"Oh, Bring Your Own DEVICE!" the PFY blurts in mock realisation.
"Of course Device!" the Boss snaps "What did you think it meant?!"
"Bring Your Own DRINK" I say, nudging a half consumed case of chilled Newky Browns from under the desk that the PFY and I have been working on for the past half hour.
"Bring Your Own Dog," the PFY says – indicating the general direction of the old tape storeroom, from which a low growling noise can be heard.
"I didn't think you had a dog," I quip.
"Oh I don't. I found one in the park. It was a bugger of a thing to get into the building. Fought me the whole way!"
"Why the hell did you bring a dog then?" The Boss is getting a little heated.
"Well, I was thinking about getting a dog a couple of months ago, and when I saw the Bring Your Own Dog day I thought if numbers were low you probably wouldn't have one again – so I brought one in hoping you might have a Bring Your Own Dog day again."
"BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE," the Boss snaps again. "DEVICE! Why the hell would we want you to bring your own dog anyway – or drink?!"
"Oh, I always have a couple of cases of Newky sitting under the server room floor in front of the process chiller output," I say "In case of emergencies. But I bought another couple of cases in for the Bring Your Own Drink day."
"DEVICE! BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE DAY! WHO THE HELL WOULD HAVE A BRING YOUR OWN DRINK DAY?!"
"I did think it was a little unwise – foolish even,” I say. “But then this is exactly how I felt before they got us to install Vista on people's desktops – AND Windows 8 – and we still did that. And it's exactly how I would have felt if someone had suggested that people bring their own devices in to use for work purposes."
The Boss frowns. "Just how much of that have you had?"
"A case and a half. I was just about to send the PFY into the server room to get another."
He's still frowning. "How can you misinterpret BYOD?"
"I'm not sure I follow you. Are you implying it's a 'thing'?"
"Of course it's a thing! Studies have found that 95 per cent of employees bring some sort of device into the workplace and so we should be making use of it. It's what we call a socialised cost cutting measure – it'll save us a fortune in machines!"
"And cost us a fortune in support," I add. "But by device you mean their phone – or maybe a tablet – and not a real computer?"
"They might bring a laptop in,” concedes the Boss. “They're most welcome to bring their desktop computer in if that's what they want. It's all about savings."
"But we'll have to deal with all their virus problems, their computer slowness problems. THE INCOMPATIBILITY PROBLEMS!"
"Yes, but 90 per cent of the work a lot of people do is emailing documents around, so if it can do that we're saving money."
"But still losing money on support," I shoot back.
"But saving money on hardware – one of the company's largest spends," the Boss says. "I'd think you two would be all for it – I'm sure your home machines are higher spec than here?"
The PFY gasps. "So you want US to bring our home machines in too?"
"I'm just ... encouraging ... you to think of the company's spend,” purrs the Boss. “If we save money here we'll have it to spend in other areas. You'll be able to get something you really like."
"I'd quite like another Newky Brown."
"No more drink!" the Boss snaps. "I still don't understand how you didn't know what BYOD means. We've had a whole advertising campaign in the cafeteria for the past week!"
"Ah, well that would be your mistake,” I say. “All we saw was the diary reminder which just said BYOD by today's date. I didn't see any other advertising."
"There's posters and flyers in the Cafeteria! Every day for a week!"
"Ah well, we've not been to the cafe for a couple of weeks. Not since we saw them taking delivery of those entire dog rolls."
The Boss blinks. "Dog rolls?"
"Yes. You slice them down the middle, cover them in sauce and diced gherkin, bake them for an hour and call them the meatloaf special."
"Wha?" The Boss gags.
"I expect it's one of those socialised cost cutting exercises you were talking about,” the PFY adds. “When word gets out we'll save a fortune in cafeteria meals."
The boss is gulping a little more than he should which probably means he has a breakfast delivery to do.
"Not in here" the PFY says, gesturing out of the office "We've just had the carpets cleaned."
The Boss stumbles off to yak up his Weetabix in another area and injudiciously opens the only door he should have kept closed.
"RUN, FORREST," the PFY yells as a large tan blur, angered by its confined space, is released.
"Run for the cafeteria," I yell as the Boss vanishes at speed. "And get them to throw a meatloaf at you!"
"Another Newky?" the PFY asks.
"Don't mind if I do."
"I quite like these BYOD things. It's running all week isn't it?"
"It is indeed. Why?"
"I'm thinking of getting my Vax 11/780 out of the lockup and installing it in the Boss' office. With the memory expansion cabinet it'll be rather cosy in there. Cheers!" ®