back to article BOFH: Xmas party: Get a wriggle on

"Get a jiggle on," I tell the PFY as I clamber into the work vehicle, "or we'll be late." "Take it easy," the PFY responds calmly. "Stacks of time. The place doesn't even open for another hour." "Yeah, but it'll take us that long to get there!" I snap. "I'm sure we'll be ok," the Boss says, clambering into the back seat. " …


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  1. Anarchy
    Thumb Up


    ... episode ever

  2. Rob Sked
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    I also . . .

    . . . concur

  3. JP Strauss
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    Brilliant as always, but...

    ...When's the TV series coming?

  4. Ryan

    back to form :¬D

    after a several-week run of - frankly - boring episodes.

    *dons rubber-soled shoes, checks fire exit*

  5. Rysz
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    Simply astounding - Got my Christmas Party tonight, wheres that spanner?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I Don't Know....


    You people you complain that BOFH isn't weekly and when it is you complain it's boring either have it fortnightly and interesting or get it weekly and have a little gem every so often


  7. Dex

    Wrong piece of kit

    Sure Rysz to get to the bar the CP will be handy :P

  8. Anonymous Coward
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    Absoloutly brilliant, Wish my company would throw a xmas party at a casino i'd sure as hell fit nitrous to one of our vehciles too lol

    Brillaint episode well done Simon!

  9. Brett
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    oooohhhhhh need more than beer to clam me down after that car chase. top tv show if it happened. This is what I expected from the IT crowd.

  10. Danny
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    i love every new BOFH, but this one does seem to be above avarge if you ask me :)

  11. Anonymous Coward


    It's our Christmas thrash tonight, black tie and, I believe, a casino night.

    A free bar that is until the tokens run out. I must be able to find someone who <shudder> doesn't drink alkyhole, or maybe a pregnant person? or someone who wants to become a pregnant person(I'm easy on that)?

    Knowing the rest of them as I do, mugging is far too dangerous I'm not a young man any more, I could even lose MY tokens!

    I've put fresh batteries in my CP, did you know they do a shoulder holster version now? so I should be able to reach the bar without too much trouble.

    I don't think I need my coat do I?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weekly BOFH ftw

    Even when it's not good it's great.

  13. Mike Morris

    And yet another....

    ...perfect opportunity to use the still absent beer icon. I'll just grab my coat on the way out to toast another fine mess, I mean episode!

  14. Michael Sheils
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    That has to be one of the best episodes this year.

  15. Trygve Henriksen

    Dumping CDs on the road?


    If you dump them from a speeding car, they may shatter from the impact and send splinters everywhere, possibly harming pedestrians!

    Only use BNC connectors and terminators...

    Or, if REALLY desperate, launch an old HP laserjet out the back of the car.(assumes a sensible car, not a sedan)

    An old 4Si should be able to stop a tank, if necessary...

  16. Rob


    ... perfect remedy for this Friday afternoon, much kudos to you Simon :)

  17. Edwin

    Continuing on Trygve's thread...

    ...a smokescreen of toner

    ...a smokescreen of looseleaf Nortel Meridian manual pages

    ...hdd platters instead of CDs

    any more ideas?

  18. Phillip Rhodes

    Ice Cold Lager?

    I thought you Brits drank your beer more or less at room temperature (or just slightly cool), and that drinking Lager "ice cold" was an American-ism?

  19. Nathanael Bastone
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    RE: TV Series

    I agree, this must be televised, the nation must not remain ignorant of the BOFH!!!

  20. Michael Born
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    Absolute Quality...

    I gotta say that Simon is definitely back on top of his game (even if his CP batteries are exhausted!!!

    My company bash is black tie, formal dress, couple of free drinks and a pop-idol failure for entrainment!

    After the drinks run out, you have to start using your own beer-vouchers - SCANDALOUS!!!

    Personally speaking, I'd rather listen o my 1 Yr old screaming than go to that!!

    Ahhhh, Xmas, a time for good will, secret-Santa (with alluminium-foil wrapping paper, and good will to managers (damn it, gotta stop drinking at lunch time - didn't mean that, honest!)

    Have great weekend people!

