back to article BOFH: You'll find there's a company asset tag right here, underneath the monstrously heavy arcade machine

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns It's barely 9am and we're all standing outside while the fire brigade inspects the premises for the source of the fire. A fire that in all likelihood never happened. "What was it?" the Boss asks, no doubt fearing a discovery of the charred remains of a Beancounter in a closet somewhere …

  1. Dave K

    Personal heaters

    Ahh the scourge of the personal fan heaters. Working previously in a university, they were quite popular when some staff work early/late and the building heating system wasn't running. Of course telling people they weren't permitted just resulted in most of them being locked in the bottom drawers of filing cabinets so they could get them out again once the H&S group had left.

    For most other personal devices like coffee machines and kettles, we just found it easier to stick them into the asset register, perform a PAT test on them and then move on...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personal heaters

      Ah ha - time for this one again. The image is gone from the news reports but the big G still has it:

      "Space Heater Accident Destroys Entire Floor Of Credit Suisse"

      https://images.app.goo.gl/QN2oBpFo2HRj3ajQ9

    2. WanderingHaggis

      Re: Personal heaters

      Ah the memories, the electrics in our building being quite old (building no longer exists) meant that when one of our colleagues turned on the heater under her desk the circuit breakers would pop if people were working in the studio and us geek running to check UPS and server, and/or circuit breaker. Many black outs, and informative lectures -- it should be noted she is a lovely, generous person and a fantastic cook so forgiveness would be extended,

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Personal heaters

        "the electrics in our building being quite old (building no longer exists)"

        Cause and effect?

    3. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: Personal heaters

      My experience of this, twice at 2 different companies, both involved a fan heater (say 2kW) plugged into a roll up extension lead (say, 750W when rolled up) which of course acted as a 2nd heater when that amount of current was pulled though it's coils.

      Also, both the people involved were the health and safety reps for each of the companies!

      1. AdamT

        Re: Personal heaters

        Before I started my PhD I had to attend the "electrical safety lecture". The lecturer had some kit where he could relatively safely demonstrate this sort of thing. i.e. all protected with big isolation switches and circuit breakers, RCDs, etc. However, the lecture was cut short when his demo of "coiled up extension lead under carpet tile happily drawing 20A without blowing the fuse in the plug" did eventually blow the fuse (when the cable melted) .... of the entire lecture theatre. So he had to turn it into a lesson on how rubbish fuses are. The plug fuse hadn't blown, his kit fuse/circuit breaker hadn't blown (around 50A or so, if I recall) but the lecture theatre fuse had blown at around 200A or so.

        The video on "why you shouldn't put volatile chemicals in a fridge" was quite good though.

        And his description of the "don't be the idiot who fitted an extension block but forgot to wire it up so made a double plug ended cable to energise the extension block" incident was pretty horrific.

        Basically, when it comes to electricity, most people (including a lot of people who should know better) are pretty dumb. When RCDs were becoming a thing, I recall a PSA (or advert) where the point was made that if someone mows through their hose they would go and turn the water off before picking the hose up. But if someone mows through the cable for the mower they are much more likely just to pick the cable up straight away...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          "don't be the idiot who fitted an extension block but forgot to wire it up so made a double plug ended cable to energise the extension block"

          I once discovered one of those powering the garage when I moved house.

          1. CountCadaver

            Re: Personal heaters

            suicide cord

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Personal heaters

              "fool killer"

              1. Omgwtfbbqtime

                Re: Personal heaters

                Darwiniser

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Personal heaters

                  Jesus Lead

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Personal heaters

                Spare 13 amp plug once I'd wired one end to the rest of the garage wiring.

          2. Red Ted
            FAIL

            Re: Personal heaters

            I have come across it several times for powering garden sheds.

            It's that sort of thing that reminds you why legislation is brought in to prevent DIY electrical work.

            1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

              Professional standards

              It's that sort of thing that reminds you why legislation is brought in to prevent DIY electrical work.

              When I bought a house a couple of years ago I had the electrics checked. It turned out that two double 13A sockets in the sitting room were being fed via a 0.5mm^2 flex taken as a spur off the cellar lighting circuit. That arrangement was the work of professionals and had been signed off by professionals when, before I bought it, the house was let out.

          3. IDoNotThinkSo

            Re: Personal heaters

            I didn't realise this was a thing. I thought it was so stupid it couldn't possibly have happened more than once.

            I found a double socket in the garage. Strangely, it appeared to be mounted with no feed wire. A single plug was plugged in to one half of the socket. What's going on here then? Ruh-roh! Live pins!

            I kind of understand now why householders aren't allowed to do their own wiring any more (in theory, at least).

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          > The video on "why you shouldn't put volatile chemicals in a fridge" was quite good though.

          Did it involve the chem-biochemistry block at Massey University, by any chance?

        3. Filippo Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          "don't be the idiot who fitted an extension block but forgot to wire it up so made a double plug ended cable to energise the extension block"

          That's... it actually took me a few minutes to understand what you meant, and now I'm horrified that someone can conceive of it, let alone actually do it.

          1. GraXXoR

            Re: Personal heaters

            I only managed to understand it after reading your comment and spending a moment to actually reread and absorb the statement...

            I have a friend who thinks like that... He is a public menace with anything above half an Amp.

            1. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: Personal heaters

              "I have a friend who thinks like that... He is a public menace with anything above half an Amp."

              Sounds like we have a mutual friend. Years ago a volunteer in the theatre group decided that it would be more convenient if the two differently coloured lamps in a scenic unit were connected to a single connector. So he used the earth contact of a Schuko plug for one of the live circuits! It took me a great deal of control to stay polite when patiently explaining to him why this really wasn't a good idea. But he did listen and rewired the unit with two separate plugs.

          2. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            Nearly had that at a previous place of employment. A sub-tenant ran the "concentrator" for a major alarm company. When someone set fire to the bins in our yard, they burned through an external armoured cable and took out the main incoming fuses for the whole building.

            We trundled out our Diesel generator, cranked it up (yes, manually cranked it) and conencted it to our "essential services" busbar (we were a radio station but straped for cash, so no auto-switchover here).

            Major alarm company had batteries for perhaps a couple of hours but nothing after that. Running out of power would have left half the buildings in Cardiff without monitored alarms on a dark Saturday (IIRC) evening. Their proposed solution was a double-ended lead from a socket on our side to a socket on their side.

            Even as a wet-behind-the-years PFY I could see the flaws in that plan.

