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BOFH: Oh for Pete’s sake. Don’t make a spectacle of yourself

Just close your eyes and pretend it’s not there. Before you know it, it’ll be the weekend

BOFH logo telephone with devil's hornsEpisode 9 The Boss is wandering around Mission Control asking thoughtful but pointless questions to give the impression that he really cares, whilst in reality he has some crazy idea percolating in his brain that he wants us to look favourably upon.

“I think the whole building should go mobile — all laptops, no assigned desks, all wireless.” Ah, there we go.

“That’s not a great plan,“ I say. “You know our staff like the comfort and safety of their hidey-holes.

“Also, it’s been proven many times that implementing hot-desking just creates a series of preferred spaces that people come in early to nab — spaces which eventually become the early birds’ de facto offices.

“Later arriving people, on the other hand, end up with the dregs of office areas — like outside toilets and in draughty locations,” I add.

“… My office is outside a toilet entrance. And it’s cold all year round,” the Boss retorts.

“I’m sure that’s a coincidence,” I say. “But in the meantime, that idea’s still not great. I can’t think of how much it would cost to deploy that much wireless. Then there’s the wireless management system, upgrading the PoE switches, stamp duty …”

“You seem to be the only one objecting to it,” the Boss counters, ignoring me and nodding at the PFY.

“Yes, but the only reason he’s not objecting to the idea is because he’s wearing a Stupidity Cancelling Headset.”


“A Stupidity Cancelling Headset. It’s like a noise cancelling headset which cancels out background sounds that prevent you from hearing voices — only this headset cancels out stupidity and enhances background noises. It’s been shown to reduce annoyance and enable people to focus on tasks.”

“There’s no such thing!”

“There is, and the PFY has them. The headphones are tuned to recognise the same micro-stresses that are used in audio-based lie detection, only the headsets are tuned to those frequencies, vocal tics and pauses that reflect indecision, doubt and, uh … lying.”

“That’s rubbish, I don’t believe you.”

I turn to the PFY with a raised eyebrow.

“?” he says, wordlessly.

“There you go,” I say, turning back to the Boss.

“He didn’t say anything!”

“Because he's not heard you — so your speech must be laden with doubt or indecision — or you’re lying.”

“I doubt that. Is this true?” he asks the PFY, who continues working away. “IS THIS TRUE?” he repeats loudly.

“This is just pointless. Get him to answer me!”

“I would — but he doesn’t know you’re in the room.”

“What are you talking about?”

“He’s wearing Idiot-Sensitive Glasses.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” he snaps, leaning forward in a surge of uncharacteristic bravery and giving the PFY the finger.


“I told you.”

“There’s no such thing as Idiot-Sensitive Glasses.”

“There is, and we have them. You know how light bends around strong gravitational forces? Well idiocy — also called denseness — has a gravitational pull that disturbs the very fabric of reality and which can actually render a person’s stupidity invisible — which accounts for a number of political successes over the past five to ten years. These glasses, however, go the full 100 per cent and remove the idiot as well as their idiocy. They’re a game changer, because they allow people to see past crazy idiots with their crazy ideas.”

The Boss, in a surge toward the predictable, grabs a book from my desk and heaves it at the PFY, who deflects it.

“There! See!” the Boss mugs.

“See what?” I ask.

“He saw the book!”

“The book’s not an idiot. I mean Donald Trump’s autobiography might end up being a bit of an Achilles heel for him, but Kernighan and Ritchie’s treatise on the C Programming Language isn’t likely to be. Even if he couldn’t see that particular book coming he’d know just by sensing a disturbance in the Force when you picked it up.”

“Did you see that book just fly across the room?” the PFY gasps.

“Oh this is ridiculous!” the Boss repeats.

“Who are you talking to?” the PFY asks me.

“Well there’s one way to prove this,” the Boss says, stomping over to the PFY and raising his fist.


The Boss is lying on the ground holding his groin and groaning faintly.

“Did I forget to tell you about the PFY’s Threat-Detecting Boots?” I ask.

“This …” he gasps “is actionable. You’ll be hearing from HR.”

“Is this about that time that you gave my assistant the finger, threw a book at him and then attempted to assault him? You know, I think we probably have footage of that on the CCTV system.”

“We do,” the PFY says.

After the Boss has limped out to consider his next triumph of lunacy I turn to the PFY.

“Sometimes you’ve got to make your own fun.”

“Who said that?” he gasps, looking around.


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