back to article BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

"Now remember - there are no wrong answers in this exercise," Janice, the huggy-feely HR type says in a non-threatening manner. "What about SH*TBAG?" the PFY blurts. "Well that's more of an outburst than an answer," I point out gently. "Oh," the PFY responds. "My mistake." Getting caught up in exercises designed to " …


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  1. Charles Manning

    Time to rebrand HR....

    In one small company where I worked for a while, the managing director proudly showed me his "HR department".

    It was a cardboard box. Inside was a bottle of scotch and a box of Kleenex.

    "Sorts out any people problems in minutes."

    1. Trygve Henriksen

      Re: Time to rebrand HR....

      Sounds like he got everything accounted for...

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Time to rebrand HR....


    3. Sartori

      Re: Time to rebrand HR....

      Now that's a proper HR department!

    4. Captain Scarlet

      Re: Time to rebrand HR....

      In our mid sized company they have a cupboard full of Whisky although to blow your nose you have to use some ilness forms

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A glorious start of the friday ...

    reminds me of the guy who thought he ran the IT department, we referred to him as the Supreme Head of Information Technology, even to his face .. and he never realised

    And I need to remember the nut allergy one ....

  3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Ah... the violence. Lovely, isn't it?

    And suddenly all my work motivation is gone. See you next week!

  4. Robert E A Harvey

    Oh good

    It must be Friday. I was getting worried for a bit.

    I've actually enjoyed this week. Siemens S7 programming. Training Ladder, statement list, real-time interrupts. Accumulators, register indirect addressing, binary. Made me think I was back in 1974.

    Just wait till the boss discovers he booked me on the wrong course!

    1. Trygve Henriksen

      Re: Oh good

      Did you enjoy the course?

      Then it was the right one!

      If it doesn't have anything to do with your current job it just means you have to be a bit more creative when he asks you what you learned...

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re wrong course

      Many moons ago one of the first things I've learned from BOFH was the selection of courses aka junkets. First choose the country/city/venue you'd like to visit. Second find a course at that venue which you somehow can convince your boss that you need it for your job. Then enjoy.

      I followed abidingly ever since.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Re wrong course


        Always find out what the (provided) lunch catering arrangements are. It can make or break the whole day.

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re: Re wrong course (@Terry 6)

          Don't care for lunch anymore as usually I skive off before.

    3. GBE

      Re: Oh good

      "Just wait till the boss discovers he booked me on the wrong course!"

      My motto is:

      You never know what might be useful at your next job...

  5. seustice

    Acronym of "Synergy of Hardware and Information Technology"

    Nuff said.

  6. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

    Business Unit Manager

    1. Mark #255

      Re: Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

      No, no.

      Business Development and Strategy Manager

    2. JulianB

      Re: Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

      Genuinely, at two different companies, I've been in briefings about reorganisations where they've said words to the effect of "This position should be known as Business Unit Manager, but obviously we can't use that".

      And the issue of "what can we change our name to without changing the initials" has also cropped up more than once.

    3. Apdsmith

      Re: Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

      One of our sub-departments (it's a long, dull, story) actually _asked_ to be renamed to "Business Systems" and were extremely unhappy with us for pointing out the perceived worth of information produced by the "BS" department...


    4. Henry Minute

      Re: Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

      Business Unit Timesheet Operations Controller (I really instigated that one)

      1. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

        Business Unit Timesheet Operations Controller (I really instigated that one)

        In one public sector place I worked at what would normally be called "fire wardens" were in fact Deputy Incident Control Officers. They were referred to as DICO's even in the official procedure manual, and the uniform donned whenever the alarms went off was a yellow hi-vis waistcoat with DICO on the back...

    5. Blakey

      Re: Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

      The fella who hired me was chuffed when they changed his title to business unit manager - told us all that he was now a bum. Good bloke.

    6. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

      Email, Internet, & Electronic Information Officer. I'd love to answer the phone 'EIEIO'.

  7. scoldog

    Dear Lord

    Our new boss just had this very discussion with me, regarding rebranding IT to make it sound more appealing to the bigwigs.

    At least he said "Yeah, I know it's a complete wank, but they always fall for this sort of stuff".

    He's been around the traps a few times.

  8. Neoc

    Reminds me of when the Chairman of the University of the Northern Territory got his new "signature stamp", with his degrees and his position all nicely abbreviated.

    Nobody noticed until the first batch of letters went out...

