back to article Why should I pay for that security option? Hijacking only happens to planes

Friday is here. We'd suggest an adult beverage or two to celebrate, but only if you BYOB. While you fill your suitcase, may we present an episode of On Call in which a reader saves his boss from a dunking. Our tale comes from a reader Regomised as "Ed" and is set earlier this century. Ed was working as a developer in a biotech …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the blood drained from his face before he turned around and told me I could leave"

    I would not have left promptly.

    I would have stalled just a few seconds, looking him straight in the eyes, before slowly turning and exiting the room.

    The silence might have been awkward, but not for me.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

    The magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake hit us on October 17th 1989, at 5:04 PM-ish Pacific time. It was centered approximately 30 miles SSE of my home. PG&E power and Ma Bell landlines were out over almost all of the Bay Area. My acting boss called my obsolete and due to be replaced DynaTAC at 5:10 PM & screamed that he would fire me if I didn't fix it immediately. I told him that he needn't have wasted money on the phone call, he could have just opened the window and bellowed. And then I hung up.

    I have hated cellular telephones ever since ... not because of what they are, nor what they can do, but rather for how they are actually (ab)used.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

      Every BOFH knows how to simulate a bad connection. Some even specifically carry a bit of cellophane for that explicit purpose.

      Tip: there is always background noise on a call, so when you mute the mike, that gets cut off. Especially if you're in a noisy place, repeatedly and randomly muting bits of a call are excellent ways to simulate a bad connection, and after that, of course you "lost reception" completely. Just make sure your messenger doesn't confirm you reading a message, and you're fine.

      If this sounds suspiciously well worked out, you're right.


      1. MutantAlgorithm

        Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

        Don't know if it still works but, back in the day wrapping the phone in tinfoil (a good use for any scraps leftover from hat making) while switched on would mean anyone calling got the message 'it has not been possible to connect' instead of 'this mobile is switched off' so there was a plausible excuse that the signal had just dropped out.

        1. earl grey

          Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

          tinfoil? you can still get real tin foil? i need to get out more.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

            I take it you don't make your own specialty capacitors. Try fleabay if you don't have a local industrial supply.

        2. G7mzh

          Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

          My phone has an external battery - I just pull the battey off.

          The phone is set to divert to voicemail if not available anyway, so callers wouldn't know the difference.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

        One boss was trying to get me to take a company mobile so I could be contacted if something went wrong. I was first responder for my department during office hours but out of hours you called regular support. As I didn’t have anything other than a landline* at the time and quite liked that, I said no thanks. He offered to pay for all my calls business or not made on this mobile. I said no thanks again and he dropped the idea. Somebody asked why I was so reluctant and I said I’d never get a minutes peace. On top of that the number would be listed in the company phone directory and everyone would be able to see it. Given a lot of people knew that I had technical skills, I reasoned like now they’d ask me first before calling IT. That way they appeared less dumb in front of ITSupport, but they could only do that whilst I was in the building. If they could get hold of me whenever I shudder to think about the possibilities.

        * Boss had the landline number but it often went through to the ansaphone if I was too tired/busy/couldn’t be bothered etc.

        1. xyz123 Silver badge

          Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

          The trick is to agree BUT out of hours work you're allowed to bill the company $50 per hour and for non-work related (my personal laptop got wine on it), you're allowed to bill the company $250 per hour.......

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

      Ahh, being on call. In theory, in a previous job, I was on call. In practice, I was never called because I live 10 miles away from the office, in an area that has limited public transport at night, and I don't drive. In short, the boss didn't want to have to spring for a cab if I had to come into work at some ungodly hour in the morning, and while I could have got public transport, it would take over 1 hour at that time of the morning.

      What happened in practice is I was still on the on call list, but near the bottom, so several other techs would need to be unavailable before they'd call me. Which meant, I was never called..

      1. HelpfulJohn

        Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

        I, OTOH, was usually the first to be called in for issues and overtime due to absences. I loved that. It was usually on weekends, nights or holiday-times which meant no manglement. It also meant additional pay which I also quite liked.

        I only twice refused. Once because I was called in at 0600-ish for an 0800 start. As I don't drive and was several hundred miles away manglement eventually managed to understand that the taxi-cab fare would be ... rather a lot.

        The second time was on our wedding anniversary.

        I had this vision of her standing over me muttering: "Bloody useless *MEN*! Get up and tell me how to reload this thing!"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

          I knew a guy who's day job involved maintaining a nationwide paging network

          One night the computer running the system failed in the early hours but the ops centre must have slept through the alarms and he only got called out at 6.30am.

