Episode 42 BOFH 2000: Episode 42
"So what you're basically saying is that your hardware is the most reliable stuff we're ever likely to buy, and all your competitors' stuff is built by intellectually-handicapped child labour in the Third World from parts that were discarded from your factory for being unreliable?" The PFY slurs.
"Yes," our host and vendor slurs back, gesturing wildly at the promotional material with his glass and leaving a semicircle of lager on the floor in it's wake. "We produce the best stuff!"
I love vendor Christmas parties - the way they cut through the crap and get to the truth of the matter.
"Fair enough!" the PFY cries. "In that case we should cancel yesterday's order and get it straight into you as soon as possible."
"Sooner, if possible," our salesman responds, seemingly still in a position to reap the benefits of a pre-Christmas bonus opportunity.
"Well if you had a form I spose I could fill in the blanks and get the boss to sign it," the PFY responds, not too far gone to crash our alcohol gravy train.
"I'll just go print one!" the salesman slurs, stumbling in the direction of his office.
Seeing a vacant customer with several drinks under his belt, another sales vulture #2 swoops immediately, obviously not wanting to miss the opportunity of a sales theft.
"Where's John gone?" he asks, faking concern like a trooper.
"Ah, he said he wasn't feeling too well. I'd just asked if he wanted another round," I respond, waving my almost empty pint around. "We were looking at buy some ki.."
"I'll get you - both - a drink," he cries.
"Great. Mine's a lager, with a Tequila Wallbanger chaser if they have one."
"Me too," The PFY adds.
Exit Salesperson number Two..
"Yeah, They'll wonder if we want a Tequila Sunrise or a Harvey Wallbanger and end up getting us both."
"I don't think I can manage either of them!"
"Oh I'm not going to drink them - it just buys us a little time."
"Time? For what?"
"Hi, I'm Dave, Sales Director for Large Business. I don't think we've met!"
[Enter Vulture #3]
The PFY latches onto my plan as the Sales Director goes to check out the food's going and grab a couple of Lagers and Scotch and Tonic...and another Vulture drops in from on high.
"Some form of competition?" he murmurs.
"Yes, I think there's some sort of bonus riding on the party.."
#4 wanders off to get the Fan Speed specs for that floor full of machines we're thinking about buying - to make sure that their combined output isn't going to upset the climate control system in our building. (Okay, so I'm starting to clutch at straws.)
"Here we go," Vulture #1 drools, returning with a sheaf of papers, "All you need do is full in the number of machines, sign on the dotted line, and we're sorted!"
"Excellent!" The PFY blurts. "B-but where are the Infra Red Mice? And the ergonomic keyboards?"
"Be right back," he mumbles, heading back out the door at warp factor 0.003 after a nasty encounter with the door frame, half a foot to the left of where his eyes told him it was.
#3 is back next, with Lager and G&Ts, obviously making a director-level decision about what we wanted - probably after seeing a poacher on the grounds.. He departs to get further info on the menu once we assure him that #1 was only showing us the start of the novel he's working on about a Microsoft Executive and a couple of showgirls.
#2 and #3 jostle a bit as #2 returns with the three drinks apiece I predicted.
"So have you thought any more about the kit you were looking for?" he blurts, not wanting to appear too eager, whipping out a catalogue just as #4 returns with the wind thrust ration of the cooling devices in question...
. . .
"You started a fight between salespeople with our Major Supplier!" the boss gasps incredulously. "A fight which ended in a Sales Director being taken to hospital with bruises over 40 per cent of his body!!!!"
"That wasn't us!" The PFY replies quickly. "Once he went down half the place put the slipper in. Apparently he wasn't liked much, especially by the majority of women in the place."
"You realise their sales force is decimated by the suspensions? That they're probably going to lose tens of thousands of pounds in sales?"
"Yes, I suppose so." I admit grudgingly, waiting for the inevitable...
BLOODY BRILLIANT!" The Boss cries, breaking out a bottle of brandy hitherto hidden in the expansion slot area of his machine.
"You can't PAY for that sort of job satisfaction!" he continues, filling a couple of tumblers happily and sharing them about with a large portion of Christmas cheer.
"Some form of grudge?"
"Yeah, used to work for them. Changed my Large Business sale area to Bristol, then dropped me for non-performance. Now tell me, did you order anything?"
"We sort of felt obliged to get a couple of desktops after everything that happened. I suppose you'll want to cancel them because of our lack of purchase approval."
"Certainly Not! Now tell me, did you get Standard Terms?"
"I suppose so," I respond, digging out our copy of the order.
"Excellent - Guaranteed 10 working days delivery! We'll pursue that legally next year when they don't deliver."
"How do you know they won't deliver?"
"Oh, it's practice to hold all orders of suspended staff till they can be confirmed with the client. So remember, no answering the phone now. But one thing, were you two responsible for any of the bruises on my former boss?"
"Well, one or two," The PFY ventures.
"Well, he did try and sell us some refurbished P-II 300s as top line kit," I add.
"One or two, you say?"
"Excellent! Another Brandy?"
So it's true what they say about Xmas bringing staff and management closer together... ®
"BOFH 2000: Kit and Caboodle
BOFH: The early years
The Bastard has a history, you know