back to article Dedicated techie risks life and limb to locate office conference phone hiding under newspaper

It's Friday, and so it must be time to remember the days when standby tech support staff were blessed with nerves of steel in today's On Call. Slip a prawn on the barbie and crack open a cold one for this tale of derring-do from a correspondent we shall refer to as "Jim". At the time, Jim was pulling 24-hour shifts as tech …

  1. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

    ALL my calls from shouty men

    have demonstrated that they are silly men.

    I have yet to be shouted at for either a genuine ***k up caused by myself, or a genuine emergency...

    It may happen one day...

    1. MiguelC Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

      True bollocking should always be given in a low tone, in a as calm and restrained manner as is humanly possible.

      1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

        Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

        One of my Father's favourite lines:

        "When I'm shouting at you, you're safe. It's when I go quiet that you know you're in danger."

        1. VonDutch

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          Another good one:

          "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed"

          1. EscapedTheInsanity

            Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

            Oooof - flashbacks to when my mum found out I was smoking regularly.

          2. Chris King Silver badge

            Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

            When someone uses the word "disappointed" in the manner of Darth Vader, THEN you know you're in trouble.

            1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

              Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

              I like it when he loses his shit in a staff meeting and chokes a colleague.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

                Because he finds the colleague's lack of faith disturbing?

            2. J. Cook Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

              Or Jon Baptist Emanuel Zorg.

              "I am... disappointed."

              Mines the one with the Multi-pass in the pocket.

            3. Steevee

              Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

              Nope, when someone uses the word "disappointed" in the manner of your mother, that's when you know your're in trouble.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          "When I'm shouting at you, you're safe. It's when I go quiet that you know you're in danger."

          Or rogersimon10's dad fetching the jumper cables...

          Ref if needed: https://www.reddit.com/user/rogersimon10

        3. Montreal Sean

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          My father was the same.

          If he was shouting, he was mad but you were ok.

          If his voice suddenly lowered, you'd better be running away already.

          My wife tells me I'm the same. Something about the look in our eyes.

          1. Mandoscottie
            Facepalm

            Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

            lol phew not just me then?

            apparently, when i get an angry, the right eyebrow joins in with the lowered voice......

            id imagine like cluseos boss in the pink panther movies, I dont know, never seen it (my eyebrow), im usually seeing red mist by then :D (very rare event)

      2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

        Not blinking whilst delivering said bollocking is useful as well.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          And doing a Michael Caine and just staring at one eye only. He said it makes you seem more powerful than you are, on camera at least :)

          Michael Caine: On Acting in Film, Arts, and Entertainment

          Watch it, it's great and I hate acting and still enjoy watching it.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

      This.

      Shouting is posturing to appear powerful when on shaky ground. Nothing is easier to destroy that powerplay than to just walk out or put down the phone with the words: "I do not have to accept getting shouted at".

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

        Sadly, unlikely to work on military and police types. Especially if you're in the military or police.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          But in those jobs you ARE getting paid to get shouted at. That's pretty much in the job description. I don't work in the military or the police. Getting shouted at and/or taking abuse is not in the job description, counterproductive and I will NOT take it. End of.

        2. CountCadaver

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          Our Division chief never shouted, albeit we knew full well when we were in the merde well and truly.....

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

      The joys of dedicated, long-term government service:

      1) Most senior civil servants become instant uncivil arseholes when there is a chance of blaming someone who is one or more grades below theirs.

      2) The higher their grade the bigger and more important the IT problem is.

      3) Likewise the requirement that you fix it NOW. Delivered in a calm and infinitely nasty manner.

      The third most memorably on a date forever emblazoned into my mind: 16th October 1987 ("not a hurricane") where I had to struggle across London at 6am to 'rescue' an IT system which had experienced a power failure. It was not sufficient to mention that nearly all of London had no power either.

      It helps to remain quiet and to have a boss who is way senior than any of them, has almost direct control of their budgets and can inflict considerable damage upon their long-term career prospects, including their being dropped from consideration for the News Years/Birthday honours lists - something that matters a lot to UK public servants.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

        Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

        The magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake hit us on October 17th 1989, at 5:04 PM-ish Pacific time[0]. It was centered approximately 30 miles SSE of my home. PG&E power and Ma Bell landlines were out over almost all of the Bay Area. My acting boss called my DynaTAC at 5:10 PM & screamed that he would fire me if I didn't fix it immediately. I told him that he needn't have wasted money on the phone call, he could have just opened the window and bellowed. And then I hung up.

        I have hated cellular telephones ever since ... not because of what they are, or what they can do, but rather for what they are actually (ab)used for.

        [0] The so-called "Bay Bridge World Series Quake".

    4. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

      I have some problems with social interaction (just received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder yesterday - and I'm closer to 60 than 50!), and one of the things I have trouble with is recognising anger. Shouting=angry, not shouting=not angry as far as I'm concerned (and that applies to any shouting - probably one of the reasons I don't like football). This has led to some difficult situations where I didn't know I was being bollocked until some time afterwards...

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

        Shouting=angry, not shouting=not angry as far as I'm concerned

        I know what you mean - and isn't text such a wonderful medium for those of us already "socially disadvantaged" :)

        Sarcasm is also often an issue for me as well, something I struggle to detect (news, I am sure, to all commentards!)

        One thing our little problem does help with though.. That's taking the bollocking absolutely calmly and "professionally". More than once my first clue to my getting a bollocking was someone saying something like "You handled that rather well!".

        I have a reputation for being exceptionally calm when others are loosing their heads (with the odd emotional outburst when I am getting overwhelmed). Most of the time it's because I haven't picked up the subtle social cues that this is an absolute catastrophe and everyone around me is damned near losing their minds from panic.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          "I have a reputation for being exceptionally calm when others are loosing their heads (with the odd emotional outburst when I am getting overwhelmed). Most of the time it's because I haven't picked up the subtle social cues that this is an absolute catastrophe and everyone around me is damned near losing their minds from panic."

          Hah, yes! I have always been baffled by my reputation for having" gravitas" (something a lot of people have both said and written in references etc). I think people are confusing it with "cluelessness" :-)

          1. Wexford
            Pint

            Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

            > I have always been baffled by my reputation for having" gravitas"

            For me, it's being "enigmatic". Sure, I'll take that if it's being offered!

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          I try to keep myself calm and control situations. Panicers irritate me. One of the best pieces of advice I ever was given, by my old swimming teacher when I was about 10 and learning life saving.

          He asked us what he thought we should do if we saw an incident (someone in the water).

          We all gave the obvious answers. Then he said no. You keep calm and do nothing first. Then you remove some clothes. The last part isn't always applicable.

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

          I have a reputation for being exceptionally calm when others are loosing their heads

          Impressive! I'd think any discernible degree of calmness would be exceptional, if those around you were loosing their heads. Do ... do the heads just lie there? Do they grimace and mouth curses? They don't grow spider legs and scurry off, do they?

          "Cry havoc, and let slip the heads of war!"

      2. Cederic Bronze badge

        Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

        Congratulations on the diagnosis. Hopefully it'll help massively - even being able to go, "ah, it's just my ASD" will actually help you manage your mood much better.

    5. D. Evans

      Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

      Sounds like "Hori" Howard was Mr. Shouty, to me.

      He had a long and distinguished Army career and went onto NSW emergency services.

    6. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

      I've never been able fathom the feasible path through life that results in someone that is both shouty and silly.

      To be clear, they do exist. But how did they get to that point?

      I peer at them with a perplexed expression beaming out of my face like a high power floodlight, silently asking the Universe, "What improbable path through life got this person to this point?"

      Were they born in a damp castle on some tiny windswept islet, combining inherited assumed authority with a perfect void of life experience beyond, perhaps, turning over beach rocks?

      My reactive perplexed expression, combing the slightly tilted head of a confused puppy with the burning stare of two 'WTF?' eyes, always makes the situation much worse. Which is entertaining.

      Ideally, we reach a conclusion where a one word solution presents itself, such as (in this example) lifting the newspaper and saying, "Here."

      Somebody needs to make a biopic to explain this mystery. Are there any such films to explain these sorts of alien creatures?

  2. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    Love these solutions!

