back to article BOFH: The paperless cafeteria

"How's that paperless office coming along then?" the Boss asks enthusiastically as he enters Mission Control on his daily constitutional. "Paperless office?" the PFY asks. "Yes, you were saying the other day that we should go to paperless." "No I was saying how our printing and copying contract was extortionate," the PFY …


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  1. Shonko Kid

    Neither is Steel.

    Mine's the one with holes in time for pockets

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Classic BOFH...

    ...but no Credit Crunch angle? Fo' shame!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I'm too young

    to remember Sapphire and Steel

  4. neb

    title? we doan need no steenkin title...



  5. Fred Mbogo

    I can relate to this

    Back when I was studying in my country's National Univ. we also had a "special" cafeteria. They had a very broad menu that consisted of three staples: sausages, plain white rice and lentils.

    Oh joy, when they tried to vary the menu, you ended up with jewels such as: bulletproof pork rib, eternally chewable beef stew and the mystery soup. I did notice that whenever they varied the menu, the local homeless dog and cat population dropped down a notch or two. To make matters even better, most bathrooms were paperless indeed.

    The washing shirt icon because it illustrates your options when you find that there is no paper. Socks, shirt, or your undies.

  6. Aditya Krishnan
    Thumb Up

    oh damn

    Paperless office, indeed... Simon, you're responsible for my lovely new Aspire One's recent espresso-filled keyboard... But worth it, absolutely...

  7. Anonymous Coward
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    Transuranic elements.

    Wow, as soon as I read that I knew the derivation. It made me shiver with nostalgia.

    Of course, Steel's not an element either. So that pokes an even wider hole.

    But who cares really, Joanna Lumley was delectable.

    Mmmm, Sapphire.

    I'll get my leather trenchcoat.

  8. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    "Sapphire's not an element!"

    Neither is Jet.

    So confusing....

  9. Stuart Gray

    Nice nod to Xerox at the end

    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Excellent climax, but...

    ""So we could get..." the Boss says"

    This is a boss that's actually on the BOFH's side...! That is far too unrealistic - everything else the bofh does has a sense of realism, but this is just going way too far!!!

    I hope the PFY remembers the director's hidden luxury bathroom when he's doing his 'paperless' rounds :)

  11. sauerkraut
    Thumb Up


    just the thing i just needed after a fubar night and morning at work: boss diarrhea. brilliant. they really should introduce... paperless catering... at my place of work! definitely saved my day - cheers, simon!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Salty tartare sauce

    I'm so disturbed and wish I didn't have mayo on the sandwich I *was* eating.

  13. Nic Brough


    I wish the BofH would stop reading my mind - my S&S box set arrived yesterday...

    Mine's the one with "neither is steel" written on the back. In nice jet and diamond sequins.

  14. Simon


    Say no more

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Castor ....

    .... and yet no info on ricin ... ah well :-)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    'Transuranic heavy metals may not be used where there is life'

    You owe my client a new monitor - this one has just has a permanent coffee screen saver installed! B->

  17. dervheid
    Thumb Up

    I have tears...

    (of laughter!!) running down my face!

    BOFH of the year (so far).

  18. Graham Marsden

    "Sapphire's not an element!"

    ... Nor was Steel, but it was still a wonderfully original piece of TV SF!

    Mine's the one with the series DVD in the pocket...

  19. Andrew Moore

    "Sapphire's not an element!"

    but then, neither is Steel...

    ah nostalgia

  20. Admiral Grace Hopper

    "Sapphire's not an element"

    Neither was steel, but the memory still makes an old techie very happy, thank you.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Nice one - and with nostalgia too.

    This took me back to 1967 when I was a sixth-former - and a little escapade involving Phenolphthalein** and the coffee-urn in the Masters' common-room.

    Sheer poetry in motion(s).

    AC for obvious reasons

    "Go" 'cos they all did..........


    No-one then knew it could be carcinogenic, and the school chemilab was awash with the stuff...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "deep fry them in castor oil" Would that work?

  23. Craig


    Hideously cruel, love it!

  24. Stu Pid

    I'm sure

    that's what they do in our canteen!!

  25. AndyC


    Brilliant... Just, pure brilliance :)

  26. Duckorange

    Life imitates art

    I have recently found out that I am (genuinely) on Tier Two in our organisation's catering scheme of things.

    That's Tier Two out of seven. It's tramp vomit, but they rinse it under a tap first.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    sh!t Now that's funny.

  28. Stuart Butterworth


    BOFH is back, and on top of his game...

    Now, where do I send my bill for a new monitor and keyboard after spitting OJ all over it?

  29. Phil Cooke


    Class! Especially the PFY's 'committment' to paperless at the end :D

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Better paperless than...

    ...the sandpaper we get in our 'offices'

  31. Jaap Stoel

    Thank you!

    Thank you Simon!

