back to article Where's the boss? Ah right, thorough deep-dive audit. On the boardroom table. Gotcha

It's Carry On Call time this week as a Register reader finds himself dealing with a potentially career-limiting callout. "I worked for a small regional bank back at the beginning of my career in IT," said our reader, Regomised as Derek. "I shared an on-call rota to handle out-of-hours issues with the cranky IT systems, these …

  1. IHateWearingATie

    A car???? I'd have been CIO within a month if that had been me!

    Ethics, I've heard of them. They sound expensive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Ethics, I've heard of them. They sound expensive."

      Back in those years, nobody cared about them ....

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Anonymous Coward

        "Ethics, I've heard of them. They sound expensive."

        Back in those years, nobody cared about them ....

        Are you saying they care about ethics now? I'm surprised and shocked.

        1. NoneSuch Silver badge

          Boffing the auditor?

          That's a paddlin'

          1. FozzyBear

            Re: Boffing the auditor?


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        TFA neglects to mention if the deep probe was AC or DC. Back then, that could seriously change the balance of power.

    2. Martin

      Ethics, I've heard of them. They sound expensive.

      Or as George Bernard Shaw had it in Pygmalion:-

      PICKERING: Have you no morals, man?

      DOOLITTLE: Can't afford them, Governor.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ethics is just north-east of London......

  2. Mishak Silver badge


    I thought that was somewhere east of London?

    1. macjules

      Re: Ethics

      Clothe to Suffix I think.

      1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        Clothe to Suffix, I think.

        Þertainly “Þuffikþ”? (“I may be of þome aþþiþtanþe if there ið a þudden criþiþ.”)

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ethics

        Administered by the prefix.

  3. Pete B


    Let's just talk how much - I can be incredibly forgetful when faced with the prospect of counting large sums of cash.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Cash

      .. yet I never, ever lose count. Weird, that.


      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Cash .... an Immaculate Reserve

        That's an Almighty Gift, Fred Flintstone, which rather more tends towards the strange and convenient than the weird and disturbing.

        Cash is Ace, King and Queen and Jack of all trades wherever one roams in the Ways of a Roman Romanian.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

          Re: Cash .... an Immaculate Reserve

          If it comes to taking the money and running, I for one could do with the exercise.

          Thanks DNA.

  4. ColinPa Silver badge


    My office looked over the car park, and I would often see my manager drive up and park, and out would get his secretary with him. They would often leave together. Of course the obvious conclusion was they were having an affaire, every one could see it. Rumour had it, that the temporary secretary wanted a permanent position.

    I spoke to the head secretary about the comments being made about them, and suggested they be a bit more discreet, for example drop her off at the corner while he goes and parks. I also said please do not mention my name.

    Next day my manager burst into my room shouting "WE ARE NOT HAVING AN AFFAIRE - I JUST PICK HER UP FROM THE RAILWAY STATION ON THE WAY PAST". This just confirmed it for every one within range, as it was a 10 mile detour to the station.

    She got moved on fairly soon after this, and the tale lived on in folklore.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge


      A fairly new member of staff was being observant. At close of play he pointed out a girl from the office and a bloke from IIRC, the factory walking across the car park.

      "Have you noticed they always leave together every night?"

      "Yes. Well they are married."

      The shared surname should have been a clue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Where I worked in an engineering factory office, there was a rather attractive young shorthand typist named Dawn, who struck up a friendship with one of the shop floor workers named Sid. They soon got engaged and then married. It wasn't long before she left to have a baby, and it became known throughout the factory that Sid could be counted on to be first to clock in every morning, because he was always up at the crack of dawn.

