back to article BOFH: When was the last time someone said these exact words to you: You are the sunshine of my life?

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns So the PFY and I are in the Boss's office having sat through a 10-minute monologue on the importance of client surveys with a request that we come up with a way of reporting satisfaction levels to him by the time he rocks back from a half-hour meeting. He's apparently just realised that …

  1. Maverick


    "It's as if surveys actually irritated people rather than made them feel like their needs were being heard."

    perfect nail / head interface, I delete every such email

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I delete every such email"

      It depends how evil I feel.

      Sometimes the surveys lead you in a clear direction - I take the road less travelled...

      1. Chris King

        Be careful of low-balling the scores, that can trigger a follow-up call. Three once annoyed me with a survey, so I gave them zeroes across the board to make a point. Next thing I know, someone more senior calls me, wanting to know why I gave the scores I did.

        "You screwed up my service, then asked me to tell you how well you did. What the hell did you expect ?"

        Let's just say that short-circuited his little script.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Even middle scores have annoyed the outsourcer, unfortunatley because its not linked to anything I then sent in another one damning them for trying to up their scores.

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          - Why did you give this a score of 1/10?

          + Because your system doesn't allow zeros. Except in management positions, obviously.

        3. corbpm

          My recent 3 survey i ended with

          The in store was fine, I'm happy. The sms survey is annoying.

          0 for the sms, get the hint

          The reply;

          Thanks for your feedback. with marketting blurb.

          I did to be fair only last for about 5 questions but they where texted over 2 days.

      2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        Filling in totally random values just to screw things up is my approach. Swinging wildly from VERY enthusiastic to homicidally aggravated between categories should confuse interpretation. Alternatively, fill out "Not Applicable" whenever possible.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          I recently did compulsory survey from my employer about desks, chairs, screens, keyboards etc. There was no "not applicable" option and I'm not office based so pretty much no questions applied to me. But then these sorts of things are created by office based people and since they never see us remote people, we don't exist but are still on the mailing lists.

        2. chr0m4t1c

          Ha, you just reminded me of the time that I did a survey for a hotel chain and answered "did not use" for all of the questions, including the ones about the bed and the bathroom.

          I sort of wonder what they think I did in their hotel...

          1. J P

            Possibly the same as a university friend who picked up his key on arrival at the Boat Club Annual Dinner, put his bag in the room then lost the key and proceeded to drink so much he couldn't even remember which his room was, and in any event ended up accompanying someone else to their room anyway.

            Remarkably, when he told the management about this the following morning, they retrieved his bag for him and then gave him a partial refund on the room as he hadn't used it... (it was a small country house independent place in Suffolk, not a chain. And I suspect they'd made enough on bar takings to feel generous)

      3. dc_m

        Don't ask me for a survey unless you are prepared for me to tell you what I think of you, particularly if you have pissed me off!

    2. Trygve Henriksen

      As I told the caller after they called to interupt my work 'I'm satisfied with everything, except these annying calls afterwards. Now please fuck off, I have work to do'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nobody performing these surveys wants to do it. They are however often your junior colleagues or if not that minimum wage call centre staff. There is no need to make the job any harder or more stressful than it needs to be. I do occasionally answer the surveys but if I am too busy (the usual situation) I politely explain that.

        I've had to manage these surveys during project roll outs, I agree that their worth is debatable but when the c suite want the metrics and won't listen then we are forced to go ahead with them.

        I have watched hard working very junior team members reduced to tears by the aggressive reaction they receive for doing their job. I've seen team members who I would have encouraged down a technical route leave the profession altogether because its just too aggressive.

        I wouldn't accept one of my technical specialists being treated rudely or abused and if the F word were used it would be an HR incident instantly. If a junior team member of my team were treated that way it would quite possibly require the use of a cattle prod, roll of carpet and quicklime (good job I've just bought an estate car)

        1. Chris King

          I won't abuse people calling for surveys, but that doesn't mean that I have to put up with nonsense. I will firmly but politely refuse to take part, unless there's a good reason to continue the call.

