Episode 30 BOFH 2003: Episode 30
Ahhh, Christmas! The music, the people, the presents and the office party. Goodwill to all men and Christmas bonuses to the plebs.
"There are, ah... no Christmas bonuses this year," the boss mumbles quickly, hoping to launch into the next agenda item before any of the assembled staff start crying.
"What?" a helldesk geek whimpers unhappily. "But I was going to use the money to pay for my trip up north!"
Some mumblings from the back of the room indicate that the geek wasn't alone in planning his holiday around his bonus cheque...
Damn shame. As a contractor and not entitled to bonuses since the change of policy a while back, I have to admit to not sharing the grief. Still, you have to feel sorry for them in a semi-paternal way.
I realise no good will come of it when I get a couple of visitors with a proposition...
. . .
"What the hell's going on with our HR Server?!?!" the Boss blurts, crashing through the door to Mission Control at Warp Factor 3.5.
"What do you mean?" the PFY asks, innocently.
"The bloody pay system, it's taking money out of people's accounts!" he gasps.
"But it's not payday!"
"No, but they're paying the bonuses today, only they're paying them in negative amounts!"
"I thought there wasn't any Christmas bonuses?" I ask.
"Well not for general staff, but for managers and board members who've made savings over the past year..."
"Ah, the old screw-the-workers trick!" I interject.
"Not at all! There was simply insufficient money to reward all workers, so the board decided to allocate the money evenly and fairly among themselves and the managers who'd achieved the savings over the past year."
"They awarded themselves a negative bonus? Well, I have to admit it's probably more fair than they ever imagined, but why talk to us - why not talk to the salaries people?"
"They've tried reversing it, but the program won't let them change an annual bonus after it's been paid!"
"Yes, well, I can understand why it won't let them do it, but why are you talking to us?"
"We've got to reverse it! Now! People's bloody mortgages are at risk!"
"Sorry, there's no way I'm doing that - it's embezzlement!"
"It's OK, I'll take responsibility - but it has to be done!"
"I'll need that in writing!"
"Give me a piece of paper!" >scratch< "AUTHORITY TO" >scratchey scratch< "Reverse transactions and amounts as" >scratchy< "of now. THERE!"
I grab the hunk of paper and wander over to my desk.
"It'll take, oh, about an hour for me to find all the bonus people, do the reversals and get it updated to the bank. And I'll need someone from Salaries to OK it with the bank..."
"I'll get them to do it immediately!"
. . . ONE HOUR LATER . . .
"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL HAVE YOU DONE!?" the Boss screams, ricocheting off the door to Mission Control as he bursts into the room "You've just bloody taken the money out again!" he sobs.
"Yes - that's what you said."
"You said reverse the transactions and the amounts. So if we reverse the transaction we'd be taking a negative amount out of their account, and if we reverse the amount, it would then be a positive amount, so we took a positive amount out of their accounts. Like you said. See, it's on this piece of paper that you sign..."
"What" >chew< >chew< "piece of paper?" >chew< the Boss asks, swallowing the evidence.
"Oh, actually my mistake, that was my lunch expense claim that I'd left on my desk to dry out after I dropped it in the urinal..."
"HERE's the bit of pape..."
chew< "I didn't ">chew< "sign anything."
"Actually, that's not it either, it was a white piece of paper wasn't it?"
The boss starts stuffing paper down his gob like an industrial shredder, which isn't the way you want your superiors to see you when they're coming to find out where all their money's disappeared to...
"You've got to hide me!" he gasps, ducking under the desk. "They'll bloody murder me if they seem me!"
"Why? Surely you're just as affected as they are?"
"Yes, but the bonus changes were my idea..."
"Ah, I can see how that would make you a wanted man. Tell you what, hide under the PFY's desk for now."
"Where is he?" the Head of IT snaps, not at all in a good mood.
"Your bloody boss!" one of the other managers snarls.
"No idea. Last I heard he was doing some bonus stuff."
"Well I'd like to, but I'm still looking into this bonus thing. It seems that the money's just... disappeared. No wait! It looks like the first lot's been transferred, in much smaller amounts, into the non-management people's accounts!"
"And the second lot?"
"Gone!" the PFY responds faking horror whilst simultaneously clicking through first class air travel prices.
"Yeah, I COULD, but I don't think you want to do that - we've already reversed it once, and that didn't work out too well. You MIGHT end up losing another bonus from your account..."
. . . The next day, down at the local . . .
"mmmmmfffffffffffgguggle," the PFY says, which isn't surprising, considering he's been drinking free pints (courtesy of bonus-enriched staff) for the past three hours.
"ggggggg," I respond, sliding off the table and onto the floor.
Ahhhh, Christmas... ®