back to article BOFH: Here in my car I feel safest of all. I can listen to you ... It keeps me stable for days

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "It's a clear-cut case of licence blindness," I say to the Boss. "What now?" he chips back. "Licence blindness. It's a term based on software licensing. Like when you're installing some software or another and a window appears with a scrolling box full of text in the background and …

  1. Alligator

    BOFH O'clock

    A great start to a Friday... Mine's a Lexus LM!

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: BOFH O'clock

      Have your day's Onion Bhaji and associated drink to keep you going until the end of the day

      1. Number6

        Re: BOFH O'clock

        You will need a car with a good ventilation system if you're eating the onion bhajis in it.

  2. Fursty Ferret

    >> They told us that our public wireless is less secure than James Dean's seatbelt

    Saving that for personal use.

    1. Ordinary Donkey

      It certainly beats my "Less secure than a twenty on the floor outside the pub"

      1. Mishak

        Unlike the £1 coin...

        That someone I knew glued to the pavement (sidewalk in the US) so they could spend the day watching passers-by trying to pick it up through the street-level window in front of his desk.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Unlike the £1 coin...

          Parking a Volkswagen Beetle so the wheel traps a third of a £20 note? Impossible to get out without ripping the note into un-usability that even a bank wouldn't exchange. That was good until one bloke came back with 3 chums the size of brick shit houses who could lift the car up enough to ease the note out.

          1. dak

            Re: Unlike the £1 coin...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQBPQak2Ef4

          2. Brian 3

            Re: Unlike the £1 coin...

            actually one average adult can get that 20 quid note - just bounce the car on it's suspension and it will hop right up, use your shoe to tug it out as the pressure lifts. I do it with hoses and extension cords all the time, works well with most smallish cheap models

        2. KittenHuffer Silver badge

          Re: Unlike the £1 coin...

          1. Try to pick up the coin

          2. Kick the coin breaking the glue, and sent it shooting off in front of you

          3. Profit!

          1. astfgl
            Happy

            Re: Unlike the £1 coin...

            1. Notice the small amount of epoxy leaking out from under one side and walk right past.

            2. Come back the next morning with a chisel and hammer.

            3. Profit!

        3. Grunchy

          Re: Unlike the £1 coin...

          Some guy cemented a 2012 nickle on top of a barricade post at the automobile auction, and left it there for years.

          I finally noticed it one day and 30 seconds later had it in my pocket!

          It's because I've got a POCKET KNIFE and I am an EXTREME CHISELER.

        4. Blackjack Silver badge

          Re: Unlike the £1 coin...

          Eh, you try that around here and the coin, and maybe a bit of the pavement, is gone the next day.

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      His Spyder was not equipped with seatbelts. It may explain why they weren't secure

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Sometimes ignorance is preferable, like in when I found the sitcom "President of the United States" to be the most hilarious thing on TV, until I discovered it wasn't a creation of Rickie Gervais, but in fact A reality TV show run by Fox. It was about that time I started stocking up on essentials like bog paper and assorted weapons.

        1. Potemkine! Silver badge

          And sometimes the opposite is true. A friend of mine was zapping on TV and went to watch the movie "Man Bites Dog", thinking it was a documentary and not a fiction. He was quite shocked until he discovered the truth.

          1. Blackjack Silver badge

            Actually there are real documented cases of people biting dogs... is just that the real cases are too boring to make a movie about them.

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant, just briliant

    Simon is on form these days!

  4. MisterHappy
    Facepalm

    People do need to be told

    Unfortunately people do need to be told not to punch a hole through their door access card, the card that also works for 2FA & to tap on the printer to release their prints.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: People do need to be told

      Something I used to do frequently to disable the NFC in smart bank cards back in the days when I was paranoid about the frankly absent security on the system.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: People do need to be told

        Well, it's still as unsafe as heck but they've worn you down by now, conveniently using Covid as the excuse. And cracked up the allowable authorisation in the process to "help" you getting into debt quicker.

        1. EnviableOne Silver badge

          Re: People do need to be told

          I have a long-range NFC antenna that will just about fit in a record bag and a card machine I can connect it to.

          I wonder how many carriages I can get through before someone notices I am taking £100 off every card on the train...

          1. Hero Protagonist

            Re: People do need to be told

            Now don’t get greedy, that’s how you get caught. Limit yourself to £5 and people won’t notice, or if they do, the amount is too small to to be worth enduring their bank’s automated customer service to report it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: People do need to be told

      We use some RFID stickers* for printers and 2FA as well. I went on holiday to DisneyWorld a couple of years ago where they had wristbands for getting into the parks, hotel rooms purchasing meals etc. I was looking at it, thinking obviously it's some form of RFID - will it work with the printers and PC's at the office....

