Is that great writing, or what?!?!

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