        1. Potty Professor Bronze badge


          On a very similar note, soon after we were married, we bought a cottage in a little village and settled down. This included getting a dog, so we had this very young Golden Retriever pup named Ginny. We wanted to get her used to noise and bustle, and as many people as we could, so that she wouldn't get spooked if she encountered crowds, etc., as she grew up. Bob, a former employer of mine, used to drive a Formula 1 Stock Car, so we decided to go and visit him at Coventry Stadium, where there would be hundreds of people, lots of noise from the cars, and strange smells of exhaust fumes, burning rubber, and humanity. My wife, Roz, decided it would be best to carry the pup to save her from getting filthy walking across the muddy paddock, and we eventually arrived at Bob's transporter, a converted Bedford Duple coach. As we entered the coach, Bob took one look at Roz carrying the puppy, and put his arm around my shoulders, saying "No, no Chev, you're doing it all wrong".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            I think I'm missing something here. What was Bob saying that you were doing wrong?

            Anon, 'cos if I'm going to be thought a fool, I could at least be a faceless one...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "WE ARE NOT HAVING AN AFFAIRE"

              You've never heard of doing it "Doggy Style"‽‽‽

              1. Potty Professor Bronze badge
                Thumb Up

                Re: Doggy Style

                Thanks AC, nice to know that at least someone understood the joke. Isn't it a shame when you have to explain what you thought was blindingly obvious?

                PS. I should explain, my nickname was "Chev" at that employment, because I had a '59 Chevrolet Parkwood, like this:-

                PPS How do you do those Interrobangs? Never managed to do that on the Reg.


              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "WE ARE NOT HAVING AN AFFAIRE"

                Ah, gotcha. I know the term, I just didn't associate it with a woman carrying a puppy.

    2. Anonymous IV


      Was either of them Frenche?!

    3. Potty Professor Bronze badge


      When I was in the upper sixth form, I was sent out into Hainault Forest as a marshal for the Inter-Schools Cross Country. As I approached my designated station, I was met with a large saloon car, an Austin Westminster or similar, that was high sided on a tree stump. The occupants, a bank manager-looking type and a young female employee, were looking askance and wondering how they were going to rescue the car and get back to work. By the way she was standing with her legs tightly crossed, I was immediately sure that they had not stopped for a picnic. As I arrived at the car, the BM type asked me if I could help at all. I replied that I couldn't imagine just the two of us heaving that car off the stump, but if he could wait a few minutes, help would arrive. Sure enough, only about three minutes later, the first of the cross country runners came steaming through the forest, so I stopped them in their tracks and co-opted half a dozen of them to lift the Westminster back onto the path, before sending them on their way again. BM type ushers lady friend into car, before stuffing a £5 note into my hand, and driving off out of the forest. Never saw either of them again.

    4. ThinkingMonkey


      Off topic and I apologize, but "please do not mention my name" instantly brought back a memory of me saying those exact words. A certain city councilman in our city did not live inside the city limits. This is strictly forbidden. It was up to the mayor and other councilmen to suspend the offending one until such time as he did move inside the city limits or resign. I researched all this with our state officials who said it was my duty to report it to the city clerk, who in turn was duty-bound to inform all the council except the offending one, they would discuss the matter then officially inform him during the next council meeting.

      My "please do not mention my name" went completely ignored as she informed nobody BUT the offending councilman who immediately walked straight up to my brother, a councilman, and said "I DO live in the city limits! I don't know where you're getting this crap!" and stormed off.

      Politics being what they are, my brother later resigned himself and during the next election cycle, the "illegal" councilman ran for, and won, the mayor's seat.

      P.S. He did NOT live in the city limits. Still doesn't. He uses his mother's address, who does, but he, his wife, and kids live in a house no less than 10 miles from the city limits.

  5. Velv
    Paris Hilton

    Wait, what? Returning to the elevator is not what happens in any of the fictional depictions I've ever seen.

    1. logicalextreme Silver badge

      It might be a euphemism.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        "Clive" had the key, which needed to be inserted......

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Have you never heard the song "Love in an elevator"? *G*

  6. tip pc Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Audits can be expensive

    Very expensive.

    I'd be IT manager on a final salary earning as much as a senior banker with a new company car every 2 years if I where Derek.

  7. Chris G Silver badge


    The MD and the auditors would have been commanding millions of views being live streamed on one of the social media platforms.

    Or seriously at risk of becoming a Tik Tok star if certain conditions were not met.