    Bastard Printer Engineer from Hell

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Phillip Rhodes

    "Lahguh" gets served refrigerated. Most of it is undrinkable if served much above 0 degrees C and lot of it's undrinkable even when it is. It's *real beer* that should be served nearer to "room temperature".

  22. Dan

    @Ice cold lager

    Lager needs to be cold, and it is, pretty much wherever you go, UK included. The stuff that gets served closer to room temp is ale of various sorts. Although, being a cold Guinness man myself, I cant think of a good example.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE Ice cold lager

    "I thought you Brits drank your beer more or less at room temperature (or just slightly cool)"

    Indeed - Simon is a Kiwi though!

  24. L. W.

    Keep em weekly!!

    BOFH episodes are like pizza.... when they're good, they're GREAT!! And even when they're bad, they're still pretty good!

    On a different not, scary is getting an email from Traviglia, Simon ( scanned it three times before I opened it! :-/

  25. Mark

    Re: Ice Cold Lager

    Brits like John Major drink beer at room temperature; Brits who watch footy have learnt the dubious pleasures of ice cold Fosters and "Stellaaaaa"

  26. daniel Silver badge

    @Continuing on Trygve's thread...

    ...Exploding Sony batteries and Dell laptops?

    An IBM PS/2-70 or -80 would also stop a tank. It would also boot (sorry, IPL!) afterwards too...

    A Model M keyboard could also be used as a melée weapon too...

  27. Roland Korn

    Continuing on Trygve's thread... some more ...

    Any office can of butane powered cleaning agent into the tailpipe as a flame thrower...

    That non-dairy coffee creamer as an aerosol to cloud their vision .... gums up nicely if mixed with washer fluid ....

    Any of those good old'n'reliable(?) 20"+ carriage printers tipped out the boot.. er trunk for you US types ...

    I was always more attracted to the use of military surplus rocket boosters for that extra bit of acceleration .... some of them have vernier steering capability so you can stay on the road if you didn't want to go ballistic .. =P ... now where would one get one ... (innocent IT look)

  28. Simon Reed

    Re: RE: TV Series

    I DISagree, this must NOT be televised, the nation MUST remain ignorant of the BOFH!!!

    You see, there are still one or two tricks regarding patch panels, transformers and toggle switches I have not completely explored...

  29. Chika

    He only remains a bastard...

    ...if the great unwashed remain ignorant!

    Mind you, we wouldn't want him to become too complacent and stuck in a rut, now do we?

  30. Chris Fleming

    Chris, expat KIWI

    Fantastic! I concur. Brilliant as always.

    Cheers and beers (ice cold)

  31. Ed

    Thank God For BOFH :)

    Thanks Again Simon.....

    TV... Bah... What we need is the BOFH MMOG

    "I am a level 1 PFY with a +5 cattle prod" lol

  32. Rhys
    Black Helicopters

    I'll join the MMOG

    That'll be me in the black helicopter with the laser mike ;)

  33. Lee

    @Ice Cold Lager?

    speaking as an aussie, isn't brittish room temperature pretty darn close to freezing anyway?



    Penguin because it's jolly cold in london ; )

  34. Lee Colclough

    As usual.....

    Pretty damn good. I still go and look up all the old BOFH from '96 onwards every now and again if I have an hour to kill in front of the PC. I know I'm licking ass, but it's christmas and I think Mr T deserves a bit of seasonal cheer!

  35. JP Strauss

    RE: Televising the BOFH

    What I was thinking was along thelines of a five minute sketch in between the evening news and whatever's after, or maybe something along the lines of a downloadable episode on youtube/BOFHtube every now and then.

  36. Nic Brough

    At last

    A decent use for old CDs.

    I do understand Trygve Henriksen point about the shattering and the unarmoured (pedestrians and cyclists), so I wouldn't deploy if there were any around. Unless they made themselves legitimate target (politicians, phb's etc)

  37. alyn
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    BOFH could be turned into a cartoon. An english Dilbert

  38. Fred


    Another brilliant episode Simon!!! And this one was all verturing out side! rare...

    Ah... im satisfied now.

    Gutted i missed this on friday as it was my work xmas night out as well! and it was pretty damn funny lol! BBW nite out in the same venue! My god! what a barrel of laughs it was.

  39. Jon Tocker

    Sod the TV series...

