back to article BOFH: Follow the paper trail

"We were wondering.. what you were doing with... the storeroom?" the Boss asks. I notice a salivating consultant in the background and immediately recognise this for what it is - a land grab. Every now and then someone thinks that because computers are getting smaller there must be a stack of room available for them in our …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Ah, the myth of the rational person

    If only we were more prepared to admit how good we are at manipulating ourselves for other people's benefits…

    Yes, I think you're right: a year's subscription to your shady scanning software is just what we need and what a fantastic blouse you're wearing!

    1. MonkeyCee

      Re: Ah, the myth of the rational person

      Truly rational people are scary. Psychopaths are a good example, as they are often extremely rational, and only deal in "reality". So if a behavior is considered negative, but the punishment is minimal compared to the reward (eg tax evasion, white collar crime) then rational people would do the behavior. Normal humans will also do it, but need to justify it (everyone else is, duty to shareholders etc), sociopaths will just do it, and think everyone else is a fool for not.

      1. raving angry loony

        Re: Ah, the myth of the rational person

        sociopaths will just do it, and think everyone else is a fool for not.

        Yeah, we often call those people "CEO", sometimes even "Prime Minister", often just "rich". Our society is designed to reward people like this. I wonder if this is an evolution thing, or if we're just on a one-way trip to oblivion.

        1. DWRandolph
          Holmes

          Re: Ah, the myth of the rational person

          Here is a slant on why the "system" night not want rational people;

          http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=4150

          innumeracy as the major driver of economic growth

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, the myth of the rational person

      If only we were more prepared to admit how good we are at manipulating ourselves for other people's benefits…

      It's the only reason Microsoft and Oracle still sell - rational it ain't.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Childcatcher

      Re: Ah, the myth of the rational person

      It's funny how IT and the drugs industry are pretty much the only industrys that describe their market as "users".

      Windows anyone? Go on it's 10, it's the latest and much prettier than the last one. Ooooh look at the powershell thingie that is oh so objectively oriented and just plain odd and not because those Linux bods have stuff but we want the same stuff and we have to differentiate and improve and be similarly different, and stuff.

      So our start button thing that isn't a start button is really odd, well you wanted that, and that is what you shall sort of have because that is is what you want via our focus group, we think.

      Mmmm, I shot the sheriff, but I didn't smoke the deputy ... feck ... lsng it ... smeek ... yeah anny virus thing 's good thng.

    4. wayne 8

      Re: Ah, the myth of the rational person

      Marketing Tool, Mark 1.

  2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Quote : "Fair enough. Though one of my recurring dreams is that I take an axe to people who annoy me with pseudo science and huggy-feely mumbo-jumbo in a course that I've been made to attend against my will. Does anyone else have those dreams?"

    Is it just me, or does every techie have that thought while on a work mandated course ?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Is it just me, or does every techie have that thought while on a work mandated course?

      And on two-thirds of staff development sessions with a guest speaker.

      I've lost count of the number of times over the years I've had to rebut the validity of the Briggs-Myers test. And as for fucking graphology...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ah, the joys of explaining to the presenter that the Myers-Briggs fails as it is only a sub-set of the Jungian design and that age/experience causes the simplistic questioning to become invalidated as a mature person has modulated their extremes into manageable behaviour patterns.

        I loved every single second plus the looks of loathing from my colleagues who had not prepared and so were required to plough through the pile of *()&^

        Still brings a smile to my face

        1. small and stupid

          Excellent. Do you have a good cite ? Just to hammer the nails home with maximum force.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Childcatcher

        My wifes a cook; she has just been told by her boss that she has to go on a course about tackling FGM.....

        Can she pack a hatchet??

        A hint as to where she lies her trade.

        1. psychonaut

          Fucking Gigantic Mushrooms?

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon
            Joke

            "Fucking Gigantic Mushrooms?"

            They only look that way after you've eaten them*

            *Of COURSE I'm referring to the mushrooms, filthy child.

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        What do you mean?

        Shirley you're not telling me that you can't sort 7 billion+ people into 16 neat little groups that are at the same time both meaninglessly broad, but also usefully specific?

