back to article BOFH: Lies and the lying liars who lie about them

“And how long will it take?” the user echoes from the handsfree speaker on the PFY’s phone. “To restore access to your email? I’m not sure. Have you tried closing down Outlook and restarting it?” the PFY responds. “Yes.” “What about restarting it in Safe Mode?” “I tried that,” the user says – a little too quickly. “Well …


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  1. Titus Technophobe


    At last..... nuff said lol.

  2. CareTaker
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    Most amusing

    and a perfect mid Friday the 13th pick-me-up.

  3. greenmantle
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    This had my coffee on the keyboard...

    Especially as I encountered this little problem this morning! :-)

  4. Stu Wilson
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    Farmer Sutra

    had me with the tissue out mopping up...

  5. mittfh

    When will they ever learn....

    Then again, if any lusers at the company were clued up on the BOFH and PFY, they would have arranged a transfer ASAP. Except of course that would only work if they kept all their documents on a USB Flash Drive, and never (under any circumstances) contacted IT. Not that such activities would prevent the BOFH / PFY "discovering" incriminating emails or a whole host of other means of "persuading" them not to run to the competition...

  6. Craig (well, I was until The Reg changed it to Craig 16)

    Back in the days...

    ... when people still had the occasional green-screen terminal, I was a desktop break/fix technician. I had this conversation with so many people:

    Me - "Did you move the terminal today? You do know that the cable management is so tight at the back that pulling the screen towards you will disconnect one or both of the power or network cables?"

    Them - "Of course not, we've been told about that"

    Me (on getting to site) - "Do you see that clear spot in the dust trail behind the terminal? That shows me that you moved the terminal today and this cable lying unplugged on the desk is the network cable."

    Cue me having an "attitude problem" after plugging the cable back in and miraculous recovery of the terminal session. Also cue complaints about my attitude. Finally, cue manager telling me to suck it up because every false callout like that is chargeable outside of the contract and pays my incredibly poor wages.

    Oh for the ability to do the scene in today's BOFH.

    1. Wize

      I didn't touch anything.

      The phrase makes me expect the worst. One day I'll find a large fire axe sticking out of the machine with the user claiming 'well, I might have done that...'.

      1. cavac

        Well, if you didn't touch anything...

        ...why are you still "working" here? Let's call human resources, shall we?

      2. Mike Hanna

        That Luser error gets everywhere

        In the Royal Signals I got called out on a really cold night when the power system on a comms vehicle (Radio Relay for anyone who knows them) all suddenly dissappeared. The 240V in the back of the vehicle was good for either a kettle or the heater (only one at a time) and nothing more as it was basically there to trickle charge batteries. The whole internals of the AC box was burnt out. Bit of investigative work later and I found the problem. Well... I say investigative work. Someone that had their home-made 150m extension lead plugged in the back of the truck came to ask me why it wasn't working. They had a kettle and heater in their tent, and a laptop and several phone chargers. The switches inside the vehicle for the heater was left switched on (cos no-one wanted to touch a box that was blowing out toxic smoke) the kettle was switched on too, with the mugs all prepared in a nice line waiting for hot water, and the TV and Xbox in the cupboard had been under constant use.

        "No, no. None of this was all switced on at the same time. I specifically told those other people not to use it for their kettle or heater..."

  7. Anonymous Coward
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    Ahhhh me ole BOFH

    I remeber those days of SysAdmin fun, leading the Lusers around by thier nose.. The sweet, sweet smell of burnt flesh on the cattle prod, bless.

  8. Gaz Jay
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    Back to basics

    Just like the good old BOFH stories used to be. Good honest blackmailing of the Lusers.

    Good work

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge
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    Aaawwww, the liddle PFY

    He's all growed up!

  10. gaz 7
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    Lying Users

    Brillliant - back on top form!

    Ahh, reminds me of the days I used to deal with users directly.

    I know better than to drink or eat, whilst reading the mighty BOFH!

  11. James Stewart

    Best Birthday Present Ever

    This made my morning.