    I've had these days, users are freaking out, their asses on fire and their heads are catchin', I walk in and spot the problem in 3 seconds. Conference board doesn't have any sound, look at the light on the switch, which is off, turn it on, and the audience is listening! at 85db as they had the volume on their computer all the way up!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love these solutions!

      This is why filing written incident reports is important. Like placing landmines - you don't know a given one will be useful but you want them there and you want to know where they are. Just in case.

    2. ma1010 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Love these solutions!

      Well over 50 years ago now, but I got to do it to my family. My mother, bless her heart, found anything technical more complicated than light switch beyond comprehension, and as to my sister, the less said, the better.

      Said sister and her husband were visiting house guests when I were but a nipper who got ejected from his room to sleep on the living room floor due to them taking my room. I was almost asleep when my mother frantically woke me up due to an absolute emergency - she'd managed to turn the clock radio in her bedroom on and didn't know how to turn it off. I was a young, pissed-off-at-the-world kid and really annoyed about everything going on right then, being woke up just the latest thing on my long list of woes.

      I walked in, took one look, hit the right button, turned around and walked out without a word, all in about 5 seconds from the time I walked in. I might have been just a kid feeling hard done by, but I had showed up two adults, one of which was my sister. A small, albeit childish, triumph. For some strange reason, I still remember it "like it was yesterday" after all these years, which I suppose goes to show how sad my life has been.

  3. Andrew Moore

    Shouty men...

    ...get put on the bottom of my todo list. If they repeat the shouty experience, they go to the bottom again. I once explained this to a shouty man and he got in such a fit of apoplexy he actually went quiet. Then he asked to speak to my manager, who hates shouty men more than I do. Shouty man was told to only communicate by email in the future (and, hopefully told, to lay-off the caps lock).

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Shouty men...

      Shouty man was told to only communicate by email in the future (and, hopefully told, to lay-off the caps lock).

      Proper mail systems allow you to use procmail and perform

      $ cat shoutymail | tr [:upper:] [:lower:]

      as well as several other actions to deal with such messages.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: cat | tr

        Watch out for PETA! If they ever here about your cat abuse there will be trouble.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: cat | tr

          "Watch out for PETA! If they ever here about your cat abuse there will be trouble."

          They'll take away the cat and "humanely" put it down when they "can't find it a new home".

          PETA abuse more cat's than this person, and the abuse lasts the rest of the cat's life.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Go

          Re: cat | tr

          I have three cats, one of which could benefit from a bit more exercise. So.

      2. hmv Bronze badge

        Re: Shouty men...

        No cat abuse is necessary; the command: tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]' < ~/SHOUTY, does what is necessary[0].

        0: Quotes around the character classes necessary for zsh; not sure about others.

        1. sw guy

          Re: Shouty men...

          And in case it happens too much, think of adding the >/dev/null

        2. Ken Shabby
          Linux

          cat abuse?

          The great debate

          cat testicles | cat -

          or

          cat < testicles

          well it is not a debate with my moggy, I know he still holds a grudge.

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Shouty men...

          No cat abuse is necessary; the command: tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]' < ~/SHOUTY, does what is necessary[0].

          It's odd that tr doesn't allow a list of filenames as additional arguments, like most of the traditional UNIX utilities. If it did, you could also omit the redirection operator.

          0: Quotes around the character classes necessary for zsh; not sure about others.

          Bourne-family shells generally will return the pattern when globbing fails, so with sh, bash, ksh, etc you can often get away with not quoting them. However, bash has the nullglob option (shopt nullglob), which is off by default, but if enabled a failed glob will return an empty string rather than the pattern.

          More importantly, if you have any single-character filenames in the current directory that match [elopruw:] you'll have a problem unless you quoted them.

          I think csh variants complain if they can't glob a pattern, but it's been decades since I used a csh.

          So best to quote.

    2. A K Stiles

      Re: Shouty men...

      I have frequently attempted to take this approach with whingey / shouty people (men and women), unfortunately I've only once had the support from the management where the shouty / whingey got directed at them. Most of the time the response is "just do what they want to make MY life easier". That one occasion, when I was straight out of Uni and working an admin role, someone fairly senior wanted to get me a bollocking for cocking up some commission payments (which they'd insisted I do). We all trouped into their boss's office, where I explained exactly what had happened. Intermediate boss looked sheepish, top boss looked frustrated, said "thanks, at least somebody knows what's going on - don't do it again, no matter who asks for it.".

    3. paulf Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Shouty men...

      FTA: "Jim spotted a notice stating that "no personnel are to attend an incident during the storm, except if there is a life-threatening situation"."

      I hope Jim included this in his resolution text for the trouble ticket raised by the Shouty Man about the phones, and the trivial solution required. Jim did make sure the Shouty Man raised a work ticket, I hope? In the case of a "Bruce" sized storm I'd have wanted that ticket signed in blood before going out in it, but I would as I'm just a whining POM that doesn't like passive-agressive drizzle...

      Once I dealt with a shouty man by deleting him from my work system after a volley of email abuse about something where I was trying to help (short explanation: I volunteer for a charity and collate various information from 100 volunteers about 10 times a year) so he no longer received my emails. About 3 months later I got a sheepish email asking if I'd excommunicated him and offering an apology + explanation. Sometimes the best counter to shouty is absolute silence.

    4. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Shouty men...

      That's the way it should always be. Shouty men and women are arseholes.

    5. LeahroyNake Bronze badge

      Re: Shouty men...

      It's not just men.

      In any case I find a warning before hanging up usually works... Though one customer took 4 hang ups to calm down.

      If on site it's much easier. They either calm down or they get someone else to fix it.

      I used to be in the military so I could take it, I don't have to anymore no matter who they think they are.

    6. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Shouty men...

      Not shouty, but a similar principle in action ...

      I was in the supermarket today, at the checkout and getting hassle from a woman behind me in the queue (if our sexes had been reversed it could've qualified as a #metoo, and I like my personal space). So I packed my stuff more carefully (and slowly) than I otherwise might have done, and before paying. Then when the supermarket's card reader kept telling me "card error", I persisted through about 20 attempts (helped by the checkout girl, who was great) rather than switch to a different card.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Shouty men...

        I have a similar response to idiots who drive up to the back of my car* ( and especially if they flash lights). I go slower. And I'll give way to any car waiting at a side turning, or any oncoming vehicle if the road is narrow. And take my time generally. Especially when I have to turn off.

        * I don't middle-lane drive if it's the M-Way, by the way.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Shouty men...

          Terry 6, here in California that's called "impeding the flow of traffic", and is a moving violation. As in a traffic citation, points on your record, and an increase in your insurance. It is also being a general prat, or dickhead if you prefer.

          Me, I simply pull over and let faster traffic pass. I drive my drive, they drive theirs, and everybody is happy. Kind of handy, actually, as I tend to drive quickly ... anybody wanting to go faster than me acts as a "cop plow", drawing the ticket I might have received ;-)

          A change in attitude and/or perspective might be beneficial to you. Probably will drop your blood pressure a couple points, too (I am not a doctor, this is not a prescription, yadda yadda yadda).

          1. PhilipN Silver badge

            Re: Shouty men...

            There's a limit. Usually some dickhead comes off a period of fast driving into slow to moderate traffic and thinks he is still going round Brands Hatch*. Sits on your bumper as if he could shoot past, or through, you any opportunity, This is dangerous and - do they still force you to learn "braking distances" to pass the test? - the only safe way (in traffic you cannot just move to the side and let him pass; conversely I am not preventing him from moving to another lane) is to slow down.

            Even if not an outright danger to life and limb, which means slow, I choose not to be rear-ended by said dickhead, thank you, which means slower.

            Agreed if this creates a tailback it is impeding flow etc but then I stick religiously to the speed limit. Most times the dickhead gets the message and, frankly, I have done him a favour.

            * = Daytona?

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Shouty men...

              PhilipN, what makes you think that you slowing down makes the situation any safer? How does slowing down make you less of a target for the tailgater? That makes absolutely zero sense. If anything, it'll infuriate him, making you an intended target instead of a potential accidental target.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Shouty men...

                PhilipN, what makes you think that you slowing down makes the situation any safer? How does slowing down make you less of a target for the tailgater? That makes absolutely zero sense. If anything, it'll infuriate him, making you an intended target instead of a potential accidental target.

