back to article BOFH: Gaming rig for your home office? Yeah right

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "Hello?" an unenthusiastic voice intones. "Hi," I say, "is this Carl?" "Yes?" Carl replies. "Hi Carl, it's Simon from IT at work." Nothing. "So Carl, you asked for an upgrade to your laptop to enable you to 'work from home properly,' as you put it." "Uh-huh," Carl grunts. "OK, I've …

  1. lglethal Silver badge
    Trollface

    It's always the computer's fault...

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Coat

      Or the wind turbines (both internal and external)...

      1. sad_loser
        Pint

        Phrase that pays

        When politely enquiring about some nonsensical rubbish that a [beancounter] is spouting.

        "Help me understand how the [wind turbines] caused your [itchy teeth]

        Taught to me the most fearsome BOFH ever - an Australian female.

    2. The Dogs Meevonks

      I always assume it's a PICNIC or 1D10T issue myself

      1. EnviableOne Silver badge

        compatibility issue in layer 8

  2. technos

    It's time to kill the dragon!

    Once had a coworker get stuck between Ops and IT, with each group blaming the other for the lack of login credentials. His boss told him to 'go browse the internet or play a game or something'.

    So for the last three months of his six-month contract he played Everquest, open 'til close, and with no definable work being demanded of him for the monthly progress reports, his boss graded him on how well his MMO was going.

    HR even offered him a contract extension based on him meeting the self-imposed metrics of "getting to level 50 on my Wizard" and "killing Nagafen".

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

      Three months to get a proper login ?

      Look, I've got a lot of Minecraft to do and my job actually requires work. Where can I sign up ?

      1. tezboyes

        Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

        Three months to get proper login credentials, yeah that sounds about right.

        Sadly for my staff that is not the alternative skill progression that I allow ...

        We're currently workshopping an improved process, yeah seriously, it's been going on for over 6 months.

        I did get dangerously close to uttering a BOFHism in one session - and I'm on the lUser side of it!

        1. technos

          Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

          The company wasn't that bad on the regular. He got his first set of credentials quick enough, within a couple of days.

          But when he completed his work over three months early through automation and documentation, he got assigned to an IT related project.

          IT didn't want him to make them look bad, so they did their best to keep him away. Making the outside lawyers review his contract. Four weeks for a (second, unneeded) background check. A drug test that kept getting 'lost' in the mail. A personnel review assigned to someone on maternity leave.

          He didn't care, he was being paid.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge

            Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

            Hmm. This IT department he was assigned to sounds awfully familiar.

            If I'm right, if he ever does get those login credentials and does indeed start to make them look bad, there's a roll of carpet somewhere with his name on it.

      2. Montreal Sean

        Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

        I'm still waiting for login credentials for one of the clients I'm theoretically supporting.

        It's been almost 2 years. Good thing I'm just the backup support guy.

        Hope the primary doesn't go on sick leave...

    2. razzaDazza1234

      Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

      living the dream

    3. The Dogs Meevonks

      Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

      I once worked for a large outsourcing company that dealt with IT support for various other companies and even govt depts.

      I was unable to do simple tasks such as a password reset for 6 months on any of the govt contracts (98% of the work) because of a lack of credentials and approval... a process that should have taken 4-6 weeks.

      I wasn't the only one either, there were at least 6 of us who had to constantly badger other members of staff to do the most basic of level one support.

      Thankfully this was nearly 20yrs ago and I left the company before those credentials were ever even issued... I was that disgusted with the place and got a better paying job closer to home.

      1. Andy A Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

        Sounds VERY familiar. Getting security clearance was a PAIN. "Lost the form" more than once in my case.

        When I worked on an ordinary commercial site for such an organisation, there were times when we were required to do emergency surgery on PCs at other sites supported by the group. One such place was about 20 miles away and lived on remote support most of the time. When things were really bad, they needed someone with Admin privileges to get hands on.

        This happened only about once per year, so it was REALLY annoying to reach site and find that your specially created account had been killed off as "unused" six months previously. Not just an expired password; actually removed, despite comments in the AD records explaining its presence.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: It's time to kill the dragon!

        I had a gig on a secure site that required clearance. They required it a step higher than the regular employees. No problem, that went through; given my previous career it would have been strange if it hadn't. Perhaps it was that process that alerted someone to the fact that the regular employees clearance should also have been a step higher than it was.

