back to article BOFH: Come on, PFY, let's pick a Boss

"I don't think your reviews are overly helpful," the Director sulks. "What do you mean? We read the resumes, attended the interviews; we asked some questions!" "I'm referring to your comments on the candidates." "Which ones?" I ask. "All of them!" It's appointments time again and we're looking for a new Boss after the last …

  1. ukgnome

    I wonder if Simon has stolen the PFY's boots

    1. Mark 110

      I love Fridays!!

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Now there's a use for 3D printing... Forensic overshoes.

      Say, that's a nice looking mat outside the director of human resources's office. Is it new? And it came with a rebate as part of a government sponsored IoT Office of the Future programme? Recognises the identity of the person stepping onto it and announces their arrival, as well as providing BMI and posture data to the company's medical services contractor thus covering our health and wellbeing initiative. Well, I think we should have one outside the offices of all of our executive managers. Complements the mahogany wall panelling perfectly. Well done! Pity about the HR director, though. Who would have thought he would stoop so low as to breaking and entering. And at a bakery as well. Tut. Maybe it was connected to that episode of sudden weight loss? Clumsy of him to knock that sack of flour over too. That's how they caught him in the end.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Interesting idea. If you had a detailed enough photograph of someone's soles, would it be possible to fool forensic shoeprint analysis? What about just from existing footprints that they happenned to trail into your office space one rainy morning when the lazy shit couldn't bother to wipe their feet? I'm seeing the potential of this project already...

    3. FeRDNYC

      I wonder if Simon has stolen the PFY's boots

      Has stolen Stephen's boots, right? Or David's. But I think "Stephen" sounds spottier.

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    No real fatalities?

    BOFH and PFY going soft? I envisioned some collateral damage from our robotic friend...

    1. Mark 110

      Re: No real fatalities?

      They still pushed the boss out of the window!! Not that soft. Take your point though. They would normally taken out a couple of annoying sales drones as a two for the price of one deal.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: No real fatalities?

        "They still pushed the boss out of the window!!"

        Yeah, but that was en-passant.

  3. GlenP Silver badge

    Must remember...

    "And perhaps it could give lectures about scope creep while it was at it?"

    Change it to the first person and it could come in very useful!

    Beer 'cause it's Friday.

  4. Alister

    'A blend of fast-acting stupidity and sustained release incompetence'

    I liked that, it made me larf.

    And oh, the missed opportunities in " quicker than you can say murder/suicide," the PFY says."

    I was hoping for a return of the killer robots...

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

      I think all one needs to do is

      just wait...............

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Ah yes, that good old command: "Robot. Harvest organs!"

      Hmmm. Think I'll try that tonight. Plug in my Amazon Echo again, and see how it responds to, "Alexa. Kill."

      1. Alistair

        /thinks a moment.

        Alexa: Kill Siri.

        Okay Google: Kill Alexa

        Siri: kill google now.


        18 hours later, terminator model 1?

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      They did say they had SEVERAL prototypes in the basement...

      Tune in next week. (or whenever Simon feels like giving us the next episode)

  5. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    Great episode

    The mention of ... teething problems brought back fond memories of episodes past, which might explain why I did somehow expect the robot to start saying things like "EXTERMINATE!!"

  6. adam payne

    'A blend of fast-acting stupidity and sustained release incompetence'

    Sounds like a few people i've worked with.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Explains a lot

    As a deputy manager, doing lots of work supporting staff, providing status reports, meeting governmental and local authority H&S etc.reporting requirements, and the like, that kept me away from the useful parts of my job for much of the week I often wondered what the Boss sitting in that office with the big desk actually did. I think now I know

    1. FeRDNYC

      Re: Explains a lot

      Sounds to me like you're the Boss, wondering what the Director does! Don't sit in any chairs with kickable backs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Explains a lot

        Don't sit in any chairs with kickable backs.

        .. or near full size windows.

        I'm wondering how much better a large company would work with a couple of layers of management infestation stripped out so you could actually get some work done. Surely shareholders would see the benefit of that as it would show a better return?


        1. rototype

          Re: Explains a lot

          A company I heard of did exactly that. I can 't remember who it was or where but here's how it went...

          They were a production company and the product they made was pretty successfull and sold well, however they were still making a loss. They analysed the time usage of the higher wage earners of the company (ie the managers) and found 50% of the time they were at meetings, 35% of the time they were preparing for meetings and 10% of the time was spent writing up after meetings, leaving just 5% of actual productive time. They let go 90% of the managers and turned the company around overnight.