            Once we'd isolated the burned cable, eventually Western Power came along and fitted some new fuses and we (and they) were up and running again.

            M.

            1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

              Re: Personal heaters

              Any busbar crossed with a No13 (or any large size) dropped spanner creates one hell of a big bang and lots of hot plasma, which you really do not want close to you.

          3. ShortLegs

            Re: Personal heaters

            Need... more... details!

          4. J. Cook Silver badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            heh- you occasionally find those in the US, usually for an 'DIY RV shore line" when someone can't be arsed to set up the proper connections on the house side.

            Or someone who was making up a power entrance cable for a very specific purpose. :whistles innocently:

            (to be fair, it's a standard US outlet plug on one side, and a L5-15P on the other, which goes to power a table lift; I wanted the cord to be removable for transportation purposes, but also to not be able to be kicked loose like a normal C13/14 combo.)

          5. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            We had one in our house, until we noticed it.

            Judging from the other comments, there is clearly a level of understanding about electricity which is above "you need to join the metal bits up" and below "you need to hide the metal bits once you've joined them up".

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Re: Personal heaters

              Sometimes it's not pack of understanding, just lack of (applied) thought.

              I once wondered why I couldn't get a high current extension lead with a y-tail and two 13a plugs. I felt very stupid when it was pointed out that if you unplugged one plug, it'd be live if the other was still connected. I'm not usually that daft, I just hadn't considered the possibility of someone unplugging either plug without switching both sockets off first.

              1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                Re: Personal heaters

                I just hadn't considered the possibility of someone unplugging either plug without switching both sockets off first.

                That assumes sockets which can be switched, unusual to say the least in several countries I am familiar with.

          6. Stoneshop Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Personal heaters

            That's... it actually took me a few minutes to understand what you meant, and now I'm horrified that someone can conceive of it, let alone actually do it.

            Couple of years ago I came across a 110/230V transformer that came with a cable with one end an Euro plug, the other an US plug. The transformer itself had one each matching sockets. It was supposed to work as follows: in the US, you'd stick the Euro plug into the Euro socket, the US plug into a wall socket and the US socket on the transformer would give you 230V. In 230V-land the US plug on the cord would go into the transformer, the Euro plug into the wall socket, and you would have 110V coming out of the transformer's Euro socket. The non-matching of the output socket on the transformer with the provided voltage was puzzling; the cord ending in two plugs was "Let's not use this abomination, ever.". As we suspected the unit's design philosophy not to be restricted to just the cord the lot was subjected to some percussive and abrasive modification before it went into the scrap metal bin.

        4. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          The 'Double plug' manoeuvre is the standard method here to get power into a house from a generator if the solar or the mains fail. Solar power systems have the ability to input external power built into them but somehow that bit is skipped in favour of deadly lash ups.

          I have seen a couple of boat owners do it too.

          1. J. Cook Silver badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            RV owners who don't want to pay an electrician for a proper 'shore power' circuit as well...

            1. VicMortimer

              Re: Personal heaters

              You don't have to pay an electrician to do it right. I recently added a NEMA 14-50 outdoor socket for a car charger, wired up to a proper 50A breaker with 6 gauge and appropriately weatherproofed. It's the same socket lots of RVs use to plug in 240V shore power.

              (I'd have considered using a GFCI breaker but the car charger instructions specified not to do that since it has its own internal GFCI.)

              (Yes, I know they're officially called EVSEs, doesn't change the fact that everybody calls them chargers.)

          2. l8gravely

            Re: Personal heaters

            I've done this at my house, since the Garage plug was the circuit for the oil burner heating system. But I *also* knew enough to flp the breaker switch so that I'm not trying to power the street back through my feed. And this was only for an emergency when I was around.

            Nowdays we don't have a genny any more, so I un-built my bastard cable. And yes, I know it wasn't smart/safe/legal, but it got me through an outage and kept the house warm and the fridge cold.

            But if they catch you using one of these, all hell will break loose on you from the local electrical company. They will NOT be amused, or will your home insurance provider.

          3. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            As long as you cut the breakers out to the main supply. I've heard more than a few stories out of the US, of linesmen getting a nasty zap because someone decided to keep their home running with that sort of lash-up, but didn't realise that they were also living up local power lines as well.

          4. Criggie

            Re: Personal heaters

            Yah - one of the other problems here is that the user might forget to open the main supply breaker. This leaves the generator potentially pushing power back out to the street, putting line workers at risk and potentially partial-powering the neighbour's house too.

        5. swm Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          When I was in college there was a planned electrical shutdown in the building that housed the campus radio station. So we got a generator, wired up a double-plug extension cord, pulled the main breaker and plugged one end of the extension cord into the generator and the other end into a convenient outlet.

          Worked like a charm.

          The extension cord was quite warm to the touch though.

          We were college students (what electrical code?).

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Personal heaters

          I recall once working in a relatively small office where the heating was of with wall-mounted electric panel heaters (the type where each has its own timer. Worked fairly well, providing people didn't fiddle with the settings too much. One day the boss decided to save money by putting a master clock on the supply to them - so they wouldn't be on at weekends. We'd pointed out that the saving would be minimal as heating the offices from cold on a Monday morning would need them all on full. Compromise was that they would all be controlled centrally and would come on an hour before the first arrival. First Monday back (and it had to be a cold one) and there was no heating at all. On investigation, which had to wait until the adjacent workshop, operated by another company and where the clock and breakers were located, opened up. The main breaker had tripped. It was (IIRC) ~90A. I checked the heater ratings and they totalled to not far short of 200A.

          We reckoned that it had previously worked fine because there was never a need for all the heaters to be on at the same time, nor would they be on full power. However, with the office cold, they would be on full; also, with them all switching on together meant the initial current would inevitably trip. We got a different electrician in to sort it and went back to the old setup.

          1. ITMA Bronze badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            Not to mention the fact that if the "master clock" was controlling the same "heaters with timers", unless they had battery backup every time the master clock switches them off, all the timers go out of sync with the actual time.

            That is/was the favourite exploit of the chairman at an outfit I know. He would go around and switch the heaters, each with its own timer and adjustable thermostat, off at the wall if it felt too warm and out went the time settings.

            He obviously hadn't heard of a "thermostat" to set the temperature or that "if too warm, turn it down it will go off by itself".

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Personal heaters

        "Also, both the people involved were the health and safety reps for each of the companies!"

