back to article BOFH: You want presentation layer, but we're physical layer

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns There's been a complaint. I know – color me surprised. Apparently someone has not enjoyed a recent interaction with either the PFY or me and as a result they have implied that our manner was in some way brusque and not at all customer-focused. I know. I'm not sure who the complainant …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mac Problems are easily dealt with

    "I'm waiting for Apple support to get back to me".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

      Don't forget the 3 R's!!!

      Reset, Retry, Restore

      (Can't remember the order, but do remember finding it on Apple's web site.

      1. thetjb

        Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

        I think it goes, Restore from factory defaults, reset to factory defaults, retry the rare earth magnet bath to realign the unicorn dust

    2. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

      Even Easier:

      "I'm sorry that's not an IT Supported Product."

      "Whats that? Yes, your Manager was informed of that, in writing, when he made the Purchase Order. Please take the issue up with him."

    3. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

      As a retired old fart, I phoned Apple to tell them that my iMac had a line of red pixels all the way down the middle of the screen. They checked the warranty and told me to take it to the nearest agent. I told them that I was elderly, and couldn’t easily transport it there - "No problem, we’ll send somebody to your home". A nice man came the next day and replaced the screen on site. Sometimes being polite/reasonable works.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

        I have to agree. I get very few problems with the Apple products used by family and friends - when there are any, it's quickly fixed by a trip to the Apple store (or down to a non-Apple app, such as MS365). When it comes to other hardware, or the aforementioned non-Apple software, it's a long search online and a lot of time. If the hardware still under warranty, I suggest they go back to where they bought it - but getting help from there is rarely easy and I usually end up spending hours trying to fix something I'd previously suggested they don't buy (but which they did because some sales-droid persuaded them it was a bargain (probably somebody trained by Aunty Wainwright).

        I used to hate Macs with a vengeance (back in DOS days), back when they were niche (and still a bit elitist). Since the iPhone (or even the iPod) came out, the Apple garden has blossomed. It's walls may be sturdier than hackers (the old style who liked to tinker, not the criminal type) like, but those walls help keep trouble out for those who are content to use the tools provided. I've no problem with people who want to tinker and customise - they contribute a lot to advancing useful technologies - but the majority of people just want tools they can use. And, yes, Apple kit is mote expensive, but that's the price of isn easier life.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

          I've found apple devices extremely difficult to use, especially iOS, but even macbooks and imacs are .... quirky as all hell, swapping control for cmd, for example, refusing to learn words in autocorrect, refusing to talk to each other , the list goes on

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

            That's simply because you have been brought up on Windows. Once you use a mac in anger, it's relatively straightforward. Spotlight is your friend, but it reminds of old dos days.

            I'm the same as you though, Been using a pc for 30+ years so I'm sticking with it.

        2. Chz

          Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

          It's the Apple Store bit that I don't like about them. For about £35/year I can upgrade the support I get from Dell to next day on-site. Well worth it, and not something that you can get without Enterprise Support from Apple. (The last time that I checked, at least)

    4. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Mac Problems are easily dealt with

      Yeah, just don't use Apple products.

  2. Anonymous South African Coward
    Thumb Up

    The good old DOOM chainsaw


    Extended lunch time right now. Cheers!

  3. DailyLlama

    "They say they brought their MacBook Air in and you refused to take a look at it."

    "Oh, I thought you said COMPUTER!" the PFY says.

    It's not a computer, it's a fashion accessory.

    *Where did the Paris Hilton icon go??

    1. Uncle Slacky
      Thumb Up

      Apple themselves would agree that they don't sell computers:

    2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      That gimp mask has Paris' eyes, don't you think?

    3. swm

      I think Paris took off with Dabbsy.

      1. Shooter

        Well, Dabbsy *does* live in France currently...

  4. b0llchit Silver badge

    Additional layers of OSI support required

    And they do not operate at OSI layers 8-10 of friends, money and politics (in no particular order)?

    I'm sure they know how to operate the money layer. When was the last time they had to pay in the pub? They surely have friends at the pub to manage policy issues at the political level to manage the money layer (even if it sometimes requires layer 1).

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    Wow, nice work Simon!

    Transport layer, the layer that removes the carpets full of lime and such!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry to be serious, but it didn't mention whether the Mac was actually the company's or the user's personal property.

    Was getting flashbacks to when some twat wanted is to deal with his personal laptop and then bloody moaned when I refused.

    1. Dr. G. Freeman

      Given some of the people I work with it's a moot point.

      It may have been the company's (or even another employee's) but it's their personal one now.

      Even if it still has the previous owner's name engraved on it to prevent that sort of thing.

    2. John 110


      I always helped personal issues especially when malt whisky or "I'll owe you a favour" was involved...

      1. Loyal Commenter

        Re: helpful

        It depends entirely on the attitude of the person coming to you from help.

        If they ask for help, in a polite and reasonable manner, they are likely to get it.

        If they demand help, in a rude and unpleasant manner, and it's not work related, they'll get told "no", and possibly reported to their line manager, depending on exactly how much of an arse they are.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: helpful

        Yep, when i have a queue of people asking for help, i always start with...

        'Who's next? We'll start the bidding at a bottle of laphroaig.'

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: helpful

        Same here.

        I had a lady who used to make me dinner and a vicar who paid me in beer and prayers.

        Happy days.

    3. Rob

      I had an instance of this once. I took the 'obvious rules' logic, the laptop was their personal property but they were making out it was essential for work and insisted we investigate and fix the problem, so I wiped it and loaded one of our corporate images on as per our SLA and policies. I don't think they appreciated that our image was one version of windows behind what they had installed and locked into our group policy, I think my manager at the time took on the task of releasing it from our corporate controls with a quiet word about what is brought in to be fixed to the wider org.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        The Reverse

        Head of the council, complained he could no longer receive his emails etc, attended call to discover his son had done something he shouldn't & someone had helpfully installed a fresh copy of Windows XP (Icon) to try & hide their screwup.