    Full feature-length movie, starring Simon as the BOFH.

    Nothing else would suit. He would have to script it and direct it because if any Hollyweird writer or director got his/her mitts on it it'd be turned into a love story because no Hollyweird director or script writer seems to be able to do anything else:

    BOFH: The Movie, runtime 120 minutes - Within first five minutes (establishing who BOFH is and where he works), new attractive woman is employed, there ensues around an hour and 13 minutes of sexual-tension-charged rivalry between the two as she tries to get the better of him and vice-versa and then in the final 2 minutes they admit they love each other and there's a rough fade to the wedding.

    All true BOFH fans exhausted from performing a marathon of vomiting.

    Better to have 120 minutes of the BOFH "removing" a succession of noisome users, beancounters, auditors, contractors and PHBs with the usual spine-chilling tension of "has he finally met his match in this person?" "Looks like they're onto him - what particularly nasty form of death will he use to get out of it this time?" etc

    All Simon need do is grab some of his best stories, thrash them into a contiguous story line, write a script and organise a producer or two to ante up the dinaros for sets, actors' and crew's wages, props, film stock, post-production costs etc etc and pay for the plane tickets to London to shoot a few external shots showing the BOFH and PFY entering/leaving the office/pub (all the rest can be shot in sets here in NZ with enough pommy actors to create the illusion of being in the UK and one really abrasive Yank playing a sales rep). Done!

    No need for any Hollyweirdism.

    A TV series would carve into Simon's regular job too much while a movie is only a few months of full-time filming and his part's mostly done. Another 3-month holiday a couple of years later to shoot "BOFH2: The PHB Gets Out Of Gaol".

    Wouldn't work if anyone else were to play the part. And of course the BOFH has to be a Kiwi - it's well established in the previous episodes that the BOFH left New Zealand to find work in the UK.

  40. Simon Travaglia

    What's all this bollocks about "Best"?

    There's no "best", there's just what comes out.

    Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea that's just so bloody great I can't wait to get up in the morning and get it down.

    The morning dawns and I think "That was aaaaaabsolute crap!" and chuck it away.

    But I have been to a lot of vendor drinks, and even put a black tie on occasion.

    Sometimes I feel a complete 'Mr Jolly/Dorchester' binge coming on. Like the IBM do tomorrow when the Mrs has agreed to drive me home from...

  41. Bob Gulien

    This is the mother of all BOFH's

    This is a nice one too (and old):

    Tech Support Diary!

    A Week in the Life of the Notes Support Person from Hell



    User called to say they forgot password. Told them to use password

    retrieval utility called FDISK. Blissfully ignorant, they thank me

    and hang up. God, we let the people vote and drive, too?


    Accounting called to say they couldn't access expense reports

    database. Gave them Standard Sys Admin Answer #112, "Well, it works

    for me." Let them rant and rave while I unplugged my coffeemaker from

    the UPS and plugged their server back in. Suggested they try it

    again. One more happy customer...

    8:14 am

    User from 8:05 call said they received error message "Error accessing

    Drive 0." Told them it was an OS problem. Transferred them to


    11:00 am

    Relatively quiet for last few hours. Decide to plug support phone

    back in so I can call my girlfriend. Says parents are coming into

    town this weekend. Put her on hold and transferred her to janitorial

    closet down in basement. What is she thinking? The "Myst" and "Doom"

    nationals are this weekend!

    11:34 am

    Another user calls (do they ever learn?). Says they want ACL changed

    on HR performance review database so that nobody but HR can access

    database. Tell them no problem. Hang up. Change ACL. Add @MailSend

    so performance reviews are sent to */US.

    12:00 pm


    3:30 pm

    Return from lunch.

    3:55 pm

    Wake up from nap. Bad dream makes me cranky. Bounce servers for no

    reason. Return to napping.

    4:23 pm

    Yet another user calls. Wants to know how to change fonts on form.

    Ask them what chip set they're using. Tell them to call back when

    they find out.

    4:55 pm

    Decide to run "Create Save/Replication Conflicts" macro so next shift

    has something to do.


    8:30 am

    Finish reading support log from last night. Sounded busy. Terrible

    time with Save/Replication conflicts.

