On-call Welcome again to a festive edition of On-Call, the column in which readers send stories of jobs gone bad and we sanitise them for general consumption.
We usually appear on Fridays, but the On-Call inbox is bulging, there's sod-all news to write this week and so we're doing it daily this week to spread some Christmas cheer.
Today: Sex in the office.
Let's start with “Andy” who was once called out to fix a webcam.
Andy reached the client's apartment and immediately felt it was a bit odd.
“It looked not quite like a home,” he wrote. “It was well decorated and very well lit, with a surprising number of lights. But it didn't feel lived in: there was a distinct lack of knick knacks, photographs and personal effects.”
Fixing the webcam was trivial: new drivers, plugging it in and the job was done.
And then the client asked to test it, which was when Andy learned that the client – a young woman - made her living by getting naked in front of it.
“She was actually quite pleased to have someone else there to adjust lighting as apparently certain areas can be difficult to light by solo adjustment,” Andy told us.
“As a young male of breeding age it was kind of a surreal situation,” Andy said, admitting it was a struggle to retain his professional demeanour.
The client was certainly satisfied, declaring that after Andy's adjustments she looked “much hotter".
Indeed, she was so satisfied with Andy's performance that she granted him a thank-you hug. While naked.
Andy tells us he is "not a casual hugger except with my close friends." So he was a little surprised to find a naked woman pressed against him.
And in his state of bemusement, he “accidentally had a hand a little low”.
That act earned Andy “A 'Good sport' and a pat on the bum as I left.”
You can't get fired for buying IBM downloading smut, but you can be shamed for it
“Kerry” sent us a story of his time as an IT generalist for a consultancy at which the network would sometimes all-but-grind to a halt.
Eventually the company bought a shiny new firewall and on a particularly bad day for the network Kerry checked out the real time logs.
“To my genuine horror I found a constant stream of downloads from about 50-60 different servers all downloading porn at a tremendous rate. So much that it sucked up all the internet connection and was slowing the network down.”
And at the heart of the problem was one PC, albeit an unattended PC because its user was on holiday.
“The bloke who's PC it was strolled in the next day unawares only to be dragged in to 'meeting' before he got his coat off.” He quickly confessed, but Kerry says “He surprisingly never got sacked and at some point someone blabbed and the whole company knew of his antics. He was rather sheepish for quite weeks after that.”
The worst of it? Kerry reckons that if he'd run his crawler out of office hours, he would never have been caught.
“Rick” sent us the story of another user busted for inappropriate downloads.
Rick worked in the UK for a Belgium-based company. And one day received “a call from the Belgian helpdesk saying that a single user on our site was taking up the entire bandwidth”
Suffice to say all that traffic was X-rated and that Rick and his colleagues confirmed the fact as they sought to address the network problem.
As they did so, images started disappearing from the fellow's C: Drive and network share.
“He'd clearly realised he'd been rumbled,” Rick told us, “so we locked him out of his account, copied what remained (which was still an eye-watering amount) onto a DAT3 tape, and discreetly raised the issue with our boss.”
'Needless to say,” Rick recounts, “a once-promising career in chemical engineering was flushed away down the toilet. No-doubt with a large amount of Kleenex.”
Got any more stories of smut in the office? Let me know and you might appear in another edition of On-Call. ®