          He had been just about to pull on his biker boots and leathers, so that day he got paid a couple of hours at time-and-a-half for his normal ride to work plus got to leave a couple of hours early for the 'disturbance'

          1. Spiz

            Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

            "the ops centre must have slept through the alarms"

            They weren't delivering the alarms via pager, were they? :)

            1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

              That sounds like the type of event that it is extremely easy to be wise after.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

      You reminded me of a story I've told before, but back in the 80s we had an 'earthquake' (in the UK). More of a big tremor that probably registered 0.0001 on the Richter Scale if you're going to compare it with what others have to deal with, though it did cause some damage to buildings. It was big for us, anyway.

      I was in my bedroom at the time on my Atari computer. I remember standing up and thinking 'WTF was that?'

      My dad came racing up the stairs, threw open the door, and yelled 'what have you done now?'

      1. Helen Waite

        Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

        Newt Pulsifer?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

        You reminded me of a story I've told before, but back in the 80s we had an 'earthquake' (in the UK). More of a big tremor that probably registered 0.0001 on the Richter Scale if you're going to compare it with what others have to deal with, though it did cause some damage to buildings. It was big for us, anyway.

        I was in my bedroom at the time on my Atari computer. I remember standing up and thinking 'WTF was that?'

        My dad came racing up the stairs, threw open the door, and yelled 'what have you done now?'

        Years ago there was an earthquake in Stratford upon Avon and we lived near there. My dad was in London working and when mum called him to tell him the news he asked to speak to me. “What and how much did she have to drink at lunchtime or after?” I said she’d had nothing and the whole house had shaken for a while.

      3. Martin

        Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

        I remember that earthquake. We had a large network of Sun workstations. I remember a huge thud, all the lights failed briefly, and the whole office said "WTF was that?" And about half of us had to wait for our workstations to restart.

    4. TooOldForThisSh*t

      Re: Ah, yes. The dreaded "fix it NOW!" call ...

      Had one of those years ago: Demanding call from a remote office that their critical server "Chicago_9" was down. (note: in those days servers were named by city name and a number - nobody had more than 3 servers) I tried to explain there was no such server, but I went ahead and tried to ping it and checked Active Directory server OU for any such name - nothing. Had caller go to the server closet and see if anything was named Chicago_9. Nothing. Suggested he ask the local LAN admin but he was unavailable. Caller went to search again. About 15 minutes later I get a second call from office manager shouting about the critical system that was down and saying he was going to have me fired. I tried explaining that there was no such system in our records, but he could talk to my manager while I started packing. Transferred his call to manager. Put my feet up and stopped taking calls.

      An hour later I get a call from the local office LAN admin explaining that the rogue server was a desktop that ran an SQL database and it had not restarted after a power outage. He promised to fix things and properly label it when he returned from vacation. Manager came by later to find out what the problem was and if I recall correctly he just shook his head and left. It's probably still there :)

  3. chivo243 Silver badge


    Ed was able to maintain composure and conceal his glee. I remember letting a situation like this simmer for a few days... finally the cocky Know-it-All's boss had to intervene. I remember asking myself how could mgmt go forward, and objecting, only to be told in polite terms to shut up. The silence when the boss came to me was sweet, I just glared back... no words, no change of expression, just my glaring back poker face.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Not me, but and older guy in my early days

    A humble worker bee, who was a wiz at all things inductive, was tasked with winding a transformer for the R&D dept.. He took one look at the details, and said it wouldn't work. Whereupon he was haughtily told to just do as directed - which he did. There was a major inquiry when the thing went up in smoke, with our man accused of all sorts of nasties by R&D. The real boss decided to get an independent expert opinion who did a few calculations and confirmed R&D were wrong - the ratio in the spec was an order of magnitude out.

    Our man suddenly disappeared from the factory floor, and for a while we all thought he had been made a scapegoat, until some weeks later he was seen in a suit. It took a while for the whole story to filter down, but apparently he'd been transferred to R&D

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like the time a crappy Netserver fell in a heap and I was called into an office to explain why I didn't let everyone know in advance that the server was going to crash? And yes, in advance of a *crash*, and not just the server being rebooted!

    I just said "If I could predict in advance when a server was going to crash, do you honestly think I'd be standing here talking to you! I'd be off somewhere else making millions.."

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      "If I could predict in advance when a server was going to crash, do you honestly think I'd be standing here talking to you! I'd be off somewhere else making spending millions.."

