BOFH 2000: Episode 18
It's not even midday when the boss trundles into the office when I'm barely into my morning paper. True, I'm a bit behind - having taken a reasonable amount of time out to examine the exceptional colour rendition that can be achieved these days on low grade paper.
"This page three girl is so lifelike you almost think she's real!" I comment to the PFY, who looks up from his financial broadsheet (the sad bastard) with a measure of distaste.
"Yes yes, you say that most days," he responds, tucking his gaze back into who's screwing who pages of the drier of the morning's reading.
"But look at that high quality dithering!" I cry.
"Um" the boss interrupts - while we're on the topic of dithering - "If you're not busy..."
His trepidation is well-placed, as history has proven that I'm not at my most congenial before my quadruple espresso breakfast.
"Yes?" I ask pleasantly, breaking the habit of a lifetime and trying the passive approach.
"It's about this ILOVEYOU thing."
"Don't be disgusting - you're not my type. You're not even the right sex!"
"No, the Virus."
"HIV? Well, I applaud your honesty in these trying times, but..."
"Not me, the email virus, ILOVEYOU!"
"Yes! What are we going to do about it?"
"Well the PFY and I have been discussing this at length and we believe that we will trust our users to follow the simple instructions that we've given them time and time again - which is 'Don't open attachments from people you don't know'"
"That's all very well, but someone's bound to do it," he adds worriedly.
"So you've infected your desktop?" I sigh.
"Uh, no - the secretary's. She asked me to see if it was the Virus."
"So you opened it to check?"
"Well indeed. Looks like our Windows 2000 project has a pilot victim. I mean test subject."
"Is there nothing we can do?"
"Apart from not opening attachments that is?"
"Not really - a reinstall is far easier, just to be sure."
"Oh, well could you prepare some documentation about this for noticeboards and the like?"
"I suppose we could, but we're really a bit more concerned about the 'IHATEYOU' virus and what will happen if THAT gets here."
"The IHATEYOU virus? What's that?" he gasps horrified.
"Well it's a derivative of the ILOVEYOU virus, only it's effects are far more damaging"
"ARE THEY?" he gasps
"Oh yes. It looks like a Notepad document, but in fact does all the usual stuff plus more. From memory, it scrambles your NT Registry - admittedly, Microsoft did get there ahead of time; randomly reschedules any netmeetings you have... EVERY time you login; uh, sends the entire contents of your "Sent Items" and "InBox" folders to everyone in your address book - which, I might add, is especially bad if you've got any personal correspondence that you haven't clea...
The Boss gasps perceptibly at that one.
"...ned up; and, um, prints every jpeg in the cache folders of your browser to every defined printer - which can also be bad if you've been to any porn sites in the last two mo..."
The boss rockets out of the room at top speed, no doubt with an unplugging mission in mind.
"I take it you sent him a message with IHATEYOU, in the Subject?" the PFY asks.
"THREE messages to be precise. With an attachment Notepad document entitled '10 reasons why I hate you'."
"What was in it?"
"Just 'Because you're a plonker' 10 times over.."
"Nah, too much effort. It's far better this way. Though it's a pity he ran off so quickly as I was just about to mention that it responds to all new mail with 'Sod off you pretentious tosser'!"
"Save it for later?"
"You betcha! Now all we've got to do is forward the contents of those folders from his backup share to everyone in the building and print a load of porn about the place"
"So I should just slap a couple of dozen images from the smut archive off to some printers randomly?"
"Yeah... NO! No, go to the Web and get a swag of gay stuff. That way when they start printing we can act like we always knew he was like that after his professions of love earlier in the day"
"He'll deny it came from his machine!"
"Sure he will. As an excuse I don't think "I only browse straight porn" is going to cut much with the higher echelons."
"Honestly, it has NOTHING to do with me!" the boss pleads, as the PFY and I look on suspiciously.
"Of course it wasn't," I respond kindly. "Now are you sure there isn't something you'd like to tell us?"
"Those AREN'T my pictures!"
"No, that wasn't what I was hoping you'd tell us."
"What were you hoping I'd tell you?" he asks, confused.
"Well, I was HOPING that you'd tell us that you were very sorry for disturbing our morning paper and that it won't happen again."
"I..." he starts, as it sinks in "YOU did this!?"
"All water under the bridge now!" I cry. "And unless you want the printing logs from this morning - with YOUR machine name ALL OVER them - finding their way into the Head of IT's hot little public-enquiry orientated grasp..."
"Yes!" he gasps, thinking of his job prospects if the Old Boy's network gets a hold of a rumour like that.
"You'll be off down to Caffe Uno for a quadruple espresso, and a double for the assistant."
"All right," he sighs, resignedly.
"..for the next fortnight."
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it... ®