This article is more than 1 year old

BOFH: Who Put the Mug in Smug?

This Boss has to go

Episode 41 BOFH 2000: Episode 41

The Boss is wandering around Mission Control with his brand spanking new Madonna digital phone headset on like an extra from a sci-fi movie (and unfortunately, not one of the extras they send down to the hold to investigate that strange clanking noise...) and it's really starting to get on my tits.

"What was that clanking noise?" I ask The PFY, my thoughts wandering for a second.

"What clanking noise?" The Boss asks.

It's too good an opportunity to miss..

"A clanking noise, like something banging down in the hold..."

"This is a building, it doesn't have a hold!" he replies, on the money, everytime.

"Oh. My mistake," I sigh.


"Yes, yes," The Boss murmurs back into his headset "Uh, huh.. Right!"

The PFY and I wait for all the news that must *BE* important enough to require a mobile conversation to bring it to us as soon as possible.

"That virus is out again!" he cries.

"Which one?"

"That love one - Apparently you had it here a while ago - under a previous manager," he recounts smugly.

"Ah yes, the one who invoked mailed the message to everyone in your address book, if you were stupid enough to open it, stupid enough to use Outlook, stupid enough not to have virus scanning installed and up to date..."

"Can there BE anyone that stupid?" The Boss asks, chuckling away from what he believes is the technical highground.

"Bill Gates makes a fortune out of them!" the PFY slips in.

"Does he make viruses too, then?"

Which comes to the crux of the matter. The only thing WORSE than a technical boss is one who non-technical boss who believes that intellect and experience are obtained at the very same time as a job title - i.e. because he's become IT manager he can now manage IT.... Hence the headset. Hence the top-of-the-line brand spanking new desktop and laptop he demanded as befits and IT Professional. Complete with external consultant-installed virus protection. Hence the smug attitude.


"Not exactly. Anyway, we're running interception mail delivery software, so we're relatively safe from that particular virus and it's many variants now" I respond, >BRAINWAVE!<</b> "... But what we're a bit flummoxed about what to do about all this porn getting mailed into the company en masse."

His mental antennae extend faster and further than his headpiece antenna and he's over like a shot. So fast it almost looks like he's discovered the secret of teleportation. But still in a "casual" manner. Being an IT professional, he's interested in the problem, not the porn.

"PORN, you say?"

"Yeah, Gobs of it!" I cry "- And I think 'gobs' is an appropriate term. I'm just about to delete it and warn the user concerned. And half his department's also signed up for it by the looks of their fileshare!"

"Hadn't you better keep some... evidence?" The Boss cries, thinking on his feet whilst trying desperately to suppress his drool reflex (Who says he can't multitask?) "Just in case they deny it?!"

Hook line and sinker..

"Nah, it takes up too much space and we have nowhere to store it. Look, there's gigs of it!"

I show him a fileshare cram packed with a couple of hundred megs of smut, and flash up a couple of images as a teaser.

"He's even got them categorised!" The PFY cries.

"He has too!" The Boss adds, surprised at the speed at which The PFY reached his conclusion.

(Given that it's The PFY's porn archive we're looking at, the feelings of surprise aren't mutual, though.)

"Anyway, it's best we delete them to free up space on the server," I continue, making to drag the contents into the Recycle Bin.

"I DO think you should retain proof. What if there's some legitimate work stashed in their somewhere? What if they deny it and claim it wasn't there or wasn't them."

"I see what you mean. But we don't really have the space on the server, as you can see.."

"Ah. True. I know, what about my machine - I've got an 18gig disk with a PIII 866!" he cries, spurting out his machine specs (obviously a party favourite) like a machine gun, "and 256 meg of RAM!"

(If only that were the case - after the great hardware robbery of last week... Patching the BIOS to report false info, however, took more time that ripping off the processor and memory, but it was time well spent...)

"Well, I supposed we could store it there for a while...", I agree "..just in case anyone asks."

.. Two days later..

"The Boss is pulling some long nights," the PFY comments a couple of days later as we exit a pub under the influence of hops derivative and notice a dull glow exiting his blinds into the street.

"Yes, he's a driven man!" I concur. "Not everyone would 'categorise evidence' so thoroughly.."

"You'd think he'd go home at night, though.."

"Or at least wash and change his clothes..."

.. Another two days later..

"And when they opened his office door the found him stark na..." Sharon the secretary blurts to her mate in the break room, on what looks like a secondhand spanking new Madonna digital phone headset, stopping mid sentence as I enter the office to get my snail mail.

..which explains the "Sealed by Security" sticker over The Boss's door lock...

"Can I help you?" Sharon asks in a surly manner, not at all happy at being interrupted mid-gossip.

"Yes, I was wondering if you could check out some clanking in the hold and let buildings maintenance know if something needs fixing."

"Why don't you check it?"

"Because you've got the only Master Key - but if you want to loan it to me.."

"NO-ONE gets the Master Key!" she cries, defending her realm. "So I spose I'll go when I have some free time. Where's the hold then?"

"Well you know where the waste outflow pipe in the basement is?"


"I'll draw you a map then..." ®

BOFH 2000: Kit and Caboodle
That’s right, the whole shebang

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

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like