        Which only means they can recite the regs from memory and will make sure that everybody has on a hi-vis vest, hard hat and eye protection if any sort of work is being done somewhere in the building. They can be rather useless when it comes to understanding how the magic pixies work.

    4. ColinPa Silver badge

      Re: Personal heaters

      We were in a "temporary" building - 1 year max - and 20 years later if you forgot to turn your heater on before you left, (it was on a building timer) you would come in next morning and find ice >inside< the windows! Mind you in summer we were allowed shorts instead of suits etc, and management brought us ice-creams.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Personal heaters

        There's nothing more permanent than a temporary fix

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          There's nothing more permanent than a temporary fix

          Except for a temporary tax hike.

      2. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

        Re: Personal heaters

        I work in an office in a wooden superstructure built onto the roof of a university, christened the "shanty town" by the staff. Like a sauna half the year, ice house the other half. Every office has a cooling fan and heater, both strictly forbidden.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personal heaters

      A colleague who was a graduate student in the 90s told me that when his research group heard that a bunch of MicroVAXs were being decommissioned from the machine room, they said the equipment would be useful research tools in their offices. A little loud, maybe, but they do generate a pleasant warm breeze.

      1. My-Handle Silver badge

        Re: Personal heaters

        I run an HP ProLiant server as a workstation in my home office. As you say, it's a little loud but I rarely need to put the radiator on in that room :D

        1. eldel

          Re: Personal heaters

          I have a pair of ML350s which are much quieter than the pizza boxen but provide nicely adequate amounts of heat.

        2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          I used to use an Alpha Server 2100 for heating and a bit of playing around. Almost as noisy as a jet engine and almost as warm.

        3. rototype

          Re: Personal heaters

          For me it's a 1/2 height domestic fridge, a UPS (to keep the internet flowing and prevent nasty power surges) and a small NAS box, along with the dual 27" screens etc but everyone has those don't they?

      2. swm Silver badge

        Re: Personal heaters

        At work we used to use vacuum tube (valve) oscilloscopes for warmth.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          Luxury! When I were a lad, our we couldn't afford the vacuum for the tubes in our oscilloscopes !

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            We had straws to suck on them.

            ....straws? .... luxury !

            1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Personal heaters

              Down at 't mill we had to pick out the air molecules one by one with tweezers.

      3. John Miles

        Re: Personal heaters

        Back in late 90s we upgraded all our cad workstations from 80s Unix system with impressively large monitors at the time to latest PCs - then during winter heating broke down and the drawing office wanted their old systems back to sit in corner and act as space heaters

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Personal heaters

        I used to work in in office/lab which thanks to huge south facing glass windows got unbearably hot in the summer. Luckily we had access to a 200 litre dewar and unlimited liquid nitrogen, so every couple of days we'd fill it up and set a pump to empty it very slowly over the lab floor. Worked a treat, but you did have to remember to ventilate.

      5. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Personal heaters

        Yes, that is an interesting point.

        If you ignore the side effect of flipping bits, all computers pretty much put all of the power they consume out as heat (maybe with a small amount of light and sound), making them very expensive heaters.

        And then we expend a lot of energy keeping them cool!

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          >, all computers pretty much put all of the power they consume out as heat

          Strictly speaking only if they destroy information - it's theoretically possible to make computing circuits that consume no energy if the calculations are reversible

    6. John Riddoch

      Re: Personal heaters

      I recall a time at a previous job when we lost access to a small kitchen area where we made coffee/tea because $SENIOR_MANAGER didn't like us plebs using it. Someone thought to bring in their own kettle and use on the sockets on the desk. While the sockets were perfectly adequate for running a PC/laptop, kettles drew a little more power than the fuses in the sockets allowed... After finding 3 sockets "not working", he finally stopped trying :) Property team weren't too happy about the multiple sockets failing for "no reason"...

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Personal heaters

        "Lost access", you say? That's easily remedied.

        My solution would be to come in earlier than the $SENIOR_MANAGER, and make my coffee then.

        Access controls, you say? Nothing that can't be defeated by a correctly sized prybar.

        "Executive access only" is kind of a red flag for me. Client kitchen? OK, there's a reson for that, and I respect it. But when the few appropriate something that clearly benefits the many, well, then it's time for revolution (or subversion)!

        1. O RLY
          Pirate

          Re: Personal heaters

          SEIZE THE MEANS OF TEA PRODUCTION!

          1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            SEIZE THE MEANS OF TEA PRODUCTION!

            /dumps tea overboard

            there, that should sort things out.

          2. KieranTully

            Re: Personal heaters

            But ... PROPER TEA IS THEFT !

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. juice Silver badge

        Re: Personal heaters

        In a past life, I worked for a company which offered free tea and coffee making facilities, together with instant hot water devices.

        however, for some people, this hot water wasnt hot enough to make A Perfect Brew, and so they used their own kettles. Which was all well and good, until one day, they forgot to secure the lid, which left said kettle stuck in a permanent "almost boiling" stage.

        And in turn, this meant it generated vast clouds of steam; enough to trigger the smoke alarms.

        And that's how an entire company - including the call-centre - ended up stood on the street outside, waiting for a fire truck to arrive.

        Needless to say, words were had...

        1. Xalran

          Free Coffee & Tea

          I work in such a company,

          Every floor has it's coffee/tea/chocolate/hot water/variations and blends thereof machine.

          Coffee ( or whatever ) is free if you use your own mug/cup, it's also free twice a day if you use a cup from the machine.

          We also have a separate hot/cold/temperate/sparkling water dispenser. ( free, even for the sparkling one )

          Oh and we have a small washing equipment to wash our mugs/cups once we have finished draining them.

          As far as I can tell, there's no shadow boiler in the building... there's lots of other shadow equipment. like say... the SUN flatsreen behind my desk, and most the stuff in the boxes along the wall not far away from my desk... but since it's remotely ( or closely ) work related nobody notice it.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Free Coffee & Tea

            We also have a separate hot/cold/temperate/sparkling water dispenser. ( free, even for the sparkling one )

            We used to have chilled water dispensers in every kitchenette (one wing with nine floors, the other with three), installed at noticeable cost because the water supply needed to be plumbed in. One year later they were removed again as the cost for the inline filters was deemed prohibitive.

            One kitchenette was also equipped with a quooker, until H&S[0] figured that one could receive serious burns from that tap[1], and ordained that they were not to be installed in the other kitchenettes. The one that was installed already was not removed; I suspect that anyone who would tr to do so would end up in the nearby canal.