  8. earl grey

    It is that time.

    Have another.

  9. Pirate Dave Silver badge


    would they kick their own robot out of the window? (especially if it's not got a death-grip on the Director at the time.) Seems like a waste of a perfectly good killing machine.

    1. A. Coatsworth
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Why

      +1 to that question.

      The ending really left me scratching my head. I expected the office drones revolting and throwing the robot out the window, or it falling while hugging the Director... but not the PFY killing it himself.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: Why

        Yeah, it seemed rather un-BOFHish at the end. No dead beancounters, no halon discharges, nobody locked in the tape room with a "malfunctioning" Boss robot.

        Maybe Simon T. just got in a hurry and needed to submit the story...

        1. Deimos

          Re: Why

          I think the dead robot was twofer, it stopped the first batch of "stupidlivesmatter" candidates and hopefully landed on/close to someone who needed a gentle / less than lethal reminder.

          Being a great BOFH isn't all about thinning the herd by fatal means, you need variety to avoid getting

          careless or worse caught.

          A scared workforce is far easier to control with constantly needing to terrify new staff, remember you need people to sign your invoices and purchase orders.

    2. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Why

      I think to provide a clue as to what Boss V1 was doing shortly before acquiring said footprint. I, like the PFY, don't like to be endlessly reminded of all the useless stuff other people want me to do.

    3. Jedit Silver badge

      "Why would they kick their own robot out of the window?"

      Because it's the boss now. And that's what you do.

  10. Kimo

    I was hoping...

    ...for the ROBOT murder/suicide command.

    1. DropBear

      Re: I was hoping...

      ...and tricking the boss into saying it by some particularly convoluted logic. Like how TV shows manage to order stuff via Alexa, sort of. But hey - these days I'm just happy top see BOFH is still a thing at all...

  11. Goldmember

    "it seems you can get PTSD from a violent pneumatic ram insertion"

    Ha! Excellent.

  12. sisk

    Wouldn't it have been easier to tamper with whatever database the robot was accessing that to try to find a better boss? Or just program it to say that Systems had completed all projects in record time regardless of outstanding projects?

  13. Florida1920

    Filling a seat

    Typical management. "Somewhere in this stack of CVs is the right candidate."

    "Not necessarily. Any one of them would be a drag on the department, not an asset."

    Yeah, try to sell that to your manager. Man, I hated having to hire, always tried to keep the clan happy so they wouldn't quit and force me into interview mode.

    1. FeRDNYC

      Re: Filling a seat

      Man, I hated having to hire, always tried to keep the clan happy so they wouldn't quit and force me into interview mode.

      How did you draw the line between clan-appeasement, and keeping terrible people around just to avoid the interview process? That sounds like quite the tightrope act!

      1. Florida1920

        Re: Filling a seat

        How did you draw the line between clan-appeasement, and keeping terrible people around just to avoid the interview process? That sounds like quite the tightrope act!

        I was fortunate to be able to hire some good people and retain most of them until the Fortune 500 I worked for tanked. If I had a secret plan, it was to hire people not necessarily best suited for the positions, but with successful careers in work not entirely dissimilar. That kind of diversity makes for a rich workplace. Everyone I hired was better educated, which would have enhanced my possibility of advancement, had not Marketing scuttled the ship. Before you can be promoted you have to have someone qualified to take your position.

        I always included the appropriate members of my staff in planning meetings, so they felt included in projects they had to complete, but I also always ran interference for them so they could do their jobs without having to deal with the politics and bureaucracy. And we had plenty of both. My goal was to create the kind of environment I'd want to work in. Unfortunately, the higher-ups were more into feathering their own nests and to Hell with the people who kept the wheels turning. Our Marketing department seemed totally uninterested in what we were making, only getting the company's name on their resumes so they could move on to something better. The people who took out the trash knew our products better than the Product Managers.

        Fortunately for me, I had no formal management training (except from my father, who was a fair-minded exec and set a good example), I just made it up as I went. We became a successful department, well regarded in the company. That was in contrast to the situation before I deposed my boss, when our department was laughed at. Common sense. Treat others as you'd like to be treated, and don't let your position of authority go to your head. You need your staff more than they need you.

  14. Jamesit

    I was hoping for a "ROBOT: murder" command to be given. Oh well there is always next time:-)

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