      FTFY, if I could predict with that kind of accuracy, I wouldn't be working anymore.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      The alternative answer would be that you did and here are copies of the emails telling manglement that it would unless more memory/storage or whatever were provided.

    3. Stoneshop

      I just said "If I could predict in advance when a server was going to crash,

      Sometimes you can. Like when a garbage garbage collector doesn't do the collection, and you just have to watch the memory usage numbers, extrapolate the trend and sit back.

      Maybe not to the minute, but surely "this afternoon".

    4. KBeee

      Could be worse. Six Italian scientists were jailed for not predicting the L'Aquila earthquake in 2009.

  6. GlenP Silver badge

    Many years ago I was UK IS* Manager for a global company, at the time mainly working in the US on a project, leaving an operator to run things back in the UK office. An unexpected problem arose about the time my flight back from Detroit took off which was beyond what the operator could deal with as she'd never encountered it before.

    I was greeted the next morning, having arrived in the office direct from the red eye to Heathrow, with a manager (not even my manager) demanding that the problem must be fixed immediately and, "Make sure ... knows everything you know!"

    The last part would have been interesting as she'd only recently moved into IT from being an assistant bean counter whereas I had a degree in Computing and about 10 years professional experience at that point.

    The issue was relatively easily resolved but wasn't anything that had previously occurred so we documented the fix for the future and left it at that.

    *That's how long ago it was, IS supposedly had a wider remit than just IT and definitely more than the DP manager who ran things before I took over.

    1. MrBanana

      "IS supposedly had a wider remit than just IT and definitely more than the DP manager who ran things before I took over."

      When I did my computing degree in the 1980s there was a split in year two for either the Data Processing track, or proper Computing Programming. Many took the easy DP option and got high level degrees in taking archives and labelling backup tapes. I took the difficult option - write an abstract language compiler was one task - and got a middling Bishop Desmond. Probably would have done better if I'd tipped up to lectures more than once a week.

      1. GlenP Silver badge

        got a middling Bishop Desmond

        Nothing wrong with a Desmond!

        The mistake I made was splitting my degree between Maths & Computing, the couple of us who did that only got 2/2s whilst colleagues who did straight Computing after the first year mostly got firsts as the other half of computing that we didn't do was the easy part.

        I think our worst project was probably to write a multi-tasking operating system, although at least that was a team of four.

        Spending more time on revising and less on drinking may have helped!

        1. adam 40 Silver badge

          Spending more time on revising and less on drinking may have helped!

          Yes the cause of many a Desmond! (May he Rest In Peace)

          Luckily I went on to do an M.Sc. after my 2(ii), and I actually saved money from my big fat grant cheque, which was considerably more than the B.Sc. grant, so win-win.

  7. Lon24

    Guess the PA's previous job was ...

    The classic - it's your fault, fix it or I'll call in the FBI:

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Guess the PA's previous job was ...

      A nice blast from the past. I can't help thinking Centos should have told him to go ahead, call the FBI if he wanted.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guess the PA's previous job was ...

      Even better, none of those links now work for the City of Tuttle. One of them goes to "GUTTER CLEANING IN WIGAN & ST HELENS", which considering the link is is hard to reason out.

    3. Rjf1958

      Re: Guess the PA's previous job was ...

      Good read. Google shows that clown got canned in 2008 for being a general tool. Sure the ridicule from that issue didn't help him any.

  8. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Would they ever...

    (Knock at the door)

    Stranger: Please give me your car keys.

    PA: Sure, here you are.

    1. Martin

      Re: Would they ever...

      Not quite like that. You've got to have a slightly convincing story.

      Knock on the door.

      Stranger: I'm from the local car service company. We've found an urgent problem with your car and it needs a recall, so we've decided to save you the trouble of bringing the car in by collecting it from you.

      PA: Excellent customer service! Here are the keys. You'll give me a ring when it's done, right?

      Stranger: Of course.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Would they ever...

        Worryingly, too many people do only need "I'm here to take your keys" in order to hand them over, no questions asked.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Would they ever...

          'I'm here to _collect_' whatever is the way to go.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Would they ever...

            Worryingly, this reminds me of an incident a few decades ago. I was at work, just going into a meeting, and got a phone call from my wife.

            Wife: Why haven't you paid the electricity bills, we've been cut off!

            Me: Why did you let them into the house?

            Wife: Let who into the house?

            Me: The people from the electricity company!

            Wife: What people from the electricity company?

            Me: The. People. From. The. Electricity. Company. Who. Cut. Off. Our. Electricity!