      It did - so now I have the "coolest" Mickey Mouse RFID wristband (do a search for Disney magic bands).

      * - cheap and nasty things - left one in the car overnight and it stopped working....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: People do need to be told

        edit - missed the 10 min cooldown

        I also tried other devices as well - and found that my mobile phone, and supermarket loyalty card also worked with the printer and 2FA reader as well

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: People do need to be told

          I've picked up a card somewhere that alleges to mess up RFID comms when mixed in with other credit cards - not sure if it works yet (people look at you funny when you start fumbling with cards come time payment) and wondering *how* it works - RFID loop powered jamming?

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: People do need to be told

            Not sure exactly how it works, but it does. At least for 'normal' readers. I suspect a Faraday-ish construction.

          2. keith_w Bronze badge

            Re: People do need to be told

            supposedly my wallet blocks RFID. Haven't tested it yet, but neither have I had any unexplained losses.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: People do need to be told

              neither have I had any unexplained losses

              So you're not married?

              :)

              (anonymous for safety reasons)

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: People do need to be told

        but the wristband was ok though.......

    3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: People do need to be told

      I seem to recall* Simon & the PFY punching holes in their access card's, so their movements couldn't be tracked through the building.

      *No sooner said than swindled....... https://www.theregister.com/2004/07/19/bofh_2004_episode_23/

    4. Shalghar

      Re: People do need to be told

      I remember a reoccuring internet meme where the free condom for safe activities is pinned right through the middle of the packaging.

      Its a neverending fight of oblivious versus obvious while obvious keeps losing a tad too much for my taste.

  5. macjules Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    "our public wireless is less secure than James Dean's seatbelt"

    That should be copyrighted. I am most definitely going to use that from now on.

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      That should be copyrighted.

      If Simon wrote that in a country that is a party to the Berne Convention (most countries are), it was automatically copyrighted at the moment it was first “fixed” (i.e. written/typed/carved/recorded/&c.).

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

    License terms and conditions are akin to bracelets and baubles and handcuffs restricting free movement and further open discussion and random and/or rogue and/or renegade rapid engagement of novel vulnerabilities subsequently discovered as inequitable and designedly self-serving rather than self-servicing.

    Well, they are in secret circles, that's for sure, surely ‽ . But as Simon says, who bothers even reading them before clicking on a Yes, that's perfectly ok today box.

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

      These are actually becoming harder to enforce these days, specifically if they are unnecessarily long or convoluted. I can't remember which tech company it was, but just to prove a point one of them included a clause along the lines of "you give X_COMPANY the right to use your soul as it sees fit" in the license blindness section of their EULA. A lot of people still ticked the box, and it was several months before a newspaper caught on.

      1. John Riddoch

        Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

        No-one reads them unless they're bored, because they're too bloody long and lawyers often get paid by the word. There's plenty of fodder if you search for "how long to read eula" including the depressing statistic that it would take 76 work days a year to read all the privacy policies. Then they'll change them to give you another chance to read (or ignore...) them and click that you agree.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

          I'm waiting for the day someone puts on an alert box triggered by the tick box action that pops up and tells the user they're a total liar and that they never read it and certainly didn't understand it, but fine, at least they agreed to it.

          Bonus points if the tick box action can then cause their IoT doorbell to ring and inject video footage of the Monty Python Organ Donor collections team...

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

            a paragraph about moose bites might be amusing

            1. David Robinson 1

              Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

              A Møøse once bit my sister... No realli! She was Karving her initials on the møøse with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given her by Svenge - her brother-in-law - an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands of an Oslo Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst Nordfink"...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

                We apologize for the fault in the comments. Those responsible have been sacked.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

                  Thanks for that, I had a very hard week and only your last comment finally managed to trigger the right synapses to bring back where that came from.

                  The richness of what Monty Python and other early comedy groups like the Goons and the Rowan Atkinson lot with Not the Nine O'Clock News have donated to English culture is impossible to overstate.