    9:00 am

    Support manager arrives. Wants to discuss my attitude. Click on

    PhoneNotes SmartIcon. "Love to, but kinda busy. Put something in the

    calendar database!" I yell as I grab for the support lines, which

    have (mysteriously) lit up. Walks away grumbling.

    9:35 pm

    Team leader from R&D needs ID for new employee. Tell them they need

    form J-19R=9C9\\DARR\K1. Say they never heard of such a form. Tell

    them it's in the SPECIAL FORMS database. Say they never heard of such

    a database. Transfer them to janitorial closet in basement.

    10:00 am

    Perky sounding intern from R&D calls and says she needs new ID. Tell

    her I need employee number, department name, manager name, and marital

    status. Run @DbLookup against state parole board database, Centers for

    Disease Control database, and my Oprah Winfrey database. No hits.

    Tell her ID will be ready tonight. Drawing from the lessons learned

    in last week's "Reengineering for Customer Partnership," I offer to

    personally deliver ID to her apartment.

    10:07 am

    Janitor stops by to say he keeps getting strange calls in basement.

    Offer to train him on Notes. Begin now. Let him watch console while

    I grab a smoke.

    1:00 pm

    Return from smoking break. Janitor says phones kept ringing, so he

    transferred them to cafeteria lady. I like this guy.

    1:05 pm

    Big commotion! Support manager falls in hole left where I pulled

    floor tiles outside his office door. Stress to him importance of not

    running in computer room, even if I do yell "Omigod -- Fire!"

    1:15 pm

    Development Standards Committee calls and complains about umlauts in

    form names. Apologizing for the inconvenience, I tell them I will fix

    it. Hang up and run global search/replace using gaks.

    1:20 pm

    Mary Hairnet from cafeteria calls. Says she keeps getting calls for

    "Notice Loads" or "NoLoad Goats," she's not sure, couldn't here over

    industrial-grade blender. Tell her it was probably "Lettuce Nodes."

    Maybe the food distributor with a new product? She thinks about it

    and hangs up.

    2:00 pm

    Legal secretary calls and says she lost password. Ask her to check in

    her purse, floor of car, and on bathroom counter. Tell her it

    probably fell out of back of machine. Suggest she put duct tape over

    all the airvents she can find on the PC. Grudgingly offer to create

    new ID for her while she does that.

    2:49 pm

    Janitor comes back. Wants more lessons. I take off rest of day.

    next installment see below

  42. Bob Gulien

    Next installment


    8:30 am

    Irate user calls to say chipset has nothing to do with fonts on form.

    Tell them Of course, they should have been checking "Bitset," not

    "chipset." Sheepish user apologizes and hangs up.


    Support manager, with foot in cast, returns to office. Schedules

    10:00am meeting with me. User calls and wants to talk to support

    manager about terrible help at support desk. Tell them manager about

    to go into meeting. Sometimes life hands you material...

    10:00 am

    Call Louie in janitorial services to cover for me. Go to support

    manager's office. He says he can't dismiss me but can suggest several

    lateral career moves. Most involve farm implements in third-world

    countries with moderate to heavy political turmoil. By and by, I ask

    if he's aware of new bug which takes full-text indexed random e-mail

    databases and puts all references to furry handcuffs and Bambi Boomer

    in Marketing on the corporate Web page. Meeting is adjourned as he

    reaches for keyboard, Web browser, and Tums.

    10:30 am

    Tell Louie he's doing great job. Offer to show him mainframe

    corporate PBX system sometime.

    11:00 am


    4:55 pm

    Return from lunch.

    5:00 pm

    Shift change; Going home.


    8:00 am

    New guy ("Marvin") started today. "Nice plaids" I offer. Show him

    server room, wiring closet, and technical library. Set him up with

    IBM PC-XT. Tell him to quit whining, Notes runs the same in both

    monochrome and color.

    8:45 am

    New guy's PC finishes booting up. Tell him I'll create new ID for

    him. Set minimum password length to 64. Go grab smoke.

    9:30 am

    Introduce Louie the custodian to Marvin. "Nice plaids" Louie

    comments. Is this guy great or what?!

