back to article BOFH: The all-clicking, all-whirring Roboboss

I've got a particularly vexing game of multiplayer Enemy Territory on my hands when the new Boss rolls in and spoils everything. I say new Boss, as the previous one that everyone liked left for greener pastures and then his replacement left on medical grounds after accidentally pushing a paperclip into the live pin of a power …


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  1. Andraž Levstik


    But not all that brilliant :(

  2. Adam Foxton

    So they've moved

    to a new building in Dallas then?

    I'm here all week, people...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Savings computed

    Now, how many savings are Gordon Brown worth?

  4. Dr. Mouse

    I hate cleaning...

    and you just caused me a mamoth job removing gravy, onions, beef and chunks of bread from my monitor, keyboard, and all the paperwork on my desk! >:-|

    On the plus side, FANTASTIC episode!!

  5. Tim


    ..who hasn't had a dream sequence on a Friday afternoon?

  6. Quirkafleeg

    Ah, but…

    … do we have yet another fried boss? Enquiring minds would like to know :-)

  7. Kevin Bess

    Star BOFH - The Next Generation

    I was worried there for a second. Thought this might be taking a really weird turn. If the next boss has ridges on his forehead, I might have to introduce myself to a insulation tester self test!

    Mine's the one in bright orange...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    i remember when bofh was good

    come on everyone! regale us with tales of how your organisation's implemented a roboboss and how funny the it was! BTW, does ST do scripts for Doctor Who?

  9. Thomas

    The way of the future.

    Every office should have a chainsaw wielding roboboss. Preferably convinced about cost cutting measures in the HR department.

  10. Chika

    A pity, really...

    I wouldn't have minded seeing a Boss like that coming unstuck when presented with a sizeable lawsuit for Health & Safety violations. Especially if it was for, say, topping a few finance department bods with his latest money saving program.

  11. Dex


    Every office should have a chainsaw....PERIOD. You never know when you might get the urge to..............

    .......mines the one with the ski mask in the pocket

  12. Jax

    Because having a title is obviously really important

    Well I thought that one was hilarious.

    I lolled for once, usually I just smile when reading.

  13. amanfromMars Silver badge


    "The saddest thing, however, is that even without human emotion the robot still gets on better with the staff than his immediate predecessor." ........ Class, Simon.

    We're Spin Waiting with the PleasureRobot with which you can Get IT On Better. As you can Appreciate, IT always Requires Careful Testing for Maximum Performance which renders IT Pretty Exclusive in the Reality Field.

    Crikey, I trust in GOD that is not Offensively Overt Sexually .....

  14. Openminded Cynic


    "However, we have been a little barren in the toilet tissue department since the PFY complained to the buildings maintenance manager about the toilet fresheners in the bottom of the urinal, saying he preferred the menthol to the eucalyptus flavour..."

    Surely toilet fresheners have a scent rather than a flavour? Unless the PFY has a perchant for licking them?

    Slight dip in form looking forward to next weeks episode.

  15. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Simple Simon .... Taking a Walk on the Wwwilder Side of Life ?

    "BTW, does ST do scripts for Doctor Who?" .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 20th June 2008 11:37 GMT

    Much more likely to be TAG Doctor StrangerLove Movie XSScripting for a Broad Band Mix of Facilities to Feed with Source, AC.

    You do realise that your shared comments on El Reg fuel Simon's Gift providing Rich Content to Phorm into Imaginative Lead Comment. ...... Story Line.

  16. Sir Runcible Spoon


    I prefer that standard kind of 'bleach' flavour urinal block myself

  17. Stan

    Classic :)

    I was expecting a sequel to the 'boss with an antenna stuck down his back looking for his laptop in the basement' robotwars episode but this artificial intelligence meets BOFH intelligence is even better :) Could it be a prequel to BOFH, next generation? Spawn of BOFH perhaps?

    Nice one, keep up the good work.

  18. Jeff Rowse
    Thumb Up


    Damn! New keyboard, second pit on the left...

  19. Darkside

    Non-human Boss

    My employers hired the Mekon as head of IT. He outsourced it and left.