          I had one from Microsoft this morning - they've noticed that I don't make full use of my Ofiice 365 tenancy and wanted to know why. Raising a ticket in my name and repeatedly calling me is not going to make me any more talkative.

          "Quite frankly, I find your marketing campaign creepy AND I specifically DIDN'T opt-in for surveys. Please close the ticket and take me off whatever list you're using for this nonsense. Good day !"

          Salescritters who phone up pretending to be running a survey are a whole different matter - they're wasting my time AND they've already lied to me to make that happen. All bets are off for a pleasant conversation.

          1. short a sandwich

            Lying at the start of a new commercial relationship that's going to end well with me too.

          2. KBeee

            That's because TPS bans sales calls, but allows surveys. BT used to use this tactic.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          My problem with the surveys is often that I know someone will actually use my number to affect someone else's job, either giving them credit for a good interaction or requiring them to explain about a bad one. That's fine if they really did a great job or a terrible one, but there are lots of more ambiguous situations. For example, I'm never sure what score to give when I still have the problem I called about but it's not at all the fault of the person I talked to and they probably did their best to help me but couldn't because of restrictions placed on them. If I give a ten, it makes it sound like I'm satisfied with everything. If I give a low number, it sounds as if the person I talked to was bad at their job. No good answer.

        3. tfewster

          He was polite - he said "Please fuck off"

          1. Trygve Henriksen

            Also, I never use the F-word the first time they call(that year).

            Telling them that I don't want to be bothered with surweys now or in the future doesn't seem to stick.

        4. imanidiot Silver badge

          The problem with some of these surveys is that you can't get the person on the other end to understand you don't want to take part politely. And at times you'd even have a hard time convincing them with a clue-by-four.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I'm actually happy to give people answers to surveys - but only if I've got the time. Because in some cases is does improves service. And you can usually tell from the survey pretty quickly.

      Biggest clue is time taken. If the survey says it takes 2 minutes, and you hit question 10 and it still says 1% done - then you know it's all bollocks.

      Or if you get one on the usablity of a website and the second question isn't about page loading times or menu placements but asks "how did your interaction with our animation style make you feel? 1. Emporwered; 2. Awesome; 3. Soaring like an eagle; 4. Fantabuloso; etc...

      So I close the survey as soon as I come to a question that I can't understand or that's written in such obvious marketing bullshit that I know the answers are going to be transcribed into an unreadable graph on a powerpoint slide to be shown at a training meeting in Hell's boardroom.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        written in such obvious marketing bullshit that I know the answers are going to be transcribed into an unreadable graph on a powerpoint slide to be shown at a training meeting in Hell's boardroom.

        That's not Hell's boardroom. Hell's boardroom doesn't piss about with surveys, Hell's boardroom gets things done. Just look around you...

      2. macjules

        Hell's boardroom is a place of tranquility and calm in comparison to some of the scrum retrospectives I have been forced to host and review.

        If there is a tool for the 8th circle of Hell that they want to use to torture the souls of BitCoin fraudsters then it must be making those souls allocate how much time they require for suffering and torment in Jira.

      3. Criggie

        I often add in any comments that "NPS is a crap scoring system" which is true.

        Anything between 0 and 6 out of 10 is a failure or a "detratctor". 7 and 8 are scored as neutral, and only 9 or 10 is a positive / "promoter"

    4. Terry 6 Silver badge

      And to make them worse, they never ask about the fucking things that they do crap. Only the anodyne or (occasionally) excellent stuff.

      Yes the call handler that took my complaint was friendly and understanding.

      Now ask me if the poor sod was able to achieve anything- and presumable give her 1/10 for not being able to do anything about your total wankery. Thereby ducking the fact that it is not her fault!!!!!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Having been outsourced from a competent (honestly) and friendly public sector organisation to a private company that was neither, we were all a little less bubbly than normal, particularly when they started binning the most expensive (i.e. experienced and useful) staff.