                In it's simplest sense, it gives me more options and takes some of the pressure off. I'm in a car that is not a sports car, on a less than ideal road, being pressured from some idiot. If I drive faster there is a greater chance of me crashing. If they hit me at 60mph we're in a world of hurt. If they hit me at 30mph, there's a chance we can walk away - but at 30 we're less likely to crash than at 60.

                I do advocate that you get out of people's way when it is safe, but I also know it is not always safe to do so and worrying about the person close behind makes a crash much more likely. Then again, slowing some people down makes them more inclined to pass in a bad place.

                And over these ways we still don't consider it our right to kill anyone who makes us feel every so slightly miffed.

          2. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: Shouty men...

            Pull over where? If there's a slower lane (right in the US, left in the UK) then yes, you are correct. But if this is a single lane road (one in each direction, our descriptions may be different), then the tailgater needs to back off. And will be made to back off by me ultimately parking in the middle of the road, getting out, and telling him to do so.

            To be fair this has only happened once. Usually the tailgaters get the message

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Shouty men...

              If there is no place to pull over, maintain the speed limit (or whatever is safe at the time). If the moron rear-ends you, it is HIS FAULT in every jurisdiction I am familiar with. Let him; allow his insurance company to pay you for renewed body work and paint.

              However, going slower than the flow of traffic is contraindicated, and as I said it'll get you a ticket here in California. If you park in the middle of the road and confront the driver behind you, YOU will be arrested for instigating violence, even if he defends himself against your assault with a baseball bat and is arrested himself. Worse, if he hits you from behind as a result, YOU may be at fault ... if not through the court system (depends on exact circumstance), your insurance company certainly won't be happy with you.

              1. peter_dtm

                Re: Shouty men...

                I have no wish to be rear ended. I have zero wish to waste my time because some dickhead doesn't drive safely and leave enough distance to stop/slow down.

                The bit you seem determined to miss is my duty of care to me and mine ( and my car/ company's car).

                I have stopped in the past, the big 40 foot attic behind the dickhead stopped skew to ensure no one tried to get past ( in other words knew what was happening). When the idiot behind started to get out I stayed safe by resuming the speed limit.

                This repeated twice before idiot realised that he was expected to leave safe distance- truck driver helped by flashing when the idiot got too close to me & leaving a massive amount of room, so he could stop safely.

                I'd have bought the trucky a beer if I could have!

                Tail gaters should be made to clean up fates accidents.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Shouty men...

                  So basically you are saying that in order to make an unsafe situation safer, you decided to take the law into your own hands and not only slow down somebody who was obviously in a hurry and driving irrationally, but actually bring him to a halt. Not once, not twice, but three times. And this is supposed to somehow make the already pissed-off driver suddenly see the light and back off?

                  You live in a fucking dream world, mate. You're lucky he didn't run you off the road, putting you in the hospital. Or the morgue. Hardly a good example of what I wold call "your duty of care to you and yours". Quite the opposite, in fact.

                  1. Kiwi Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Shouty men...

                    So basically you are saying that in order to make an unsafe situation safer, you decided to take the law into your own hands and not only slow down somebody who was obviously in a hurry and driving irrationally, but actually bring him to a halt. Not once, not twice, but three times. And this is supposed to

                    somehow make the already pissed-off driver suddenly see the light and back off?

                    if you are tailgating and I cannot let you pass then yes. To protect myself and my property from your bad driving I will slow down. If necessary I will stop. That is a standard part of prudent driving - drive to the conditions and stop if you have to.

                    You live in a fucking dream world, mate. You're lucky he didn't run you off the road, putting you in the hospital. Or the morgue. Hardly a good example of what I wold call "your duty of care to you and yours". Quite the opposite, in fact.

                    I realise that your countryfolk cherish the right to murder people over even small imagined slights, but the rest of the world doesn't live like that.

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      Re: Shouty men...

                      "if you are tailgating and I cannot let you pass then yes. To protect myself and my property from your bad driving I will slow down. If necessary I will stop. That is a standard part of prudent driving - drive to the conditions and stop if you have to."

                      I can't believe how many of you lot seem to think that provoking a tailgater by slowing down somehow defuses the situation ... and worse, you also seem to think that stopping and thus inviting a face-to-face physical altercation is a good idea! I'll bet you a plugged nickle that if you ask your local law enforcement, they will give the same advice that I have.

                      "I realise that your countryfolk cherish the right to murder people over even small imagined slights, but the rest of the world doesn't live like that."

                      ODFO, prat. road rage in New Zealand exists, and you know it.

                      1. Kiwi Silver badge

                        Re: Shouty men...

                        "if you are tailgating and I cannot let you pass then yes. To protect myself and my property from your bad driving I will slow down. If necessary I will stop. That is a standard part of prudent driving - drive to the conditions and stop if you have to."

                        I can't believe how many of you lot seem to think that provoking a tailgater by slowing down somehow defuses the situation ... and worse, you also seem to think that stopping and thus inviting a face-to-face physical altercation is a good idea! I'll bet you a plugged nickle that if you ask your local law enforcement, they will give the same advice that I have.

                        Pay up then. Try this for starters. Note 1) the NZTA and NZ government logos on the document and 2) the reference "...where the 4-second rule is more appropriate. This will be the case when being tailgated,..."

                        It is simply a matter of safe driving. If I am driving below the speed limit (assuming my speedo is reasonably correct) then there is a reason for it. It could be weather, the condition of myself or my vehicle, road condition. Hell, it could be the vehicle in front of me is slowing me down so I can't go any faster.

                        If there's a vehicle in front of me I will normally follow roughly 2 seconds behind. If it is a longer trip and I am more likely to be relaxed (thus not necessarily fully on guard) I'll stretch that out a bit. If there are other issues - I have a car fully of heavier stuff (or am towing a trailer), weather issues and so on I'll add up to 2 seconds for each problem. This way I have time to react to what happens in front and time to stop short of the vehicle in front.

                        A tailgater also is a hazard and by increasing my following distance I increase our safety. According to the text at http://2passdd.com/Defensive-Driving/?p=816 "Following too closely is a factor in about 40% of collisions", though to be honest that sounds high - but is is a factor in a number of accidents. People who are being tailgated panic. Many who are driving at a speed they are comfortable with start to increase speed which means they are now driving faster than the speed they're comfortable with as well as being distracted by some 'tard who doesn't have the brains to back off. That significantly increases the chances of them being in a crash. If you can't pass them, and they're in a crash, and you're acting stupid and tailgating - what are your chances of avoiding said crash?

                        I used to ask my students to tell me what was wrong with the vehicle ahead. I'd act as if I had spotted some issue and was wanting them to spot it. Eventually I'd suggest it could also be with the driver. After a while they'd give up and I'd point out that was the answer - you know nothing of the condition of the vehicle you're following yet you want to get so close your tongue gets stuck up their arse. You don't know if the drivetrain is about to seize, or (for RWD) the drive shaft is about to shred itself, or if that trailer is properly hitched or about to become a mangled wreck artfully wrapped around the nearest car.

                        Only idiots tailgate. Only the most selfishly stupid idiots try to make out that their behaviour is somehow good or even remotely acceptable.

                        "I realise that your countryfolk cherish the right to murder people over even small imagined slights, but the rest of the world doesn't live like that."

                        ODFO, prat. road rage in New Zealand exists, and you know it.

                        Really? THIS is your best example of road rage in NZ? Or perhaps this one?

                        Maybe this one? . There's this one, they actually claim "road rage" and racism in the title!

                        Maybe it's the old lady in this video that you're so scared of? BTW, the driver of the car - the one using his phone to film the proceedings, then steering with his knees while driving AND adjusting the phone? Well he was comitting a number of criminal offences during his filming. The comments are fun, eg "Annoying indimidating tailgating creepo." or there's "rake checking shouldn’t be a problem if you’re following at a safe distance... tailgating doesn’t solve anything on the road, it’s people like you who get brake checked for a reason.".

                        Did you note the lack of people pulling guns? The lack of threats of murder? The lack of any one throwing a punch? Should I find footage of your countryfolk shooting at each other, or perhaps massive pile ups where lots of people die in one single incident in your country? We haven't had something like that in NZ. Our worst crash was a 2 or 3 car head-on where multiple people died in each car.

