BOFH 2000: Episode 7
"Hold on while I pull the answer to that question out of my ARSE!" the PFY spits down the phone to some poor, unsuspecting user...
...who, admittedly, deserves it.
Nonetheless, the PFY's attitude is a little more abrasive than usual, so I feel it's best to defuse the situation by taking the "Softly Softly" approach and finding out what's up.
"You're running hotter than a 486 DX-1 Million with no water cooling -- what's getting on your tits then?" I cry, as soon as he's slammed down the receiver.
(Softly Softly means you’ve got to be cruel to be kind.)
Sure enough, as expected, (and yet again), the lad's been unlucky in love. Seems his latest dream date prefers the company of other blokes. Not LOTS of other blokes, thank goodness, just one other bloke...
In our building...
"Well, you know what I always say..." I respond when the sordid story is at last recounted to me.
"Kill -9 needs no justification?"
"Yes, but NO, that wasn't what I was thi.."
"A fool and his password are soon parted?"
"Ah No, was thinking more along the lines of.."
"An outage in time saves backup tapes?"
"NO! I always say 'Forgive and Forget!'"
"No you don't!! You've NEVER said that!"
"Haven't I? I'm sure I have! What about that time that bean counter pushed in front of me at the lunch queue?"
"The guy you tripped and subsequently face-planted the very hot beef curry?"
"An accident which meant noth..."
"And who got back to his workplace to find his machine on fire..."
"A Cooling Fan problem, completely unrelated to anyth.."
"..His gas-operated chair discharged.."
"Normal gaseous loss from a pneumatic device..."
"..And his family portrait hideously disfigured."
"Now WAIT JUST A MINUTE! It was hideously disfigured before I got there. True, that's what his family looks like, but at least my modifications made it look a bit less like a group photo from the Gorilla house."
"And that's forgiving and forgetting is it?"
"Of course. He's forgiven now - and I'd forgotten all about it until you brought it all back up again."
"I don't think that's what people mean by forgive and forget."
"But revenge is an integral part of forgiving and forgetting! How can you forgive if you carry a grudge? That bean counter now has a clean slate with me - we've got a normal User/System Manager relationship now!"
"So why did you delete his file share yesterday?"
"Because we have a normal User/System Manager relationship! Anyway, he rang to complain about his share quota, which is just GAGGING for it!"
The PFY can see this conversation is going nowhere fast, and opts out with a small sigh and a forlorn look.
"So what does this bloke DO here?"
"He's something in marketing - don't know much more than that."
"His Name perhaps?" I ask, prompting as much as possible.
"'Dave' is all I know."
"Right, well let's just abuse the privacy of the corporate Database and see who he is... >clickety click<. So, there's THREE Davids in marketing - which is at the far end of the bellcurve if you ask me - And >clickety< TWO of them are over 50, which I'm assuming puts them out of your beloved's perfect match criteria, which leaves us wanting to check out the contents of the local email of machine PCMKT14 >clickety<, which for some reason doesn't allow Domain Admin access. So next up we check out the voicemail on...."
"It'll never work!" the PFY cries. "Voicemail is Pin Code protected and only the telecoms engineer can bypass it! It's foolproof!"
We laugh, grab the audio file from the voicemail server, and play it. I leave the pointer poised over the STOP button in case it gets a little hairy. So to speak. Everything is however fairly run-of-the-mill and work related.
"Right!" I cry, grabbing a large black box with an RJ45 connector, "Time for a flyby. Patch this into his Network line in Comm Room 4, Port uh.. >Clickety< E31./"
"What is it?"
"It's a, uh... network card.. tester.... OH, if it gets wet don't try and pick it up!"
A quarter of an hour later we get a call about a machine with a burning smell…we decide to be proactive and visit the user.
"It just made this very high pitched squeal for about 20 seconds and stopped," Dave informs us.
"Really? Probably some intermodulation distortion with the carrier wave peak."
DUMMY MODE ON
"Duh-huh. Is it broken?"
"Very, we're going to need to take it away."
"Oh. For how long?"
"Oh, only a couple of... I say, I'd get your chair seen to - it looks like it's lost all its gas - you'd want to.. MY GOODNESS, that's not your FAMILY is it?"
"W-WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE TO MY PHOTOS!"
"Done to your photos?" the PFY asks, "I'm holding a PC, I can't do anything to anything! Next you'll be blaming me for urinating in your pot plant while you were disconnecting the cables under the desk!"
"Don't be ridiculous! The plant people have obviously been!"
"Oh, my mistake. Still, at least you've got a coffee to keep you going while we look at your machine -- drink up.."
It's a bit obvious, however, that Dave fails to notice the warning signs (the PFY's keenness, the overfull mug) and quaffs deeply...
Later, at Mission Control, after we've dissected the contents of his hard drive to no avail and drop-tested his machine a dozen times, the PFY makes some calls...
"Uh..." he says, popping back to the service desk.
"It was, ah, DOUG, not DAVE..." he murmurs sheepishly.
"Oh dear... Still - you've got to laugh! Anyway," I cry, handing him the network card tester again. "Best test Doug's card then!" ®