    That was about 1999, since when we've been battling against the odds to get the alien invaders to actually DO anything. There are lots of them and fewer of us, but each individual alien is assigned a year's work every month. Consequently nothing gets done and alien wastage is huge.

    Another new alien's just flashed past the window. Looks'if it was trying to fly to the other building, got caught in the downdraught. They don't give them time to adapt to Earth gravity. Or mains electricity or pelican crossings or bison-grass vodka - could someone collect it and put it on the pile downstairs? I'll ring for another one to go and fix the printer...

  20. SouthernBelle

    The perfect RoboBoss... the ED-209. As RoboBoss-209 is 'staircase impaired', the local BOFH can be assured that RoboBoss-209 will always approach Mission Control from the same direction (the freight elevator, naturally, so there's no ... inconvenience to the Beancounters' ... quality time ... in the passenger elevators).

    With some simple modifications (mostly just loading the excuse calendar), RoboBoss-209 is the model of user support. (RoboBoss-209 detects Resonant Harmonic Distortion. RoboBoss-209 requires the pin depth of the power socket your machine is plugged into. *shck* You have 15 seconds to comply.)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bravo Simon...

    Back on form, I've not laughed like that at the BoFH for a few weeks.

    "Did you realise that the finance department of this company allocates IT budget and by increasing our budget you could increase your savings targets exponentially?"

    That line is an absolute stroke of genius!

  22. Anonymous Coward


    Hands in the air: Who thinks amanfromMars is a roboboss?

  23. Lee T.

    @amanfromMars - roboboss

    just so long as he hasn't got a chainsaw

  24. Bryn Evans

    Only a Dream ?

    Dallas has a lot to answer for - luckily.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With the mention of the claw

    I had thought for a minute they'd hired Chthonic as their new boss. (Obscure reference, but suffice to say, Chthonic would not need Simon's input to know what to do with the chainsaw.)

  26. Dave
    Dead Vulture

    Elevator Shafts

    Darn it! As I was going to lunch earlier this afternoon, I walked down the hall, turned the corner, and almost tripped over the "elevator repairman" who had the elevator door open into an empty elevator shaft, and was kneeling down looking at something. When did the BOFH start working in MY building?


    P.S. Mine's the one with the parachute in the pocket (and the heavy rubber lining).

  27. E_Nigma


    "Coincidences abound." LOL! Someone isn't answering the phone and you still managed to make me laugh. But I'm back to being blue so pour (type) me another one, will you?

  28. bk mcdonald
    Thumb Up

    I liked it

    Thanks, Simon!

    (Robotic claw with wind speed/direction sensor in the deployed position)

  29. tony trolle
    Black Helicopters

    Austin Powers

    fem-bots would not need a chainsaw.....

  30. Kevin Fields

    I'm disappointed

    How could Simon just let the old boss walk away? Surely an accidental bump down the stairway or an unexplained 72-hour stay in the tape safe could have been arranged?

  31. Pierre


    Managed to be almost understandable AND quite funny actually. Or am I ill? Oh my dog, maybe I should seek psychiatric advice?

    As for this week's episode.... well, I for one liked the old hard metal BOFH stories, but IT evolves, it's all cloudy and virtual now, so I guess the BOFH has to go virtual too... plus, I guess that a good old episode involving semi-realistic ways of messing with plane schedules and buildings security would get Simon (T) in trouble. From the US, NZ looks suspiciously close to North Corea -or Afghanistan, or whatever-, and I'm sure Simon wouldn't be allowed to post from Gitmo. And who knows, a few old BOFH episodes might be considered as "material potentially useful to terr'ists". You might want to fire up TOR and your MAC spoofer before browsing the archives.

  32. Pierre


    Obscure reference???? Wikipedia has 8 pages related. How obscure is that?

    Bootnote: I just noticed the line on top of some WP pages: "You can support Wikipedia by making a tax-deductible donation.". Does it mean that WP is now OFFICIALLY a cult?