                        NZ's roads are terrible when compared to the US, and our vehicle fleet is probably on average older as well, and yet we get 7.8 road deaths/100,000 people vs your 12.4/100K. Don't try to preach to others about how to drive when your own country does such a terrible job of it.

                        Yes, we have road rage. Why, just today I wrote an angry letter to a firm after one of their drivers pulled a few stupid moves on a narrow country road. BTW, traffic was at or above the speed limit and the driver wasn't able to get past the truck 2 vehicles ahead of me. 30 minutes later (after 3 very high risk passing moves) I was still close enough to get his details for the letter. Yes, a very angry letter filled with capital letters and even threats to invoke the authorities!

              2. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Shouty men...

                If there is no place to pull over, maintain the speed limit (or whatever is safe at the time). If the moron rear-ends you, it is HIS FAULT in every jurisdiction I am familiar with. Let him; allow his insurance company to pay you for renewed body work and paint.

                No gaurantee there is insurance. No gaurantee they'll pay out in a timely manner. And no gaurantee I'll come out of the incident without any injury.

                I often call my car a POS, and I much prefer bikes to cars (quite dislike cars for the most part), however I have put time and effort into mine - customisations, maintenance and the like. And I've done quite a LOT of travelling in it, had it for some years. I may not be wanting to have its babies, but I'd rather not lose it so someone being a pain.

                However, going slower than the flow of traffic is contraindicated, and as I said it'll get you a ticket here in California. If you park in the middle of the road and confront the driver behind you, YOU will be arrested for instigating violence, even if he defends himself against your assault with a baseball bat and is arrested himself. Worse, if he hits you from behind as a result, YOU may be at fault ... if not through the court system (depends on exact circumstance), your insurance company certainly won't be happy with you.

                Good thing most of us don't live in Cali! Where it's a matter of someone tailgating me on a single lane road (especially one that is narrow and winding), I will happily argue that I was driving to the conditions and taking into account the behaviour of the person behind me. Most of the time I would be able to find somewhere to let them pass, but we do have some rather dangerous mountain roads (that said, I would NOT be inclined to stop on them!)

                We lost our "provocation" defense some time back. A guy named Weatherspoon (IIRC) tried to use it as a defence for stabbing his ex-girlfriend 70-odd times in her mother's home (IIRC) - which did kinda show us how bad the law was in most respects.

                I would like us to have a law covering unexpected stopping, however in NZ hitting from behind is almost a strict liability issue. Unless you can prove their tail lights weren't working or there was a sudden mechanical failure (eg gearbox locked up) you're at fault. So if I give my handbrake a gentle pull..... That said, "brake checking" is going to get you in the shit real quick - I've had to abandon my old practice of giving the brake pedal a tap to let them know to back off (not enough to activate the brakes).

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Shouty men...

                  "No gaurantee there is insurance. No gaurantee they'll pay out in a timely manner."

                  That's why I have insurance. My company pays me, in a very timely manner TYVM, and then THEY go after the other guy's insurance company for compensation. If the other guy doesn't have insurance, my insurance company goes after him ... but I'm out of the loop either way. Do you even have insurance? Or do you simply not know how it works?

                  "And no gaurantee I'll come out of the incident without any injury."

                  Infuriating the guy by slowing down increases the chances that he'll get angry enough to use the 1+ ton weapon at his disposal. Even if you are driving at 5MPH, his automobile can easily cause severe damage or even death to you by moving at 30+MPH. You do not control the other vehicle's momentum or direction of travel, regardless of what you do with yours. Better to not cause the provocation in the first place.

                  It's not a matter of "being right". It's a matter of prudence and knowledge of human nature.

                  1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                    Re: Shouty men...

                    All I can assume is that you're thinking of a different kind of tailgater? (It may be a language issue). The 'angry tailgater', indeed, pull over and let the dickhead past.(I think this is the one you're thinking of). But your average person tailgating isn't doing it to be aggressive, they're just not very good at driving and need re-educating.

                    The rule of thumb is leave 2 seconds between vehicles in dry weather, and 4 or more in wet. Icy and other conditions, use common sense. I was taught this by my driving instructor. So if the chap behind me is less than 2 seconds from my bumper, the advice literally IS to slow down till he IS 2 seconds from the bumper (and it's usually a he)

                  2. Kiwi Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Shouty men...

                    "No gaurantee there is insurance. No gaurantee they'll pay out in a timely manner."

                    That's why I have insurance. My company pays me, in a very timely manner TYVM, and then THEY go after the other guy's insurance company for compensation. If the other guy doesn't have insurance, my insurance company goes after him ... but I'm out of the loop either way. Do you even have insurance? Or do you simply not know how it works?

                    I use a different type of insurance. It's called not being an aggressive idiot who is likely to cause an accident. As far as fire/theft, a few months insurance premiums is more than the replacement cost of my car.

                    "And no gaurantee I'll come out of the incident without any injury."

                    Infuriating the guy by slowing down increases the chances that he'll get angry enough to use the 1+ ton weapon at his disposal. Even if you are driving at 5MPH, his automobile can easily cause severe damage or even death to you by moving at 30+MPH. You do not control the other vehicle's momentum or direction of travel, regardless of what you do with yours. Better to not cause the provocation in the first place.

                    Better not to cause the provocation? Is the issue perhaps that in your country NOT bowing to bullying and intimidation is considered a bad thing? You're the one driving aggressively and putting other people's lives at risk - how are THEY the ones who are doing the provoking?

                    In civilised countries, it is a criminal offence to use your car as a weapon. Few people even remotely consider doing that over events such as someone slowing down when you follow too close. Not only that, we have greater freedoms including the freedom NOT to be so fearful of our neighbour.

                    Have you been drinking or something? Because you're talking like a crazy person!

                    It's not a matter of "being right". It's a matter of prudence and knowledge of human nature.

                    Maybe you should go back to school then. You are certainly doing an awfully terrible job of you "knowing human nature".

                    1. rskurat

                      Re: Shouty men...

                      I believe "jake" can be confidently identified as a Shouty Man. Best to just hang up the phone.

              3. Fishbird

                Re: Shouty men...

                As old bikers say : Being in the right is rarely a comfort to the next of kin.

                What's more, on a lot of smaller roads that lower speed could save the life of the pedestrian/cyclist/kid chasing a football in front.

                1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                  Re: Shouty men...

                  Indeed, drive to the conditions doesn't just mean weather, it means parked vehicles, proximity to houses or play areas/open spaces, etc. Be aware of your surroundings.

          3. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Shouty men...

            Me, I simply pull over and let faster traffic pass. I drive my drive, they drive theirs, and everybody is happy. Kind of handy, actually, as I tend to drive quickly ... anybody wanting to go faster than me acts as a "cop plow", drawing the ticket I might have received ;-)

            You BASTARD! Why'd you have to say that??

            Years ago I used to use my "cloak of invisibility". I and several other riders in NZ had noticed that if you had a hi-viz vest on then the cops would pretty much ignore you - kinda a thing where you were going out of your way to be seen so they didn't pay you any more attention.

            Then some stupid pratt mentioned on an online forum that it was a good trick to use. My first warning of it was when the cops started stopping me. Every bloody cop I passed would go for me (unless busy with another biker in a high-viz).

            So.. Now you've mentioned the "sacrificial pinhead" we're going to lose that too! :(

            I prefer Audi and BMW drivers BTW... You creep up beside them in the slow lane (especially if you're on an older bike) and the speed up so you can't pass. Then you do it again.. Pretty soon they're well over the limit and you hang back... :) Something about those two marques that makes it much more effective. Especially when you're on an old bike that was worn out and due for the scrapheap 20 years ago.

            A change in attitude and/or perspective might be beneficial to you. Probably will drop your blood pressure a couple points, too (I am not a doctor, this is not a prescription, yadda yadda yadda).