            [0] Halfwitted and Stupid

            [1] a separate one; there are also models dispensing through what looks like the standard hot/cold mixer tap which might cause an unpleasant surprise for the unwary, with actually boiling water coming out instead of merely 70..80C or so if you turn the wrong knob.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personal heaters

      We actually had a proper fire from one of those. AC because of ... related details...

      In a building with shitty heating loads of people used personal heaters on the lower powered wiring for computer use only. One day engineers had to cut the power for five minutes, meaning the building got colder and when the power was restored the heaters all came on full.

      The unexpected load melted something labelled Do Not Melt and the magic smoke escaped, followed by the magic flames. Then there was an evacuation.

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: Personal heaters

        hence thats why firings should have been in order or computer sockets fitted with non bs1363 plugs/sockets to stop folk plugging in heaters/kettles

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Personal heaters

          No, proper heating would have been in order.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Personal heaters

            Our fancy new office AC is controlled by a network of artificially intelligent Nest thermostats who apparently hate all humans. As a result it is at a temperature only polar bears and 'Canadian Northern indigenous peoples' would find comfortable.

            Working with one of our [she/her] pronoun-ed engineeresses I felt a blast of hot air.

            Concerned we were working her, or at least her CPU, too hard I was going to check the computer when she confessed to the under-desk heater.

            Seemed like a reasonable engineering solution, although wearing more than a t-shirt which stops above her naval piercing might also help. Not sure I can tell a [she/her] junior report to put on a cardie without sounding like my grandmother and/or being made to go on a course.

            1. Tomato Krill

              Re: Personal heaters

              Does sound a little like you might benefit from a course to be honest

    8. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Personal heaters

      Was not a space heater, but an airconditioner that started to burn its electrical wiring.

      I enjoyed dumping an entire powder fire extinguisher into it.

      Nobody had any fire training, and nobody knew what to do.

      This is why it is a good idea to do regular training to have a team at work attend to a fire first - and extinguish it if they can. If they cannot, then skedaddle the hell out of there and don't try to play the hero.

      And somebody have to phone the fire department while all of the above happen.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Personal heaters

        Fire extinguisher training is always fun - especially when somebody forgets to inform the fire brigade - or some neighbour calls it in.

  2. A K Stiles

    A little power

    often seems to go to the head of the recipient (preferably via insulated gloves).

    As for the blooming asset tags - why oh why do they have to put the asset tag in the least convenient place so often? In this instance it's on the lid of the laptop, by the hinge but orientated to read with the lid closed. Shame that there are procedural reasons for me to know the asset tag id on a semi-regular basis so I end up having to try to shut the lid to read it, but not shut all the way or it'll turn off the machine. Literally anywhere else would have been more useful and no less convenient for asset management purposes. Inside next to the keyboard, where I can read it whilst using the machine, or even on the bottom next to the model and serial numbers where I could read them all easily enough with a little tilt. Gah!

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: A little power

      At least we've past the point where they stick it over the windows licence key on the sticker.

      Now they go to put them over serial numbers...

      1. Martin
        Headmaster

        Re: A little power

        At least we've past the point...

        Either "we're past the point" or "we've passed the point" would be acceptable.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: A little power

          Is that passed tense?

      2. Il Midga di Macaroni

        Re: A little power

        The only worse place is south of the keyboard next to the touchpad... right where the users wrists will be as they type. Six months of exposure to the salts and oils in human skin and bam, one completely blank asset label.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A little power

        Or in the case of PSUs... over the voltage and current info.....

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: A little power

      The laptop should be named after the tag,

      people who give ,e.g, science dept computers hostnames like "IsaacNewton" are asking for trouble.

      so a Echo %computername% or at a push a win+pause will sort you out.

      Its be worse if the tag was visible when laptop open , because then when working normally - on a docking station with real screens you'd have to open it , and it would freak out when you closed it again.

      ...dont get me started on tagging mobile phones.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: A little power

        on a docking station with real screens you'd have to open it ,

        It's open while on the docking station too, else you're needlessly reducing available screen area.

        (it's to the side, displaying the Teams chat log. The real work happens on the two big screens in front of me)

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: A little power

      I've always had to work with cheapy ones that would fall off it they were (eg) on the lid of a laptop. I usually try and position them next to the factory serial number.

    4. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: A little power

      Why do you have your laptop configured to shut down when the lid is closed??? That's the first thing I change back to a sane setting ("do nothing") whenever I get a new laptop or IT thinks they need to mess with my power settings.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: A little power

        cos i dont trust it to turn the light out when i close the lid

        I have the same problem with the fridge

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: A little power

        "Why do you have your laptop configured to shut down when the lid is closed???"

        Because all the cool kids who are really important have to be ready to slam the lid down and run off at a moments notice to the save the world. You can't do that if the battery has gone flat while you raced to the site of the volcano where you are planning on quickly writing a virus to inject in and stop the eruption!

      3. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: A little power

        Why do you have your laptop configured to shut down when the lid is closed?

        The default on every laptop/OS I've used is sleep/standby, not shutdown.

        Plus, it's very satisfying at the end of a work day to slam the lid of my work laptop shut,

    5. Omgwtfbbqtime
      Boffin

      Re: A little power

      Two suggestions -

      1- hang a monitor off the laptop, power stays on when the lid is closed.

      2- take a photo of the asset number and save it on your desktop for access later.

      1. FloridaBee

        Re: A little power

        I got tired of trying to read the itty-bitty, microscopic digits, so I created tape labels with large print and pasted them on the laptop lid oriented for easy reading when closed on the dock and the empty area below the keyboard so as to be readable when the laptop is open. Problem solved!

      2. MisterHappy

        Re: A little power

        BGInfo is still available & quite useful when managing 1000's of desktops

        1. Alligator
          Pirate

          Re: A little power

          If you actually want to choose your own backgrounds rather than the "corporate standard" enforced by BOFH and bginfo just set the bginfo target file in your temp directory to be read only.

        2. Montreal Sean

          Re: A little power

          Bginfo is a great little program, but totallly useless if the machine no longer boots to the OS.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: A little power

        2- take a photo of the asset number and save it on your desktop for access later.

        That doesn't work as the asset manglement types want to see the "real" tag when they do their inventoy.

    6. ITMA Bronze badge
      Devil

      Re: A little power

      Don't fret about where asset tags are positioned.

      No point!

      If they haven't covered some vital bit of information you can get bet your life that when the "pretend sparkies" come around doing the PAT testing they'll plaster their bloody stickers over any information that is remotely useful not already obscured.