  3. msobkow Silver badge

    Well, on the flip side of that sordid tale of woe, I worked for a company in the '90s that came up with reasons for installing NVidia cards in all the workstations for "3D interface research", which we subsequently used for LAN parties on the weekends. To be fair, the boss was a graphics guru (ex SGI), and really DID do R&D work with his workstation. We just had a lot of extra machines capable of doing his work. :)

    1. Mark #255
      Happy

      3D acceleration

      I remember (20+ years ago) that our research group all had "gaming" graphics cards installed in our workstations to provide the required OpenGL support for the 3D visualisation I'd written.

      I recall that we "soak-tested" (your honour) all the machines with a group session of Quake 3 Arena.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I remember a time in the late 90s when my team "stress tested" the network with Quake 3 during the noon lunch hour.

        We were very diligent in our testing ;)

        1. The Dogs Meevonks

          An old friend of mine worked for an online retailer, small company mainly dealing with IT related manuals, books and so forth, but branching out in to all forms of literature too.

          As it was a small company and he headed up the IT side of the company... he was able to convince his boss to let him set up a small game server outside of the firewall. back when we used to play Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Battlefield 1942 multiplayer... His boss started to get a little funny about it after a while.

          We used to get an issue where every 30 seconds or so, the games would stutter for every one for a second.

          The server was fine, the connection was fine for everyone...

          He did some investigation and even got BT involved... and it turned out a piece of equipment at the exchange had been misconfigured and was causing the issue. It was also responsible for causing some issues with sales being lost or payments failing.

          After that, his boss was super happy to let him run the server for as long as he wanted... it was better at sniffing out network issues.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "it was better at sniffing out network issues"

            There were a number of such network activities which acted as pretty good canaries. IRC was one of them

      2. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: 3D acceleration

        A fellow techie downloaded Duke Nukem onto some "spare" space he found on one of our Novell print server volumes. After the server began throwing out-of-space messages and nothing would print from it, the culprit was quickly identified via file owner user id. The relevant files were deleted, and functionality restored.

        For weeks afterward, when we saw him, we'd greet him by his new nickname: "Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuke!"

    2. Phil Dalbeck

      The IT labs at our old Uni were famous for their little known read only network share of Quake2, and the epic deathmatches that would take place of an evening in leui of completing comp-sci programming assignments. Handy the machines all had 8mb AGP video cards - essential for late 90's coding tasks I hear...

      1. deadlockvictim

        3D cards

        I worked for a progressive webdev company in Dublin around the turn of the millennium and we were allowed to play network games on the company LAN after 7pm.

        We all put (our own) 3D cards in our work-machines. I had a 16MB 3DFX Voodoo 3 2000 and it was a great card for Quake III Arena & Team Fortress. We all had to have our licenced copies of the software too. If we were going to play, it had to be done properly.

        I've never understood the hostility of management in other companies towards this sort of arrangement. Binds the staff better than any company-away-day and doesn't cost the company much (electricity, coffee).

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: 3D cards

          So it was an early BYOH environment ?

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Indeed our labs were legendary for our Tanarus skillset.

        To be fair, we were producing visual stimuli for use in various experiments, reconstructing tissue in 3D and doing a lot of artistic and graphic design work... so we DID actually use the machines for proper work, even the SGI-Indigo which, TBH, during after hours parties we mostly got used for the demo flight-simulator and for trying to break the physics model of the jello-ball demo thing (I forget what it was called now, but it was great fun).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For complicated reasons, one of our clients ended up paying for a lot of SSDs which never ended up getting put into servers (mostly due to them dragging their feet so much that the hypothetical servers were replaced before they were ever put into production).

      This means that we literally have boxes and boxes of 0.5TB enterprise SSDs lying around, which have been used to upgrade everyone's work machines where possible.

      Certainly none of them have ended up in people's personal machines. Oh no, perish the thought.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Certainly none of them have ended up in people's personal machines. Oh no, perish the thought.

        Yes, back in the 90's we had pre-built PCs coming in with fairly decent graphics cards, which were immediately removed and replaced with REALLY decent graphics cards which were needed for what we were working on. There was a large bin of the fairly decent ones. Approaches were made to Management for them to be offered to staff at a reasonable rate but Management would rather them sat in a bin (it was that kind of company). So some went missing.

    4. Andrew Wilson
      Happy

      Doom...