            Yeah, I found that worked wonders for me as well. With few exceptions, let them pass and ride your own ride. Especially on the bike! It's one thing to annoy someone when you're in a car that will at least do there's a lot of damage should you 'meet', it's a whole different matter on the bike - you want to live you be nice to people or get the hell out of their space. Only time it's really a problem is when I am on some country road in the car where I cannot go faster, I may have to really slow down, and the person in the vehicle behind me with much better handling simply won't consider that I have no other option but to drive at the speed I am at.

          4. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Shouty men...

            1.) I don't drive unreasonably slowly ( especially on motorways - this is anyway mostly an issue on normal roads)

            2) There is no specific law against driving cautiously and slowly in the UK, so as long as it's within reason..

            3) I don't impede traffic, I just drive slower than I was when the bully came up behind me. Reasonably, carefully and considerately,within the speed limit, not at stupidly slow speeds and this is fully legal

            4) Since I don't drive slowly anyone doing this is being deliberately aggressive

            5) I don't give in to bullies- ever.

            6) Blood pressure is fine

            1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

              Re: Shouty men...

              Couldn't agree more, Terry

              I'm with kiwi on this one.

              Jake's driver who is "... obviously in a hurry and driving irrationally..." has no right to be sitting behind the wheel of any sort of vehicle. They're not in control of themselves, so how can they control a potentially lethal weapon?

              When I'm driving, I drive at *my* speed not *yours*. If you don't like that, you are free to overtake... or are you too chicken?

        2. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: Shouty men...

          Not sure why the downvote, you're simply maintaining the braking distance.

        3. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Shouty men...

          I have a similar response to idiots who drive up to the back of my car* ( and especially if they flash lights). I go slower.

          I've wanted a bumper sticker that reads something like "if you don't follow at a distance safe for our speed, I'll drive at a speed safe for your distance" (I'm sure I can shorten it). Perhaps in big letters projected in my rear windscreen..

          That said, while most people who tailgate are fuckwits not everyone is. Sometimes it is nice to let them pass. And in NZ at least cops are finally targeting those who drive slower than the should (especially in the "fast lane"). I do wish they'd go after phone users and tailgaters more though.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Shouty men...

            I've wanted a bumper sticker that reads something like "if you don't follow at a distance safe for our speed, I'll drive at a speed safe for your distance" (I'm sure I can shorten it). Perhaps in big letters projected in my rear windscreen..

            Found it somewhere today... "The closer you get, the slower I go".

        4. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Shouty men in Audis

          T6 mentioned his response to tailgaters.

          Another approach is to employ Control Theory 101 to create a highly tuned oscillator.

          Vary your speed up and down ever so slightly (essentially imperceptible, just a few kmh), with a carefully adjusted periodicity and phasing such that the tailgater's normal reaction latency time results in a wildly oscillating following distance (and his speed).

          If executed with precise skill, frequency and phase tuned for maximum effect, the amplitude of the following-distance (and his speed) oscillator behind will grow to quite large values.

          It's absolutely frustrating for the poor Audi or white van driver. It can be quite extraordinary.

          All while you're just gently driving along, trying not to be seen as noticing anything at all that's going on behind. Sunglasses (and a fixed head position) help to avoid making eye contact via the rearview mirror.

          I hope that this feature can be automated and embedded into future vehicles as part of the self-driving package.

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Shouty men in Audis

            Have another pint for that suggestion. I love the idea

          2. Grooke

            Re: Shouty men in Audis

            Great you made me want to be tailgated just to try this.

    7. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: Shouty men...

      I did the opposite. Shouty people would go on top of my list, but I'd let everyone know that I was doing so.

      When I working for IT at my university, we had a ticketing system / work schedul8ing system where you can drag and drop tasks on a big list with each task being a different size based on the length of time it was estimate to take. Each task was tied to a ticket. The whole thing was visible for the entire company (well, except our black tickets, but those would be created by the IT director and would be for specific sensitive tasks). The tickets would also have an auto-populated list of related tickets. So that way, someone could also see that I am doing that task for like the 20th time.

      This way, we'd get everyone waiting for work to shout at all the people wasting our time. We found that the easiest way to take down some blustery senior manager was not to go at them directly, but to get everyone else to yell at them. Its easy for a senior manager to destroy the career of a single junior IT worker, but a group of low-level managers and workers, on the other hand, have a lot of power.

      It also helped that they could see that they are inconveniencing a lot of people and not just some lowly IT support worker.

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Shouty men...

        At times, my stated priority list as been "whoever is shouting at me right now". As soon as they leave/hang up, someone else takes their place and they go to the top of the list.

        Then aim them at each other to let them fight it out. And sweetly explain to my boss that I'd have been able to complete all the demands in time if I didn't keep getting interrupted.

        The message usually got through and earned me some peace.

        Oh, and saying "I'm fixing the problem - Do you really want me to stop to give you a status report?" works well when on a conference problem with 90+ people

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: Shouty men...

          Oh, and saying "I'm fixing the problem - Do you really want me to stop to give you a status report?" works well when on a conference problem with 90+ people

          Especially true, when those kinds of calls tend to get various managment or interested parties join asking for update and then leave. If you update each of them, you have no time left to actually resolve the issue.

          So yes, "Would you like me to actually resolve the issue or give you an update" or "I can either keep resolving the issue or stop to give you an update" type responses work very well, even if they sometimes infuriate the management.

          Well, they could just sit on the call and receive updates like anyone actually working on the issue rather than join while walking to the next tee.

          Sometimes it can get so bad that the only solution is to drop from the call, whether management likes it or not, to get peace to actually work on the issue.

      2. Tim99 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Shouty men...

        I don't know if "schedul8ing" is a thing, or just a typo. I'm stealing it anyway.

  4. John70

    I was in Barcelona in 2008 for Microsoft TechEd Europe. Someone high up was demanding I fly back to the UK to run an "urgent must have it now" report...

    I didn't and it wasn't...

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Happy

      Sorry <shouty boss>, I don't seem to have received that email. Perhaps it got caught in my spam folder. Yep, here it is! Shame I didn't notice it.

      Also: Hmmm. Yes, I did receive your urgent SMS to my personal phone. However, it seems I forgot to take the phone off silent after the meeting yesterday, so I didn't notice it until just now.

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Also: Hmmm. Yes, I did receive your urgent SMS to my personal phone. However, it seems I forgot to take the phone off silent after the meeting yesterday, so I didn't notice it until just now.

        No one at work *GETS* my personal cell number.

        .

        .

        .

        .

        Not that anyone calls me anyway...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Had a job where someone asked HR for my outside contact details for an "emergency"...

          They handed out my personal number I used when I put in the application many moons before.

          It was hell, and I told everyone in no uncertain terms I would not be answering my personal line for work reasons.

          Then they gave me a fruity dog collar that I put in the locker every night before I left for home.

          "You didn't answer your work phone Saturday!!!" "You don't pay me on-call rate, and <other person> lives 50 minutes closer to site than I do, and does get paid on-call rate."

          Ugly all around.

      2. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        I always told them that I had left my work phone in my office to avoid costing the company for the roaming charges. I'd check my email in the evening, and if anyone wanted me to return early, I'd list out the cost of changing my flight and ask them for their approval for the expense. That usually caused them to back down. If they pushed forward, I'd tell them "Sorry, but the only seat left is in First Class and now <this much> more..."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If I'm on vacation Ialways travel with the cheapest tickets... Tickets that can't be changed to other dates.

          Calling me home on short notice will cost a lot....

          (I travel far... to Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan... Maybe I'll visit the USA next? Yeah, first available back to Norway won't be cheap... or soon...)

      3. Down not across Silver badge

        Once bitten, twice shy

        Also: Hmmm. Yes, I did receive your urgent SMS to my personal phone. However, it seems I forgot to take the phone off silent after the meeting yesterday, so I didn't notice it until just now.

        I no longer ever give work details of personal phone. In the past it happened that personal numbers given for one off situation were retained and people were called on them. Never again.

        Now it is strictly, "You want to be able to contact me, you provide me with a phone". Also always set clear expectations on availability. No one expects to definitely be able to call me if I am not on-call at the time.

  5. Adam 1 Silver badge

    > DON'T ASK ME STUPID QUESTIONS, JUST GET YOUR ASS OUT THERE AND FIX THE [expletive deleted] PROBLEM

    Ok, read right to the end and still can't figure out why the donkey was necessary.