            Wife: What people from the electricity company?

            Me: DidYouLetAnybodyIntoTheHouseToCutOffTheElectricity?

            Wife: No.

            Me: Then. How. The. Hell. Did. They. Cut. Off. Our. Electricity???

            Wife: Well, I just assumed they did....

            Me: HOW?????!!!!! *NEVER* let anybody into the house claiming to be *ANYTHING*!

            As you can infer, it was just a local substation fault, and the power came on a few minutes later, but wifey assumed that no leccy = power company had broken into house and removed supply, and if neccessary, SHE WOULD HAVE LET THEM.

            1. Shooter

              Re: Would they ever...

              This reminds me of the only time I ever managed to put a blemish on my mortgage payment history.

              Back in the day (about the turn of the century) I had the habit of spending my Saturday mornings paying the upcoming bills. Writing actual checks by hand, as I wasn't yet comfortable with internet banking and bill-pay. Then off to the post office to drop them in the mail, and continue with the rest of my Saturday chores.

              Then one day I had a phone call from my mortgage company, letting me know that my payment was a bit light that month. Turns out that I had inadvertently put the check for the electric company in the mortgage envelope and vice versa. I immediately called my bank, to be informed that the electric company had already deposited my mortgage check. So I then called the electric company to ask why they had done that, and ask for a refund. The electric company said they thought I "was just making an advance payment", even though the check wasn't made out in the name of their business. And was roughly twenty times the amount of my normal bill (budget plan - same amount every month, adjusted annually. Makes it easier to plan the bill payments).

              I immediately wrote a new check to the mortgage company, but I didn't have enough money in the bank to cover it until the electric company returned the over-payment, which took a LOT longer than it did for them to cash the check in the first place. By the time the mortgage company received my new check, it was past the grace period, so I was charged a penalty and got a black mark on my payment history.

              I don't blame the mortgage company - after all, the initial screw-up was all my fault. Nowadays, I make sure I have enough funds in the bank to cover several months of bills in case of any problems, but at the time I was freshly divorced and things were a bit tight. And I've learned not to pay the bills until AFTER the first cup of coffee!

              1. W.S.Gosset

                Re: Would they ever...

                Just for future reference: the bank was in deep legal/regulatory shit for paying that amount into the wrong account. Even if the cheque was uncrossed, unless Leccy man physically walked it down to the bank and cashed it then deposited that cash, that cheque may not be paid to a third party (must be the legal payee to sign over to another payee).

                So your restitution route is to loudly and angrily hammer the table in the _bank_, and threaten to go straight to the regulator. They'd be done like a dinner so they'd jump. And they would be expected by the regulator to _immediately_ make good your account and to retrieve the incorrect money in their own time. And they know that so they'd do that. This would have allowed you to immediately rewrite&send the correct mortgage cheque, avoiding penalty.

                Oh well. "Next time..."

                By the bye: that route is also a standard scam tool, if selling on eBay or whatever. They pay, you send the item, then when they receive it they simply contact PayPal or credit card company or whatever and protest the charge. PayPal/CCco/whoever _immediately_ reverses/retrieves the payment from your account, leaving the scammer with both their money and your item

                1. W.S.Gosset

                  Re: Would they ever...

                  Come to think of it.... would also be useful to apply peer pincer-movement. Go to the _mortgage_ provider and tell them your bank has their money but illegally paid it into the wrong account. "Can you please give them a quick ring and ask them to sort it out? Just a 'friendly reminder' sort of thing. Save us both a lot of hassle."

                  Micro-behaviourally, this has the effect of the bank staff realising that their wider/industry _peers_ know about it. And this qualitatively elevates it from a customer irritation/cover-up (such as you received), to a professional embarrassment which is known about outside their insulated fortress walls.

                  Takes them from insulated to insolated.

                2. david 12 Silver badge

                  Re: Would they ever...

                  Well no, the bank probably wasn't in deep regulatory shit for paying a crossed check in cash to the wrong account or person. That's just an instruction to the bank -- and when I was in school, there was a poster on the wall of the accounting classroom, specifically pointing out that it had been tested in court, and that the bank had no specific liability for that mistake.

            2. Stork Silver badge

              Re: Would they ever...

              Where we live, the meter is accessible from public road. They can cut you off without you letting them in. But I think they have to be able to prove you have been warned

              1. Andy A

                Re: Would they ever...

                With "Smart Meters", they can cut you off from the comfort of their offices, and probably without recourse to human supervision,

              2. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: Would they ever...