                  Speaking of which, my absolute favourite moment was when Not the Nine O'Clock News took the absolute mick out of the controversy surrounding Monty Python's Life of Brian. Enjoy this work of art once more, and have a nice weekend :)

                  1. A.P. Veening Silver badge
                    Pint

                    Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

                    Those links deserve a lot more than just an upvote from me, have a ======>

                  2. SCP

                    Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

                    My favourite was the comedy gold of Cleese, Palin, Stockwood, & Muggeridge debating Life of Brian. It led to one of Palin's best [IMHO] comebacks during one of the exchanges:

                    Muggeridge: I started off by saying that this is such a tenth rate film that I don't believe it would disturb anybody's faith.

                    Palin: Yes, I know you started with an open mind. I realize that.

                    [ref pt4 1:40]

                    But the whole thing is classic. The sad part is that as appalling as the performances of Stockwood and Muggeridge were the conduct of the debate is still head and shoulders above much of the current day levels of discourse.

                2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

                  Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretti nasti...

          2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Box Tickers Anonymous United ....... Fielding FailSafe Security Services

            Proper postmen always ring at least twice when delivering advice or seeking deliverance.

            That's an Interesting Door to be answering for AWEsome goodies to Share/Sell/LendLease/Export/Import.

            Who Dares Win Wins to Never Ever Again Lose/Fail.

            Cheltenham Station X Fare Ware with Advanced IntelAIgent Source and Force Protection.

            :-) Crikey, a Zimmerman Telegram BetaTesting Earthly Resources for Future Worthy Capabilities.

        2. swm Silver badge

          Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

          The ULAs are impossible to read in their tiny boxes and there is no way to print them out.

      2. Antonius_Prime
        Devil

        Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

        Apple have a clause for the iTunes one. You can't use the code to develop bio weapons.

        https://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/dev/stdeula/

        Go search for it!

        :D

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

          "Apple have a clause for the iTunes one. You can't use the code to develop bio weapons."

          About a year or so ago I got a few cans of paint from a Sigma paint trade counter here in NL. Much to my surprise the invoice included a clause to the effect that I couldn't use their products in nuclear weapons. And that was on the front, not in the small print on the back. Turns out Sigma is part of PPG, an American company. Quite annoying, had to get paint from the DIY superstore instead to paint my nose cones.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

        Are you sure it was just to prove a point? I'm fairly sure a good few of them would have meant it.

      4. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

        I thought they all said that .... just in Legalese!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

        or the (somewhat) famous clause in the Starlink TOS that acknowledges the independence of Mars.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

          But what about Orion 7 and Proxima 3?

          Icon - Closest thing to a Vorlon.

      6. AlbertH

        Re: Box Tickers Anonymous United .......

        Look closely at the M$ Windoze EULA. It contains some interesting clauses in the license blindness area. Some of them - if noticed - would prevent many companies and other organisations from signing up to those terms.

      7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        APT Problematic ACTivity .. in Advancing Cyber Threat/Treat Territories/Virtual Field Team Terrain

        I can't remember which tech company it was, but just to prove a point one of them included a clause along the lines of "you give X_COMPANY the right to use your soul as it sees fit" in the license blindness section of their EULA. A lot of people still ticked the box, and it was several months before a newspaper caught on. ....... My-Handle

        My-Handle, you might like to realise, whilst those in the virtual frame for positive practical identification and rightly terrifying attention scamper and scurry to no safe and secure provisional hiding place and sanctuary for immunity and impunity of action, that there do be a delusional self chosen few stylised as members of a relatively small global elite doing God's work, who presume and assume to enjoy and employ and exploit the same supposition and presumptive permission as was scripted for X_COMPANY .....you give X_COMPANY the right to use your soul as it sees fit

        However, the Abiding Persistent Troubling Problem is they are in no way ready, fit and able or enabled to use such largesse ..... and the cost of their failures in attempts to wield such powers are intelligently designed almighty crippling and catastrophically devastating to them first and foremost with a fervour that does sweet justice proud and which exempts and protects all others from the just exceptional desserts of their perverse and subversive labours.

        Now, tell us all here that is not all perfectly fair nor right and there will be frenzies of laudable disagreement capable of manufacturing the most decisive of future fights.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: APT Problematic ACTivity ..

          ... in Advancing Cyber Threat/Treat Territories/Virtual Field Team Terrain

          And the ensued silence is golden, indicative as it is, of an empty echoing postmodern arsenal of effective stealthy weapons for either defence or AWEsome attack.

          Such usually, quite understandably in a worldly war scenario, is a precedent for the fielding and wielding of a white ragged flag and agreement to non-conditional talks on the terms and conditions of surrender should one wish ideally to survive and again live to prosper rather than continue to perish and die a certain unpleasant death.