    11:00 am

    Beat Louie in dominos game. Louie leaves. Fish spare dominos out of

    sleeves ("Always have backups"). User calls, says Accounting server

    is down. Untie Ethernet cable from radio antenna (better reception)

    and plug back into hub. Tell user to try again. Another happy


    11:55 am

    Brief Marvin on Corporate Policy 98.022.01:

    "Whereas all new employee beginning on days ending in 'Y' shall enjoy

    all proper aspects with said corporation, said employee is obligated

    to provide sustenance and relief to senior technical analyst on


    Marvin doubts. I point to "Corporate Policy" database (a fine piece

    of work, if I say so myself!). "Remember, that's DOUBLE pepperoni and

    NO peppers!" I yell to Marvin as he steps over open floor tile to get

    to exit door.

    1:00 pm

    Oooooh! Pizza makes me so sleepy...

    4:30 pm

    Wake from refreshing nap. Catch Marvin scanning want ads.

    5:00 pm

    Shift change. Flick HR's server off and on several times (just

    testing the On/Off button...). See ya tomorrow.


    8:00 am

    Night shift still trying to replace power supply in HR server. Told

    them it worked fine before I left.

    9:00 am

    Marvin still not here. Decide I might start answering these calls

    myself. Unforward phones from Mailroom.

    9:02 am

    Yep. A user call. Users in Des Moines can't replicate. Me and the

    Oiuji board determine it's sunspots. Tell them to call


    9:30 am

    Good God, another user! They're like ants. Says he's in San Diego

    and can't replicate with Des Moines. Tell him it's sunspots, but with

    a two-hour difference. Suggest he reset the time on the server back

    two hours.

    10:17 am

    Pensacola calls. Says they can't route mail to San Diego. Tell them

    to set server ahead three hours.

    11:00 am

    E-mail from corporate says for everybody to quit resetting the time on

    their servers. I change the date stamp and forward it to Milwaukee.

    11:20 am

    Finish @CoffeeMake macro. Put phone back on hook.

    11:23 am

    Milwaukee calls, asks what day it is.

    11:25 am

    Support manager stops by to say Marvin called in to quit. "So hard to

    get good help..." I respond. Support manager says he has appointment

    with orthopedic doctor this afternoon, and asks if I mind sitting in

    on the weekly department head meeting for him. "No problem!"

    11:30 am

    Call Louie and tell him opportunity knocks and he's invited to a

    meeting this afternoon. "Yeah, sure. You can bring your snuff" I

    tell him.

    12:00 am


    1:00 pm

    Start full backups on UNIX server. Route them to device NULL to make

    them fast.

    1:03 pm

    Full weekly backups done. Man, I love modern technology!

    2:30 pm

    Look in support manager's contact management database. Cancel 2:45pm

    appointment for him. He really should be at home resting, you know.

    2:39 pm

    New user calls. Says want to learn how to create a connection

    document. Tell them to run connection document utility CTRL-ALT-DEL.

    Says PC rebooted. Tell them to call microsupport.

    2:50 pm

    Support manager calls to say mixup at doctor's office means

    appointment cancelled. Says he's just going to go on home. Ask him

    if he's seen corporate Web page lately.

    3:00 pm

    Another (novice) user calls. Says periodic macro not working.

    Suggest they place @DeleteDocument at end of formula. Promise to send

    them document addendum which says so.

    4:00 pm

    Finish changing foreground color in all documents to white. Also set

    point size to "2" in help databases.

    4:30 pm

    User calls to say they can't see anything in documents. Tell them to

    go to view, do a "Edit -- Select All", hit delete key, and then

    refresh. Promise to send them document addendum which says so.

    4:45 pm

    Another user calls. Says they can't read help documents. Tell them

    I'll fix it. Hang up. Change font to Wingdings.

    4:58 pm

    Plug coffee maker into Ethernet hub to see what happens. Not (too)


    5:00 pm

    Night shift shows up. Tell that the hub is acting funny and to have a

    good weekend.

  43. John

    White vans don't need nitrous

    It's a white van! No matter how fast you're going there's always one right on your tail honking to get past. they are officially the fastest vehicles in the universe.

  44. Rolf Preuss

    Instant Favorite

    Not sure if "best" ever but very high on the list of my personal favorites - co-workers checked in on me twice because it had me ROTFL...

    Good job, I needed the laughs - Thanks, Simon!!!

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