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Why wait for a work mandated course ?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        This sounds more list a meeting of Psychotics Anonymous :)

        1. Mark 85

          This sounds more list a meeting of Psychotics Anonymous :)

          This is IT. Given the PHB's we have, I thought those meetings were mandatory to prevent bad things. Bad things, like having the plod show up, getting your name in the paper, missing the pub call due to meetings with a lawyer.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          This sounds more list a meeting of Psychotics Anonymous

          There is a difference? :)

    3. Primus Secundus Tertius

      @Boris

      I do wonder if the so-called speed awareness courses are like that.

    4. TitterYeNot
      Joke

      "Is it just me, or does every techie have that thought while on a work mandated course ?"

      Well into the second day of a compulsory ITIL course in sodding Milton Keynes, in my daydreams I did start considering the feasability of using the petrol can in my car, a gas canister from a local camping shop and a grease gun and associated tubing from Halfords to make a nicely compact little flame thrower.

      I think it would have brightened up everyone's day...

      (Joke icon as I don't fancy the plod breaking down my door because they think I sound a bit terroristy.)

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Can you be a bit terroristy? Isn't that like a bit pregnant or a bit of a twat?

        There should be a scale - what about Brian (a very naughty boy) via Goldfinger (a misguided teenager) and Hans Gruber (a properly bad boy) to Nero (properly annoyed)?

    5. Lee D Silver badge

      Have never been sent on work training.

      Certainly not externally.

      I work in schools, so I've had to sit through - say - an hour of how to not beat up small children ("Child Protection"), or how not to kill myself when using a 20cm high step, but that's not the same and it's almost always in-house.

      Strangely, all the talk of training evaporates when you explain quite how much use an MCSE is going to be for someone who's run Microsoft networks for a living for the last 15 years, was originally hired because all the previous guys (who all had certifications) made an absolute hash of stuff, and then suggest alternative, more appropriate courses pitched at the correct skill level, which cost almost ten times as much. Amazing how much it jumps down the priority list after hovering somewhere near the top when they thought it was just a case of drop £500 in someone's lap.

      "Continuing Professional Development". A.K.A. "keep doing your job".

      1. MonkeyCee

        Oh training budgets....

        The general rule I found for training (in UK and NZ) is that you can only get trained for something that is roughly 1.5 levels below your current skill level. So if you're a sysadmin, you can do basic level MCP stuff, or customer service and communication courses.

        The dutch do it the other way around, where it's a real pisser to become a "proper" employee, but once there you can train to your hearts content, as long as you stay committed to the company. Quite a few of my fellow students are now interning, and almost all of them are expected to do a masters as part od their professional development.

        I'm also amazed how quickly things go from "required for role" to "nice to have" when you point out that if it's a business requirement, then the business should be paying.

        1. Number6

          Re: Oh training budgets....

          I'm also amazed how quickly things go from "required for role" to "nice to have" when you point out that if it's a business requirement, then the business should be paying.

          Yes, had a variation on that too. Many moons ago, the my employer was trying to tidy up the software environment, removing all the dodgy stuff and giving everyone a legal copy of WordPerfect (for DOS, so that long ago). We'd been using it for several months by that point, a whole group of engineers writing a lot of procurement specifications, so between us we'd pretty much figured out all the useful features. The catch with the legal upgrade was that we were all required to go on the WP training course, and reading the syllabus we realised that it wasn't going to tell us anything we didn't already know how to do. We finally escaped from this one when the engineering manager realised that all the course fees were going to come out of his budget and suddenly we didn't have to do the course before getting our legal WP. This is the same company at which I filled out that training feedback form I mentioned elsewhere.

          1. Grunchy Silver badge

            Re: Oh training budgets....

            I used that old Wordperfect software for DOS, it still runs perfectly today.

            Why upgrade when the old stuff still runs? It does still run.

        2. Andy A
          Thumb Down

          Re: Oh training budgets....

          At my previous employer, it was suggested that I go on a one-day Windows 7 course. You know the thing - trail a hundred miles to somewhere even worse than your own office, sit on uncomfortable chairs and suffer Powerpoint Poisoning. You don't even get to play with a PC.

          As someone who had used every version of Windows from 0.94 (yes, before Windows 1.0) onwards, had programmed real applications (not just VB) and had been actually using W7 on dozens of machines for 18 months, I turned down the offer.

          No need for the company to waste my time and their money, was there?