      They sent round a satisfaction survey and got a predictably unenthusiastic response.

      Once the results were tallied they called us all to a meeting where we were bollocked for having low morale.

      I do not know if morale improved after we all left.

      1. Fr. Ted Crilly Bronze badge

        Did the random beatings continue?

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Once the results were tallied they called us all to a meeting where we were bollocked for having low morale.

        I have hanging in my office the perfect sign for that.. "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I delete every such email"


      eBay purchase.

      Newsletter arrives on email address specifically allocated for PayPal. Reply pointing that out and now I have to go to the trouble of allocating a new email address and setting the old one to bounce with an appropriate message.

      Request for a survey arrives on email address specifically allocated for eBay but not through eBay's own system. They got their survey. They won't like it. It restricts itself to their spamming. And that also required a new address to be allocated.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have carried out surveys

      And not all were failures. We were in fact trying to get information from users about changes they would like to see in parts of their IT system.

      At one company the IT director - let's call him Elmer - informed us that surveys were a waste of time,that he didn't see any point, that users didn't know what they wanted anyway...but he was overruled and the one concession he got was that users would be identified only by screen names they chose at survey time, and if they signed up to receive the report, their email addresses would be deleted afterwards.

      Over 500 office staff completed that survey, and we had screen names like "Elmerisamuppet", "Elmersucksbigtime" and "ITsucksdonkeyshit".

      In the "tell us what you think" free text box we got some actual essays.

      Two significant things came out of the survey beyond the wild unpopularity of Elmer and his colleagues; the fact that many consultants got back to the office quite late in the evening and had to print material for the next day, but IT support stopped at 5 which meant if printers were not working, people were in trouble; and second, that the most requested feature was A5 booklet printing, which saved an immense amount of effort including lugging piles of A4 reports with edge binders.

      We also discovered that a lot of people would support waste reduction and recycling, that hardly anybody spoiled the questionnaire, and that there were a lot of nitpicks that could have been addressed if anybody was listening. In fact, the company clearly had a lot of thoughtful and motivated people working for it.

  2. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon

    What the hell Simon? Were you a fly on the wall in my morning meeting?? I was going for a Network, "I'm mad as hell" as the rain runs down my face kind of thing.... but Al Pacino will work!

    Now about the iPhone...

  3. cosymart


    Not up to the normal BOFH as I got bored half way through and wondered how come the PFY is still a PFY given the years this series has been going and surly by now he is a POG (Pockmarked Old Git).

    1. BrownishMonstr

      Re: Hmmm

      It's like the Simpsons, how come Maggie is still a baby when she's older than I am--by a few years, anyway.

      1. My-Handle Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm

        In an attempt to stave off death, Mr Burns had a secret particle accelerator built underneath the nuclear power plant. The accelerator's near-lightspeed beam creates a time loop, subjecting everyone in the field to live the same week over and over in a seemingly endless variety of permutations. As such, no-one ages, no-one really remembers any specifics of what went on last week, but somehow they still manage to keep up with the outside world.

        Damn, Friday cannot end quickly enough...

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm

          hmm , I think thats happening to me

        2. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm

          What's a part-tickle ass-elevator?

          It's a big thing that looks like a donut.

          Mmmmmmmm.... Donuts.... arrrrgggllll...

          1. J. Cook Silver badge

            Re: Hmmm

            That would explain Homer's obsession with them...

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm


      You can't fit that many bodies under the false floor (They also tend to honk something fowl after a few days giving the game away) or have a dodgey window for that long (The Health and Safety Inspector backed up by the rozzers usually give you a legal demand to weld all the outside windows shut).

      1. Loyal Commenter

        Re: Hmmm

        Honk something fowl? Someone been playing too much Untitled Goose Game?

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm

          I thought it was slang used from The Beano?

          Where the hell has my hat gone!

      2. Alister

        Re: Hmmm

        honk something fowl

        So, geese then?

        Or did you mean foul?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm

          Maybe, Slobotham, we're approaching this case from the wrong angle.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm

        ITS NOT REAL!

