BOFH: What a beautiful classic car. Shame if anything were to happen to it

And look, your COVID pass is all melted...


BOFH logo telephone with devil's hornsEpisode 1 There's been a fire.

"Not in the building?!" I gasp at the Boss' smoke-tanned face.

"Just outside the building," he says.

"I thought you said you'd been IN a fire," the PFY says.

"Yes, a fire – IN MY CAR."

"Ah, I see. Well, the electrics in 'classic' cars are notoriously unreliable."

"And you don't think it's suspicious that it caught fire seconds after I left the building?" he asks.

"Seconds after entering oxygen-rich air and accelerating to a speed which would both drive your aging alternator faster and fan any emergent flames?" the PFY asks.

"I guess when you put it like that..." the Boss admits grudgingly. "But I've lost everything."

"Oh, were your wife and kids in the Austin?"

"No, but..."

"So just your house, life's savings, that timeshare in France and your superannuation scheme?"

"No all my work things! My briefcase, laptop, wallet and phone. All my work notes."

"Not your work notes!" the PFY gasps. "And just when you were on the verge of solving the Hodge Conjecture!"

"The what?"

"And I hope you took copies of your plans for a workable low-cost fusion reactor!" I gasp.

"What are you on about?"

"Nothing. So why are you here and not with your vehicle?"

"The car's being towed by a recovery firm. I have a friend who can restore it to a usable state."

"Oh, you know someone with a compactor?" the PFY says.

"He did the original restoration," the Boss says, ignoring the PFY.

"He's an Austin Cambridge specialist and I'm sure he'll get it back into working condition."

I make a mental note to get another sunlight switch and a length of primer cord long enough to wrap around a fuel line.

"So what brings you here?"

"I need a new access card. For the building. I thought I may as well get one now."

"Good point," the PFY says. "OK, so let's just see..."

>tappity< >tap< >clicky< >click< >tap< "...there you are. And >click< REISSUE.

Right, so I'll just need to see two forms of ID."

"Why?"

"It's asking for two forms of ID. We didn't used to need that, but then a couple of the more entitled board members started getting worried about people floating over here on driftwood with the express purpose of putting their medical degree to good work as one of our cleaners..."

"What are you on about?"

"The board. Pretty much every second board meeting they've brainstormed another question designed to keep the company safe from the threat of the day – migrants, money laundering, terrorism – you name it, there's a question in the on-boarding process to deal with it."

"But I'm already on-boarded."

"Indeed you are – but what better way to filter out the bad eggs than when they want their security access card renewed."

"But I don't have any ID. It was burnt."

"We really only have your word for that," the PFY says.

"IT'LL BE ON THE CAMERAS!" the Boss says triumphantly.

And so it is. The moment the smoke starts entering the car the Boss' driving takes on a blind-man-in-a-trolley-dash vibe with him careering off into a number of vehicles before rolling from the vehicle like a sedated stuntman.

"It doesn't show your ID being burned."

"IT'S IN THE CAR!" the Boss snaps.

"So you say."

electrician plays with live wires in rain

BOFH: Switch off the building? Great idea, Boss

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"Look, how about we waive the ID..." I say.

"YES!" the Boss chips in.

"...If he can find two people to confirm he is who he says he is."

"You two can do it."

"I dunno. I think we need impartial people. There's no oversight if we're confirming your identity AND verifying the credentials of ourselves. It'd be a conflict of interest."

The Boss stalks off and eventually rounds up a couple of the staff.

"Excellent!" the PFY says. "Now I need to confirm your bank account name and number."

"Why do you need my bank account number?" the Boss asks.

"That money laundering thing," the PFY says.

"I don't know my bank account number."

"Do you know any verifiable banking information?" the PFY sighs.

"I know my credit card number."

"Let's have it then," the PFY says, clicking on a box.

The Boss provides the information, which will no doubt be used in the future by his insurance company to verify who'd purchased the primer cord and timer.

"COVID pass?" the PFY continues.

"It got burnt."

"Do you have an online copy?"

"The laptop got burnt."

"Another electronic copy?"

"My phone got burnt."

"Can you talk HR into waiving that or looking up your details?"

...quarter of an hour later...

"Ok, and can you confirm your date of birth?" ...

"Mother's maiden name?" ...

"Favourite primary school teacher?"

"Look, why do you need all this information?" the Boss snaps. "I've been here for over an hour and I need to get home!"

"We have to establish some verification questions for next time – so we don't have to go through this process again."

"Oh, Jones. Mrs Jones."

"Right, so I think we're done. All we need now is a photo..."

...two minutes later...

>snip<

"...and I'll just upload that..."

>tappy< >click<

"...and print the card..."

>whirr< >click< >ptunk<

"The photo's all distorted!" the Boss says. "I look deranged."

"Yeah, the system's designed for a 50mm lens but my phone camera's got a wider angle, so it tries to compensate by emphasising the foreground."

"I can't have that."

"Righto then, I guess we can try again. >clicky<

I'll just need to see two forms of ID..."

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