          And some who would be exceptionally wise would realise that as one of the very best of outcomes, considering the madness and mayhem, havoc and despair that CHAOS and IDEntities* can both sow and reap and wreak in formerly all powerful, elite executive office systems of SCADA** Administration.

          And, although it is oft said that forewarned if forearmed, to imagine there be weapons easily made available for delivery to escape from such fare/ware, is the feed of a folly from and to a field of frantic fools whenever their needs are oases of serene and supreme calm signed, sealed and delivered by A.N.Others likely forever to be practically unknown clad in cloaks of virtual invisibility supplying everything required and desired for its relatively anonymous autonomous metaphysicality.

          * Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems and IntelAIgently Designed Entities [such as in Merlins with EMPowering Sterling Stirling Virtual Machine Engines, Mega MetaDataBase Physicians and AIMagicians]

          ** Supervisory Control and Analysis of Data Acquisition

  7. imanidiot Silver badge
    Pint

    Great as ever.

    Still not pub-o-clock unfortunately -->

  8. dak
    Facepalm

    Damn!

    I signed a new contract yesterday and completely forgot to insert clause 85e.

    1. Red Ted Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Damn!

      In my last but one job my contract was emailed to me as a word doc for me to update with the start date, print, sign and return. I was seriously tempted to add my own "clause 85e".

      I quite fancied that it would say that the company had to buy me a birthday cake every year!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Damn!

        I routinely made hand-written changes (each initialled and dated) to clauses I didn't like on engagement contracts. I doubt the client ever read it when it arrived back in the post. Never had any change queried, nor any attempt to apply any of the said clauses. Some were related to liability insurance (I was never going to pay for insurance at the levels asked) or data retention (as far as I was concerned, it was their problem if they lost stuff after I'd submitted it).

        I may be retired, but anonymous in case any previous client reads this...

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: Damn!

          "I routinely made hand-written changes (each initialled and dated) to clauses I didn't like on engagement contracts."

          A year or two ago I was going to do some subcontract work for an agency, so they sent me a contract and their terms 'n conditions as a PDF to sign. Didn't like the liability clause which put all liability on me. So went to their website and copied the liability clause in their contract with customers - which pretty well excluded all liability. Pasted it into the contract PDF and they never noticed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Damn!

            Oh yes, there are also those who still think that PDFs are immutable and thus blithely assume what you return is what they sent, just with an added signature.

            Frankly, I have lost track of just how many ways there are to, er, "update" a PDF, especially because most are generated via the usual "print to" approach, as that gives you full access to the text blocks. In most cases you don't even need the specific font installed because they use the system default..

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    We have still

    much to learn from the BOFH, partly on adding extra clauses to our contracts, but especially where to insert said clauses

    Speaking of inserting, the departed PFY left me a present, all boxed up neat as you like and sealed in plastic... on unwrapping it I'll only use the word 'keyboard' for it as its rectanglar and has a USB lead hanging off it... dried up coffee and hobnob bits are the least of the things in there.

    On the bright side though, we have a work experience guy starting monday so rather than calling Porton down's biological warfare department to get rid of the thing, I'll use work experience guy on monday... baptism of fire and all that..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We have still

      We were running a small user conference about 20 years ago and during lunchtime someone got in and left with a trolley with 30 laptops on it. Our insurance fully covered the loss when you read the first page of the conditions, but when you read the last page of the agreements it said only individual computers with a value of more than $5k each were covered.

  10. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

    Original lyric

    "I can lock all my doors"

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Original lyric

      "Its the only way to live."

  11. beerandbiscuits

    Lawyers aren't immune

    I'm a litigator, and have come across more than one instance of contracts having been negotiated between lawyers using tracked changes and comments, but missing an amendment that was not tracked. They become so used to looking for the tracking that they don't read the rest. Those changes either then get incorporated into the final document (very expensive to sort out), or negotiations fail when someone picks it up later and the other party thinks they're winding back the negotiations.

    My wife hates the fact that I do read the terms and conditions on everything. After a few years you get to know if something's out of the ordinary without having to spend too long on it.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Lawyers aren't immune

      "I'm a litigator,"

      And you admit it? Openly? On THIS forum? Respect! You must have balls of steel and firemans flameproof suit :-)

  12. Kobus Botes
    Holmes

    The obverse also applies in some cases

    "You never put anything controversial in the first half of the document, when people are alert," I say. "And you never put anything dodgy on the last 2-4 pages."