  8. Christoph
    1. JeffB

      Dirty raincoats included?

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      It may have been bad, but it wasn't the worst job they ever had. No lobsters.

  9. Ordinary Donkey

    This is basically why, when I worked security while at university, if I entered an area where nobody was meant to be I called out "Security!" before I walked in. Much safer than catching someone doing something embarrassing. More boring but it I was allergic to boring why would I be guarding empty offices?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      At lunch, so unable to confirm - but do remember the Ankh-Morpork City Watch used to do similar.....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    that should have been added to the IT pension fund straight away!

  11. KittenHuffer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I'm sure .....

    ..... that they were just testing how the bank handled out-of-hours deposits!

    -----------> Known for handling out-of-hours deposits!

    1. red floyd

      Re: I'm sure .....

      Remember, the bank lady had higher interest for larger deposits, but a penalty for early withdrawal.

  12. knottedhandkerchief

    With a header like that

    We knew what was coming, so the build up and climax were made impotent.

  13. heyrick Silver badge

    Happened to me at my first job

    Cleaning a supermarket. Well known brand, five letters, begins with 'T'.

    Part of my early morning routine was to vacuum the offices. So I did just that. And walked in on two of them getting up to nookie on the table.

    I leave, close the door, carry on elsewhere. Half an hour later I'm called to the middle manager (who finally got himself dressed) where I get fired for "insubordination".

    I tell him that I want six months pay. He's like "not a hope in hell". So I say okay, I'm quite prepared to take this to tribunal for unfair dismissal. Actually, I had no idea how to go about such a thing but he didn't know that. He was probably more worried that the two of them would be asked to explain. The two of them, I should add, married to other people.

    So I leave with six months pay (which really wasn't a lot) and told not to use them as a reference. Suits me, I hated that place, never ever put it on my CV.

    Does make me wonder, though, how many other people have had their jobs screwed up due to higher ups fucking in inappropriate places?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Happened to me at my first job

      "Does make me wonder, though, how many other people have had their jobs screwed up due to higher ups fucking in inappropriate places?"

      Probably quite a lot back in, say, early 90s and before. We have already some similar stories in here.

      Probably we'll get more !

    2. Steve Foster

      Re: Happened to me at my first job

      "So I leave with six months pay (which really wasn't a lot)".

      Well, you know what they say - every little helps.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Happened to me at my first job

      It was fairly foolhardy of him with his job and maybe marriage on the line to say nothing of recriminations from the other party and whatever reaction her husband might have had. You might have just said you'd take it to a tribunal without naming your price and giving yourself a chance to see how high he was prepared to bid or, worse still for him, just taking it the tribunal anyway.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Happened to me at my first job

        "worse still for him, just taking it the tribunal anyway."

        The downside of that is that all you end up with is full pay for time between being fired and being reinstated, possibly with some small level of compensation. Would you want to go back under those conditions?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Happened to me at my first job

          That's assuming it got to tribunal. It'd almost certainly be settled out of court and out of the papers by the company for more than that but that way the manager gets screwed, for want of a better word.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Happened to me at my first job

      Well, if they don't pay up they tend to end up with the CCTV coverage being sold to The Sun for a bit of Hancock's half hour ...

    5. logicalextreme Silver badge

      Re: Happened to me at my first job

      Cleaning a supermarket. Well known brand, five letters, begins with 'T'.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Happened to me at my first job

        Post of the week, grin.

        Still laughing :)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Happened to me at my first job

        T'yorkshire branch?

    6. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: Happened to me at my first job

      > Cleaning a supermarket. Well known brand, five letters, begins with 'T'.


  14. Scott Broukell

    "An eclectic mix, even for the era."

    Of course they was all bleedin eclectic! All computers are eclectic - they either plug in the wall or run off batteries aint it!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phone shenanigans

    Had cause to phone a Senior Manager when stuck with a particularly lary issue.

    A female manager answered the phone and thinking I had misdialled I apologised for waking her from her beauty sleep.

    The reply was "Its ok , this is his phone, I'll wake him up for you now."

    Two very beetroot faces the following monday morning and had a few free friday evenings out.

