back to article BOFH: The stupidity criticality

"I just don't understand him!" the PFY snaps. "Yes, well, you've got to remember we’re talking about a new Boss, so we're really looking at one of three types of people," I reply. "A - a grizzled professional who's seen and endured the stupidity of users. B - an idiot with no idea who just keeps his head down and waits till …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    "Or the end of the world is so near that karma has decided to clear the backlog of crap lives."

    *Now* everything starts to make sense !

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Love it. Just love it.

    "Backlog of crap lives" - gave my weekend a flying start.

  3. Emma Summers
    Thumb Up

    Ahhhhhhh my Friday is now perfect!

    Fab installment Simon you're really getting back into your stride now.

  4. Jeroen Braamhaar

    He's baaaaaaaaack .... and he's got a portable bulk eraser!

    Aaaahh ..... good to see the BOFH back in fine form, eliminating managerial stupidity one airtight conference room at a time!

    Good thing I put my coffee down BEFORE I started reading though ... or I'd really have needed that new keyboard.

  5. alyn

    Plenty of BS

    Theres plenty of BS over here. The management are full of it.

    Oh yes, and mission statements - does anybody actually read them?

  6. DJV Silver badge


    Deceptively tame until the pay off - nice!

  7. Admiral Grace Hopper
    Thumb Up

    "stupidity criticality"

    I may be stealing that one. Just so you know.

    And thank you, you've brightened a dull Friday.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The BOFH kills faster than Swine Flu.

  9. nichomach

    "Gas them like badgers"???

    Excellent stuff!

  10. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!
    Thumb Up


    Serves me right for reading BOFH whilst eating my sandwiches! Would that be S, bS or BS on my part, I wonder?

  11. DrizzCat
    Thumb Up


    This is what I love to wake up to. Well Done

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A Brave and Boldly Going Act of Mercy to Badgers and Assorted Miscreants

    An Übermensch Class Act, Simon. And an Attractive and Viable Template for Useless Toadies and SQLing Piglets with their Snouts in the Trough. COPoisoning to Relieve the Climate of Stinking Rank Airheads ....... Wastes of Time and Space. :-)

  13. MarkP


    No more need be said than <3

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    We need one

    I think we need an airtight conference room. Oh, and a generator.

  15. Alex C

    Fantastic episode

    Well done that man. :-)

  16. Gerrit Tijhof


    A fine one to start the weekend with, I might use some of it in the pub later on, "backlog of crap lives" splendid!!

  17. Able


    I'm guessing 2, right?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "N= IQ x BS^2 x IQ x bS^S"

    blind Stupidity to the power of Stupidity... Now that's an enormous number but doesn't correlate with the previous equasions; and it implies a third stupid party, which has not been introduced.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of spare Stupids around, but I think you might have meant bS^2 ???


    Stripey faced...

    That was the BOMB!

  20. Bob 22

    Which would lock the doors, start the generator and gas them like badgers

    Brought tears to my eyes. Priceless!

  21. The Librarian



  22. dreadful scathe
    Thumb Up


    "just had to tell someone" - frikkin hilarious :)

  23. Linda Chapman

    I Work For B's

    I was having a miserable morning with yet more idiot users requests (can't we get free software to do this?) when, OH JOY, a new BOFH. It's all clear to me now. Management is a bunch of type B's--any user idea, no matter how weird or nonsensical, has to be much better than anything I, with several degrees and twenty years of experience, could ever come up with. Thank you, Simon, for bringing a smile to my face and saving my users from bloodshed this morning.

  24. Jesthar

    Sounds pretty much like where I work...

    ...except in our case the 'working party' in question is not just the one, but several, and are not merely ignoreable 'advisors' to the respective Departments, but *in charge* of them. And the worst one of all is the one running the whole Company. The whole mission statement, vision and values stuff is so true, and they never seem to twig we just laugh at that stuff, then ignore it and get on as best we can despite their constant meddling with things they just don't understand...

    ...we either need a 'buy executive management a clue' fund, or a fourth floor secure conference room...

    ...and we also need a 'hatchet' or 'going postal' icon of some kind. Excep that post isn't really going anywhere much at te moment, is it? ;)

    *is counting down the hours to freeeeedom - can you tell?*

  25. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge


    My thoughts exactly, but we will need some dried-frog pills for the bursar please!

  26. Dave 129
    Thumb Up


    That was great :) ... I just had to tell someone about it :D

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Simple and effective

    I just had to tell someone!

  28. Darkside


    The BOFH offsets his CO2 emissions (mostly from lager fermentation) by reducing other humans' carbon footprints to zero. How thoughtful.

    The green icon.

  29. Rob
    Thumb Up

    Not impressed

    We have 'working parties' about 'working parties' and we don't have enough conference rooms, the one I can seal tight will be booked by me for the rest of the year at this rate and it's going to cost me a fortune in Diesel for the generator.