    1. VonDutch

      Unnecessary Donkey will be the title of my second book.

      Now I just need ideas and the inclination to write books.

      1. mr-slappy

        Unnecessary Donkey is my wrestling name

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Coat

      Donkeys

      Ok, read right to the end and still can't figure out why the donkey was necessary.

      Donkeys will go on where horses get spooked and cars break down.

      And what you really want is a mule.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Donkeys

        Or a very comfortable loafer.

      2. Cessquill

        Re: Donkeys

        Great line. Is it from anything, or yours?

      3. JulieM Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Donkeys

        Preferrably fluffy, and with a no-show sock. And your younger sister's trackie bum-bums.

        Mine's the silver, puffy chest-length one.

      4. Zarno
        Pint

        Re: Donkeys

        Moscow Mule for me!

        Icon because it's the closest thing to a cocktail glass we got

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Donkeys

          ...Cannot resist....

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI3fN5wvMtM

          "My Mule Dont Like People Laughing, Because he gets the crazy idea people are laughing at him. Now if you were to apologise like I know your going too,maybe I can convince him you really didnt mean it"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Ok, read right to the end and still can't figure out why the donkey was necessary."

      The sheep had already been moved to higher ground and he was moving through his list of common farm yard animals.

    4. VikiAi Silver badge

      Yes! Since the event occurred in Australia, the correct spelling is 'arse'. We aren't part of the US (yet)!

  6. jake Silver badge

    Loopy.

    Back in the day I worked on a lot of T-carrier stuff. I can't tell you how many times an owner/client ranted about a shiny new (fractional) T1/E1 link being down, how the equipment was shit, the field guys were incompetent, and how pretty much everybody involved with the installation should be taken out behind the barn & horsewhipped. Only to become red-faced when I casually reached out[0] and toggled a loopback switch, thus fixing the link. Seems bosses in general can't resist flipping switches ... and can't read blinkenlights.

    [0] When was the last time you saw "reached out" used properly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: Loopy.

      Have a Friday pint for the 'reached out' reference!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Loopy.

        Is that like a reach around!?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Loopy.

          Something something modular jack, something something insert, something something port...

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Loopy.

            Thermal exhaust port, right below the main port?

        2. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Loopy.

          Is that like a reach around!?

          Considerably more disappointing

    2. tony2heads
    3. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: When was the last time you saw "reached out" used properly?

      I believe you meant to say: "When was the last time you saw "reached out" used literally rather than as a metaphor?" To which I would answer: "A long time in reported speech. People more often say 'reached over' where I come from". But in fiction? It is not rare.

      That said, there is nothing improper in using "reach out" to mean "communicate with (in any manner you deem most proper)".

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: When was the last time you saw "reached out" used properly?

        No, "reaching out" is attempting to contact someone. If they ACK, communication can begin.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: When was the last time you saw "reached out" used properly?

          So we should say SYN instead of "reaching out" when attempting to contact someone?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: When was the last time you saw "reached out" used properly?

            SYN ACK

    4. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Loopy.

      "When was the last time you saw "reached out" used properly?"

      Glad to see I'm not the only one tired of this fashion phrase of the day,

  7. Caver_Dave

    The boss who knows best

    Back in the last century I designed a system used by a top motorsport team to test, monitor, and archive results of engines and exhaust systems, display them as graphs in a separate piece of software (it was a long time ago) and then match the best pair. It was the last part that the team boss was not happy about as he stood over me in his office 40 miles from my base, shouting as though it was the only thing he knew how. I calmly explained that I had followed the weightings in the algorythm as we had discussed (and got him to sign) before I began on the project. He physically ripped up that piece of paper, shouted that I had written it all down wrong and that this engine should be matched to that exhaust, with no further explanation that I could discern under the torrent of abuse and spittle. (As a wet behind the ears youngster, the kudos of working for such a team, stopped me from walking out, which I certainly would do now.) I altered the weightings in the algorythm (de-optimising them for about 10 minutes) until I found a set that would produce the result his guy wanted. His grumble then was why it had only taken 10 minutes to get the correct result when it had taken weeks to produce the system that gave the 'wrong' results!

    As I left, I was taken aside by the Engineering Manager, who had witnessed the whole affair. He took me out to lunch, saying that it was the funniest hour that he had experienced - apparently all the shouting was the boss getting more and more frustrated that I was calmly getting on with my job, and how could they put the original (optimal) weightings back into the system. I told him the menu option to use and pointed out that the original values were in an appendix to the software user manual.

    Looking back, after the explanation from the Engineering Manager, it is an amusing anecdote, but it was not pleasant at the time. Yes, the best bo11ockings are given very calmly.

    I've kept the team anonymous as the boss died a few years later from a heart attack.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: The boss who knows best

      I've kept the team anonymous as the boss died a few years later from a heart attack..

      Um... delayed karma doesn't seem like karma at all.

    2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: The boss who knows best

      Shouty people often die of heart attacks. I wonder why.

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: The boss who knows best

      Maybe I'm just very vindictive. Shouty boss sounded like he was a cunt and everyone needs to know his name even if dead. Cunts don't deserve any respect.

      1. Mr Sceptical
        Devil

        Re: The boss who knows best

        Seconded! Besides, he's dead and it's not like he can rise from the grave to complain... or can he? ->>

        We had a client who was a total git and were pleasantly surprised to be told he'd gone senile a couple years later, been divorced by the trophy second wife and relagated to a small house in a less salubrious part of Kent. Still owes us money, so I'd happily dance on his grave.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: The boss who knows best

          "Still owes us money, so I'd happily piss on his grave."

          FTFY

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The boss who knows best

        "Cunts don't deserve any respect."

        Careful - this story was based in Australia so this comment might cause offence.

        Good cunts are fine or better, it's just the fucking cunts that don't deserve any respect.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: The boss who knows best

          This may get down votes but I have said this before under the anon tag where it didnt, but I did know one such mega arsehole who I recently found out had cancer for a year, long after I left. I wasn't ashamed to have had the very vindictive (if that's the right word to use) thought "Shame he never died from it". Sorry, but I can't stand shouty people that do it to try to be controlling and to belittle you. Which he used to do, with a smirk on his face. I'm also convinced he took bribes over the years as well but never had hard evidence.

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: The boss who knows best

            Shouty people are often weak sadistic arseholes who like to see you belittled. I had a teacher at school who loved to make me cry. I read a book which mentioned imagining people like that as being in their underwear and at the next contrived shouting session I calmly imagined him in a pair of dirty y-fronts and after about 10 minutes of him screaming at me I calmly turned round and left the purple speechless shaking mess and walked out of the room trying hard not to jump and click my heels. He was still an utter cunt to others but he left me alone after that, though I did offer the advice to his victims he still had 120 new kids starting every year to work through. The school thought it character building FFS.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The boss who knows best

            This may get down votes but I have said this before under the anon tag where it didnt, but I did know one such mega arsehole who I recently found out had cancer for a year, long after I left.

            Yeah, I remember a former co-worker telling me the owner of my former company finally succumbed to cancer. I said something to the effect that I wasn't saddened at all.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Caver_Dave

        Re: The boss who knows best

        NO - I have nothing but praise for the guys I worked with at any of the F1 teams - Lotus being the first. (I did the first in-car telemetry link (Arrows) and developed hardware/software for all the teams at the time (late '80s to mid '90s) - except McLaren due to their tie-in with TAG). Also Indy, bikes, and lower formulas around the world, who just bought COTS kit.

        Mia Culpa - I just looked the boss up and discovered that I had mixed his death up with some-one else and it was cancer that got him.

        I was at one early season test in Jerez where the team blew up, irreparably, all 3 of their engines on the first morning of a 3 day test. The boss called together the Senior Engineers and in a barely audible and matter-of-fact whisper said "if you haven't worked out what went wrong before we get back to the office, don't bother coming in." It was truly quite chilling.

  8. DougS Silver badge

    Guess he should have tried calling the center

    Didn't he want to see whether the line was dead, busy, fast busy, some message from the carrier about circuits being down, etc.? I would think that would be the first step in troubleshooting, not something you do only when you show up.

