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BOFH gets Blood on His Hands

First aid tips for Bastard Operators

Episode 22 BOFH 2000: Episode 22

So, as part of the Company-wide lip service to Health and Safety, anyone in an area deemed potentially dangerous has to go on a First Aid refresher course. And wouldn't you know it, because of a minor statistical anomaly in the workplace accident figures, the Computer Room is found to be the most dangerous place in the Building.

As it should be.

Still, The PFY and I are REQUIRED to attend the course, which isn't so bad when you consider the company's picking up the Tab for a day off work.

And we do get a shiny first aider badge.

To wear to the pub.

At our respective wakes.

"Yes, that IS the correct way to use a defibrillator," our instructor informs The PFY calmly. "However it's not generally the recommended method for treating a broken arm, which is what we're looking at currently."

With a sigh The PFY puts down the paddles of the unit, which is no doubt suffering from a seriously depleted battery and leaves the resuscitation manikin to smoulder out.

"Now back to broken arms; what's the best treatment for them?"

"It depends on how they were broken.." The PFY answers, beating everyone in the assembled group for our tutor's attention, like the closet brownnoser he is.

"Yes, true," she responds. "If the fracture is what we call an 'Open' fracture, we would want to treat it differently than a normal 'Closed' fracture."

"Oh. I was thinking more along the lines of 'did I slam their arm in a door, and should I give it a twist to make my point - for luck'. Sort of thing."

"Yessss.." she replies, clearly deciding not to dig any deeper into that particular quagmire. "Anyway, what we're looking at is whether there is bleeding associated with the injury or not, and whether there's a necessity to treat that first."

The Boss, meantime (here because he too values the idea of a day out of the office) is looking just a tad queasy - obviously not too keen on the blood idea..

Best go easy on him.

"Blood you say," I cry loudly, "Would that be like a LOT of blood?"

"Well it depends really on the organs involved, and how they're affected."

"So the blood could just GUSH out, ALL OVER everything, or if could just OOOOOZE?"

The Boss is now looking like a Procol Harum song and starting to waver in his chair, which is the perfect time for an interlude...

"I think we need to get him some fresh air," I cry, pointing out The Boss to the instructor.

"Yes, yes, very good idea."

"I'll bring the shock machine!" The PFY cries, leaping toward the device in question.

"That won't be necessary" she responds, "All he needs is a little lie down in some cool air for a minute or two."

The PFY barely hides his disappointment, but rallies -- by snaffling The Boss's wallet and standing on his personnel disorganiser -- while helping him to the window. A gust of fresh diesel fumes to the nostrils and The Boss is back in the Land of the Living.

"Where's my wallet!?!" he cries, performing his Power on Self Test true to form.

"Here it is," The PFY offers, "Just looking after it."

The Boss scrabbles through it, but everything seems to be intact.

Ten minutes later we've all seen a sling in action and managed to pair up to give it a try ourselves. I, sadly didn't quite get the hang of it, so to speak, and mistakenly wrapped the noose - I mean bandage - around The Boss's neck. And it's true what they say about a well-tied reef knot - it doesn't slip.

After The Boss has his second bout of fresh air, we begin again, pausing during the bleeding stage for The Boss to recover yet again. Sigh.

The next day we're all back on fine form and I'm showing The Boss some of the sights of the computer room. He wants to go through every SINGLE bloody accident that's ever happened in the place and see if our course has covered it - before he pays this invoice. Sigh.

. . .

"And this is where that engineer slipped and tripped down the raised floor tile - breaking his arm - which incidentally that accident happened the very day after he told us that we didn't have 24 hour response.."

"Yes, yes," The Boss murmurs, ticking off something on his clipboard. "We'll have to put up warning signs on the walls about that."

"..Oh! And this is where we had that mild electric shock when wear and tear on the power cable accidentally connected phase to this cabinet. Nasty burn and a bit of hysteria there."

"Yes, perhaps we should make it a rule that everyone entering the room has to use insulated gloves," he burbles.

"Ah" The PFY cries, "This is where that consultant who was always complaining about not having access to the computer room accidentally climbed on top of the machine. And this is where he broke off one of the smoke detectors with his head - causing the halon to be released."

"Really - he broke it off with his head?"

"Near as we can tell - he quit after the accident, so we didn't have a chance to ask him about it."

"Yes. Those consultants all have First Aid certificates, don't they? I know, I've got an idea! Why not let them all have access to the computer room - which should increase the safety of the area many times over!"


"Let them into my computer room?" I ask.

"Yes," The Boss replies happily.

"Well I suppose so," I respond, ignoring The PFY's look of horror. "They certainly would have come in handy that time I cut my finger on the sharp edge of the inside of this cabin... oh look, I've done it again!"

I pull my arm out of the cabinet and sure enough there's a large cut along it with a generous amount of blood on it.

"And this," I say, indicating a stretch of floor tile to The PFY, "is where The Boss fainted that time and >KATHUD< broke >STOMP<</b> his index finger."

Desperate times, desperate measures.

You'll get access to my computer room right after you pry the Halon test key out of my cold, lifeless hands. ®

BOFH is the Bastard Operator from Hell. He is the creation of Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his copyright

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