        And your point is?????

      4. Persona Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm

        "legal demand to weld all the outside windows shut"

        A window being welded closed doesn't make self-defenestration impossible. It's more about enthusiasm.

        Garry Hoy managed to prove this in 1993 whilst attempting to demonstrate how sturdy the windows were on the 24th floor.

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      Compared to the BOFH, the PFY will always be a PFY. Even if he's a POG in comparison to the WCF (Wide-eyed Cannon Fodder) making their way into the workforce.

      Until the day the BOFH electrocuted his last PHB and the student becomes the Master.

  4. Anonymous South African Coward

    Excellent start to Beer o' clock

    Hi ho, it's off to the pubbe we goe...

  5. Chronos

    Ugh, surveys. (sweary)

    If they were honest, there would be a 98% rating for "For fuck's sake, I can't be bloody arsed with this bollocks right now! How did you do? You buggered off afterwards and I hoped never to have to call again which, to my mind, was the most positive outcome."

    It's like those puggers (poll muggers) in the street. The most popular answer would be "Fuck off. I work all hours $DEITY sends just to eke out a living and I'm shopping during a rare moment when I actually allocate my own time. This is already a low point in my miserable, mediocre life without you bastards boring me closer to death with leading questions."

    Oh, and how do I like my car part I had no choice but to buy? It didn't fall apart immediately, which probably means I was astute enough not to buy Quinton Hazell. Will that do?

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Ugh, surveys. (sweary)

      "how do I like my car part I had no choice but to buy? It didn't fall apart immediately"

      Not just car parts, but various other things, the only difference is how long they're going to last. You can pay double or triple for outwardly identical items. And then they ask you to review the purchase, before any difference would even begin to show up.

    2. A K Stiles

      Re: Ugh, surveys. (sweary)

      Had a great one a couple of days ago - "How would you rate these postage stamps, on a scale of 1 to 5?"

  6. Blackjack Silver badge

    You know...

    That accountants are responsible for you getting your paycheck and pay bonuses, right? They literally know were the money is.

    Next time bother the public relationships guy, they literally get fired if they are mean to people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You know...

      You need to re-read the BOFH compendium. The BOFH can edit your printout while is queued/before it reaches the fax machine/while its in the outbound email queue. There's nothing an accountant can break that at BOFH can't fix, permanently.

      When I used to have to get reviewed yearly, I made it a point to have the surveys sent to the 3-4 engineers that I thought I had pissed off the most during the previous year....and I never got a bad review.

      1. KBeee

        Re: You know...

        Oh God those yearly reviews

        "Where do you see yourself in one years time?"

        "Hopefully in a better job than this"

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: You know...

      It's a long-running joke that the finance department and the IT department (or specifically the BOFH and PFY) have been at war almost since they started working there. This is just a continuation of that. Also, you have no guarantee that there was someone at PR who had a recent interaction with them and that they wanted to annoy.

      More seriously though, every part of a business that does work usually has some usefulness to the rest of them. That doesn't mean that everyone will like them. This site is primarily read by people working in IT or development/engineering, so those departments in general get fewer insults (although the work of others in that area will also be described badly). Also from this readership, it is natural to hear more complaints about departments that frequently place obligations or restrictions on IT or engineering. PR is often not connected to those very often, while other departments are. For example, the following departments have these stereotypical ways of annoying the technical employee:

      Finance: Refusing to pay for things that would assist the technology of the company, such as a more reliable backup solution or development resources.

      Marketing: Primarily for engineering, agreeing to provide some technical product or service that does not yet exist and expecting the relevant department to create it without previously consulting them.

      Security: Primarily for IT, placing restrictions on access which make it harder for staff to resolve technical issues.

      And of course, I don't think you can talk very long to anyone outside of senior and middle management and not hear complaints about senior and middle management. When those complaints are made, general as they often are, they're not made purely out of malice. Neither are they always correct or well-measured.

  7. Tom 7 Silver badge

    You are the sunshine of my life

    thanks for the skin cancer!