    My jaw has been hurting the last week and laughter is the very best medicine! Once again, you where hilarious!

  32. A J Stiles



  33. Lewis Wernham
    Thumb Up

    'Transuranic heavy metals may not be used where there is life'

    Sapphire and Steel reference FTW!

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Nice 'Paperless loos'...

    So there is another use for the hand dryer then. Hmmm..... gotta love that aroma.....

    Mine's not the one hung up in the toilets.

  35. John Imrie

    Transuranic heavy metals may not be used where there is life'

    That brings back memories of Joanna Lumly.

    Not to mention proper kids TV.

  36. Les
    Thumb Up


    Sapphire and Steel references and some good quality evil-doing. Good stuff.

    My PFY tells me I must be old because Sapphire and Steel comes from before he was born. Mutter.

  37. Topsy


    OMG I am in creases. what an episode.

    I vaguely remember the bog-roll trick from my early days in IT.


    Did I leave my coat here?

  38. Matt Denny


    And so the PFY strikes again - he's an evil son-of-a-b*tch, but so very funny! Thanks for brightening up a dull Friday afternoon for me!

  39. Philip Alexander


    Truly evil, but brilliant!!

  40. Anonymous Coward

    OH S###!!!

    looks like the WC's paperless as well...

    hehehehehe... nice one :)

  41. Anonymous Coward

    People are racing back for seconds instead of to the toilets!

    I couldn't decide it that was funnier than deep frying everything in castor oil. Thank for the laugh this fine friday. It's always good to know that someone else has been to the same cafeteria with the same end results.

  42. Tom

    @ Better paperless

    " ...the sandpaper we get in our 'offices'"

    Luxury, the stuff we have is like a cross between wax paper and plastic cling wrap.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Somehow reminds me of...

    ..when I was a teenager and worked in a restaurant. A friend of mine worked for a pharmacy and gave me a roll of labels that said: "May cause discoloration of the urine or feces" I was bored one day and spent a few minutes affixing them to our stock of canned vegetables, all perfectly lined up, and in the same spot on every container. The owner came in and noticed them and hit hit the ceiling. I remember a frantic call to our supplier with him ranting and raving. I'm sure that our supplier rep had no idea what he was ranting about and thought he'd taken leave of his sanity/needed some sedation/had a mega-dose of crazy for breakfast.

  44. yeah, right.


    Now THAT'S funny.

  45. Simon Millard
    Black Helicopters


    Should have replaced the loo rolls with sandpaper so the bean counters can take the rough with the smooth!

  46. Dalen
    Thumb Up


    Poetic revenge with no violence involved (with exception of violent diarrhea). Would've snorted coffee all over my keyboard, except I finished it by that time.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I have to admit I was worried there for a moment with the boss actually in on this plot but you delivered brilliantly Simon. Taken me several minutes to compose myself enough to be able to write this.

    Reminds me of when I was doing technical support for a major ISP, our cafeteria had what was lovingly called the "wheel of death" with various and assorted dodgy items in it. Not surprisingly no one ever actually saw anyone re-stock the thing. They either were ashamed or didn't want anyone to know what was actually being put in it. However it went well with the "microwave of doom" which you had to actually press a button to stop, if you just opened the door like you would any other microwave the thing would keep running. Though it was terribly funny watching the new people jump like frogs and yelp like kicked dogs when the thing reached out and "bit" them.... Ah the memories. And yes the restrooms were largely paperless as the cost to constantly restock them would have bankrupt the company.

  48. A
    Thumb Up

    Excellent work Simon!

    That's easily the funniest thing I've read all month!

  49. storng.bare.durid


    I don't know what planet you're living on but in my experience caf food is invariably shite.

    But anyway, thanks for the inspiration to go dig out those old videos. 2 people wandering around a cheap set chasing funny lights. Amazing stuff despite all that. Of course, she being hot helped!

  50. Marina

    I should know better by now

    But I just had to wear mascara on Bastard-day, otherwise known as "Friday"...

    Good thing my office hasn't gone completely paperless yet!

  51. Cliff
    Thumb Up

    Excellent throwaway gag :-)

    ...the PFY says, holding up a sheet of paper with "CH3F" written on it....

  52. Lonesome Twin


    There is a point to Wikipedia. I spent maybe 30 secs struggling beforfe resorting to the inevitable...

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Actually Jim, the English aren't the worst for frying food. The Scots will deep fry just about anything, including mars bars and pizzas. I think they need a layer of fat though - it's so cold up there.

    As for frying your beer - I don't think that would work. Adding beer to the batter mix works beautifully though :)

  54. Anonymous Coward

    @ JIM

    Just stop.

  55. Cortland Richmond

    The paperless LOO, now...

    ...morale builder; we'll provide free coffee, tea and carbonated beverages.

    And coin slots to get into the sanitary facilities, that's right... paper extra. Just think, a new profit center.

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