      That puts in mind of when I was in sixth form in the mid nineties. Back then I was growing up in the rural backwater of Martlesham, which just happened to be next door to BT Labs... Went along to a open day for schools where they were showing off all sorts of variously cool and dull stuff.

      Anyway most of the kids there were younger, and not interested in much beyond "shiny" for about 5 minutes. A friend and I got talking to the postgrad manning one of the stands, and must have demonstrated actual interest. The stand was demonstrating shape recognition by having a massive Barco rear projection screen (about 5m x 2m) that you stood a few metres away from while it projected your image overlaid with a cartoon dog. If you patted it's head it would wag it's tail, kick it and it would scamper off in a sulk. So, this was interesting for all of two minutes, but the postgrad said to friend and I "are you in a hurrry?" with sufficient enthusiasm that we said we weren't. He that scampered behind the stack of SGI Indigos (yes, that's stack - it was a joint project with MIT) to do stuff while handing us a massive supersoaker that had a microswitch taped under the trigger with a cable running to the workstations...

      Next thing we know and Doom is booting up on the Barco - we were then given instructions to just move if we wanted to move and simply point & shoot. Pretty impressive for the time & almost certainly the most expensive gaming rig I've ever played on!

      The postscript comes about ten years later, when stumbling across the launch "popup" in Covent Garden for XBox Kinect. When asked by the rent-a-smile what I thought of the cool tech in it, I simply commented that it was just as good as when I tried it 10 years ago. The confused expression was priceless! More seriously, it was impressive to see functionality that was using a hundred thousand pounds or so of kit only 10 years before replicated in a console costing less than a thousand. Seems the dog got axed somewhere along the way though. ;-)

      1. The Dogs Meevonks

        Re: Doom...

        I'm going back about 20yrs now, a friend did sound engineering for TV/Movies and had access to all of the gear.

        On weekends, we'd visit as he'd managed to work out a way to hook up a PS2 to the system and project it onto the large (20-30ft) screen in the little auditorium and the £100,000 or more of audio equipment.

        The response times were a little rough on some types of games... like the Tekken series due to increased latency... But... wow... what an experience.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      While going to the French Ministry of Police in late 1999 or start of 2000 for delivering and installing some archiving software, I saw that they already had Windows 2000 Workstation installed before it was widely available.

      So I inquired about the configuration, and beside the 256 Mb of memory, I noticed that all computers had a TNT2 graphic card.

      When asking for the exact purpose of that card, I got the answer that it was needed for playing Unreal Tournament on the Ministry network outside of office hours...

    6. PC Paul

      Around the same time we were developing a dynamic interactive data visualisation tool, and we had a roomful of Silicon Graohics Iris workstations. One of the few non-PC machines to play Doom II. And it played it very well, on some of them you could even have left and right screens to get a nice wrap around view...

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Coffee/keyboard

    Simon is on form, these days!

    "... and even signed you up to host your mother's bridge club and offered to open up your garden to influencers' photo shoots."

    Now that is pure evil, right there.

    It's amazing what computers might do all on their own. Carl must feel so much safer with the BOFH watching over him.

    1. UCAP Silver badge

      Re: Simon is on form, these days!

      Carl must feel so much safer with the BOFH watching over him

      Not if he values his continued health! Simon likes to wait until you feel or safe and comfortable before letting loose his most evil instincts.

    2. Coastal cutie

      Re: Simon is on form, these days!

      Gotta love a BOFH takedown - so elegant

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simon is on form, these days!

        not as much death in it, as it looks like he was just getting the product design guy back to "work" at his desk ...

        if it were me, I'd suggest a replacement

        1. F. Frederick Skitty

          Re: Simon is on form, these days!

          The office has multiple kill zones. Much more convenient than trying to off the shyster at home.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Simon is on form, these days!

          Since that guy wasn't working at his desk (or possibly at all), probably that's not it. I'm guessing the time in the office will be very unpleasant and may end with a large cash payment.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Simon is on form, these days!

          "if it were me, I'd suggest a replacement"

          Ah, but you're not the BOFH who now has Carl under obligation. Who knows what might come of that.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Simon is on form, these days!

      I'm slightly worried that no mention was made of what's happened to Carl's Alexa™ – because he's bound to have one along with a Ring™ – and the strange shopping orders that are about to be delivered.

      Then there's the GBs of illicit material that has somehow made its way onto the computer. This can only be removed by agreeing to cover the Mission Central tab at The Slaughtered Lamb for the next 10 years…

      Why, thank you Carl. It's so nice to be appreciated for the work we do!