          Well, come the inevitable rounds of redundancies in this outsourcer, my "score" was reduced because I had "refused training appropriate to my career path".

        3. BurtDakarax

          Re: Oh training budgets....

          The general rule I found for training (in UK) is that you can only get trained for something that ... you will never use!

    6. Number6

      I once filled in a post-course feedback form:

      Q. What did you expect to gain from this course?

      A. Nothing

      Q. What did you gain from this course?

      A. Nothing

      I had complained loudly before going about how the course was well below the level at which I was working at the time but because someone needed to tick a box somewhere, I had to waste company money attending. I don't think they sent me on any more after that one though. No axes or hatchets were involved though.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      .Is it just me, or does every techie have that thought while on a work mandated course ?

      I *used* to, but my current PHB dare not send me on such a course..

      I think it's the mainly evil grin I sport that does it when my attendance at such a mandated gathering is mooted..(I'm known to be a somewhat 'awkward bastard' when it comes to time wasters).

      1. Marshalltown

        +1 - Ah yes. I was once described as lacking a "diplomacy gene" after informing a Navy person that the "official US Navy spelling" of a certain word "looked illiterate." I had said that it looked illiterate before he informed me that HE PERSONALLY had been the advocate of the change and was proud of it. When I did not moderate my stance at all - simply adding the word "still" to my previous opinion, he apparently complained to my employer who then offered the genetic analysis.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon
          Coat

          Diplomacy - the art of pretending you aren't an arsehole by putting up with other arseholes.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buying just because

    One of my former managers had this rather wasteful quirk that when I asked him to buy one or two of something because they might be useful he'd buy 10 or 20 instead on the basis that if they might be useful we'd better have plenty of them, even if it was an item that only might be useful occasionally.

    He would also feel compelled if ordering say 20 of something and the supplier showed as having say 27 in stock, to order to those 27 instead.

  4. Efros

    Sounds like

    "O-levels in Psychology and Hugging, a did-not-complete in Reality and an A-level in talking bollocks."

    The current crop of educational theorists who are bollocking up the education systems of the USa and the UK.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like

      As someone who actually did some psychology as part of a Natural Sciences degree in a university where psychology was part of the science faculty, and did things involving rats, electrodes and neurones you have no idea how much this type of 'psychology' annoys me.

      It's all "this bar is bigger than this one so must be better". Give me an experiment with demonstrable reliability and validity with regression testing or GTFO.

      1. KA1AXY
        Alert

        Re: Sounds like

        As someone who actually did some psychology as part of a Natural Sciences degree in a university where psychology was part of the science faculty, and did things involving rats, electrodes and neurones you have no idea how much this type of 'psychology' annoys me.

        I hope you remembered to mount a scratch monkey...or rat, whichever was appropriate

        1. Dave 32
          Pint

          Scratch Monkey

          I haven't thought about scratch monkeys in years. I actually snorted when I saw that. Well done, sir, well done.

          Dave

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sounds like

          I had not thought about mounting monkeys, for years, thanks for that....

      2. Number6

        Re: Sounds like

        We got exposed to psychology course at uni. Being engineering students, we mostly took the piss out of it, and it was clear that in most cases you could select a bunch of studies to support a viewpoint and then select a different bunch to support the opposite viewpoint. It wasn't all useless though, I think it taught us all how to recognise bullshit at an early stage and take appropriate countermeasures.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How did you manage

    To describe these idiots without reference to the word "leverage" use as a verb?

  6. Roger Greenwood

    "black A4 photocopy paper"

    Sweet.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: "black A4 photocopy paper"

      All we need now is some silver toner

      1. Trygve Henriksen

        Re: "black A4 photocopy paper"

        There's a couple of 'print your own PCB' kits that uses silver in the ink.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: "black A4 photocopy paper"

      There was a proposal to save money (and the environment) by missing out the bleach stage of recycling paper, then fill ink jet printer cartridges with bleach. I think the results would have been boring black and white reports transformed with pretty colours and the price per gram of bleach competing with iridium.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "black A4 photocopy paper"

      You just need one of this:

      https://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Pro/SeriesStylusProWT7900/Overview.do

      Ask Gisele if you can buy one... even if your company just prints invoices.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: "black A4 photocopy paper"

        We used to do this. You put a sheet of impression foil over the printed paper and re-melt the toner in a heated press before peeling the impression foil off.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was lucky..