  33. Tuomo Stauffer


    A long time ago I used to work with(!) operators and they really have day dreams! Which I often had to enjoy. Maybe operators have evolved - in my days (of course only in dreams!) we only could lose a boss to (sound proof) fire stairs, doors somehow locked both up and down but eventually opened 8 hours later. Or maybe the bosses key code was found when someone used the executive bar or private lounges, saunas, etc in the night - actually good quality drinks and very hot saunas, not that I would know anything about those - just operator dreams! Or when some bosses got stuck between garage doors in a limo full of student girls coming to study the company process 3am - strange, the doors really did work for me a little earlier(?) but was kind of interesting in internal (of course, recoding) TV-circuit, and we, of course, were not allowed to even report anything about that system, a secret and another department! They really didn't do good work, tapes got lost and then somehow ended published in our internal publishing system just at lunch time when everyone was supposed to watch it? Kind of miss those times - the dreaming(?) is not as common today or maybe I just don't deal with operators as much as I used?

  34. |333173|3|_||3

    @AC - amanfromMars

    I suspect a neural net:

    The pig go. Go is to the fountain. The pig put foot. Grunt. Foot in what? ketchup. The dove fly. Fly is in sky. The dove drop something. The something on the pig. The pig disgusting. The pig rattle. Rattle with dove. The dove angry. The pig leave. The dove produce. Produce is chicken wing. With wing bark. No Quack.

    (For teh story behind that passage, see,_We_Need_a_Neural_Network.aspx )

  35. pctechxp

    the identity of amanfrommars revealed

    I reckon it's a bot based on neural net tech or the bot from

  36. Conor
    Paris Hilton

    Radio Reception

    Do people still use AM Radio? ;-)

    Aside from that, I want the whole back-story that explains how Simon managed to convince the Boss that sticking a paperclip in the power outlet would help his reception.

    PH because ... ok, the "sticking it in" joke is way too obvious...

  37. A J Stiles

    @ Lee T.

    The thing that most people who have never owned a chainsaw don't know is, there is one thing against which a chainsaw is completely, utterly, almost comically powerless:

    A sleeping bag.

    It's those hollow polyester fibres. They melt and gum up the chain, bringing it almost instantaneously to a standstill.

  38. Adam

    @Non-human Boss

    You may have Mekon, but I had Mordac, Preventer of IT from Dilbert as a boss.

    Thankfully, I've changed bosses, and Mordac now 'Works from home' but he still hinders all IT work with his demonic ITIL Chnage Management process (designed to prevent as much change as possible)

  39. Anonymous Coward


    not one of the best... Still love you though Simon.

    mine's the one with the bunny ears coat hanger. I fix my own radio reception problems!

  40. Paul Webb

    Must be Friday...

    T'other side of the fence...

    <mutter> I really don’t like being in hospital. I do seem to have a lot of accidents ever since I joined this place. And I still don’t understand that paperclip thing. I tried it on my wife and nothing happened. Nothing happened to the kiddie winkies either. But blow me, as soon as I stuck the screw driver in the same thing happened all over again. I really ought to stop listening to that skanky knowitall's advice because it never seems to work. Still, I’m the manager and I can at least wash…. And what’s wrong with Terry Wogan anyway?

    Oh no. That bloody robo thing. I bet that gets promoted before me. I hope those guys get hold of it first so they can ruin it like they do everything else.

    Oh shit, HSE.


    “Are you supposed to be here?”

    “Well, I’ve got this form that needs to be signed about a CEOBOT that was delivered this morning”.

    “Don’t know nothing about that”.

    “Well, perhaps someone else does, I was expecting more people to be here.”

    “They’ve gone”.


    “Dunno. Last I saw they were heading for the lift…”.

    “Oh, Can I just leave this with you then…”

    I bet they got headhunted. No-one seems to stay here very long. Grrr, I’ll headhunt someone in a minute… which reminds me, that bloody internet bill…


    “No, my ray-dee-oh is fine thank you. Now, did you manage to fix my chainsaw?”

    Enjoy your weekend everyone, if you have one ;-) I shall be playing golf, obviously. On my DS. In hospital no doubt...

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