  5. chivo243 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Every company!

    Every company has one of these employees, and some have one in each department. My last employer's PR department has a graphic designer who moaned about their work assigned computer didn't have enough resources! Neither they, nor their boss could elaborate on any issue, but just make demands. It's slow, it doesn't work...

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Every company!

      Ours is in Marketing and happens to be an Apple fan at the same time. A couple of years ago, every request made of Marketing came back late and was blamed on the lack of a Mac. Eventually, the MD demanded that one get bought and installed (onto a Windows network, naturally), just to shut them up.

      Funnily enough, their productivity did not improve and the dept head was on the naughty step for a long while.

      1. Screepy
        Mushroom

        Re: Every company!

        *sigh

        Yes indeed. Our UX team got a new leader a few months back. He came from a predominantly Apple house and consequently demanded Mac Pros for his team of 8 designers (and one for himself ofc).

        We've never had apple devices amongst our 2300 employees and yet somehow this guy managed to convince the department head that they would be essential.

        Our Helpdesk now get calls from UX team complaining that, 'this doesn't work', 'or they can't access X share', etc..

        To which the analysts then spend an inordinate amount to time troubleshooting things they have no experience with (because the Apple support training that was promised, hasn't materialised )

        It makes my blood boil at the time/money waste this shouty UX manager has caused in his short time here.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Every company!

          Should have made clear they were on their own for support.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Every company!

            That never works.

            You just end up with them insisting to some higher up that IT is refusing to help them.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Every company!

              Then you produce the signature acknowledging that either they accept that this is not the standard product bundle that IT currently have the skill-set to support and that either they arrange their own support or they will, out of their own budget, arrange for sufficient IT staff to go on sufficient training courses to be able to provide support. That would be the memo they were obliged to sign before getting their kit. It's now accompanied by the requisition they need to sign for the aforementioned training courses which will take place in reassuringly expensive locations and to be paid for out of the aforementioned budget.

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Every company!

              The trick there is to tell the higher up that you're not being funded for the extra workload and need some training allocations

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Every company!

        One of our users used to always request the latest MacBook Pro when purchasing a laptop for his work. He used Windows, and always insisted Windows was installed on it. This wasn't a problem as at the time, we routinely dual booted mac OS and Windows.

        The problem was he would moan constantly about Apple, and how he was forced to use a Mac, often implying we'd forced him. Even though we supported Macs, we would *never* force someone to use any particular platform, as long as they used Linux/Unix, macOS or Windows.

        We would certainly not force someone to use a platform that is more expensive.

        He chose to use MBPs. When I asked him why, he said he needed every last bit of performance from his laptops, and to get that, he always needed the latest Intel chipsets and CPUs. Apple were, at the time, consistently ahead of the competition when getting the latest Intel stuff.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Every company!

      I'm sure my work's IT dept consider me to be one of those people but until they supply a laptop that can build code as fast as my self-built desktop they will continue to hear complaints. I don't care how thin it is I want CPU hosepower and some proper ports god damn it!

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Every company!

        You need a company desktop.

        Seriously, no laptop can ever be as fast as a desktop of similar price, simply due to the thermal budget.

        I have both, with very similar peak performance. The laptop is great when I need to visit the office or customers, but it throttles very quickly. The desktop is where the real work gets done.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Every company!

        Surely what you need is a dedicated build server or github pipeline? Put company code on your personal machine and you will be fired where I work.

    3. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: Every company!

      When faced with this issue at a previous customer when physical machines were the standard desktop, Perfmon was enabled on the offending machine to log interesting topics, then when the customer complained, we asked "when did this happen".

      Open the perfmon logs, look at that time and see what the apps were that they were running. This very quickly resolved the problem by showing that there was no problem.

      I've also been on the receiving end of this with outsourced VDI's, where the support team didn't understand the difference between monitoring the virtual machine using its internal to the OS monitoring vs the monitoring tools provided by the virtualisation platform. The VM was fine, but the hypervisors were completely flatlined. Took a while to get the call escalated to the right team before we could wade in get the 3rd party to fix their platform.

  6. Franco Silver badge

    I posted about this yesterday in the story about tabbed file explorer windows coming to Windows 11.