    7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: A little power

      "Inside next to the keyboard"

      Noooooooooo!!! Never put an asset tag where it can't be seen at a glance when there's 20 of them lined up along the desk waiting to be boxed up and deployed. I know this.

    8. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: A little power

      At a previous job where I was one of the PFY's, I was given the task of shadowing a (slightly more seniority) PFY who was in charge of applying the asset tags. I was *not* allowed to apply them, I was only allowed to "watch how to do it properly". So that's exactly what I did. I took copious notes & even still pictures with a digital camera "to remove any ambiguity in the process". (My boss liked that reason & gave me an Atta Boy for documenting the process.) Anyway, the other PFY is happily applying the tags to the exact center of the upper bezel of the screen right beside the manufacturer's logo. And over a seemingly insignificant pinhole. Want to guess what the pinhole turned out to be? I'll give you three guesses & the first ten don't count. If you guessed "Webcam!" then you win a cookie. I honestly tried to point out that fact to him, but that (slightly more seniority) PFY didn't want me to open my mouth except to answer a direct question. "You're here to learn not to talk, now shut up & learn." Oooookay, I'll zip my lip & let your idiot-arse blindly & blythely apply asset tags over a critical part of the laptop. Not a peep out of me, no siree Bob. But I'll just take a picture of you applying said tag over said important part, just to remove any ambiguity as to whose bright idea it had been to do it. And then use those pictures to defend myself when said (slightly more seniority) PFY tried to blame it all on me. "No Sir, Boss, *I* wasn't allowed to apply those tags, remember? I was to watch & learn how to do it properly. That's why I took pictures to make SURE I'd do it *exactly* as taut by my erstwhile boss on this project."

      Moral of the story: if you're going to try & throw someone under a bus to try & save your own ass, make sure they don't have concrete proof that you are, in fact, a complete & utter fuckwit that braided your own hangman's noose.

    9. rototype

      Re: A little power

      When I was working at a hospital a few years back, there was a guy employed (contractor) to PAT test everything. He'd quite happily pull the power cord from a running machine (even those specifically marked 'Don Not Unplug or Turn Off') and also had a habit of sticking the PAT test stickers over our machine identification labels (the ones we put on so the users can tell the helpdesk what their machine name is when it fails to do what it's supposed to - like after some eejit's just yanked the power cord our while it's still live.

  3. Maverick

    "For CrossFit people," the PFY adds, finishing the virtue-signalling quadfecta.

    "YouTube Content Creator" from the coloured pencil office

    total genius Simon, but sadly so very true . . .

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coat

      "For CrossFit people," the PFY adds, finishing the virtue-signalling quadfecta.

      "YouTube Content Creator" from the coloured pencil office

      total genius Simon, but sadly so very true . . .

      Are they on their Peloton's?

      1. Aladdin Sane
        Headmaster

        On their Peloton's what?

        On a side note, fuck Peloton, bunch of pricks.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >fuck Peloton

          A product area I suspect they are working on

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When the heating system went down in our office during the winter, I sent one of the managers to rent a large space heater with sufficient output to warm the whole office. Instead of following instructions they went to Argos and bought 30 electric fan heaters and put one under each desk. I tried to explain that our office ring main would not handle 90kW of extra load, but they were too dumb to understand what I was talking about. They finally got the message when they switched on the 3rd heater, tripped the breaker and all the computers went off.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Your own fault: sending a manager to do something useful.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "but it wuz cheeper!"

    3. ITMA Bronze badge
      FAIL

      Could have been worse - I've known one CEO who went out and bought one of those CALOR cabinet gas heaters (the ones on wheels) for use in an enclosed, unventilated office.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Warmed up though didn't it ?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          I bet he was red faced afterwards though.

  5. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    I was thinking " dont really have these problems now we're working from home"

    Then read the description of the Mission Control / Bond Lair equipment and got jealous ....

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      What stops you from having a 1500W comms appliance and a coffee machine at home?

      1. Aladdin Sane

        Other half resents being called a coffee machine.

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Admit to having a 1200W fan heater (metal case) in my basement office, to take the chill off in winter. Said office is not heated, and is generally pretty comfortable, but the computers and monitors don't *quite* keep it warm enough on cold days. In the summer, however, the dehumidifier keeps it at a "slightly too cozy" 80F...

      The heater's on a timer switch and an appropriately sized circuit. But I never leave it on when I'm not there.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >Admit to having a 1200W fan heater (metal case)

        So long as it runs VMS

  6. Admiral Grace Hopper
    Mushroom

    "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

    When Central Ordnance Depot, Donnington went up in flames, there was a huge realignment in the armed forces as all manner of stuff that existed only on paper was found to have been immolated. Allegedly.

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

      Makes a change from losing it in the floods of 1967?

      "...some correspondence lost in the floods of 1967..." Was 1967 a particularly bad winter?"

      "No, a marvellous winter. We lost no end of embarrassing files."

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

        Nothing like a good disaster/war to resolve those asset/paperwork discrepancies

      2. WonkoTheSane
        Headmaster

        Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

        Floods?

        During "The Great Tea Trolley Disaster of '67"?

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

        The Dublin Four Courts fire of 1922 made Irish genealogy much more difficult although oddly enough it never seems to have inconvenienced US presidents and other celebrities who realised having Irish roots might be a good idea.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

          On second thoughts it was Church of Ireland parish records that were lost. All those presidents etc want RC ancestors.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

            Not sure they are that fussy, so long as they aren't related to the O'Bama's

    2. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

      Do I remember right that when one ship was sunk in the Falklands war, it turned out that according to the paperwork it sunk with about four times it's carrying capacity in lost assets?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I'm sure Sir Humphry wouldn't be surprised.

      2. GraXXoR

        Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

        But why was it carrying lost assets in the first place?

      3. herman Silver badge

        Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

        "it sunk with about four times it's carrying capacity" - That is because it was heroically replenished, on the way down.

      4. Aussie Doc
        Windows

        Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

        Ah, yes.

        That would be similar to the great Aussie Navy 'Boat-Battleship' to 'Boat-gravy' misunderstanding/loss.

        Cider on the house.

    3. ectel

      Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

      In his book Chickenhawk [0] Bob Mason describes a Huey going down, suddenly all the quartermasters see an opportunity to sort out missing stores by claiming they were on the helicopter.