    Our Science and Maths teacher at school told us a story about one of his roommates at university, whose test and exam scores were way above his actual ability in one subject.

    Upon asking him how he managed to do so well in that particular subject, his roommate told him that he had heard on good authority that the lecturer only read the first two or three pages and the last two pages of each paper (his roommate did a BA in history or something, so most of the exams and tests consisted of having to write lengthy essays).

    So his roommate procured a number of old test and exam papers to see which were the most popular questions, and then proceeded to construct the most eloquent and insightful first three to four pages and ditto for the last two or three of a couple of questions that were (hopefully) bound to be asked. As for the rest, he wrote letters to his mother, or a transcript of a rugby or cricket match commentary, or whatever other drivel he could think of to amuse himself.

    Apparently his average for the subject was well over 80%.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: The obverse also applies in some cases

      It was actually in a computer science lesson that I was in back in... must have been about 1981/2... I remember we had one Commodore PET for the previous year and had just received one BBC Micro... anyway, the teacher handed out a mock assessment paper under exam conditions and instructed the class that when they started the clock the students were to turn the test paper over and follow the instructions at the top very precisely.

      The instructions said "Read all the questions carefully BEFORE beginning to answer question 1".

      Question 1 was "What is your name? Write your answer on line one of the coding sheet provided, putting one character in each square."

      Question 2 was something about a BASIC command, then there were some more obvious questions... at the end of the list there was some more advanced but also obvious stuff... and just before the 2/3 of the way mark down the page there was a question that said "Having read this far, answer question 1 only! DO NOT attempt to answer any of the other questions. Raise your hand when you have answered question 1."

      The various questions just above the one telling you to stop and answer question 1 only had strange instructions like "Draw a picture of a chicken", "Take one shoe off" and "Make a noise like a duck".

      Needless to say there were two people, including myself, who sat there with their hands up for about 30 minutes whilst the rest of the class were making duck noises and taking shoes off and drawing pictures of chickens etc etc.

      Learnt a valuable lesson that day. I wonder who else could have been in that class...

      1. gryphon

        Re: The obverse also applies in some cases

        Had very similar in a high school physics class, although I think it was the 2nd last question that said just do question 1 then sit quietly.

      2. Kobus Botes
        Thumb Up

        Re: The obverse also applies in some cases

        @TRT

        "I wonder who else could have been in that class..."

        Not my teacher's roommate, if that was what you were wondering about. He told us the story in 1973 and had been teaching for about ten years by that time.

        Another reason was that this was in South Africa, not the UK.

        Good story, though.

    2. A K Stiles

      Re: The obverse also applies in some cases

      University maths lecturer told the class something like "When you get a question in the exam that asks you to e.g. "derive the quadratic formula from first principles" and you get stuck, go to the last line and write the final formula, then work backwards until either you get to the finished answer or fill the available space, then write "therefore" in between both chunks of proof. Chances are the skim reading marker won't spot the line where the previous doesn't actually lead to the following and job's a good 'un.

      1. Potty Professor
        Boffin

        Re: The obverse also applies in some cases

        When I was at school, in the mid 60's, we had a Maths teacher who was trying to teach us Statistics. He would write on the board a long and complicated formula, followed by another line which was only slightly different from the first, then another, then another, finishing off near the bottom of the board with "Therefor", and the expression that he was supposed to be proving. When any of us put their hands up and asked how he had made that ginormous leap, he would reply "But it's obvious, isn't it?" Not to us it wasn't. We never learned anything from him, and we called the course "Applied Guesswork". I don't think anyone in my year passed that course.

  13. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    First Born

    I often mutter (and sometimes shout) "Yes you can have my First Born child"* when agreeing to the utterly useless terms & conditions boxes on software installs. Almost nobody read or cares about that drivel, probably not even those who write them. Very few of them are enforceable in law so are a complete waste of time and money until someone finds a way to make them legally binding contracts, at which point chances are nobody would install their software and they would go out of business. Contracts are an entirely different kettle of fish. Read it all before you sign and if you find parts that you don't understand, either demand a clearer contract or get a lawyer. If you don't, be prepared to be the BOFHs personal foot-stool. <LOL>

  14. Kevin Fairhurst

    Can't believe no-one has yet mentioned...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HumancentiPad

  15. steelpillow Silver badge
    Devil

    Never, ever, ever

    scoff your day's onion bhaji ration before going for a long drive in your new car (or van)

  16. A____B

    Not reading the text

    Slightly off topic but still relevant...