    1. Colin Brett

      Dammit! Ninja'd

      There were similar stories floating about years ago, when the Polytechnics were "upgrading" to Universities.

      Newcastle Poly wanted to become City University Newcastle upon Tyne and it took some guy on the print line for the new letterheaded paper to point out the acronym. Admittedly, this might be some sort of urban legend.

      The students at Sheffield Poly wanted to rename it Sheffield Hallam Institute of Technology.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dammit! Ninja'd

        Ireland has Dublin Institute of Technology (, Waterford Institute of Technology (, Cork Institute of Technology (, Athlone Institute of Technology (

        And Institute of Technology Tallaght (

      2. beddo

        Re: Dammit! Ninja'd

        Speaking of Hallam, when we were there a couple of us notice the number of useless societies set up for this that and everything.

        We got Sheffield Hallam Information Technology Society passed by the union as a society. I think one of the guys used it to get access to the data centre (geek tour).

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge


      Allegedly the original name for what became Grampian TV was to be Scottish Highlands and Islands Television until someone was doodling a logo...

      1. dogged

        Re: SH..

        Southmead Hospital Independent Trust was actually a thing until they started sending out letterheaded stuff to actual residents.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      I'm still waiting

      for my embroidered polo shirt that marks me as a part of City University Network Team.

    4. Grikath

      Ah yes.. something like the original name of Tilbury Uni in the Netherlands when they bumped it up from a glorified grade school in the '90's. ( Katholic University of Tilbury = KUT = C....well you can guess... ;) )

      They rather quickly changed it, but it stuck. The fact that it has no science faculty whatshowever and "specialises" in Humanities and Business may have helped there.

    5. Martin Budden Silver badge

      You can get a t-shirt for the Muff Diving Club, which is a scuba diving club based in the town of Muff in the north of Ireland. You don't need to actually scuba dive or live in Muff.

      1. Old_Polish_Proverb

        My wife received a t-shirt when she participated in a charity run for her hospital. Turns out she was assigned to the Urinary Track Team.

  9. Chris Miller

    A pedant writes

    Gougères are not really scones, more like cheese puffs, or cheese-flavoured profiteroles without the chocolate sauce.

    Still, a new BOFH is always a great start to God's own day.

  10. dervheid


    Made I larf.

    Thought you might have make it all the way back to the PFYs 'outburst'

    "Synergy of Hardware and Information Technology, Business Admin Group"

  11. Trygve Henriksen

    My IT department was first 'Data', then it became IT, IKT, and yeah... there may have been a short stint of IS in there, too.

    1. Captain Scarlet

      Currently at IS, waiting for the directors to realise we do still use and manage technology so I can get a proper job title.

  12. chivo243 Silver badge

    Where I work...

    ... the acronym is ASH and we are the IT department... What a coincidence! Have a pint everyone!

  13. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks

    Are El Reg in the throes of reimagineering themselves with leading tales and sensitive reporting on the worlds in which we all can now work, rest and play in and steer, rather than just following up on them and relaying third party information to second rate players for the first time. Is ITs I.T. Portfolio SMARTR Enabled and All Ready and Willing and Able to Lead Boldly from the Front and in the Shady Shadows of Dark Web Ventures or is that a Proprietary Intellectual Property Challenge just a tad or two or three too far presently without a Stirling Support Bridge from Head Quarters?

    And if not, why not whenever the opportunity and facilities are there and for the simple asking and complex but not difficult tasking?

    Forever the bridesmaid and never the bride, makes Jack a boy and very dull Jill. Live a little. Jump into the Deep End of the Internet of Things which be IntelAIgent Machines in Live Operational Virtual Environments aka Hosted Media Realities.

    And who and/or what Commands Control of Power in those Actualities, is Knowledge which Drivers the Future into either the CHAOS of Recovery and Discovery or MADness of Mayhem and Destruction and all points in between to extreme with XSSXXXX Stream Memes. As such you may find that its IT and I.T. is somewhat classified and highly compartmentalised and both ECI and VRK rated/mated.

    And for all those doubting Thomases and silent dumb downvoters out there, do I ask of you, do you really expect that the near and infinite future will be anything like the same and a mirror of the crazy and ignorant past?

    You guys gotta get out more and mix with smarter babes who be ladies and she devils in the confines of spaces and places that are designated for adoration and pleasure/R&R ..... for you is virtually brain dead and missing all the fun of the fair and cyber fare action.