  8. tim 13

    My favourite response received to an IT support survey was "The IT department should all be lined up against a wall and shot"

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I'll just bet that came from the Marketing Department.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Or the complaints department, who were the only ones to make a consistent profit.

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      That would be a waste of good bullets.

  9. Martin an gof Silver badge

    "Instant reaction" surveys

    Much as I am not a fan of telephone, online or (worse) text message "can you just spare five minutes to tell us how we did" surveys, the ones which really baffle me are those little things-on-sticks which either have a screen, or have four or five physical buttons with green smiley face to red frowny face pictures (just an example, I'm sure there are plenty of other manufacturers). My kids take great delight in walking past the things and mashing the buttons at random, and I've seen plenty of other children and adults doing the same. They cannot possibly provide any useful information to the people whose job it is to examine the survey "results".


    1. Loyal Commenter

      Re: "Instant reaction" surveys

      I've seen those on the way out of toilets in various places, surveying how clean the loos are. Like I'm going to touch that after I've just washed my hands, especially on observation of the general level of cleanliness of the bottom quartile of the human population. It's likely to be more germ-ridden than that bit under the back of the toilet seat than never gets cleaned.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Instant reaction" surveys

      Apparently all of the really cool HR departments are putting kiosks like that in factories. No clue what changes the results are supposed to drive. "Huh, we imposed mandatory overtime, cancelled free coffee, and swiched the toilet paper from 'cheap' to 'transparent/waterproof' and our employee satisfaction declined 22.6%... Weird."

      1. sofaspud

        Re: "Instant reaction" surveys

        That reminds me of a former employer where management removed the coffeepots (claiming fire hazard), and then removed one of the refrigerators in the break room to make space for a coffee/hot drinks vending machine.

        At $0.25/cup. And the brew tasted like Satan's urine filtered through sawdust.

        The howls of outrage didn't *really* begin until we peons discovered that the director had a family business installing, stocking, and maintaining vending machines.

        Morale was already pretty bad but that was where I learned things can always get worse.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: "Instant reaction" surveys

          At the very first place to pay me a salary (back in the 1990s), the slightly eccentric owner installed a vending machine in the staff room which dispensed acceptable coffee, drinkable tea, pretty good chocolate, still and fizzy cold drinks (which in those days still had sugar in them rather than sweeteners) and a changing selection of cup-a-soups, all free.

          Morale at that place was actually very good, particularly among some male members of staff who would find the slightest excuse to visit the girl in "stores", who had a habit in warm weather of wearing baggy T-shirts with nothing underneath.

          Oh come on, I was only just out of my teens and very impressionable :-)


        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Instant reaction" surveys

          Bergen University?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "Instant reaction" surveys

      They cannot possibly provide any useful information to the people whose job it is to examine the survey "results".

      Any information (strictly speaking, data) for people paid to examine the results. Data means pay. The lack of useful information in the data is a problem for those paying for such garbage.

    4. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: "Instant reaction" surveys

      They could conceivably provide useful data. I know a statistician who works in something like this. The question is how many total inputs you need for all the random inputs to be reasonably expected to cancel out. Then you're only looking at the excess over the randomly distributed base.

    5. Marcelo Rodrigues
      Thumb Down

      Re: "Instant reaction" surveys

      "...those little things-on-sticks which either have a screen, or have four or five physical buttons with green smiley face to red frowny face pictures"

      I hate this thing with a passion. Everytime I see one of them I made a point to press the angry faced one.

  10. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Only when it's not a SNAFU

    For one of my customers I only seem to get a request to complete the survey when it's a trivial problem that could be solved quickly. I know that some people's performance reviews depend on this, but if I get the feeling it's being gamed (not by the grungs but by bonus-chasing "managers") I bail.

    Normally you can assume that if we don't complain we're happy or at least satisfied. If this is not the case, make it easy for us to say what didn't work, otherwise forget it.