                Of course if you have a smart meter, all they need to do is tick the right box on a computer screen somewhere and the little relay inside goes "click".

                Around here first suspicion is always power cut. We have quite a lot of them - though most are very short (under 15 minutes, usually under a minute, with a longer - hour plus - cut every year or two). Quick peek out of the window to see if the street lamps are off and the neighbours houses are dark...

                In fact, so "normal" are power cuts that over Christmas when one happened in the middle of an evening meal with mother-in-law in attendance, conversation between the children didn't even falter as the house was plunged into near pitch-darkness and the UPSes started bleeping, one of the children got up and found the torch which is always nearby, and mother-in-law was still in shock ten minutes later when the power came (falteringly) back, just as I was considering maybe switching the NASes off.


      2. Brad16800

        Re: Would they ever...

        I once had to call up and get the login details of every store manager (i frget why, was my fi9rst week there).

        Guess how many just handed them over without question, not even knowing who I was..... (all of them)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the topic of domain names expiring

    Some time around 2001-2002, a Unix sysadmin at the ISP I was working at at the time notified his manager that our corporate .com domain name was about to expire in a month, and that someone should start the paperwork to renew it. A week later he reminded his manager. Yet another week later, he notified his manager's manager about the situation with a very clear description of what would fail when the name expired. One week after that, he copied three managers, their PAs and the whole of the technical team, all the way up to the CTO and STILL no-one lifted a finger. The domain name expired, and after couple of weeks of grace period from the registrar it was finally retired and a bunch of things - most critically, email - failed.

    Said engineer was watching the domain name status and promptly registered the domain on his personal credit card for a few tens of dollars, then offered to sell it back to the company (at a couple of orders of magnitude more than that). When told he was being disloyal he simply showed all the managers the (printed-out) email chain, letting them know that all the broken services could be restored with a tiny change in DNS servers for the domain that he could do in minutes. When they realized that what he'd done had actually kept the domain safe with a (relatively) friendly operator, they silently thanked him and paid up. Drinks were on him that Friday night. (When I first started reading the BOFH stories, this was the guy I pictured.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On the topic of domain names expiring

      I was in a similar position of warning about an impending domain expiration. We were a much smaller company (I also warned my manager, the rest of my technical team, my CTO, COO, and the CEO, but they were all the same person).

      In our case, our domain name was grandfathered in, it was a format that was no longer valud, so I don't think we could ever have reacquired it if our were to lapse.

      This was a yearly ritual, since the boss would only renew one year at a time. I eventually asked if I should be looking for another job. Boss seemed shocked, asked why. I pointed out that the domain was critical to our business, if we lost the domain, we shut the doors. Despite that, he was only renewing for a year at a time, which implies he wasn't necessarily planning on being in business in two years.

      1. DougMac

        Re: On the topic of domain names expiring

        OOTH, as a service-provider, I like the yearly renewal pace, because once a subscriber does 3 years or more, all knowledge of paying for it, or what it does is gone out of mind of anybody at the company. Be-it brain fade, or the people that handle it are long gone.

        At least yearly will have somebody remember, oh yeah, we do need that.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: On the topic of domain names expiring

          "or the people that handle it are long gone."

          I once had to deal with a "network issue" whereby some of the remote apps hosted at HQ worked and others didn't. It eventually transpired that the ones failing were the more "secure" ones that only allowed connections from certain IP addresses and the satellite office IP addresses had changed[*]. The ISP had sent notification emails to the company contact starting three months prior to the change and with increasing frequency as the great switch-over date approached. Unfortunately, the email address they were using was for a person who had left the company two years previouslly and no one was monitoring said address any more.

          * Yes, it was a "fixed" IP address, but the business division of the cable company now known as Virgin Media thought that a "fixed" IP address was just one with a very long lease and they were in the process of (yet again!) re-segmenting their network.

    2. Daedalus

      Re: On the topic of domain names expiring

      No no no. A real BOFH would have kept schtum until such time as he left the company, then let the name expire as a parting shot. Managerial incompetence should not be rewarded, even if large amounts of dosh are exchanged.

    3. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: On the topic of domain names expiring

      Unfortunately what he did there could, in today's world, be viewed as extortion. The authorities would not look too kindly on him.

  10. Throgmorton Horatio III

    In the mid 2000s I worked in the UK for a diagnostics company based in Texas. I'd registered a domain for myself in order to have a sensible and permanent email address, and while the search site was open I idly plugged in the company domain name. Which was available! The domain got bought on the spot 'just in case' and enquiries made back to the US - seems they'd just 'forgotten' to renew registration - and I transferred ownership back to them without any thanks at the time.

