Episode 1 BOFH 2001: Episode 1
"So," The Boss burbles, rolling in on a post-Christmas wave of stupidity that I've missed greatly in the past week or so, "any New Year's Resolutions?"
"Yes, 1200dpi!" I cry, using a geek joke that's so far over his head he can't even see its vapour trail.
"Eh?" he responds blankly, as expected, then decides to go for the fake, "Oh yes, very good. Anyway, enough of the pleasantries, we have a little problem."
"What would that be then?"
"Well it's just a small thing..." he adds, stalling for time - which can only mean it's bad.
"What thing would that be then?"
"Well it wasn't really my idea..."
Make that Pretty Bad.
"And what was the idea then?"
"Well, some of the other managers in IT thought it would be a good idea if you... uh... mannedthehelpdeskbecausethey'reallstillawayonholiday," he blurts, stepping behind the virtual cover of a large desk.
"They let the whole helpdesk go on leave at the same time?" I cry, feigning disgust.
"Not exactly. One is ill and the other one resigned after the Christmas party, after... you know..."
"IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!" The PFY cries loudly. "How many times do I have to say it? How was I supposed to know that Christmas tinsel was a conductor?!? I'd hardly let the poor bugger come into contact with the neon transformer if I'd known that!"
"And why was there a Neon transformer in the room?" I ask, playing the PFY's advocate and meantime prolonging the inevitable.
"I was simply moving it from one room to another..."
"While it was on?"
"I didn't want it to cool down and possibly have thermal shock failure..."
"You mean like all those neon transformers in shops do when they're switched off every night?"
"AH, I think the point is that we need someone on the helpdesk," The Boss interrupts.
"Yes, yes - you're right. So it's the helpdesk for us then is it?"
"Would that be OK?" he asks nervously, checking for exits, electricity conducting material and large body-sized computing equipment that needs filling prior to dumping.
"I don't see why not," I concede. "After all, all the systems here seem to be up and running with nothing untoward other than us having to wind back the clock on the ancient non-Y2k compliant boxes again."
"You gave in a bit bloody easy," The PFY says disgustedly, when The Boss has trundled out with enough perspiration on him to qualify as a natural spring.
"Yes, I have to admit that I did. However, there's a good reason for it."
"What's that then?"
"I can't be arsed saying 'no'."
"Well, you know how it is after the holidays - you dread coming back into work, and however bad the work is when you get here, it's still not as bad as what you'd been dreading, so in the relief you sort of don't mind the place so much."
"I... ah... I suppose so," The PFY agrees slowly, after he's thought about it.
"And so, in the spirit of goodwill, we might be tempted to let the users get away with certain... liberties."
"Which in turn would lead to them expecting these and other liberties later in the year..."
"So what would be better - them expecting liberties from the helpdesk and not even expecting and answer from systems and networks, or a life of living hell with the users ringing *US* whenever they get a blue screen?"
"I see your point!"
"Of course you do. However, with a little exposure to the using classes, we're bound to be honed back into a spirit of professional sharpness inside of a few short hours!"
"Ah!" The PFY cries, penny dropping.
. . .
"You can't remember your password after the break?" The PFY cries happily into his headset "OK, I'll change that to 'tomorrow' for you, one 'm', two 'r's... Oh, Don't mention it."
. . . One hour later . . .
"You can't remember your password after the break," the PFY cries into his headset. "I've changed it to 'thedayaftertomorrow' for you. Bye."
. . . One hour after that . . .
"You can't remember you password after little more than a week?!?" the PFY snorts into his headset. "I suppose we're lucky you found your way to work... I'll change your password the day after tomorrow. >click<"
"It's just like riding a bike," I cry to The PFY as he gets the feel for it once more. "Except you don't need to wear a helmet nor signal your turns."
I, meantime, am making inroads with cleaning up the fileshares that have become clogged with the output of unchecked automated procedures over the break.
"There you go, good as new!" I cry.
"So the disk is like before the holidays?!" the user cries happily.
"No, like when you bought it. When it was new..."
"I know. Don't thank me, it's my job >click<"
Two subsequent soft formats later and the phone is starting to show a reluctance to ring.
"They're stopping!" the PFY observes. "Do you think they know?"
"Of course they do," I reply. "The word will have been all over the place like a PR consultant after a couple of drinks. But still they call."
"Uh, no they don't."
"But still they call!" I cry, as the phones start up in earnest now.
"The financials server has gone offline," the user gasps, "and we've got to complete the end-of-month processing from December!!!"
"Don't you worry about a thing!" I cry "We'll soon have it sorted out - we have a backup."
"Oh thank goodness!" he gasps "Another server?"
"No, printouts and pocket calculators." I cry meglomaniacly. "Remember to write all your sums down as the auditors are due in two days. Oh, and remember to show your your working - there's no telling how pedantic they'll be!"
It's true - a rest is as good as a change... ®
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