  11. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The opposite of an annoying survey is just as bad

    The Office 365 advert has comments disabled. Makes me wonder why.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: The opposite of an annoying survey is just as bad

      Timely, that.

      When logged on to Outlook earlier this week, I was bombarded with (at least three) popups.

      The first one asked for my assent to new privacy policies, which, upon reading deeper, related to "cloud connected features" which were now available to me.

      Listen you stupid gits: I use Outlook because my company makes me use it for email and calendar. Otherwise, I'd be running Linux. I do not want your "store", your "cloud-connected features" (whatever those might be), or your gratuitous insertion of extra space between my emails to allow me to "read them better". Just leave it all the way I have it set up and don't cause me to have to spend 20 minutes undoing all your "new features" which I never wanted in the first place.

      Oh, and your "outlook metrics" from last week? I'll give you a metric to measure: how deep can you shove them where the sun doesn't shine?

      Happy pub o'clock everyone!

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: The opposite of an annoying survey is just as bad

        Yeah, the "My Analytics"/Delve thing is creepy as hell. I hadn't heard of it until a month ago, and turned it off immediately. They really shouldn't be so obvious that they're skimming stuff...

  12. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Total SNAFU

    Those surveys that start with; "On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is bad and 5 is excellent " and then the next question is; "On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is extremely satisfied, and 5 is very unhappy with the result".

  13. wyatt

    Ah yes, ISO90001 certification gets you to manage customer feedback to improve the service you're delivering. It's rare we get many responses to our surveys, when we do I'm not sure we can trust the results as everyones comments on the thread have proved!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Ah but ISO90001 certification is excellent. AND they have the evidence to prove it.

  14. A.P. Veening Silver badge

    And nobody seems to notice this comment section is a free format survey run by The Register. I must confess I didn't see it coming either.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    This is not a Survey. It is a Readily Available View. And Simply One of a Great Many More

    "Well, I think that went well," the PFY says.

    "Yes, but we've hardly created a body of data have we?" I reply.

    I disagree that it is so on El Reg, for surely daily do fans and commentards supply colossal realms of information for the most intelligent of future uses.

    If truth be told, El Reg is Almighty Loded ..... :-) and that is Always Attractive to Hostile Take Overers with Flash Cash to Spend for Purchase of Assets Ethereal or OtherWise as may very well be the case in an El Registered Supply Network with AI Product Chains to Trail and Trial/Beta Test and Further Mentor.

    Capiche, AmIGo. Everything's Ready for Immediate Supply. What do you Need .... to Seed for Future Feed, apart from the parts that are constantly supplied for free utilisation and open source exploitation with an Almighty Imagination?

    Those are always best never missed ..... for there you can lead what you follow to the source of all future destinations. And I'd wager there are precious few able to enable any or all of that, and with so much more available too preparing and resting for their introduction/universal media stream presentation.

  16. MOH

    My ISP sent me a customer satisfaction survey, which I used to highlight the billing issues I'd been trying to get their support team to fix for almost a year.

    They replied very apologetically, promise to investigate the issue, and of course it vanished into the same black hole as all my previous requests.

    A few months later, they sent me another customer satisfaction survey. I raised the issue again. I got a snotty reply that I should't be complaining about that because I'd already complained about it the previous time.

    I'll definitely be complaining about the response on the next survey.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      I'd have replied even more snottily that I wouldn't be complaining about it AGAIN if it had been fixed in the preceding months.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      They're still your ISP despite your compleints so they don't really care.

  17. fredesmite

    Dear BOFH

    You are the sunshine of my life

    That's why I'll always be around

    You are the apple of my eye

    Forever you'll stay in my heart

    I feel like this is the beginning

    Though I've loved you for a million years

    And if I thought our love was ending

    I'd find myself drowning in my own tears

    You are the sunshine of my life, yes you are

    That's why I'll always be around

    You are the apple of my eye

    Forever you'll stay in my heart

    You must to know, you must to know that I was lonely

    Because you came to my rescue

    I know that I must be in heaven

    How could so much love be inside of you?