    Used to have a user who was desperate to get a better laptop than everyone else, and about once a month would report that he liked to have lots of file explorer windows open to quickly access all the network shares he needed. When asked how many, it was the exact number that was the tipping point between system being usable and noticably slowing down (we could open My Computer this number of times and the system would visibly lag, think it was around 10-12 windows at the time). Every month he was told no, you're not getting a special laptop then a month later would log it again and say "it's not the way I work that's the issue", only for the incident to be closed with the reason "it IS the way you work".

  7. diver_dave

    Oh please please...

    I want to see Simon handle an actual wannabe Influencer.

    That would be a joy.

    Tell me more about this collaboration and exposure idea. Prey do...... Please

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Oh please please...

      I don't know if prey do was deliberate or not but I love it -->

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh please please...

        Eat prey, love.

        I might actually buy that sign.

  8. Paul Smith

    Poacher turned gamekeeper?

    Simon looking out for the interests of the company? Is he sick, or is the PFY setting him up for a coup d'état ?

    1. Dr. G. Freeman

      Re: Poacher turned gamekeeper?

      No, just a case of why does this (L)user get a better rig than I've got, and get to play games on it at work ? That's my job.

    2. Kimo

      Re: Poacher turned gamekeeper?

      If it comes from the IT budget, that's not for company use.

    3. The other JJ

      Re: Poacher turned gamekeeper?

      What wasn't mentioned was that Simon put an order in for the laptop the user requested anyway but there was an oversight with the paperwork so it was never entered onto the asset register.

  9. rob@bofh.co.nz

    Wind turbine syndrome!

    Ah yes… I must remember that for Monday and identify a few bean counters with that complaint

    I’m sure I can cure them in a short order of time with my trusty cattle prod

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Taking the waters

      For me, actually, it's my physio's link to the pumped hydro storage reservoir. Every day around 2 or 3 (when the demand's high for AC here) I get laggier and laggier and just can't get anything done. Feeling all drawn down, y'know?

      I keep getting told I'm full of it, but I'm not, that's the problem!

      1. msobkow Silver badge

        Re: Taking the waters

        Someone who believes such things is definitely not "full of it." There is a complete and utter vaccuum between their ears, so they are full of _nothing_, not "it". :)

    2. TRT Silver badge

      There was a pilot who trashed their plane during a landing last year I think it was and blamed turbulence from a wind farm 1.8km away. To be fair, it could just about be feasible; or at least the air incident investigation board seem to think it's feasible. So you know... could be, could be. I'll have to watch those pinwheels kids stick in the sand.

      1. HelpfulJohn

        "... To be fair, it could just about be feasible; or at least the air incident investigation board seem to think it's feasible. "

        That is dead easy and dirt cheap to test. Simply let off coloured smoke cans at each generator's blade hub and watch the vortices.

        It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes for the smokes to reach across 1,800 metres and by digitising the movies one could analyse any residual patterns that might interfere with aeroplane stability.

        Vortices from landing aircraft wings can travel for quite a few seconds so it's certainly *possible* that a wind-farm could be slightly disruptive when so close though I'm quite surprised the investigators didn't.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          I've had vortices from a 737-200 give me a real tooth-rattling more than two minutes later in a Tomahawk. It was a very still day with lots of thermals rising under the glide path which kept the things aloft long enough to be troublesome.

          That said, if there was that kind of issue downwind of turbines, it would have been picked up in the modelling stage and _definitely_ reported/NOTAMed very quickly after construction

  10. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    It's the wingeing

    ... really set you teeth on edge. Sooner or later they have to be disposed of, by some means.

    (and I don't mean the teeth).

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: It's the wingeing

      Your teeth or their teeth?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: It's the wingeing

      Will, that roll of carpet you ordered has arrived. Ugly stuff, can't imagine what you'd want it for…

  11. Martin an gof Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Comic sans

    Ooh, that's cruel.

    M.

  12. pcaldredbann

    Please do remember...

    While I very much enjoyed Simon's dialogue with Carl - and felt privileged to share in the delight of confronting an obvious piss-taker - it was sadly to be short lived, and this air of humour and camaraderie became a toxic fog of woe and despair.

    You see, Simon obviously has a great work ethic and he comes across as someone who enjoys doing things well. He interacted with Carl from a position of humour and an almost parent-like fondness we've all experienced when trying to convince our parents that the sexy magazine we want will help us with Biology in school. I considered Simon as someone I could happily work with, until...