    1. Andy A

      Re: Guess he should have tried calling the center

      The reason was given in paragraph 5. Shouty was ignoring any such requests.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Guess he should have tried calling the center

        After hanging up with shouty he could have called the center himself to see whether someone picks up. This sounds suspiciously like something that could potentially have been solved with a simple phone call.

  9. Crisp Silver badge

    Shouty Bosses

    Are usually first in line for some BOFH style karmic retribution.

  10. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

    Back in the days I was doing frontline support, one of the clients was a big investment co, and we had all kinds of strange commitments supporting the big wheel anywhere in the world. I usually dealt with him, and he was generally polite and reasonable.

    One Thursday afternoon, he called up just before closing time, from his villa by lake Como. (When I say by, I mean with private shoreline and jetty. V nice.) His pc wouldn't turn on. I did the usual basic troubleshooting - "are you absolutely sure it's plugged in?" - but there wasn't anything I could do remotely. I passed him to the manager who would normally deal with sending out engineers, and they tried to get him to send the machine to us to look at. Cue shoutyman.

    The client insisted that they send an engineer asap, and insisted it was me. Manager explained that I don't do work travel because I won't go without my partner. My partner worked on the same desk, which the client knew. Shoutyman really goes off on one, so we can hear his voice coming out of the handset from across the room. "I DON'T CARE ABOUT THAT SEND BOTH OF THEM IF YOU HAVE TO I WANT HIM HERE IN THE MORNING I PAY ENOUGH I EXPECT YOU TO DO WHAT I WANT" and so on.

    So the next morning the wife and I are on a plane with overnight bags. Get to his villa about lunchtime, shoutyman isn't at home. Oh, the client is there all right, but he's being his usual polite self. He invites us to lunch, served by his staff on a terrace overlooking the lake. After a small digestif he takes me to look at the pc that isn't working. It is sitting there neatly, with the power cable obviously unplugged. With a massive wink he says "oh, how silly of me, it must have been unplugged after all", and then tells me to fix it and check it all works. While I do, he starts on a conference call. Three minutes later I'm done checking, he puts the call on hold for a second to say he wants me to wait around til he's done, so I can demonstrate it's all fixed. Tells his butler to takes us to the garden to wait, and being us drinks, newspapers, etc.

    Two or three hours later he finally finishes his call, it's five ish on Friday, and he says (with another wink) that the call took longer than expected and now he's done working for the week, so my demonstration will have to wait for Monday morning! We say we'll go check into a nearby hotel, he says nonsense, use one of the guesthouses in the garden, make yourselves at home, use the pool or the boats if you want, I'll see you again on Monday.

    One full-service ultra-luxury romantic weekend by Lake Como later, I demonstrate to him that a computer that's now plugged in does indeed work. He thanks both of us for being so helpful over the last few months, and explains that he once tried to pay a bonus through our employer, but they insisted on taking a large cut, so he did this instead.

    I put the problem down on the ticket as a 'power supply issue', which is technically about true.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Funny how the people at the sharp end can be incredibly nice isn't it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've had jobs like that

      .....then I wo woke up and worked all day in a basement in Smethwick

  11. Valerion

    Shouty CEO

    Once demanded that my boss get hold of me and make me come back from a family holiday to Orlando immediately to fix a problem they were having at the time.

    My boss, who had been in contact with me a few times during the holiday to tell me he was jealous (and, incidentally, had not even asked me anything about the system problem as he was dealing with it himself) told him that he had no way of getting hold of me. Decent boss, that one.

  12. Sequin

    A few weeks after putting a system in for some police officers working in a department of the Home Office I got a phone call off the ranking officer asking me to supply him with some more paper for the printer. When I told him that we didn't do that and he should order it from wherever he got the rest of his stationery. This did not please him one little bit. He insisted that as we provided the hardware, we should also provide the consumable, I told him that we provided a toner cartridge and ream of paper to get them started, but that's as far as it went.

    After arguing for ten minutes, he rang off promising to take it up with higher management, as "I've never been treated like this before!". Surprisingly we heard nothing else.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Does he expect his plumber to supply replacement loo rolls? Does he expect his car dealer to refill his car's fuel tank?

      I seem to remember an early Judge Dredd story about a car buyer who went Librarian when his new car stopped working - only for it to have run out of fuel because he never refilled it.

  13. David 18

    Passive Aggressive closure

    I hope an incident ticket was raised and closed with a suitable "User error", "Training Issue", "No Fault" type code and a good summary of the steps taken and resolution.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    -16 outside, sheet ice on most roads as many regions had run out of grit, motorways closed, I got an out of hours call out to attend a server in the middle of Wales, which in normal circumstances is a two hour drive.

    Rang my manager, told him it wasn't safe, he told me in no uncertain terms that I had to attend or I'd be on a disciplinary.

    Rang the site, spoke to the IT manager who was only on site because he lived next door, he told me the factory was closed and under no circumstances should I attend as it was too dangerous, he'd logged the call just so we could ship parts when the weather improved .

    Rang manager back, told him, got told to go, again.

    Gave up and rang his manager who bollocked him and told me not to go.

  15. ortunk
    Devil

    I usually hangup on shouty man

    Then next time they call (5 seconds max) I explain in really calm tone that unless we communicate in a civil manner...

    Shouts...

    Hang up...

    Repeat...

  16. GlenP Silver badge

    Had One or Two...

    Shouty clients over the years. The worst was after the smallish software house / hardware provider I'd been working for had gone bust. Another company (actually one of our customers) had taken over the assets but of course most of the paperwork had disappeared off to the Liquidators. A long time (and PITA) customer called up that his monitor wasn't working properly and could he have a service call as it was still in warranty. I pointed out that I had no information on which to place a service call. He then started ranting about how he'd sue us, how he hadn't dealt with the company but with the MD personally and he'd sue him, it was all our fault, etc.

    I calmly pointed out that he would have all the paperwork for the warranty, he'd bought the monitor off the now-defunct company, if he wasn't happy he'd have to take it up with the liquidators and that the company I now worked for had no liability in the matter. Miraculously he found the necessary info and an engineer* was with him shortly afterwards.

    *This was 30 odd years ago when monitors weren't consumable items, were fixable and engineers would attend site to do so.

  17. Legionary13

    Priority bollocking

    In the early '80s I trained to join a TA observer regiment that had an unspoken rule: don't bother reporting anything smaller than a division in wartime. The Yeoman of Signals explained that we were free to classify our encrypted signals (still using paper one-time pads) as we saw fit (up to Flash - Top Secret): there were special handling procedures for this sort of message. But, he explained, "if you abuse the system you can expect to be bollocked in person by a general".

  18. earl grey Silver badge
    Devil

    You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

    Had a manager at another site (another state away) curse me on the phone and i simply hung up mid-conversation. walked to manager's office next door and said, "you're going to get a call from so-and-so and i hung up because he swore at me.". moments later his phone rang and i went back to next office and told my reportees they never had to put up with someone swearing at them (or other abusive language). Funny thing was, i had to go to that location not a week later and that manager was nice as he could be. nothing else ever said about language.

    worked at another site where a manager called me out in front of other employees (he wasn't my boss or even in my chain of command) and 2nd time i was five feet away and so mad i couldn't even see him, He had no idea how close he was... i said I had to go and turned and walked away. He never had to learn i could put my fist through a brick wall.

    1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

      Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

      That might work in Europe, but in our Open Carry states, the bosses (and everyone ELSE!) carry .357's or Colt 45's holstered on their hips at work AND THEY KNOW HOW to use them FAST! You'd a been SHOT multiple times with a 10-clip or 15-clip before your fist EVER went near them and 99.99% here the Jury would set him completely free and clear cuz they won't convict on a self-defense case!

      .

      Here EVERYONE is armed to the teeth with open carry, which is WHY the "An Armed Society is a Polite Society!" saying works so well here!

      .

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

        People like you are the reason other people are trying to make me give up my firearms. Kindly shut up about things you don't understand before you do any more harm. Ta.

      2. Jonathon Green
        Angel

        Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

        I like Americans. They’re funny...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

          Perhaps you should try it sometime, Jonathon Green. It's much better to be funny than mind-bogglingly repetitive. At least try to come up with some new material. It'll do your brain cell a world of good to give it a little exercise.

