Episode 20 BOFH 2003: Episode 20
So the Boss has finally tipped a little too much of the overproofed rum on his cereal in the morning and has become a liability.
Well, when I say "become a liability", I ACTUALLY mean "become MORE of a liability".
Well, when I say "MORE of a liability", I ACTUALLY mean "a complete nightmare".
Well, when I say "complete nightmare" I mean: nightmare as in turning up to work brushed cotton pyjamas with a gaping fly, having to give a televised lecture to all the eligible women in the world and having the pants fall down. And then having a test about a subject you haven't studied for. In a tunnel that just keeps getting smaller and smaller.
In other words, a liability.
The crunch came when he committed to buying all the scheduled desktop replacements at a local retailer advertising package deals because that way everyone got a scanner, inkjet printer and modem in the bundle, which was a bargain. If that wasn't bad enough, he decided to give them a choice of desktop or tower models. And, as every administrator with even the SLIGHTEST clue knows, the LAST thing you give your users is a choice.
And the calls haven't stopped since. And not just from the people wanting to know the virtues of horizontal over vertical - a PFY strongpoint apparently - but also from those whose desktop wasn't scheduled for replacement but has suddenly got a pen up the power supply.
The coincidence intrigues me, and after a bit of legwork the common denominator is revealed: young, cute, female. I lock the PFY in the lift for two hours with the Pan Pipe music turned up to 10 so he can contemplate his sins.
So the Boss has to go. Only it's getting tricky now because the Head of IT is a bit twitchy about all the Health and Safety fines we've racked up in the past. It seems that being an IT manager has a job danger index approaching that of an Elite republican guard.
"Long Term Secondment?" the PFY asks, as I unveil my plan.
"Yep. You give someone enough info that they sneakily create themselves a cushy job in another group, then drop the role like second period maths once you've appointed someone to replace them. It's a great idea which someone posted to one of the Bastard blogs! Wish I'd thought of it myself!"
"So, maybe we could put them in Shipping?" he offers.
"Nah, they've only got two people - it apparently needs to be in a reasonably large department that's not actually growing, but might possibly want to add people to bolster the impression of dynamism."
"Yes!" I concur, joyfully. "Now all we've got to do is think up some reason why he'd want them and they'd want him."
"He'd make the company more money?"
"Nah, no one cares about that. The best motivators are personal prestige or the chance to shaft someone whose guts they really hate."
"Like us, you mean?"
"Yes. Good point. But what role?"
"What about IT Asset Management! They're always asking us to track down 'lost' inventory."
"Yes, and they'd been keen to sniff out something dodgy!"
"But would the Boss go for it?"
"With a PA running his life and using his office by extortion?"
. . .
Two days later the fix is in. After a ten-minute Google frenzy I find a couple of articles to support the need for an IT Asset Manager, fake up an 'IT-Auditweek' newsletter with the links concerned and implying that organisations that didn't have an IT Manager in the Auditing role were probably losing millions of quid every year to e-shrinkage, and then anonymously e-mail it to some senior beancounters.
The Boss fell over himself to get the role, saving me having to lie that the company auditors were a little concerned with the expenses his PA had been claiming for him. Quicker than you can say Technical Manager in charge of Asset Management and Tracking, the Boss was one!
For about a day - until the PFY helpfully noted that the same functionality was built into our current helpdesk software. But you know what they say, one door closes and another one slams shut and has planks nailed over it...
"Lucky I didn't move out of my office," the Boss chuckles nervously, wandering up to his door.
"Your office?" his PA asks, looking up from his desk.
"Well, TECHNICALLY my office."
"No, technically it's my office," she responds, pointing at the new nameplate. "I noticed the transfer and applied for the role, what with my intimate knowledge of the area."
Oh, she's good!
"But I'm back!"
"No, I believe you're redundant," she responds, waving a recently delivered sheet of paper around.
"But that's constructive dismissal!"
"It's only constructive if we create the position - but you thought this role up and proposed it, didn't you?"
. . .
And about now I'm getting that nasty deep down feeling that I've been played.
"But I am looking for an assistant..."
Oh, she's really good.
Women like that, you can't help imagining what they'd look like administering a Linux farm.
OK, so I need to get out more... ®