This article is more than 1 year old

Bastard Plan 437f

Faking a faint

Episode 12

BOFH 2001: Episode 12

So we're at the world's second-most boring meeting (First place being taken by any meeting on the best version of Windows to use) and the new Boss is rambling on about future directions of IT and where we should be going, etc.

Which isn't so bad, as I'm winning at palmtop infrared battleships with The PFY .. (Having something to keep my brain from switching into powersave mode is always good and battleships will do until someone ports Quake to CE).

Only we're not even up to the: "What came to me in a dream last night" part of his monologue when I get the Low Battery warnings. It means the only chance I have of sinking The PFY's battleships is by throwing The Boss at him.

Always good to have a backup plan.

IR-MessageThe PFY of my disaster; he signals that he'll buy me some recharge time by invoking bastard plan 437f - faking a faint. He's probably hoping I recognise the suffix on this one and doesn't treat him for 437h, as the defibrillator leaves burn marks when it's cranked up too high. Mentally he'll be running over how nice he's been to me in the last few days in case he needs to pull a dramatic recovery.

All in all he must be feeling a clear conscience - although I still don't know if it was him who locked a cabling duct on me last week..

A soft >THUD!<</b> sounds as The PFY faceplants the table and goes down.

"Ooooh, where am I?" I gasp quietly moments later - proving that his conscience isn't as clear as one might expect..

"You fainted!" I cry disappointedly, putting the paddles back and setting the defibrillator to 'Standby'.

"Oh, Yes. I feel quite seedy, I think I need to sit in the fresh air for a bit"

"Let me help you," I blurt, grabbing an arm and steering him out of the office in the direction of the lifts.

. . .

"So how long before they start looking for us?" The PFY asks, bringing the second round of pints over.

"Well, I'm guessing that we've probably got another five minutes or so, so we'd best drink up!"

"I'll never get another pint down in that time!"

"HEY! You've still got a half of strong cider after that to make the diabetes story believable!"


"Yes, acetone/apple smelling breath. This way when you fall asleep in the meeting I can tell them it looks like a diabetic coma and you need to be rushed to hospital - hopefully before The Boss recommends printing out data as an alternative method of archiving information."

"IN ACTUAL FACT, The Boss was saying we should move ALL our documentation to web-based searchable forms with keyword indexing just before we left. The complete opposite!!"

"Oh, that's just an Opinion Pole" I remark.

"An opinion poll?"

"No, Pole. It's like an opinion Poll, except you get the shaft. Basically The Boss gets your opinion, ignores it, but claims you were consulted - so that when things go wrong you get rogered by the bad press, not him."

"Which means..."

"Which probably means that we've just recommended Tahoma as the new standard font, Red and Gold as the new corporate cellphone colour, and Bold as the company font style. All the important stuff that people need direction on...."

"Nothing technical?"

"Oh there's technical stuff - bound to be. Probably something like using your initials for your password, Using the right hand control key to decrease wear and tear on the left hand one, and only using italics for departmental jokes"

"So nothing TECHNICAL?"

"I wouldn't say that. We'll probably get back to find that SANs and NASs are the same thing because they use the same letters, Turbo Linux is the best OS because it's got a turbocharger in it, and Visual Basic is the best code for blind people.."

"So nothing technical?" The PFY repeats one more time.


"Who'll get these 'recommendations'?"

"First up, the other managers - who for the most part know less about computing than they do about dung beetle farming, then, in it's second revision - the Board."

"Won't they do something?"

"With new disorganisers and Battleships onboard? I hardly think so!"

"So it's up to us then!" he grunts decisively.

"What are you proposing?" I ask, letting The PFY have his head

"It's a secret.." he murmurs.

One nasty diabetic coma later the plan's in action and we're off like a flash for some emergency glucose treatment.

"Two pints of Lager."

"I'll have the same" The PFY adds, plugging his cellphone into a PCMCIA card in his disorganiser and firing up the dialler.

"So what are you doing precisely?"

"Well I thought I'd see if the minutes of the meeting were in yet so I could , uh, correct them.."

"They'll know you've tampered with them of course.."


"Because it'll be a coherent document. There'll be no complaints."

"So you're saying I've got to introduce mistakes to make it a believable technical document?"

"Precisely. The more glaring the error, the more believable the document. For instance, you wouldn't recommend that people backup their documents to cdrom. You'd recommend they backup their data to floppies, because then they can take it with them wherever they go."

"It's not too glaring an error?"

"Oh, didn't I mention single-sided floppies. Mac-formatted - for security..."

"Ok, I'll see what I can do.."

I leave him to it and deal with my pint. The next morning dawns and I check my inbox for the fruits of The PFY's work. Sure enough, the compiled minutes have just been emailled by secretarial services, and most of the horror of The Boss has been obliterated by The PFY's marathon effort.

"So where's the errors?"

"They're on the second page," The PFY gasps from the depths of his hangover. "after the junk."

"Oh, I thought that was a PGP signature!"

"Nah, that's when you spilt that beer on the disorganiser while I was spell checking..."


"Oh dear.. Yes, I like the idea of changing all forms printers to double-sided, and.. the plan to put the manager's face on mouse pads for 'morale'. But what's the idea with NASing the fileshare server content? That's almost logical?"

"NOT if you use Novel.."

Sweet. ®

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2001, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like