      When they totted up all the stores supposedly on it, it was 5 tones over max weight

      "No wonder it went down"

      [0] Highly recomneded

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

        Strangely, there was no such event in Catch-22.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

          There's a story from Afghanistan of a unit digging a latrine and finding a buried connex full of weapons.

          Thinking it was some special forces secret weapons cache they called an officer who was confused.

          He called a sergeant who said he would deal with it. He ordered another group to bury it somewhere else.

          What he suspected had happened was a container of weapons were delivered which hadn't been ordered and didn't have paperwork for - so rather than try and sort it out, a previous sergeant had simply buried the mistake and he was continuing the good work.

          I'm now suspecting that archaeological finds are actually a bunch of stuff that the Roman Empire sent by mistake and an old hand centurion buried rather than try and sort out the stylus work.

    4. VicMortimer

      Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

      Hadn't heard about that one. Sounds like they learned from the US military's 1973 fire that destroyed something like 18 million military service records and saved the US government from having to pay billions in disability claims from the Vietnam war.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "I'm sure we'll lose the records of it in the fire, though...""

        But there never was a Vietnam war, it's just a story put out by Hollywood.

        If there was a war the USA would have won and Vietnam would play baseball and make cars.

        Do you see any Vietnamese cars in the USA? No, therefore they couldn't have been a war there.

  7. steelpillow Silver badge
    Devil

    Sshh!

    In a building that cannot be named for security reasons (my personal security among others), when it was built and we all moved in, we found that our new tea areas were few in number and had no 13 Amp power outlets beyond that for the fridge and the hot water not-quite-boiler-because-elf'n'safetee. But our nice new flexible-working desks had them in spades. So, with a desk wired for the developers' twin, Win + *nix, workstation setup but only a poxy little office PC allocated, the solution to our traditional round-table brew-ups was obvious.

    However these sockets and wiring were only rated a few amps, you had to gang up four with a homebrew starfish to boil a standard 13 A kettle. Strictly against the rules. However, the sockets were thoughtfully and discreetly located under the desk, with plentiful ducting to hide the wiring - because-elf'n'safetee, funnily enough. But I have to admit, tee was not very safe for some weeks until all the Steves from the coloured-pencil department had brought in plastic binoculars and peered across the open-plan offices. You know, so many Steves, so few broken arcade machines, and for some reason those requisitions for carpet rolls and quicklime never came through....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sshh!

      "we found that our new tea areas were few in number"

      At least you had somewhere. When a certain mesSy BAest moved to its new, purpose-built, fully-specced and fantabulous lair at the home of the (then) bi-annual premier UK airshow, it wasn't until about 3 weeks before moving in that the Ops got a site visit, and the look on the Data Centre Manager's face was a picture when one asked "Where's our rest room?" and said Manager realised that (a) they hadn't even thought about what we would do outside office hours and (b) we also needed access to other buildings outside office hours to do backups and other assorted support tasks too onerous or complicated for the people we supported...

      I think that was the quickest they ever got anything sorted out...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Sshh!

        At a site visit? All that should have been sorted out from the plans at requirements stage before even plans were drawn.

        1. Nunyabiznes

          Re: Sshh!

          At least they got it sorted. A set of office buildings were completely built out and leases had been signed before they figured out not one of the set of 4 had a janitor's closet with appropriate facilities. This was found the first night of cleaning by the contracted cleaners. Not even their manager had noticed it...

          Eventually there was one men's bathroom in each (multistory) building modified to include a proper mop sink.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Sshh!

            We discovered that in our nice new extension.

            However we did have something entirely superfluous to requirements in a 1990s high energy physics lab = a women's toilet - so that became the cleaners cupboard.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Sshh!

          "At a site visit? All that should have been sorted out from the plans at requirements stage before even plans were drawn."

          You think the peons get a say at that stage? To the bean counters and C level, sysadmins are little more than janitors who "keep things running". Those below sysadmins barely register on the radar.

      2. Xalran

        Re: Sshh!

        I got a not similar one, but still somewhat similar...

        at a visit of our new office building with a colleague, looking at the datacenter room, and the raised floor being put in place, I look at my colleague, then back at the raised floor, then back at my colleague, and I innocently ask the weight rating of the raised floor. ( because we had a bunch of indecently heavy racks that contained up to 3 SUN V880, and one cabinet that was even more heavier )

        He answers me that according to what has been asked it should be 500Kg by square meter except for the area where the heavier cabinet would be... It would be on it's own steel frame separate from the raised floor...

        Then it dawned to him that what was being installed would barely be able to cope with 150Kg per square meter. That occured two weeks before we moved in... Strangely the move of all the datacenter content was delayed by 2 months, and some of us had to go from new site to old site and back on a regular basis during that time. We got the 500kg/m² raised floor ( which was barely enough for the V880 stack of 3 as we discovered later when the rack started to movea bit ), but I was already seeing the carnage that would have happenned had we rolled in all our equipments on the initial raised floor.

        It's not the only wrong thing seen that day... and actually getting rid of the unnaceptable raised floor was mandatory to fix the other big fail : all the RJ45 in that room had been wired towards the IT room instead of being wired to a patch cabinet in the room. So a second set of cabling & RJ45 plugs had to be laid in the whole room.

        1. Giles C Silver badge

          Re: Sshh!

          Where I used to work the comms room floor wasn’t strong enough to support the ibm system-I box (it was 4 or 5 full cabinets.

          If you looked under the floor there were stacks of paper (500 sheet reams) propping it up and a few axle stands as well

        2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Sshh!

          I have two anecdotes from the same site.

          The first is that one of the supercomputers I looked after was a weight of 3.5 metric tonnes per rack when filled with water, and like Xairan's story, had a steel frame built under the 6 or 7 racks (depending on which of the two clusters you were talking about). Made working under the floor very difficult, although these systems were pretty reliable, and did not require much under-floor work, if you discount the time when cavitation in one of the Water Conditioning Units (think pumps with heat exchangers) caused a serious water leak that had to be mopped up. Interestingly, the way the system was built allowed the faulty WCU to be isolated and replaced without having to turn off the rack it was servicing.

          The second story is for a rack of one of the preceding systems, one I did not look after, which was being wheeled along a corridor which had a suspended floor while it was being removed.

          They had checked the static weight capacity of the floor, but not the rolling capacity. Consequently, as the rack was being moved, one of the support posts shifted, meaning that all four tiles that had a corner supported by that post dropped, and the rack fell on to it's side, blocking the corridor.