      3. Ghostman
        Big Brother

        Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

        1) We only wish we could open carry at work like that.

        2) Never seen a 357 that used a clip.

        3) You must be a Pelosi/Ocasio-Cortez sycophant.

        4) Please research before you post.

        Otherwise, it was kinda funny.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

          I have a couple automatics in .357 Magnum, and another in .357 Sig ... So yes, they exist, but I question the utility. I never use 'em because I have better tools for what (little) they are good at. If you are wondering, mine were all taken in partial trade for services rendered. I'll get around to selling them eventually.

          You missed "Who the fuck uses anything THAT heavy as everyday carry? Were they born stupid, or do they have to work at it?" ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

            Anyone who has a .357 as a daily carry is compensating for something.

            Though .357 might also be the appropriate diameter for the bit they're compensating for...

      4. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

        An unarmed person can close a five-foot distance before a gun can clear a holster, because if you escalate instantly with no warning (no 'tells'), the shooter is usually not reach to react, and doesn't.

        And armed society is one with a lot of dead children of arms-owning parents, dead arms-owning parents due to their children, suicides, spouses, fellow gang members, innocent people who looks scary, and very few actual bad guys. Check the stats.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

          You, as an unarmed person, could not close a five foot distance before I could draw and shoot you. I've done it with paper targets controlled by a random timer. The target loses every time. Not that I would, mind ... I'd still drop you on your ass, but without putting any extra holes in you. A charging human has almost zero control of their center of gravity, whereas the person they are charging has full control. A little simple leverage applied just so, and Bob's your Auntie.

          I have checked the stats, Hollerithevo. The Swiss completely disagree with you. Clearly, it is not a simple matter of allowing private ownership of firearms that causes violence. To suggest otherwise is patently ridiculous. Knock it off, you're smarter than that.

          1. Baldrickk Silver badge

            Re: You wouldn't like me when i'm angry

            5 ft is less than 2 metres.

            And if you're doing paper targets, you're clearly expecting it, and prepared for it.

  19. Herby Silver badge

    "Hamlet's Mania"

    Was explained to me when I was in grade school. The general gist is that the LOUDER the complaint, the less serious it actually is.

    So, if you encounter the shouty person, you can basically ignore it, BUT if you hear something like "Houston we've had a problem" in a calm and normal speaking voice, expect it to be VERY serious.

    The original story about "Hamlet's Mania" was about injuries as a child, but it has meaning here.

  20. Martin
    Happy

    There was the shouty man who once rang me to ask what was wrong with the system I supported at a large US bank. I started to explain, and he interrupted me to say "I'm a Managing Director - what grade are you?" I told him I was a lowly VP, and he shouted "I want a Managing Director to ring me back and tell me what is wrong!"

    I might have tried to find one for him (it would have had to have been my boss's boss, I think, and he wouldn't have had a clue what was wrong), but he slammed down the phone and hadn't told me his name or number....

  21. JassMan Silver badge

    I can vouch for his weather description.

    For my sins, I spent some time when I was younger in Queensland (AKA land of banana benders). One day driving to a job, it started to rain. Within seconds it was so hard that even with wipers on at full speed the rain backfilled the swept area within 1cm of the blades. All traffic instantly came to a standstill for half an hour when the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started.

    On another occassion, it started to hail in the middle of a 35C summer. Again, it was so hard that all traffic came to a standstill as frozen golfalls mounted above the door sills, finally reaching 40cm. We had to wait 3 hours for the hail to melt.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: I can vouch for his weather description.

      Sounds like not only is Oz stuck with all of the left over animals, they get all of the left over weather as well.

  22. Disk0
    Boffin

    To open a ticket...

    ... provide a description of the problem, steps taken to remedy it, and the #number of the asset concerned. If a function test by qualified staff confirms the issue, you’re on. Otherwise: sorry, we are not allowed to process incomplete tickets. Go ask the beancounters.

  23. Nematode

    Non-shouty client call.

    I had just returned from the wilds of Scotland and a major gas terminal there on a Friday night. Saturday morning I received a call from work to call the client, which I did. He very quietly said that there was a serious problem with the control system and the alarms and printer were going crazy and I needed to get back there pronto. Questions about what exactly was happening were met with further "you need to get back up here now"s and the Client's voice was very quiet and I could tell he was s****** himself, er, was very worried. About something, what I knew not.

    No remote access in those days, so I climbed back on a plane (sheesh) and got there Saturday afternoon. Shure enuff, printer going bonkers, alarms having to be silenced every few seconds (it was a new system they weren't familiar with). I took a look and it all seemed to be just one alarm. Shurely they could see that? I asked what were they doing outside, on the plant. They had recently re-started flow from the offshore gas line and suddenly, alarms like crazy. Er, might these be connected? As Process Engineering was actually my original discipline, I could see that there were slugs coming in from offshore, and the alarm in question was the Slug Catcher liquid level low-low. The plant had been below that level and as the slugs came in, they temporarily raised the level then levelled out below low trip again, setting off the alarm, quite correctly. I asked how long did it take to restart the line, to which they said several days in all. The slug catcher was a monster beast and this was definitely going to continue for a while.

    Just one of those things you learn that drop between the cracks of the functional spec. We can't know which loop(s) need filter blocks unless you tell us which loops are liable to jump around, we do try to ask you, but you can't see that such things are necessary if you don't realise what's going to happen. I configured a filter block and it all went quiet. Fortunately the flight south was not followed by another northwards until some good time later.

  24. Camilla Smythe

    Lifting things.

    "Hi. My Computer has frozen."

    "Stick your hand up when I get upstairs."

    Gets to desk. Lifts folder from keyboard. Kills multiple copies of PowerPoint... Including the one with the original scribbles on it. }:o)~~

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many moons ago.

    Exchange was down, one of the suits that we rarely see proclaimed, shouting it a P1, its a P1, call the Engineers.

    The Engineers, whom we have on a costly contract we call up to remote into our remote tax-dodging data centre.

    I look at Outlook and it says connected, hmm no-one appears to of checked.

    Test email sent and received by colleges sat next to me.

    Maybe a temporary glitch, still needs investigating.

    Suit comes out and of his offices and shouts, "NOW THE INTERNET IS DOWN", yet I can see IRC updating in realtime.

    One of my colleges pops his head into the door whilst the suit runs round like a headless chicken saying this is costing in thousands a minute.

    College comes back after less than a minute in the suits office and whispers into my ears (I've re-enabled his wifi, don't say anything).

  26. marky_boi
    Mushroom

    As an Aussie , would have found the one who shouted at me

    I would have found the guy who shouted at me, lead him to the phone and told him it's f^%en there.... and then pointed at the sign and left....

    gotta bless being in the Government and secure in a job with a strong union....

  27. -teacup ordinance

    3 year old

    Had a Director that was a table pounder. the Oracle demand planning module wasn’t working because the install team ( external) never finished it and I wouldn't sign off on it. Buddy is shouting and pounding the desk yelling why isn't it working. ( because it wasn’t set up correctly by install team ) I look at him like he is 3 years old and don't say a word. In the mean time I am producing demand forecasts through MS Excel - yikes.

    apparently I didn't need to say a word because 1 month later I was gone. I did keep a copy of the system install review that Oracle completed which proved that it was the 'world class' 3 letter external consulting company that was the cause. just in case my former company ever got ' stupid' down the road.

  28. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Solder fume high

    I made some errors on a big audio snake (analog) that I wired up for a company I did work for. A colleague picked it up from my house on his way to the shop where they were loading up a truck to go out and do a concert. They did an audio test of all of the channels and it was something like 3-4 lines that had an issue. Get the shield wire on the wrong pin and it ohms out fine, but hums or picks up noise. The crew chief calls up and dumps all over me for not doing a perfect job and they need everything to work properly and shout, shout, shout. "Kevin, I can jump in the car and haul ass out there with my tool kit and sort out the problems in about 40 minutes"... shout shout shout. "Kevin? do you want me to come out and fix the wiring?" Shout whinge shout complain threaten. "Kevin, I'm hanging up now and coming out. Note which channels are a problem and I'll fix it. Be there in 40 minutes." Shout shout, 'click', vroom.

    Some people just want to be arseholes rather than problem solvers.

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