    I met my own 'Giselle' once. As a youngster, I wanted a Sharp PC1211, and discovered that it would be cheaper for me to travel halfway across the country by train to buy a shop-soiled one from a certain company (which shall remain nameless to spare everyones blushes) than it would be to nip into the local branch of Tandys and buy the badge-engineered version of the same thing.

    I was in my twenties, a geekete, enamoured by science and IT. My head was filled with all the cool things I could try to get my very own little computer to do, on the train journey there. Then I walked through the door of the shop, and BAM! The lady running/owning the shop was a vision of loveliness and my poor little and still excitable libido wasn't coping well. I barely managed to explain what I'd come to buy through my embarassed stammering, I'm sure I'd turned bright pink. What a lovely woman, she acted as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening (aside from a gentle smile in my direction - she clearly realised she was faced with an almost dumbstruck babydyke), and sold me the PC1211, and didn't try to sell me one of the PET computers that whilst I would have loved one, and my credit card could have handled, my bank manager probably would have been a bit cross with me about. I swear, she probably could have sold me anything, right then. But she didn't - what a star!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I was lucky..

      I still hate my bosses because a few years ago they halted a project that would have required me to interact a lot with a lovely sales manager of a supplier....

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: I was lucky..

      +1 for the new reference :) "dumbstruck babydyke"

    3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: I was lucky..

      Why did I read that as "a genital smile in my direction"?

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: I was lucky..

        Why did I read that as "a genital smile in my direction"?

        Because its that misread that makes us buy paper, or pens, or printers, or tablets, etc etc.

        1. Yag

          Re: I was lucky..

          ... and paper towels.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge

    Mis-direction

    I half expected the Boss and the consultant to end up in the storeroom under all of that paper, through no fault of the BOFH or the PFY ;-}

    Thanks for keeping it fresh!

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
      Pint

      Re: Mis-direction

      I thought at first the boss wanted to get rid of the consultant, making him BOFH fodder, but obviously I was giving him too much credit. (I tend to do that. Of course it's just a coincidence, but I did just had my yearly evaluation chat. Who schedules something like that at Friday noon???)

      Anyway, kinda nice to see that even the BOFH has a soft spot somewhere.

      Have a nice weekend, everyone!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mis-direction

        " Who schedules something like that at Friday noon???)"

        Stop complaining - I recently had one that carried on up to and then past beer-o'clock on a Friday afternoon.

  9. Rol

    A working system? That's an optional add-on.

    I remember an old friend telling me about their new job, without being too specific, in video manipulation equipment.

    Their job was to show the full blown system working flawlessly. A rep would then get the target to sign up for what was unarguably the cheapest kit on the market.

    Weeks later another rep would take the call from the flustered punter, to explain what they saw and what they bought were two different things entirely. To achieve the level of production of the show system the punter would need to cough up a significant amount of dosh.

    Once all the add-ons and options had been bought the system then worked to the punters satisfaction, but they had paid double the cost of an equivalent system from a less sinister organisation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A working system? That's an optional add-on.

      Avid. You are talking about Avid.

      1. Disk0

        Re: A working system? That's an optional add-on.

        They always seemed to have a knack for stating exactly what a thing would be doing, without ever making the mistake of clarifying what is needed for it to work. "This $500 software allows you to rotoscope video onto morphing 3d objects" I almost bought it until I realized, the software is a plug-in for a behemoth of a system that requires it's own powerstation and a crew of specialists to operate, and actually consists of 5 separate systems, each bespoke, and each requiring a stack of software that requires hand-configuring by certified (read: 250 an hour) engineers to work - all of it so expensive one could buy a tropical island instead, just use that as the movieset and still retire comfortably. My big takeaway from the presentation was that if you don't already have all of their stuff, you are a laughable amateur, so look at the amazing shampoo commercial we made using this.

    2. Andy A

      Re: A working system? That's an optional add-on.

      Many years ago I was speaking to a chap who was converting systems to run on a new IBM mainframe, and he was telling us about the courses he had been on. "VSAM? It's just like UDAS on ICL, but they charge you extra for it."