        I think I passed that call over to one of the permies of IT Support, as one of my contracting colleagues had recently asked a councilor not to park in our loading bay & was gone within the day. She also had a hardware failure of her laptop (Not related) some weeks later & feelings were so high against her that neither permies or contractors would touch it & it eventually had to be done by the team lead.

        1. Aussie Doc

          Re: The Reverse

          "... hardware failure of her laptop (Not related)..."

          Not related *wink wink*.

          Of course.

          We understand.


          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

            Re: The Reverse

            Didn't have access to her asset tag/machine name, personally.

            Now if somebody else had a hand in that failure, I didn't & still don't know who it was.

    4. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      A small (or not) Christmas gift to the folks in IT is never a bad idea.

      Also, fixing your own problems and passing on what you learned to you favourite IT person is never a bad idea.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "some twat wanted is to deal with his personal laptop and then bloody moaned when I refused."

      Other than the spiritual solutions suggested above there's always "I'll take a look at it but it will have to be charged to your department's budget".

    6. Shalghar

      "Was getting flashbacks to when some twat wanted is to deal with his personal laptop and then bloody moaned when I refused."

      Sometimes, regulations of all kinds may help as well to deter such inconveniences.

      As you can be fired on the spot if you even steal so "much" as 5 minutes worth of electrical energy to recharge your private phone in germany, anyone trying to get me to abuse company time, material or whatever "costly" resources to fix his personal property may get issues, depending on the daily managerial mood swings.

      Sadly, this protection does not really apply to managements golden boys and girls. So depending on the levels of AI (Annoyance and Incompetence) each case is decided on MY personal daily mood swings.

      I can find excuses to help or not help, playing the big (judicial) and little (management orders) rulebooks against each other and sometimes even against higher ups.

      The most effective strike is "Dienst nach Vorschrift" maybe a bit unprecisely translated to "duty by ALL the rules" where you switch off any kind of reality and common sense and really stick as close as possible to even the most ludicrous regulations, which immensely lengthens any time needed and may sometimes even prevent success for anything you are told to do.

      And of course: any service rendered to non company equipment is "as is" without any warranties, either expressed or implied. ;)

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        " "Dienst nach Vorschrift" maybe a bit unprecisely translated to "duty by ALL the rules""

        In English it's 'work to rule'.

        1. Shooter

          'work to rule'

          Sometimes known as "malicious compliance'.

          Not that I would know how that works.

          1. Shalghar

            Re: 'work to rule'

            Thank you both for augmenting my limited knowledge.

  7. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    Superb explanation of OSI layer model

    Might run that by our students when next I teach networks in my course Introduction to Computing Science (in which I should really devote a chapter to important acronyms and abbreviations such as BOFH, PFY, and TITSUP).

  8. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    That was worrisome

    but I'm relieved that Simon has not yet been shown the same door Dabbsy saw last month. When Simon goes, I go.

    Icon for whew.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: That was worrisome

      I'm already halfway out the door,and about to lose my commenting medal due to lack of posts. Dabbsy was one of the few reasons for coming here, and I now find most of the articles far too dry and dull. The USA spelling just rubs salt into the wound.

      Bring back Mike Magee!

  9. Emir Al Weeq

    Color? Liter?

    Et tu, Simon?

    1. Shalghar

      Re: Color? Liter?

      Lets not jump to conclusions as it is unclear wether author or spellchecker is at fault...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Color? Liter?

        It's neither. El REg has chosen to use a "North American" style guide. Probably also why Paris is gone but BOFH remains. Blood and gore is ok, but the slightest hint of a nipple and it has to be censored.

        1. Shalghar

          Re: Color? Liter?

          "El REg has chosen to use a "North American" style guide. "

          Does that mean that the quality of every other content will also be downgraded to appease US groups like the sect of overaggressive permanent insultedness or the trumpist brigade ?

  10. choleric

    Thank you Simon

    I am inclined to overlook the missing "u" in the second sentence, in light of the rest of the episode. Stephen King meets Randal Munro. Sublime.

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Thank you Simon

      Yes the spelling on this site has become atrocious

  11. tezboyes

    They have hammer, chainsaw, a roof - lots of tools they could have used to remedy the MacBook problem.

    1. Shalghar

      "They have hammer, chainsaw, a roof - lots of tools they could have used to remedy the MacBook problem."

      I remember something like a drum printer in the basement. IT issues should be resolved by IT devices.

      Add some dairy product to the resulting mess and microwave it to have mac and cheese.

  12. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Mac? No thanks, I already have a venereal disease.

    There, that should guarantee a few downvotes. <LOL>

    Back in the early noughties a marketing guy I worked with insisted he had to have a Mac because the software he used (Adobe Photoshop) was "crap on PC and only on a Mac was it usable" or some such. So, the company bought him his pretty Mac with it's nice coloured case and complete lack of interconnectivity with any of the rest of the world of IT. The company also bought him a WinTel laptop so that he could access his email, share files, and do the 101 things you do when you work for a company. He spent several years copying files back and forth between his Mac and his laptop using a USB key. Oh the Mac could connect to the network, but there were constant file inconsistency issues and in the end he gave up and resorted to a FAT formatted USB key. On the one occasion when he asked me for help with his Mac I handed him the phone number of an Apple support specialists and he had to pay them for support. It just wasn't worth my while to learn Mac stuff for a single user when he could have done it all on the one laptop with the minor inconvenience of a slightly different way of working in one piece of software.

  13. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge


    Dabbsy's been shown the door, and now the expected BOFH is not here after 2 weeks.

    Nerve wracking.

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