    1. Alister

      Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks


      1. Alan Ferris

        Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks

        No pills will help THAT

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks

      I think I've finally worked out what this reminds me of. In Iain M Banks "Feersum Endjinn" there's an AI, or some such, in a tower, maybe on the Plain of Sliding stones? (don't have an e-copy with me that I can check). But I'm pretty sure it was producing messages like this ...

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks

      amanfromMars, welcome back. We've... missed you.

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks

        Loyal Commenter, speak for yourself.

        1. pepper

          Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks

          Hey now! I like that he's back as well! It's like a eadon only then less annoying!

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks

            Notwithstanding any or all of the less than positive and friendly comments, and the views that may be expressed and/or extrapolated from the comments, is the question of El Reg and the questions of systems which be supposedly surveilling all and sundry to maintain and retain a commanding advantage and inequitable power dividend over the less than well enough educated masses, an earnestly serious one. Things have changed, haven't you noticed. The old ways of doing things secretly and sublimely just don't work that old black magic anymore and there are smarter beings doing IT every other way.

            And there appears to be some real spooky folk doing a terrible job on this thread but such is always the case in service of the unpleasant and indefensible.

          2. Martin Budden Silver badge

            Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks

            Oi! It is nothing like an eadon, you take that back!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just so I'm clear,

    the background is going to be red, right? So you can only read the I and the T?

  15. Pen-y-gors

    Corporate re-branding horror...

    In the dim and distant I worked for Pearl Assurance, who fell prey to the branding consultant nutters. In one year we got through FOUR corporate logos! The first relaunch required that all staff from across the land be bussed down to Wembley Conference Centre in the middle of some awful blizzards. That logo lasted three months!

    Please can we have the 'B' ark ASAP?

    1. Blofeld's Cat

      Re: Corporate re-branding horror...

      "Please can we have the 'B' ark ASAP?"

      I believe the Hairdressers Fire Development Subcommittee is looking into it.

      They would welcome your input about what colour it should be...

      ... and whether or not it could be fitted nasally.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Corporate re-branding horror...

        Fire can indeed be fitted nasally. Terry Wogan once got a bad nosebleed on air and a medic cauterised it.

  16. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Nut allergy

    I must use that. The rest was brilliant too

    Our IT department (originally computer centre) was rebranded CIT (Communication add Information Technology). Some people bacronymed that to Communication Is Taboo.

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nut allergy

      At least you didn't get as far as Communication, Logistics and Information Technology!

      1. Mark #255

        Re: Nut allergy

        One course (at Uni) I saw was for Computer Literacy and Information Technology.

        The lower-case 'a' was to be retained in all abbreviations, on pain of pain.

        1. DavCrav

          Re: Nut allergy

          CLAIT (or apparently CLAiT) is a standard computer literacy qualification for people who think that "literate" means knowing how to write a letter in Word. That is, the equivalent of thinking "literate" is knowing all the letter sounds and which way books open.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nut allergy

        Perfect, a hassle free job as nobody would be able to find it.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Nut allergy

      It always makes me snigger when I get near to Brent Cross and my sat-nav emblazons "Clitterhouse Lane" across the screen.

      1. Anonymous IV

        Re: Nut allergy

        Our financial business had a department of worthy investigative people called 'Organisation and Methods' (O&M).

        A new CEO, for unknown reasons, renamed the department 'Systems and Methods'.

        The staff were delighted to answer their phones with "S&M Department?"

        We never found out whether the CEO was bright enough to have worked out the initials, but we suspected not.

  17. barstewardsquad


    Reminds me of the day the young lad at work said to me that he was leaving to do a course at the Somerset College of Arts and Technology. He wouldn't believe me when I explained why I laughed so much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: S.C.A.T.

      An attractive female colleague of mine is currently attending a C.I.M. course.

  18. davidp231

    Merry BOFH Day.

  19. wowfood

    This is why

    I could never work at one of those companies where you can make your own title. Software Liason for Ubiquitous Technologies.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: This is why

      This is why I'm fired from companies where you can ;)

  20. Mike Smith

    For a brief period, I was in the Technical Architecture Resourcing Team.

    Made worse by the fact that it was exclusively male.

    Took a while for someone to notice though.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed opportunities, in Barclays their amalgamated IT org was Global Technology & Infrastructure Services..GTIS.....GITS works so much better...

  22. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    enhanced experiences

    Getting caught up in exercises designed to "enhance the workplace experience" is always a painful time for me.