      They were also about to undergo a huge upgrade - doubling the capacity of the kit they had been sold. Would it run the workload afterwards? "Well, it might run the test systems. Nowhere near enough legs for production work".

  10. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    WTF?

    Wot?

    Is the BOFH losing it? Actually admitting to a... a... weakness :o

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Wot?

      We're expecting a double-dose of 'suckered them in before carpetting them' next week :)

      1. Number6

        Re: Wot?

        The PFY had better watch out, something really bad is in the works.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wot?

      Can't say that the BOFH suffers as a result of the same cause but my little sister is wot done me. A winsome smile, batted eyelashes, and using given name and I'm putty.

      Well trained.

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Reminds me of some "academic leadership" courses ...

    foisted upon some (senior) staff members here. These guys also want us to use "SMART" goals in our agreements with PhD students, as if you can design a conveyor belt for production of scientific papers. I swear I will come up with a backronym for DUMB one day. They also insist on a good PDCA cycle. They did not like my version:

    Procrastinate

    Dither

    Clash

    Abscond

    Can't think why

    1. Efros

      Re: Reminds me of some "academic leadership" courses ...

      A Teaching Institute's curriculum where I used to work is referred to as Program of Studies, its acronym, which is innocently used, is entirely appropriate.

    2. Laura Kerr
      Thumb Up

      Re: Reminds me of some "academic leadership" courses ...

      A backronym for DUMB?

      Deliverable

      Usable

      Measurable

      Breakthrough

      There ya go :-)

  12. Trygve Henriksen

    Just wondering...

    Who did the old blunt 'object, carpetroll and shallow grave' on the old bofh website?

  13. Putters

    Giselles ...

    Scott Adams quote

    " Dating is never easy for engineers. A normal person will employ various indirect and duplicitous methods to create a false impression of attractiveness. Engineers are incapable of placing appearance above function.

    Fortunately, engineers have an ace in the hole. They are widely recognized as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest, and handy around the house. While it's true that many normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, most normal people harbor an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineer-like children who will have high-paying jobs long before losing their virginity.

    Male engineers reach their peak of sexual attractiveness later than normal men, becoming irresistible erotic dynamos in their mid thirties to late forties. Just look at these examples of sexually irresistible men in technical professions:

    Bill Gates.

    MacGyver.

    Etcetera.

    Female engineers become irresistible at the age of consent and remain that way until about thirty minutes after their clinical death. Longer if it's a warm day. "

    1. DropBear
      Unhappy

      Re: Giselles ...

      Didn't downvote, but... it's a f$%^$% myth.

  14. Valerion

    My Inlaws

    Used to run a business in Malaysia, selling printer ribbons to offices.

    Theirs were not the cheapest (far from it), or the best, but they they made a fortune. The reason being they would send vouchers - redeemable at most local stores - to the low-paid office-workers buying the things for their company. The workers liked the vouchers a lot. So they bought a lot of ribbons, leading to many of them having enormous stockpiles of things.

    1. Bob Rocket

      Re: My Inlaws

      Viking (office supplies) often put a bag of Haribo or chocolate biscuits in their deliveries.

  15. Alistair
    Pint

    I see the PFY

    Spending several days in an ITIL course in the very near future. Along with the consultant.

    Yay for friday BOFH.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: I see the PFY

      Perhaps you should anonymously submit a link to this weeks BOFH to the presenter. Or just print it out and slip it onto their podium while a conspirator keeps them looking the other way.

  16. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    It's not easy to admit this, but knowing that I have an ample store of office supplies in the cupboard gives me a feeling of calmness and security. Stationery products soothe me.

    When I'm upset you can calm me down by taking me to the nearest Staples (or any other vendor of office supplies) and let me roam around a bit. When I'm really upset, it'd have to be a wholesale business. Sometimes retail just doesn't cut it.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      I just spent 20 minutes looking for a blank piece of paper and a pen. And I'm in my office.

      This is IT. We don't do paper. Unless it's at high-volume, double-sided, fold-and-stapled, and then given to someone else.

      Google Keep has replaced Post-ITs

      Email has replaced everything from purchase orders to stroppy emails.

      Intranets have replaced everything from holiday forms to policy documents.