    Inside of you

    Are the sunshine of my life

    1. scoldog1

      Re: Dear BOFH

      Is it bad that I imagined this song being sung in Dave Listers voice?

      Time to join The Canaries!

  18. Rhuadh

    Putting the bodies under the floorboards

    Just a thought from a re-run episode of NCIS, body was found in the bath, which had been filled with cat litter. Seems, since I've never tried it, the kitty litter absorbs all the body fluids and the smells of a decomposing body.... Think Simon and the PFY have missed out on this one....

    1. TheFurryCircle

      Re: Putting the bodies under the floorboards

      If you think kitty litter absorbs smells then either you've never had a cat, or I have a particularly stinky one.

      It's the latter isn't it? Sigh...

      1. Jesthar

        Re: Putting the bodies under the floorboards

        Speaking as a fellow cat slave, try changing their diet. You wouldn't BELIEVE the difference switching to grain free food made to the - er - odour component of solid offerings with my two.

        Also, CatSan is crap ;)

        1. wegie

          Re: Putting the bodies under the floorboards

          It doesn't matter what you do to their diet if you are cursed with a cat who refuses to bury the evidence...

    2. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Putting the bodies under the floorboards

      ... For some reason, I have Drowning Pool's "Bodies" playing in my head.

  19. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Sorry I'm late

    You see, I had this survey.....

  20. Lorribot

    I just love a box on a survey that is free text and starts with "Please tell us what you think about....."

    Since you asked so nicely.....

    Tips of surveyors, never have an odd number of options, everyone picks the middle one. Never ask more than two questions or I want a guaranteed prize.

  21. Hazmoid

    irony of ironies

    Came here for the comments and was not disappointed. Bonus was ElReg asking me to turn off my ad blocker so they could scrape my responses to their ads.

    When I used to work for a Stockbroker (national so IT was reasonably large) and we were constantly getting bombarded with "Survey" requests. Really they were lead hunting missions for various vendors. Funniest response I saw was my boss responding to a survey from "Hell-stra" telling them that the reason he went elsewhere was because they effectively shutdown for 2 months at Christmas time, usually when we were in the middle of firing up new offices for the start of the year.

    Our standard response to phone surveys was "Our company policy is not to respond to surveys" to which they would still try to claim that it was not a survey.

  22. earl grey

    you should all appreciate this one

    I was on the phone with an un-named company and they asked if i would do a survey at the end...and here's the good part.

    They specifically asked that i NOT give them 10 as their system registered that as a zero and they got gigged for it.

    Bad programming?

    Bad managlement?


    Don't know...service was ok so i gave them 9's.

    1. A K Stiles

      Re: you should all appreciate this one

      I had a survey for something a few months ago with a bunch of "On a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is very dissatisfied and 5 is very satisfied..." questions. I answered most of them at a '4' for satisfactory as whatever it was had achieved my goal in the timely fashion I'd hoped. I hit submit and then got presented with a page with free text space and the question "Please explain why you didn't rate XYZ as a '5' "

      I explained that their service was perfectly fine and I had no problems with it, but their survey was badly designed and how does one separate between 'satisfied' and 'very satisfied' - If they wanted the extreme rating then they'd have to be 'exceptional' and not 'expected'. Possibly the difference in mentality between typical British (s'alright) and American (AWESOME!) outlooks on life?

  23. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Yes, but we've hardly created a body of data have we?"

    With the BOFH & PFY it's usually just bodies.

  24. Terry 6 Silver badge

    that users didn't know what they wanted anyway...

    Blood boiling time.

    I've had to use so many systems over the years that simply didn't match the requirements of the people using them. ( Usually getting information in, getting it out and making sense of it, while not taking up too much of the time required to actually use the information). Because of over complex interfaces, weird jargon, unanswerable/compulsory question fields and so forth.

    It's the users who do know what they want. And not their management who have a hazy idea about what the users even do. Obvious example was a health and safety thing once* that asked about some equipment that we didn't have or need, (presumably some other dept. did) but was a compulsory field and you couldn't move on to relevant stuff without answering it.