          Fortunately, there were only minor injuries, but when the heavier racks that I was talking about earlier were both delivered and removed, the moving company put down 8'x6' heavy duty ply board, and then strong aluminium alloy sheets on top to spread the weight across more tiles and support posts to get them to/from the strengthened area of the floor.

          Interestingly, one of the alloy sheets they used was the wrong grade, and when the first rack went over it, it creased the sheet very nicely where the wheels on the rack rolled over it.

          Just goes to show that you need to do your homework before deploying these exceptional systems.

    2. Blofeld's Cat
      Mushroom

      Re: Sshh!

      I know somebody who decided to connect a machine to multiple socket outlets in a workshop to get a higher current feed.

      He didn't realise that the sockets used different phases of the three-phase supply to balance the load.

      Well not until he switched on the second one anyway ...

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Sshh!

        Yup. 'bang' is right, along with pretty pretty sparks and lots of magic smoke and unhappy noises.

        That's one of the things on the punch list for my pool remodel- put the pool on a proper two phase circuit instead of the janky 'hang one leg of each phase off breakers on opposing phases' arrangement that's currently in place, which is also Not Code. Thankfully, I have a pair of two phase breakers that aren't in use...

  8. DrStrangeLug

    Toaster Smoke Alarm

    Ha, brings back memories.

    Worked at a company that moved to a new building. During the pre-move tour and Q&A somebody asked "Can we have a toaster?" and was told firmly no.

    First morning in, after just 20 minutes , the smoke alarm went off. Somebody had brought in an unuathorised toaster.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here Silver badge

      Re: Toaster Smoke Alarm

      We hired a new researcher. 11am on the first day, 500 people evacuated because she'd jammed a bagel in the toaster and it started to burn. A bit embarrassing but these things happen. One week later - same person, same toaster, same bloody thing!!!

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Toaster Smoke Alarm

        the solution - of course - is to ban bagels

    2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Toaster Smoke Alarm

      The way to ensure people will do something is to tell them not to. You get the added 'benefit' that even those who never even thought of it, will join the throng.

    3. Coastal cutie
      Flame

      Re: Toaster Smoke Alarm

      In those far off days of going into offices, we never needed an unauthorised toaster to set off the fire alarm - the canteen staff used to do it quite well enough with the authorised ones.

    4. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: Toaster Smoke Alarm

      We have to shut the kitchen door when grilling anything. Otherwise the smoke alarm in the hallway goes off.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Toaster Smoke Alarm

      Ah you've reminded me of an incident at an old company...

      We were based in a 10 story office block in the city centre, at the time I think we had four floors of the building and were the largest tenant. For years we'd have the odd fire alarm but nothing major.

      The local newspaper then decided to sell their old location and move into two floors of the office we were based in. Their contractors were terrible, numerous fire alarms triggered as they'd not isolated things or managed to cut the alarm cabling, so by the time they moved in they were not popular.

      Within a few weeks we had a fire alarm, by now the building had about 9 floors fairly full, so streets around which were the fire points were full of people. As it was a slow news day the local newspaper decided it was news, major city centre building evacuated due to fire (noting nothing reported for the 10+ incidents their contractors were responsible for).

      The source of smoke was found our canteen, toast at breakfast was supplied as bread and then we used a conveyer toaster to cook it ourselves. Someone's toast had got stuck and they'd not noticed. Strangely nothing much was said about it afterwards, the canteen quietly moved to making the toast for us and the local newspaper never reported on fire alarms in the building again.

      I discovered later the person responsible for the offending piece of bread was our CEOs PA!

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Toaster Smoke Alarm

        I was always fascinated by conveyor toasters as a kid and I still want one for home.

        I'm just off to model how long it would need to be at 13A to produce toast in a reasonable time

  9. Colonel Mad

    PAT

    If it has a PAT sticker, then its official.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Insert sadsack pun here Silver badge

      Re: PAT

      Or it belongs to Pat. Either way, it's staying.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: PAT

        Or it's an instruction

  10. Andytug

    Smoke from paper in the fuser...

    Way back before the paperless office, we probably had about 4 or 5 HP Laserjet per floor, a 5 Si for bulk prints (built like a tank) and the rest all 4s and 5s. Pretty reliable stuff and I'd never seen a fuser issue......until one day one of the small ones wound a sheet of A4 round and round the fuser roller. Amazingly did not smoke or bursst into flames, but the whole floor stank of "burnt toast" and the paper came out the colour and consistency of an ancient treasure map.

    Have also had someone sit a fan heater on top of their desk, then go the toilet....during which time the heater fell on top of the PC base unit, melting the entire plastic casing (one of those white Fujitsu 486s I think). Very lucky it didn't set on fire.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Smoke from paper in the fuser...

      " melting the entire plastic casing (one of those white Fujitsu 486s I think). Very lucky it didn't set on fire."

      They won't burn - bromiated plastics see to that - however the fumes are probably mildly carcinogenic :)

    2. Zarno

      Re: Smoke from paper in the fuser...

      HP used proper thermal regulation in their fusers for the 4/5 series.

      Those old ones are absolute tanks for sure.

    3. Unicornpiss
      Flame

      Phasers on stun..

      We used to have a couple of these old Xerox "Phaser" printers. These were slow and used an outrageous amount of power, even when just idling in their 'low power' state. But they did produce beautiful prints, and our marketing dept. loved the way you could print very professional looking brochures without needing to involve a print shop.

      The technology behind these basically had blocks of toner that were very much like crayons, and upon a cold start, the machine would have to melt these so that it had a reservoir full of the molten toner for each color. So the startup would take 10-20 mins and the machine used about 700W when it was just idling to keep the toner at least semi-liquid. It also always smelled a bit like a candle shop. The cleaning cycle would use a large quantity of this very expensive toner too.

      I remember one day a ticket came across our desk to check the printer because "It's working fine but smells like it's on fire and it's scaring people!" Basically someone moved the printer while it was on and caused some of the hot toner to slop around inside and burn on something.

  11. Dark Eagle

    I sometimes feel

    As if I am the youngest reader here, given the war stories in the comments.

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: I sometimes feel

      During the war...

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: I sometimes feel

        Before the war...

        1. l8gravely

          Re: I sometimes feel

          I got into a fight with the wife eve and ever since it's been war!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: I sometimes feel

            You sound very adamant!

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: I sometimes feel

              No, Adam Ant was the Jolly Highway Man.

              Stand and deliver, your money or your life!