    I've always enjoyed the ones that started around 3pm on a Friday.

    Happy 13th!

  23. Number6

    I still remember Dogbert's "Brown Ring of Quality", which appeared to be a piss-take of the new Lucent logo at the time.

    1. Jay 2

      I was working for AT&T at the time and found that strip to be very close to home and therefore extremely funny. With that new logo we referred to Lucent as dog turd technologies.

  24. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Oh dear, reminds me of the farcical time in a previous company where a department's self serving nutjob decided to rebrand the company's "admin" team as "Central Services", then assigning titles such as "central services executive". This resulted in two things:

    1) The girls in the office having to explain to potential new employers, friends and so on that they considered the job title was really "admin assistant" and having to put this on their CVs to make it clear.

    2) The IT support manager renamed his department "Essential Services". No electricity, network or computers? No administration... :)

  25. Beamerboy

    Our network team... a previous role when they became part of the larger European company structure were affectionately known as Pan-European Network Integration Services - they knew and revelled in it as any good techies should!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ITIL model

    Thanks to ITIL we now have a Continual Service Improvement team who have a lovely CSI logo on their business cards.

    The Yanks seem to be pretty indifferent to any TV reference but the Brit's cringe at any mention of it. So on my morning conf call I always make a special point of asking what CSI found out this week ;)

  27. John Dickson

    Our Wide Area Naming Convention Administrator

    ...aka the WANCA. Was a while back.

  28. tony2heads


    Still sounds to me what you would do to cattle after rustling them - with a red hot iron in a fire...

    (memories of old cowboy films)

    Hmm sounds like what should be done with people suggesting it!

    -icon: get that fire going.

    1. Al Jones

      Re: Rebranding

      I was sure that the old cattle prod would play a prominent part in today's episode when I saw the reference to rebranding in the title!

  29. nichomach

    Does anyone know where...

    ...I can get some of those completely safe chairs? No particular reason... *whistles nonchalantly*

  30. MadIrish

    In Ireland....

    the wonderful gov / dept of ed decided to standardised all the Colleges names to be the county / city where the college is followed by "Institute of Technology". Worked fine for some like Dublin (DIT), Wicklow (WIT) but not so nice for Tipperary, where they changed the name to "Institute of Technology, Tipperary". Some other counties also had to change, like Galway (GIT). Ah, fond memories of silly things.

  31. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Good, I missed these

    We really need some way to improve Simon's productivity. Someone send him Janice so that she can work out how to motivate himn (that, or a several-zeroes voucher at the local curry and/or booze place).

  32. Arachnoid

    ...I can get some of those completely safe chairs?

    Didn't you get the memo in regard to the three hour training course this afternoon that everyone from the company is required to attend and be signed off on

    Risk assessments in regard to mounting an office chair

    The safe procedural ethics to be used with office equipment

    The safest layout of office desk equipment an example images to be wall mounted locally

    How to load an office photocopier or printer without getting paper cuts

    Team ethics and responsibilities

  33. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    No acronym, but I worked for a US multi-national who genuinely had a Back-end Revenue Department.

  34. -maniax-

    The S.H.I.T department....been there, tried to do that

    In a company I worked at until recently the IT department shared an office with the Health & Safety department.

    For some reason when we collectively suggested that the office should be referred to as the "Safety, Health & Information Technology Office" the powers that be refused to sanction the printing of new identifying door stickers showing the new collective acronym for the office


  35. Skizz

    I have no idea!

    When visiting the hospital at the time my child was born, I was following the signs for the maternity ward and saw a sign pointing to "F.O.A.D". I have no idea what they did there ... patient services perhaps?

  36. imanidiot Silver badge

    a good friday

    A classic BOFH tale was all i needed to make this an excellent day!

  37. TRT Silver badge

    Cheered me up no end...

    after I've just spent an hour at a Professional Services meeting where some guy from Central Information Systems and Services (IT) creamed himself silly over how new, exciting and wonderful Skype is... Sorry, did I say Skype? I meant Lync.

  38. earl grey

    Needed that

    Thanks. Have one.

  39. Anonymous IV

    Naming conventions

    Back in the olden dayes we had a gradually-increasing network of PDP11's, each with a three-letter node-name related to its location. Brighton was BRI, Salford was SAL, and Bradford was (daringly) BRA. Bristol couldn't be BRI (already taken), so it had to be BST. Under no circumstances, we were told, could it be called TIT.