    1. Aussie Doc

      Re: Phone shenanigans

      Coffee, meet screen.

      You're well acquainted by now.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Going out for a curry...

    Anon because it's still too fresh in the history books.

    Larry Laugher, for that was not quite his name, was a department manager at a facility running 24/7/366 production (leap days included), with a large windowed office overlooking his domain of manufacturing equipment and spreadsheet cell worker bees.

    He was the most recent lord of the land, having been cycled in a few months before at the bi-annual inauguration of new management.

    One night, our pal decided he fancied a mid evening curry, and was found by the off-shift production workers in rather vivid carnal congress with the new HR representative in his office.

    Sadly, her being of Indian descent meant the joke wrote itself.

    No word on if the lovely Mrs. Laugher became a Ms. again, or if Larry and the HR rep found gainful employment in other sectors after the termination of duties.

    This humble buzzard flew the coop a while before those events, but heard about them from enough former cow-orkers that they are reasonably thought to be true.

    1. G.Y.

      Re: Going out for a curry...

      what is a cow ork ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Going out for a curry...

        Coworkers == cow-orkers.

        Bit of slang picked up from someplace.

        Plays on the "workers are cattle" theme most big corps have.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

          Re: Going out for a curry...

          Bovine University.

        2. Hero Protagonist

          Re: Going out for a curry...

          From Scott Adams (Dilbert). Don’t recall if he came up with it himself, or a reader suggested it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For a moment I thought I'd skipped ahead to BOFH (I always leave the best till last) rather than On Call. :-)

  18. Wally Dug

    Boring Bankers... Not

    I worked in a bank in the late 80s to the mid-90s and there were constant rumours of bank bonks between staff. Although I never witnessed any first hand, I have had second hand accounts on at least three occasions from people who had no reason to lie, along with the general rumours that circulated about persons X and Y being caught. And it was at all levels, from the lowly grunts like myself up to and including the branch director who, like the story, was, uhm, *using* the boardroom table.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Boring Bankers... Not

      "the boardroom table"

      Always a safer bet than the copying machine...

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Boring Bankers... Not

      I've used a meeting room table... when suffering from sinus inflammation, at work. The method is to lie face up - just you - with your head over the edge of the table and tilted back, for several minutes, so that your face plumbing that God constructed the wrong way up can drain properly. Then thank the chairman and treasurer, and leave.

      1. Potty Professor Bronze badge

        Re: Boring Bankers... Not

        When we were at school, middle to late sixties, my sister had a lot of trouble with nosebleeds. It was arranged that, if a nosebleed came on, she could go directly to the Housemistress's office and lie down on the carpet in front of the desk, until the bleeding had stopped. One day, the Housemistress, one Mrs. Norman (AKA Auntie Norman), came in and said "You know, you shouldn't have that much blood sloshing around inside your head".

  19. Mark 85 Silver badge

    But in the lunch room?

    Worked at a place a long time ago. One evening the security guy was doing rounds, ran into the owner of the company. They decided to go to the cafeteria for some coffee. There they found a manager and the head of the typing pool (Yes it was that long ago) in a delicate position on a table. All we in the office knew was that he and her suddenly left the company. Funny thing is, a brass plaque ended up on table they'd used. Plaque said said "X and Y Memorial Table".with X and Y being their names. No one ever sat at that table again for lunch nor did anyone take credit or blame for the plaque.

  20. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Patching Closet

    One of my predecessor's at a certain pharma, was caught inserting his plug into a cleaners CAT5 port, while "enjoying" the privacy of the patching closet (Lacking the presence of mind to lock it from the inside).

    1. wjake

      Re: Patching Closet

      "Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon... you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices, and I tell you, people do that all the time."

  21. msobkow Silver badge

    Just before I started my first contract, a fellow was let go at the client site for being caught with the CEO/'s 16 year old daughter on the board room table at the Christmas party.

    It was the talk of the office. :)

  22. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Paris Hilton


    Can someone help, please? I cannot seem to find the relevant chapter in my ISO 27001 Lead auditor course notes for this situation.

