back to article BOFH: Weapon of choice

“...and it turns out that he’d ordered the 157-H43 instead of the 157-H44 unit," one engineer says, walking into Mission Control. "And as we all know...” “...the H43 has the tab on the other side!!!” the other engineer finishes. They both burst out laughing. Good times. The PFY has heard more than his fair share of …


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  1. dunncha


    Have you been watching me. I had this conversation last week.

    We aren't allowed to use the hammer. We drop a car engine on them. Then we can claim it was an accident

  2. Steve Hill


    Hammer Time!

    (Sorry, I'll get my coat).

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Can't touch this

    Please tell me that the hammer is made out of Machined Chromium....

    i.e. it's an MC Hammer


  4. Gerrit Tijhof
    Thumb Up


    "“It’s me,” I say. “Hammer time!”"

    A straight classic: well done Sir, well done!!

  5. Simon 6
    Thumb Up

    Yay a BOFH post!


    It's funny seeing how they react to others playing the same game ;-)

  6. Dave Ross

    Hammer time...


    (well, it is Friday afternoon after all)

  7. Rosuav
    Thumb Up

    Three drawers under the desk...

    I need drawers like that. Bottom drawer for when I talk to eBay about their stupid API.

  8. Andrew Moore

    A hammer... being too kind.

  9. Toastan Buttar

    Engineers, Scientists, Programmers and Other Odd People

    To counter this story, you have the case in The Dilbert Principle (p176 in my copy) of some engineers at a technical firm taking it upon themselves to diagnose a problem with a photocopier rather than trust the tech-rep guy to fix it. Oh dear. :-(

    A thirty minute job (they'd put developer into the ink receptacle) turned into a four-day rebuild and recalibration of the machine from the ground up.

  10. wim

    outsourcing ?

    Is the BOFH outsourcing the task to eliminate the engineers ?

    I thought there was mention of a lift and thus lift shaft ?

  11. Daniel Gould
    Thumb Up

    Class at last...

    Only been waiting for what feels like FOREVER for a new episode, but at least it's a good one.

  12. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Oww yeah

    That's the stuff

  13. Dr. Mouse
    Thumb Up


    Friday isn't quite Friday without BOFH. I think I would reach for the hammer too if they'd delayed my pay!

  14. Il Midga di Macaroni

    Quite rightly hammer time

    I've seen a few cases of shoddy maintenance and suchlike in my 15 years of involvement with printers, but that takes the cake.

    RULE #1 FOR ALL PRINTERS, COPIERS AND MFDs is that if you treat them right, they'll treat you right. Any engineer that treats a device of mine like that will get Hammer Time and worse.

    Give the poor thing to me Simon, I'll have it printing your pay cheque in no time flat. Oh, you'll share your good fortune with me won't you?

    Grenade because that's the least of what "engineers" like that deserve to have inserted into their large intestines.

  15. uncle sjohie


    Now all I have to remember is where I stored those yellow pajama pants 18 years ago, I always knew I'd end up wearing them to work one day!


    Whop! Whopp! WHOP!

    ... or should I say _WAS_ not.

    Kill the basterds.

  17. Sartori


    .....just brilliant, absolute class and made my Friday! Thank u!!! :)

  18. Scott Broukell


    Ah! we have some of those in the orifice, the letters stand for (M)al(F)unctions (D)aily.

    My scribe can rattle off sheets of velum more quickly with his crows foot and some Indian ink.

  19. Darkside

    Paper cheques?

    What sort of IT unit still gets paid by cheque?

    You get the same kind of panics when the bank won't accept your BACS file but you get to fix it yourself. Maybe add a 0 to your own payment while you're at it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ctrl P

    I sit next to our office printer and believe me... I know more then our in house technical guy... and who needs a hammer when you have high heels? :)

    A warm and fuzzy glow as I share in the empathy of every techie in the world, TFI!

    Paris, because if she knew there was 'p' on the keyboard she would think she has a wetware problem

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Brilliant, as usual!

    Our method for making the engineers do the job seems to work. We tell them that it's the payment order printer - no-one gets paid until it's fixed, and we're more than happy to ring their supervisor and tell them. Repeatedly.

    If that fails, those little cogs on the side of the print feeds look like they really hurt when they are inserted violently...

  22. HFoster

    Quality-Quantity trade-off

    Loving the calibre of BOFH stories, but why are they so irregular now?

    The exploits of The Diabolical Duo make my Friday (well, that and alcohol).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP CLJ6040mfp?

    It just HAS TO be one of these...

    No other MFP has given me more problems... Not even the CLJ9500MFP.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If payroll or month en was being delayed finance would finish them off well befor IT got a chance.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Hammer time!

    followed by extended pub time, with "Technical expenses" (lager) courtesy of engineers' credit cards. It's not like they're needing them at the hospital, are they?

  26. nobby


    you missed the point - its not the IT shop that gets paid by cheque - the cheques are for Sundr. Eplns.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Now that... what I'm talking about! Classic BOFH. Thanks Simon.

  28. Evil Auditor Silver badge


    "who needs a hammer when you have high heels"

    Because me wearing high heels would be just that little bit over the edge. Than again, a cat5 cable will do the trick as well...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Where exactly do you press the high heel into his neck to get those results without leaving a mark as evidence?

  30. Anonymous Coward

    sad but true

    I have watched a co-employee type mess up two printers this week that had been working perfectly well... until

    I fully expected these two clods to end up at the bottom of the elevator shaft for the holiday weekend.

    Another fine job, but really hoped to see that hammer in use!

  31. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    A crual and unusual punnisment (work) prevented me from reading this till now.

    Well worth the wait!

  32. Douglas Norton

    Weapon of Choice

    Had that tune in my head as I read this, now Hammer Time, great stuff.

  33. DavidK

    Hammer Time

    Can't touch this.

  34. Dan 21
    Thumb Up

    @Evil Auditor

    High heels, cat5 cable... What's your safeword?

  35. Richard Jukes
    Thumb Up


    An aboslute classic - and one I can very much emphase with this week. The boss decided to 'upgrade' the printer that prints the monthly invoices on the last day of the month. Because we all love to upgrade mission critical kit - on the morning that it IS MISSION critical....I know its a faster printer...but any time gained because of that was certainly lost getting it setup....bah!

  36. Chika

    Not sure about the hammer...

    ...unless you use a Banger racer's toolkit, of course. (That's a sledgehammer to those of you not versed in such things)

    I'd probably have trouble choosing a target though.

  37. Cheshire Cat

    Nice devices

    We have Ricoh MFDs here; they can scan documents and then email the (huge) scans to your email address.

    Since our email system was becoming clogged with scans, I have a rather neat hack - a fake SMTP server that the MFDs point to that receives the email, strips off the scan attachment, and sticks it into our web dropoff system before emailing the original recipient with a URL to pick it up from. If they dont pick it up within a few days, its auto deleted.

    If anyone wants a (free of course) copy of this, email me or seek out my website.


  38. Anonymous Coward

    Oh God the flashbacks!

    It took me back to the time when HP came out to fix our broken printer. He pressed ONE button at the wrong time and then spent the next FOUR days getting the printer back to it's original broken state.

    He then took about half an hour to fix it.

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