      In fact, the only time I have to dig out paper (like now) is so that new users can write down their initial login details to get into all the above to access everything else.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon
      Coat

      "When I'm upset you can calm me down by taking me to the nearest Staples"

      I thought it was just me. My wife tells me it's just me at any rate - but then again nothing short of being knocked unconscious seems to calm *her* down - perhaps I should just ignore what she says :)

  17. JimboSER

    I'm sensing a definite trend here, geeks and office supplies. I've always been a sucker for pens. I have the general collection of vendor pens (usually in a vendor coffee mug or two as holders), a few crap decoy pens on my desk for when folks come up and 'borrow' one, never to return, and then a small number of precision crafted writing instruments, paid for by the company that I keep for my own use hidden away.

    A prior episode of BOFH had a story about the Bastard coveting the PFY's new blue pen, an almost cerulean color ink... I immediately had to go out and find such a pen to have for my very own...

    1. Dave 32
      Coat

      Pens...

      The real secret to preventing people from borrowing your pen is to use a fountain pen. Very few people even know how to use one, and, fortunately, almost all of them know better than to even try (You can tell the very few who do try by the large permanent ink stains on their fingers, clothes, face, etc.).

      Dave

      P.S. And, yes, I actually do have an inkwell sitting in my cubical. 99+ percent of the people don't know what it even is. ;-)

      P.P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the large ink stain on the pocket.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Pens...

        Dilbert interviewing a baby engineer: "I have thirty-five pens and pencils here. How many are really required to do your job?"

        "All of them."

      2. Andy A

        Re: Pens...

        I used to have a job which involved the customers signing multipart forms to signify completion. You need a decent quality pen to make marks all the way to the 4th sheet, but my pens kept disappearing.

        I decided to find a way round this. I bought four colours of the same model of pen, and stuffed them in the inside pocket of my jacket. At the end of a job I would pull a pen at random and fill in the form. The top copy stayed with the customer, so I didn't care what colour it was.

        The black and blue pens disappeared inside the week.

        The green and red pens stayed with me for three months.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "an almost cerulean color ink"

      Does anyone remember Bic "Wild Blue" ?

      I opened a folder written many years ago with such a pen - only to find that there were impressions in the paper where the ballpoint had been, but no trace of pigment remained.

      Yes, a disappearing ink.

    3. Grunchy Silver badge

      That reminds me of the G2 / Mont Blanc hack...

      http://www.instructables.com/id/Save-$200-in-2-minutes-and-have-the-worlds-best-wr/

  18. Herby

    Female sales reps and other observations...

    For engineers, a female sales rep seems to have all the right buttons enabled. Maybe that's why Penny's career (on the _Big Bang Theory_) got a lot of sales (it was pharmaceuticals though). Irresistible to many people, and an "easy on eyes" helps as well.

    Paper: Always needed, especially for "Honey can you print a copy of this" (again female persuasion).

    Pens in pocket: I have lots, but they aren't all pens. I have a pen (duh!), a pocket screwdriver, a flashlight, a sharpie marker, and a camera (evidence) pen. Yes, people ask!

  19. DropBear
    Flame

    "...put the box of matches away, let the petrol fumes subside and let the presenter out of the cupboard..."

    ...but why? Whyyyyyyyyy...? There's just no good reason...

    1. Disk0

      the presenter needs to sign for completion...granted it should be trivial to forge their signature since it would probably look like the remains of a praying mantis...

  20. Hot Diggity

    Giselle and Gina sound awfully similar. Just sayin'.

  21. channel extended
    Unhappy

    Odd sizes...

    Once called in to help setup a accounting system that some one had bought from another company, back before Peachtree or Quickbooks. It printed all of the invoices on a 'special' size of paper available only from the parent company.Heh. I quickly figured out that changing the font size from 15 to 12 solved the problem. Printing cost went from approx. $80 a box to only $25. Unfortunately though I had saved the company thousands my billable hours were only one.

    Remember to good of problem solving skills will only get you broke or arrested.

  22. LaeMing
    Go

    To paraphrase a feedback note that has been floating about the 'net for years

    "If I had one day left to live, I would spend it in this seminar as it made the day seem like eternity."

  23. doug_tuck

    Ransomware

    I'd Love to see a BOFH story about tracking down and dealing with Ransomware crooks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ransomware

      It would be a short episode. Looks in mirror. "There you are!"

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