    Many years ago i worked at a certain UK company which conducted annual performance reviews.

    We were told that they were all taken very seriously.

    I know (because I saw the original and a photocopy) of one person who embedded in his "Objectives for the upcoming business review period" [seriously, it actually said that -- so much more efficient that 'next year'] one line of "slay or drive away dragons and rescue maidens". This was signed off by his manager and the 'grandfather manager' (ie his boss's boss) and registered with HR who duly checked it and approved it.

    The next year, at appraisal time, he and his boss went through targets met/missed... Upon coming to that clause there was an outburst from the boss, to which he replied "it's all there in black and white - YOU approved it as did {boss's boss} and HR. It must be official".

    "Well, did you do it?" said the boss, thinking of the chance to mark down a snarky smart-arse.

    "I have to say, yes -- (1) have you seen any dragons recently? (2) there are no maidens needing rescue around here"

    I understand that he got away with it. Somehow the annual appraisal forms got simpler and shorter after that!

    1. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: Not reading the text

      A few jobs back, I was fairly sure my manager didn’t read the long and drawn out appraisal replies I had to read.

      So in the middle of a long and tedious block of text (we had something like 30 objectives to fill in) I deliberately inserted a fatuous comment in the text.

      Then I found out he did read it all….. and told me to remove the live before it went to HR.

      Some people do read everything…..

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Not reading the text

        Some people do read everything….. ..... Giles C

        That's encouraging .... for such is designed to allow them, as it does, to jump on the bandwagon in the vanguard of a promising development or dive right out of the way and bury themselves deep underground and as far away from incoming missiles and missives as is made possible ...... destined to be confined and treated as mere spectators to the feats unfolding above.

        That binary choice has only the one fabulously correct and engaging decision.

      2. Shalghar

        Re: Not reading the text

        "Some people do read everything….."

        Which is mandatory in several circumstances. Too bad if you spot clear instructions in the box on what additional peculiarities the chosen contact mat actually requires (send a test signal from your PLC and make sure the return signal is valid prior to ANY dangerous movement or the contact mat is not fulfilling any security requirement) and then get the wall of denial from your superior if the I/O ports of the current PLC are already full and nobody wants to add any additional modules nor change the existing ones.

        Contracts and consequences are also always something to beware. Much more if the prospective new company that wants to hire you makes several "unintentional mistakes" in a row when "correcting" a contract that sounded decisively different in the negotiations. I offered them to write the contract as agreed for them to avoid further "mistakes" but they decided to have it their way so i left for companies without any tendency to onesided "mistakes".

    2. Caver_Dave Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Not reading the text

      I got caught trying that sort of thing with my non-English boss. He did says that if I had not used such unusual words he might have just skimmed past the text and missed the intent. (I can't now remember exactly what I wrote but "disinclined to acquiesce" was part of it.) However, the verbiage intrigued him, so he did actually look up the words I had used. I used plain Olde English in my response - "bugger!"

    3. jtaylor Bronze badge

      Re: Not reading the text

      I served as secretary on the board of a small non-profit (charity).

      The personal qualities that drive someone to volunteer with a charity are not the same qualities that make one enjoy Board meetings. Or taking minutes at meetings. Or reading those notes later.

      I amused myself by inserting commentary like "motion was passed as quickly as possible," "we filled the position by appointment. All present voted in favor, except the poor soul who got appointed." "We discussed X. All agreed it is a problem. Next topic was...."

      After a few months, someone noticed the comments and asked me to please stop. I agreed to stop if they agreed to read the minutes.

  17. herman Silver badge
    Alien

    Phun and games

    Do not taunt the happy fun ball.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Phun and games

      Do not taunt the happy fun ball. .... herman

      Is not the Great Game to Energise and/or Weaponise IT Almightily, herman , rather than Taunt Progresses and Processes already Safe and Securely Home Made ?

      What do you think of ITs AI Developments so far ‽ .

      Wünderbar schön bordering on the Truly Heavenly ‽

  18. MadDrFrank

    "Obverse" is the front side (heads), "Reverse" is the back side (tails).

    Apologies.

    Many people get this wrong, but among people such as ourselves, this is a bit like the difference between, say, ls * and rm *.

  19. BOFH in Training

    In my last start up, my offer letter to candidates I was hiring had a clause which stated that if they pointed out this clause to me they would be awarded X amount of money (about one month salary for most people).

    There wasn't any payout required cos noone seemed to have caught that clause.

    I assumed that they will also skip steps if asked to RTFM.

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