BOFH: What a beautiful tinfoil hat, Boss!

In which our heroes keep the office safe as only they know how

BOFH logo telephone with devil's hornsEpisode 17 The new Boss is a complete idiot – no surprises there. There's a tractor beam which draws them through the multiverse to our company.

This guy, however, may actually be the biggest idiot in the building – and he's up against some fairly stiff competition. Not only has he no IT experience, he also seems to be on a one-man crusade to prove the Dunning-Kruger effect.

"I just need a hand to install my emission blocker," he says. 

"Your … emission blocker?"

"Yes, against the harmful radiation."

"What harmful radiation?" the PFY asks, looking around warily.

"The blue light and EMF from my monitor."

"That's not a thing," I say.

"It is!" he insists. "They've proved it. Blue light can affect your sleep."

"Perhaps you should sleep at home then?" I suggest. "Or with lights off?"

"Blue light is pretty harmful," he repeats.

"Yes, I've heard the UN is taking it up with the inventor of the sky," I counter.


"I don't think it is," the PFY offers dubiously.

"I consulted a health professional before I took this job. He looked at the office and recommended blocker screens, a negative ion generator, a Himalayan salt lamp and an ionic air purifier."

"And by 'health professional' you mean 'New Age retailer'?" I ask.

"He's a SCIENTIST! He's got a doctorate!"

"From an 'online university' operating out of a van on blocks in some waste ground in the middle of Eastern Europe?" the PFY suggests. "The one with the coursework requirement of sending cash in the mail? If so, that's where I got my MEng with honors in defenestration."

"He also recommended installing yellow/green light blockers on our fluorescent lamps."

"Yellow/green blockers that he happened to be selling?" I ask.

"It's a Health and Safety thing. What could be worse than prolonged exposure to an inhospitable workplace environment?"

"How long have you got?" I ask. "Running into a half open door when exiting a poorly lit office – because we blocked out all the bad colors – during a fire alarm."

"Powering into the corner of a desk in the dark and spilling hot coffee on yourself?" the PFY adds.

"I think people are more careful than that," the Boss sniffs.

"Not our people," the PFY says, "they're a bunch of idiots."

"I doubt that," the Boss says.

"One of them once tripped over a mat while putting up a sign warning people about tripping over the mat." 

"That would be the exception rather than the rule."

"Several exceptions. The next person tripped over the mat coming to the aid of the person who tripped over the mat while putting up the sign about the mat."

"Yes, well these things happen."

"Would you like to hear about the third and fourth people who tripped over the mat?"

"I think I've got the gist of it."

"Ironically, the fifth person was the Health and Safety rep."

"Yes, yes, but that just goes to show that we have some serious mat issues."

"We didn't have any mat issues until they put the sign up. It was wobbly, so they put it under the edge of the mat to stop it falling over."


"Everyone sees with 20/20 hindsight," the Boss sighs.

"Not our people. They got a heavier sign and someone tripped over it and so they put up a second sign to warn about the first sign," the PFY says.  "Idiots."

"But it worked itself out?"

"I put the mat in the bin and sold the signs to a scrappy, along with some other office rubbish."

… Ten minutes later at Mission Control …

"Where's my chair gone?"

"Oh, that was some of the office rubbish I sold to the scrappy," I say.

"How am I supposed to work without a chair?"

"You asked for a standing desk."

"Yes, but I don't want to stand all the time!"

"Oh right, that wasn't clear. So you do want a chair?"

"Of course."

"Right, so, do you want a carbon neutral unit? Or do you want a brand-new one – brimming with arguably harmful VOCs?"

"I … uh … the carbon neutral."

"Great choice! I know a scrappy who can source one of them for you at a good price. Now, do you need your desk adjusted?"

"I … maybe?"

… Two minutes later …

"I just thought I'd stop by on the way back from getting myself a cup of tea" the Boss lies – Mission Control being nowhere near the water boiler – "My lights don't seem to be working."


"Yes, I had my assistant remove them. What with the blue, yellow and green light issues I thought it'd be best to remove them altogether and not chance the red."

"Ah. I couldn't help noticing …"

"That your monitor isn't emitting harmful radiation either?" I suggest.  

"Not exactly …"

"I had my assistant replace it with a broken one. Safe as houses."

"Safer even!" the PFY adds "The power lead is in your drawer."

"But we did find you a chair!" I say.

The Boss wanders off in a vaguely disillusioned manner, while the PFY readies a cigarette lighter under the smoke detector …



"That'll be the half open door," the PFY says.


"The desk" he adds.


"And … the boiling hot coffee."

"Probably can't get a blocker for that …" I comment.

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