    A couple of years later the company was sold to a major player, and the owner was kind enough to share some of the profits of the sale with the staff - he was quite generous, and I'd like to think that on this occasion a good deed did go unpunished.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just had one of those today, with the old "IT support for the wife" gig.

    The missus called and asked me to log into her email and check for a mail. Gave me the password...

    1st attempt: failed. Maybe I mis-typed it.

    2nd attempt: Failed. I am sure I have it right. Check with the missus, get her to spell it.

    3rd attempt: Failed. Email account locked.

    Queue me getting blamed for locking her account for a good 5 minutes before she says......

    Oh sorry, that was wrong password. But you STILL locked out my email account so it's YOUR fault....


    1. Martin

      Cue - prompt or signal

      Queue - line of people

      Hence - Cue me getting blamed...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I find that on some screwups there's a whole range of people trying to blame it on me. So when things go wrong, cue the queue.


        1. David Nash Silver badge

          One source of confusion is that traditionally DJs have cued up a record they are going to play, ie. get it ready for its cue to be played.

          These days people add a track to a playlist or "queue". So they Queue it.

          1. Tom 38

            Pedantry*: a "queue" is a noun, you can "enqueue" something, you can "dequeue" something, but you cant "queue" it.

            * Probably incorrect pedantry, these days you can verb** anything

            ** This is a trap

            1. jake Silver badge

              As the great Bill Watterson taught us, "Verbing weirds language". Weirding is not a bad thing, especially in informal writing/speech. Unless you lack the humo(u)r gene, of course, in which case I feel very, very sorry for you.

              Generic "you", not you personally, Tom 38. Allow me to beer you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No. It was definitely a queue, and I was the one at the front. Unfortunately it was a queue of just one person (one of the few times I would have gladly let someone else jump the queue).....

        Either way, I got a tongue lashing.

  12. Miss Config

    Dollar Foolish

    Wow. A beancounter who is penny wise and dollar stoopid.

    Whatever next ?

  13. DS999 Silver badge

    Know-It-All who didn't like to be shown wrong

    As a consultant who didn't have to worry about being on the wrong side of political battles (as my typical engagement is generally 6-12 months) I take great glee in doing exactly that. Only to the really egregious know-it-alls, the ones who really deserve to their comeuppance. And only if I can do it in front of others, preferably their boss. I would never get enjoyment over showing up this PA alone in an office. Yeah, I'm an asshole, but only to those who have demonstrated themselves to be assholes first.

    Troll icon because, well...

  14. Kev99 Silver badge

    At my place of employment I need to repeatedly warn everyone to not open emails from unknown addresses, not run outlook's preview window and who knows what else. Thank goodness we have a third party IT overseer who has stopped numerous faux pas by the staff.

    As I've said many times, there are one two way to prevent computer related problems. One, get rid of the computers and two, remove the problem that exists between the keyboard and the chair.

    1. Trixr

      I personally like the idea of conductive computer keys hooked up to a switch with a variable resistor that begins at say 20V, hooked up to a mains power source. Then in linked to something that tracks the number of jobs they log that turn out to be their own stupidity.

      Each new job that gets added to this database results in an increment to the shock that is delivered to their fingers via the keyboard each time they try to open the call-logging form (or email the service desk). Of course results will vary according to locality, but with places that run at ~240 from the mains, repeat offenders will soon be taken care of ...permanently.

  15. X5-332960073452

    Domain Registry of America

    What ever happened to them?

    I don't get their emails anymore.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Domain Registry of America

      Their Canadian branch is still a thing, we periodically get customers calling or emailing asking about their email - or even postal mail! (Yes, really, they still send their scammy "renewal" notices as actual physical paper mail in some cases.)

      The only thing I can say in their favour is that the scamminess appears to stop with the renewal notices sent to people who aren't already their customers.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting in the way is something that good software sometimes has to do.

    Not exactly the same but I've had a database administrator demand that I get rid of this stupid antivirus software preventing him downloading this executable *immediately*, there's no way a respectable company would be trying to hack his computer, there's nothing in it for them etc.

    Of course they'd been hacked and it was in fact a virus he was trying to download.

  17. Potemkine! Silver badge

    He was also kind of a Know-It-All who didn't like to be shown wrong

    This kind of people is, as the ones unable to thank somebody, part of the reason some think that Hell is here and now.

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