  40. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    lovely acronyms

    reminds me of the delightfully classic Special High Intensity Training memo

  41. Sean Kennedy

    I'm lobbying for a good rebranding myself

    "Central Unified Network Technologies Specialists"

    Kind of rolls of the tongue, don't it?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunate Abbreviation

    At the University where I work, they recently re-organised the colleges, with the "College of Liberal Arts" becoming the "College of Science and Mathematics". They now insist that the proper abbreviation is "CSM"...

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The place I am at...

    changed Human Resources to Colleague Resources and the head of that 'group' has the title of Chief People Officer...

    God, get me outta here...

  44. zen1


    I think upper management & HR types heads would explode if they weren't allowed to use acronyms. PoS's, all of em.

  45. Yet_Another_Kelly

    Tired of HR

    I always found HR to be embarassingly incompetent, petty power players, and did whatever I could to ignore them, as does everyone else.

    And then my company failed, and I found myself looking for a job.

    Now, I no longer find them funny, I find them evil. Truly evil.

    No matter the moral or ethical damage that their fundamental arrogance and ignorance cause, they (and their ilk) are choking organisations, slowly, to death, and damaging the lives of millions (directly and indirectly I.e. Family).

    That *all* positions, from specialist through manager, are decided by people who studied Sociology or Psychology, on purely superficial terms, is so fundamentally wrong. Strangely enough, they rate NLP or other "pseudo" crap higher than real experience.

    While people earlier may not have loved their line managers, at least there existed the possibility that he or she, would know something about what the job entails or requires.

    That hope is simply gone.

    IT techs have certs, Managers have an MBA, White Wine for the ladies, Pints for the blokes. The Directors get the hottest PAs, marathon running qualifies for all management positions.

    A simple, stupid and most of all STATIC system. Authoritarian, conformist, conservative. Inbred.

    In the middle ages, your position in society decided what clothes, in which colours, you and your entire family were *permitted* to wear. Woe betide any "oiks" who tried to even dress differently or wore too fancy jewellery! This is what is coming back.

    I know of companies where hiring, position and promotion are based solely on perceptions of looks, status and "attitude", never on competence, experience or ability. One after another, these companies are failing, but the "Cool! Brah" attitude remains.

    I would despair, but I would like to eat.

  46. Herby

    Now that we have gone through "rebranding"...

    Does ANYONE believe that it actually does anything.

    Wasn't HR ("Human Resources") called Personnel?

    Shorter is better!!

    Most of the time this is some silly bored buy that needs to justify his existence as a living breathing person.

    Brings me back to another "rebranding". They changed "NMR" (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance") scans to "MRI" (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) simply to eliminate "Nuclear" which seems to give everyone hives or some such.

  47. Ray Merrall

    Magnesium chairs

    From many years ago, in a school science lab with very different risk rules to the present regimes, trying to ignite magnesium with a match was difficult, on the other hand, in a flash bulb moment, supplying electricity should have the desired effect. A quick rewire of the cattle prods and you've got a 2 in 1 solution.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Magnesium chairs

      I discovered in a school chemistry lab that your method does work with those lightweight metal pencil sharpeners, which just happen to be made of magnesium...

  48. Rob2621

    Working in a Uni in the UK a 'few' years back...

    When I worked in a uni, my boss didn't want us called IT any more, so we sat around trying to think of a new title for us. Various names were bandied about and I Suggested "Computer Users Network Technical Specialists"

    My boss at the time loved the title and wanted it painted on the door immediately, but unfortunately a junior of mine (a rather attractive young lady) said 'No Roy, no way am I going into an office with him and saying "Hello we are a pair of C#NTS"

    Strange - the meeting got broken up and we remained as the IT department

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of this re-branding story:

    In the 90's Siemens decided to harmonise its organisational image. One of the policy edicts was to answer the phone in all their offices worldwide with the same greeting. "Hello, Siemens <office location>".

    So, "Hallo, Siemens Dortmund" would be the receptionist's first utterance in Dortmund.

    This worked well in most places. However the receptionists at the Staines office in the UK were reportedly rather embarrassed with their greeting.

  50. an_it_guy

    "rebranded" IT

    I updated my job title on my voicemail a few years ago, my boss just noticed - after 7 years... :)



    Support for


    Operations in a



  51. algorithm&blues

    I spent a couple of years working in a governmental support contract on the Remote Infrastructure Management team....

    Yep, when incidents got passed over to us "Hey, I've got another rimjob for you!"

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