    Sadly, Simon eventually displayed symptoms of an illness that is endemic to modern business. An illness that is spreading at a worrying pace amongst today's workforce... propelled consciously, or unconsciously, by those in Management and Marketing and HR and even those closest to your allocated workstation whom you have been instructed to think of as "family".

    This illness, nay, sickness is borne from a manipulative and insidious rhetoric dark magicks during some treacherous motivation and leadership gathering no doubt. For those unlucky enough to fall prey to it become afflicted with the unquestioninig belief that this... thing... which demands so much of their life force but offers little in return is somehow - in some way - something they wanted... or alternatively THEIRS. Sadly, it is clear that this Simon-shaped vessel no longer carries the bright, loving, warm soul it once did and all that is left, is "our company".

    By all means do great work, enjoy the value you provide and always pursue whatever gives you meaning. However, always remember... the employment contract bestowed upon you as if it was some divine blessing is nothing more than your instructions to help someone else achieve their dreams.

    1. Robert Moore
      Pint

      Re: Please do remember...

      @pcaldredbann

      You are aware that the BOFH is fiction right?

      Maybe a little bit of virtual wish fulfillment as well.

      1. pcaldredbann

        Re: Please do remember...

        @Robert Moore

        I mean, I've just described Stockholme Syndrome as a sort of dark twisted magic wielded by malevolent entities so I can appreciate fiction! :)

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Please do remember...

        >You are aware that the BOFH is fiction right?

        Oh you sweet innocent child ....

        1. ya fishy user name
          Devil

          Re: Please do remember...

          The Devil does his best work when nobody believes in his existence.

          C S Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Please do remember...

      So, if I have correctly parsed your prose, your objection is that the BOFH spoke about the benefit to the company? Was it this bit that had you concerned:

      "Yes, but if the quantity is zero, one has to wonder whether you're just feeding and watering a bunch of your mates on the company dime and then axing the product to spend more work time playing MMORPGs at home – instead of coming into work."

      Your job doesn't have to be massive in your life for you to dislike someone who is lazy and wasteful of others' resources. It doesn't have to be central for you to prefer to see your employer run efficiently. And, in this fictional world, it was likely the BOFH's personal money (well, the IT budget, but that's just two terms for the same thing) that was being wasted.

      What attitude would you prefer to see from employees? Would completely flat apathy be your goal? Or are you hoping for a more adversarial relationship? Given your description of it as "Stockholm syndrome", I don't know what would please you.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Please do remember...

        Exactly. The BOFH needs the company to to at least stay in profit if he's to carry on with his schemes. Waste which doesn't benefit the BOFH needs to be stopped forthwith, especially if he can get something out of it for himself.

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Carl

    Is this Carl the one who shoot at the windows in Die Hard?

    Or is it our own Carl Niehaus?

    Somehow I expect the latter.

    And the esteemed Mr Niehaus do have a wiki page dedicated to him. Worth a read.

  14. Blackjack Silver badge

    All of this so tbe BOFH can get a new gaming laptop for himself... tough times uh?

  15. Hot Diggity

    Gut wrenching

    "It could be that after us taking a look at it you might find it does suit your needs."

    After Simon has gutted the laptop, it will likely be suitable for growing mustard and cress on the keyboard but little else. Hope that meets your current needs.

  16. razzaDazza1234

    #BLESSED

    LOL LOL LOL

  17. Binraider Silver badge

    Megadrive emulators and piles of ROMs seemed to be popular on our network share. The move to OneDrive and SharePoint for everything (Ugh!) Put paid to that.

    In an office cupboard clearout of old junk maybe 10 tears ago, inevitably there were floppy disks to look through. The contents of some of which cannot be erased from my head, no matter how much you destroy the disk.

    Still amazes me that people have the need to use work equipment to explore their "interests" whatever they may be.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      That's because people tends to avoid work if possible.

      Floppy disks? I am surprised they are still working.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All part of the usual office is best carp

    Pieces like this really annoy me when the whole office is best carp is rolled out. Folks dodge work wherever they sit.

    If only the company network was fast enough to let me complain about how slow my laptop is.......

  19. Il Midga di Macaroni

    Gaming from home

    I once had a colleague KVM from his work computer to his own during a long and very dreary meeting. His expression was correctly studious and attentive, but the reflections on his face of explosives and gunfire from his first person shooter were a dead giveaway.

    There is no truth to the rumours that he was playing against someone else who was equally bored by the same meeting (your honour).

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