    Need another alternative to the gassing Simon ;)

  30. Rick Giles


    If your conference room is *air* tight, it will also be *water* tight. Trigger the door locks and the sprinklers in that room and you're good to go.

    -- Mines the one with modified security/fire system EPROM in the pocket...


    Monicarious Stuff

    "I just had to tell someone..." -

    Simon... did he REALLY never tell you where he keeps his bong?


  32. IT Dog's Boy

    Marvellous idea but...

    Our generator runs on natural gas, I guess I'll have to stick with the FM200.

  33. H 5

    Great Episode...

    of course you alsoe get the Annoyance factor, Annoyance A = (S^2 * IQ) / T

    where T is Tolerance .

    We all know what happens when tolerance reaches zero.

  34. Andy Blackburn

    Finally got my BOFH

    at 17.12... guess that means it's finally pub oclock.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    He's mellowing

    I thought everybody knows, not only to you direct the generator exhaust through the room, but you route the power through the table (and make sure the chairs are earthed. If the BOFH has taught us anything, there is no kill like overkill.

    Not to mention when dealing with plant life, you just cannot rely on displacing the oxygen.

  36. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Pressed the last button

    ... for Ogasmic

  37. Marina
    Thumb Up

    Thanks for the definition!

    Type C. Got plenty of 'em out here in SoCal!

    Now, if somebody knows of a very discreet firm that will install an airtight conference room with leaky generator exhaust in the vicinity of Los Angeles, let me know. We got BS^3 out here and need something done ASAP!

  38. raving angry loony


    Back in fine form I see. Lovely stuff, well presented.

    Except of course that, having terminated the lead drums wrapped in cement, he's going to have to find a few more - which might be a problem if the fate of the first group ever leaks.

  39. Andy Hards
    Thumb Up

    Can amanfrommars

    Have his/her/it's own special icon?

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Hear, Hear

    A round for the author!

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Gloating is necessary

    Also, amanfromMars is surprisingly lucid today.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Sounds familiar

    Sadly apart from the cracked exhaust, this sounds like the workings of IT management in major high street banks!

    Why Paris? she doesn't have a clue either!!!

  43. Anonymous Coward

    @Pete B

    > *Now* everything starts to make sense !

    I double that. Now I understand why my Debian Sid install decided to hose itself with the upgrade to Grub 2 and my internet connection has to conveniently face connection difficulties just when I need to do the net install.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    ..talking of sweeping for bugs

    ..I have to check our meeting rooms for bugs now - this stuff is too close to the mark! ;-)

  45. B Johnson

    Pedantry Corner

    I think you may have meant 'medium-sized stripey-faced mustalids'

    most satisfactory otherwise though.

  46. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    Good one

    the ending was worth all the Maths... but now my head hurts.

  47. Chris T

    Why use the generator?

    What happened to the coincidently faulty argon based fire suppressant

  48. Alain Moran


    TY, thats the best BOFH I've read in a while.

  49. Tom Cook

    Have to say I was hoping for more from the PFY here

    > stuffing them in lead-lined drums, encasing the drums

    > in cement and dropping them in the North Sea.

    "You didn't... wait... so THAT'S why you took the missus to the seaside..."

  50. John Tserkezis

    Ahh, it's all so clear now.

    N= IQ x BS^2 x IQ x bS^S

    I used to think I was surrounded by idiots.

    After I was a little older and a little wiser - I *knew* I was surrounded by idots.

    Today I have an mathamatical equasion that explains it.

    How this helps me in the future, I have no idea-

    Other than knowing that I'll still be surrounded by idiots.

  51. Gordon Grant
    Thumb Up

    @Chris T

    I think maybe because argon based systems are well outlawed and besides they probably had them taken out on a "cost saving" exercise..

  52. Phillip Bicknell

    @ IT Dogs Boy and Chris T

    FM200 isn't toxic at the 6.8% concentration (from memory) that is used for surface fires in computer rooms. (Yep, seems I'm about right, see,1,1,2,3,3,3-Heptafluoropropane)

    The argon(ite) or Inergen system also intends to reduce the O2 levels to those that don't sustain (surface) fires, but can just sustain life. I wouldn't try to sabotage a 150 bar (again, uncertain memory) system, and I was around dodgy cylinders a bit.

    I used to encounter lots of people who were told that both these and their predecessor Halon 1301, were toxic, etc, (most were security guards, though) - none of them were at normal extinguishing concentrations. It's their decomposition products and those of the fire, or a cylinder leaking in a small space like a cylinder store that's a risk.

    The noise and fogging of discharge aren't nice, but are quite survivable. The loose materials from poor housekeeping are messy too.

    We had one consultant that asked us for details of a system that actually put out a fire - we couldn't find one - they were all Xmas, faulty air-con, sackings, etc. That's partly why I left the industry after 10 years - a Vesda or Hart system, with phased shutdown and dry-pipe sprinklers for major back-up, is pretty much all that modern kit needs.

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