    *Once. By the following year the whole shebang had mysteriously ceased to exist.

  25. Rol

    And as I cut his heart like so....."Ring ring!" Just a minute, that could be my tennis coach.

    Once upon a time, I was temporarily employed to ring an IT provider's list of employees for a medical company in America. Asking them if they had a few minutes spare to respond to a survey to gauge their opinion of the IT firm in question.

    I had never done work like this before, and I'll NEVER do it again!

    One customer answered, and within minutes was swearing obscenities at me, claiming to be in the middle of operating on a patient, and how dare I interrupt such a delicate procedure.

    Not being a professional phone jockey, and having decided that very moment that I was not going to return for the next shift, I expressed my hope that his patient survives the operation, despite the unprofessionalism of the surgeon, who by his own admission, cares more for answering the phone, than his patient's well-being.

  26. Gil Grissum


    It's a waste of time for Helpdesk people to send out a survey about Help desk Performance. If their boss can't figure it out, then they are overpaid, and not doing their job. I'm not calling anyone to ask them any survey questions. I'm not doing anyone else's job for them, without a raise in pay, and position. I've had to send out these surveys before and they never resulted in anyone doing their job any better.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Pointless

      They're never about that. They're about providing evidence for someone to show they're doing their job at the performance review.

      And that may well be the fact that they did the survey, not the actual data from it.

  27. RyokuMas

    Set the way-back machine...

    In my first role, I was a developer at a company that made survey software (this predates the .com boom, so desktop apps). We also used said software to run surveys for companies who couldn't be bothered to read the manual - usually at an extortionate cost.

    Anyhoo, one such survey was for an engineering company in the Republic of Ireland who shall remain anonymous. Fitting really because, in the interest of garnering "honest" feedback, said company's management deemed that the survey responses should anonymous...




    So yes, we are conducting a paper-based survey of a bunch of workshop-floor southern Irish engineers who are not compelled to provide their names. Oh, and there's an "any other comments" box at the end of the survey.

    We got back some very... colourful responses. Some of them contained words I don't even know - although that could be down to some creative use of Old Irish. But my favourite by far was the guy who merely put his hand with middle finger extended over the comment box and drew round it.

    Too bad the boss wouldn't let me ASCII-art that one into the corresponding free-text field.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Set the way-back machine...

      I'd still have put the text *Crude graphic depiction of a hand extending it's middle finger* in the field.

  28. Tweetiepooh

    Sometimes though

    If you have had good service from the technical people or those dealing with the issue but you know they are hampered by bad practice/product etc you can fill the survey to that end. I have had good responses and seen changes in the vendors methods but that maybe an exception.

  29. imanidiot Silver badge

    Even worse

    I've now experienced salespeople in shops begging me to give them at least an 8 on the survey that is send out afterwards, or they'll get docked their entire bonus. Which is completely stupid as especially in the Netherlands, NO-ONE is going to give more than a 7 by default, MAYBE an 8 if you've really done an outstanding and superhuman job. It's just not in our culture to be throwing out 10s. How this is even legal in the Netherlands I don't know.

  30. Byron "Jito463"

    I loathe surveys

    I absolutely loathe surveys of any kind, no matter how innocuous they may be.

  31. Big_Boomer Silver badge


    F***ING SURVEY EMAILS. Every Tom, Dick and Mary wants to know how they did and expects me to supply them with that data. So, what they are telling me is that every time I interact with their company, they then want me to spend some of my valuable time telling them how they did? For FREE? Nah!!

    I'll do it for cold hard cash, but that's it. No bogus competition shite or 10% discount on next purchase (so long as it's in the next 60 seconds!) garbage. CASH! Will also accept beer but none of that watery lager crap!

  32. Dave 32


    On those surveys which ask for a response between 1 and 10, I typically give them a 1, and then, in the explanation box. explain that I was trying to give them an 11, but, well, truncation and all that.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like