  23. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Was'nt quite in the board room

    But lunch time for me on the night shift was a wander to the local refreshment center (that closed at 11pm) to partake in a light snack (liquid)

    The pub had 2 bars and you could see from one into the other.

    Ordered lunch, glanced into the other bar... then pointed out to the barman that the man in the blue shirt would be paying for lunch.

    The man in question was the owner of the business I attended. needless to say, he came storming round to where I am with "WTF you doing in the pub while you should be at work" and "I'm not paying for your lunch"

    "ok" I responded "I'll just walk back to work without my lunch, and when I'm back there, I'll call your wife with the news you were in the pub with a lady and your tongue was so far down her throat I'm sure you were tickling her vocal cords...."

    I find blackmail such a dirty word, I prefer "Performance enhanced gift giving"

  24. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    "weekend on-call shift"

    The "F" is silent.

  25. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    "What's going on in here?"

    > "It was pretty clear what was going on."

    And in.

  26. Stevie


    Anyone else picturing the security guard as Derek Guyler?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      No, but have an upvote for reminding me of one of the stalwarts of British TV of a bygone era.

  27. Aussie Doc


    I was in the reverse position (ooer, guv) and 'caught out'.

    Not many of my (IT Manager) coworkers knew much about my private/social life but had seen me being dropped of by a beautiful brunette on a regular basis, including kisses and hugs, etc. Well, actually, not so much of the 'etc' but you get the gist.

    Nice flashy Ford LTD, back in the day, too, so I assume folks decided I was married.

    Imagine my surprise reading various anonymous notes on my desk about infidelity and the like after folks had noticed me being picked up recently by a different beautiful but tall brunette wearing sunglasses and very well dressed.

    And driving a small sports car, to boot even if it was a hire.

    Also on the receiving end of hugs and kisses and obviously a movie star!!!

    Yep, you guessed it.

    Daughter is a lovely young lady and had come to stay with us for a surprise few days (we lived in different States and hadn't seen each other for a few years).

    I'm sure they freaked out on her last day when wife AND daughter dropped me off before wife took daughter to airport.

    Lots of hugs and kisses (and a few tears) that day, too.

    Damn, I miss the simpler times some days.

    Cheers, everyone.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First permanent job I had was with a firm that had a department full of young ladies typing in legal documents to digitise them - OCR not being allowed for these kinds of documents for some reason.

    In the sales department was an incredibly brash guy who took a fancy to one of the typing ladies. This climaxed, so to speak, when there was a company Summer party at the office and the two of them were caught doing the beast with two backs in the gents toilets.

    They were given a stern talking too, but not let go. But this was followed by the company Christmas party, a legendary booze up at the banqueting suite of Ascot racecourse. Minibuses were laid on to transport the revellers home, and as one of them reached capacity the driver turned the ignition and lights on. To illuminate the same typist and salesman humping on the bonnet of the chairman's Jag.

    The salesman was let go that time, but strangely the typist wasn't...

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Risky business

      The typing pool can use a gal like Joelle.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The same name .....

    I joined a large company and although the major HQ was my base office, I lived some considerable distance away and rarely got to the office, so I setup a physical mail forward with the Post Room so that any rare physical post would be sent to my home address. This worked OK, but about 6 months into my employment a re-directed letter arrived at home, it was perfume scented addressed to me !!! My wife pounced on the letter and ripped it open to confront me with a letter that clearly indicated the sender was engaged in a passionate illicit affair with me !!!!!!! Not sure who was more more shocked me or my wife :-), my wife did give me the chance to explain, I said there was another person in the company (And based in the HQ office) with same name as me and this must be his letter that the Post Room had incorrectly sent to me. She insisted on calling him right now, luckily he picked up the phone answered with my name and my wife cross examined him, he reluctantly confirmed the letter was meant for him.

    I emerged unscathed and my innocence confirmed, but I did asked my name doppelganger to inform his "bit on the side" that physical post had a a chance of being re-directed to me and they needed to arrange another illicit physical communication post solution.

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