  12. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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    The ending

    is particularly neat

    Back on form is the BOFH!!

  13. Daniel Owen
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    Farmer Sutra

    Golden :)

    BOFH back to it's best

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Golden

      Uh, you might find that "Golden ____" is an entirely OTHER series of web sites.

      Just being pendantic... honest.

  14. b166er
    Thumb Up


    ',but this works too'

    Cheers muchly

  15. ReaderOfTheRegister


    Wonderful installment

  16. dogged

    this one rang true

    reminds me of accidentally deleting a share containing all of the email for one region of a certain very large US-based communications hardware company, thus meaning nobody in France was getting anything done.

    So while I was frantically restoring my co-admin was fielding the phone - "yes, cleaner tripped over a cable, it's ugly in here. We'll have you back very soon as soon but right now we've got electrons everyone - Rich, use the smaller funnel! - and we need to get them all back into this pipe, can I call you back?"

    1. Daniel Evans

      "...nobody in France was getting anything done..."

      Wait, you mean the French weren't striking for once?

  17. Kamira

    You owe me a new keyboard

    It is currently home to half a chicken and mushroom pot noodle which I was (stupidly) trying to eat while reading this!

    1. T-Unit
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      Pot Noodle?

      Eating one of those is stupid no matter what the circumstances!

  18. Wize

    Another good one.

    Loved the added touch about the users outgoing voicemail. Because you never listen to your own outgoing message.

    Reminds me of one chap who would constantly download music and videos at work.

    The network was running slow, so the guy in charge of IT at the time called him:

    "Can you stop downloading movies, you are slowing the network down"

    "I'm not downloading anything"

    "Yes you are, I have remote monitoring software and am viewing your screen right now. Stop the downloads"



    A minute or so after hanging up, the connection to the outside world sprang back to life.

    He didn't start up his remote monitoring software. It was always the same guy messing around.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Metal plant

    I once worked as an on-site tech in a metal refinery. We get a call one day that one of the windows based terminals no longer works properly and they want a tech to come look at it.

    The computers are in concrete "cubes" that have AC so the workers don't cook next to the metal ovens while they work on the computers. That's a cubic room of cement with just one door. Somehow, someone "by accident" dropped a big blob of molten metal right in the middle of the terminal and the smell of burned plastic is overpowering. The guy's answer?

    "I don't know who did it, but I'm sure it was an accident. "

    For some reason, my manager didn't believe it either.

    1. skeptical i

      He should have claimed "justifiable homicide".

      Especially if it was running as slow as my Winbox has been lately.

  20. Anonymous Coward
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    Very good

    very good indeed

  21. Scarlet
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    Worth the wait

    Just wish I could get away with being like the BOFH and PFY at work it would make my job less stressful

  22. Anonymous Coward


    and thanks for a good one.

  23. Anonymous Coward
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    Love the BOFH over the years.

    BOFH rocks!

  24. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Nice one

    Sometimes you just KNOW when someone has worked at the coal face!

  25. Martin.Hale

    Back On Form

    This was the type of story which made the BOFH franchise the blockbuster mega-success it, how's that?

    It's a modest one-man show, you say?

    Has been since the start, you say?

    Eh, well then, carry on and oh, that's right, a hearty 'well done' to you, lad.

  26. ra44mr2


    My favorite is when you ask them "What were you doing when it crashed?" and the inevitable response is "Nothing." "Really nothing? So you were just sitting here gape mouthed staring at your screen and it just randomly crashed without anything else running?"

  27. John Edwards
    Paris Hilton

    You bastard!

    I've just wasted two hours by googling "farmer sutra", and now I think that I'm going blind. SHE never did that to me.

  28. D. M

    Same here

    I deal with lying users every working day. Some areas are worse than other.

    My team: "Don't do that, it won't work and it WILL bread the record"

    Lusers: "But we do it all the time, it was never like that..."

    I really wish I could do what BOFH and PFY do.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. salada2k
    Thumb Up

    Simply Awesome.

    Great installment Simon, literally did spill my coffee haha

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