              1. Aladdin Sane
                Trollface

                Re: I sometimes feel

                Well that's just dandy

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love my kitchen fire alarm ..

    .. as it's the only thing that comments on my cooking,

    (about 50 people now know who I am)

    :)

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: I love my kitchen fire alarm ..

      Is that you John Wayne? Is this me?

    2. cdilla

      Re: I love my kitchen fire alarm ..

      The closest fire alarm to our kitchen is called the Dinner Gong

  13. Munchausen's proxy
    Pint

    In a mine full of nuggets

    for some reason it was the 'coloured pencil office' that shone the brightest for me.

    Happy Friday, all.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Potty Professor Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: In a mine full of nuggets

      When I was an apprentice at a large motor manufacturers, all the engineering staff used to refer to the Styling Department as the Coloured Pencil Fairies

  14. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    And thus

    another keyboard died

    Actually its mine because I'm on a day off, the PFY is having her first day flying solo, and I've found out she detests the production engineer as much as I do so cue as much revealing information as I can pry out of her for 'future use' ie 'information enhanced gift giving'

    Especially since the boss has bought up another industrial unit, plans on building more cells in there, but I have to work with said engineer on planning etc etc etc

    However I can see the need for a 'defender' arcade game in the company's future, and hes the sort of paper pusher who likes doing audits..... all praise to the BOFH for giving everyone bad ideas....

  15. Mookster
    Facepalm

    I'm a bit worried that no-one suggested using their GPU to heat the workspace, and getting bitcoins as a bonus.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      using their GPU to heat the workspace

      I know someone who does.

      He co-manages a decomissioned 1980's communications bunker turned museum, and that underground lump of concrete would normally be heated using air ducts fed from the generator's cooling circuit. But running that requires expensive diesel oil, and lots of it, whereas their electricity supply is a) plentiful and b) as good as free. So he rigged up a bunch of miners, controlled by, basically, a thermostat.

  16. HammerOn1024

    Ah yes...

    The office Troll extraordinaire.

    We had one of those. She was easy to get rid of; we'd just plug in all the devices she confiscated into her office outlets on a Friday evening... it was beautiful.

    1. Zarno
      Coat

      Re: Ah yes...

      There's a scene from Fight Club that comes to mind.

      Modified to suit:

      “It's company policy not to imply ownership in the event of a space heater. Use the indefinite article.

      A space heater.

      Never your space heater.

      Never say the space heater accidentally turned itself on.”

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd trade

    I'd trade an office tyrant for an arcade video game any day. Unfortunately, I don't know if most are heavy enough to do that kind of required organic conversion.

  18. Blackjack Silver badge

    I am quite sure about a third of the readers would have fixed the Arcade machine or at least replaced it by a M.A.M.E cabinet, only it still takes money. Those lunch breaks are so long... and why play a freemium game full of ads in your phone when you can waste ten dollars for 15 minutes playing an Arcade game? After all we have to find a way for people to go back to the office... and it takes less space that a pool table!

    Even better, make the thing a Coffee maker too. Play Tetris and get an expresso for the same price!

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      I am quite sure about a third of the readers would have fixed the Arcade machine or at least replaced it by a M.A.M.E cabinet, only it still takes money.

      And I would have the key to the moneybox ;)

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Headmaster

      "Play Tetris and get an expresso for the same price!"

      According the BOFH, ESPRESSO!

  19. SuperGeek

    What's for dinner?

    Smoked Steve sandwich anyone? Watch the gristle, and those hairs that get stuck in your teeth..... ;)

  20. Persona Silver badge

    Asset Tags

    In the labs where I worked after graduating, everything older than a couple of years had an asset tag. Apparently they used to employ an industrious chap who would march into a room with a drill and a screwdriver and attach the engraved plastic tag with two screws. He was so skilled at his task that the job was done before anyone ever stopped him. Then one day he chose the stainless steel vacuum vessel for the linear accelerator. The two research scientists in the control room wearing their lead aprons were somewhat surprised by the surreal experience when he walked past them and into the machine space, ignoring the high voltage and radiation warning signs and the flashing red light showing it was in operation. Seconds later they heard the drill running followed by a hissing noise and a very very loud bang. He was ok but shaking like a leaf. He took early retirement a while later.

  21. Unicornpiss
    Flame

    Heated throws

    Some years back we used to see illicit space heaters under desks, and usually the cheap, junky plastic ones. (really, you make something that heats up out of something that melts easy?) After our guards discovered a few that had been left on at night, and a few ultimatums, this behavior mostly stopped.

    Now the trend is heated throws, basically personal sized electric blankets. In the height of summer here in the US, only a couple months ago, I was summoned to assist a young woman with something. I sat down in her just vacated chair and after a few moments realized my posterior was burning. My initial thought was: "Wow, she's a really warm person!" Followed by: "Oh crap, is she running a fever? Ugh--Covid." Then I realized I was sitting on a heating pad turned to high that she was either using to keep warm or induce grill lines on her bottom. I don't know how she stood the level of heat present. She was apparently like my cat that would lay on a radiator that you could barely touch for hours at a stretch.

    Also fun was my GF's old car that had heated seats. Which are great, but she would reliably park her phone by the switches and accidentally turn my side on high on a hot summer day. It would slowly dawn on me after feeling like I was burning up and wondering if I was having some kind of medical episode.

  22. KarMann
    Headmaster

    Espressway to hell

    "So that expresso machine?"

    "The ESPRESSO machine is company property," I nod.

    For once, the BOFH seems to have under-reacted.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Espressway to hell

      I really don't care which one people use.

      French use expresso

      Italians use espresso.

      If you look at signs in a café / restaurant signage spelling may depend on that influence.

      If buying pre packaged beans / pre ground coffee, I have seen some with the French spelling.

      So, in UK not a surprise that people may use one or the other (plus expresso, makes a bit more sense than espresso to an English speaker who does not speak other languages as English has the word "express" in common use but not "espress").

      .. and finally* its a class thing, if, like me, you are working class scum from a shit area, very unlikely to have been told "expresso" is wrong as chances are your friends & family didn't know or care as there were more important things to worry about like getting through the week with enough cash to put food on the table & pay the bills and the only coffee you were exposed to was "instant" anyway)

      * Yes, also potentially a dyslexia (& similar) thing too..

  23. Sudosu

    Photonicinduction

    I wonder what they would think of this guy in an office setting (he does actually know what he is doing at lest)

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl9OJE9OpXui-gRsnWjSrlA

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