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Losing Your Edge? Take The BOFH Test

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The essential guide to IT transformation

Episode 25

It's been a while and rumours are that you're losing your edge! DO you still know what a full set of service manuals is, and how hard to hit a user with them when they're annoying you?

This simple test MAY help you get your edge back.

1. You get into work at 8:17am to find someone waiting for you impatiently. Everyone knows you start at 8:30am after you've finished the paper, but they're new and you feel sorry for them. You:
A. Sort out their problem
B. Tell them about your normal start time, then sort out their problem
C. Stick to Routine so as not to upset the rest of the day
D. Read the paper till 9:00am, just to make a point
E. Educate them on how long "just a few minutes" is using only a trip to the Computer room and the Halon system as teaching aids.

2. A user who's been pissing around with the internals of their desktop machine "Just to find out how it ticks" should be called:
A. A Hacker
B. A Tinkerer
C. A Cracker
D. A Techie
E. An Ambulance. Eventually

3. The movie about someone who pissed off their System Administrator was called:
A. The Net
B. Matrix
C. Mary Poppins
D. Pride and Prejudice
E. Death Wish II

4. You're at a curry house with your Boss, a Salesperson and one of the Beancounters. Your greatest concern is:
A. The beancounter stuffing up the excellent deal you've just got
B. Your breath being whiffy after lunch
C. Getting back to the office on time
D. How many Cold Kingfishers you can get down in an hour
E. How to slip a fistful of chopped chilli into the Beancounter's meal with no-one noticing

.5. Health and Safety droids visit your workplace and are murmuring about how it constitutes an extreme health hazard. They're obviously:
A. Talking about the sharp edges on the metal cabinets
B. Thinking about the open power supply on the box you're mending
C. Wondering about lifted floor tiles in the computer room
D. Shocked about the lack of external ventilation
E. Unaware that you swapped the "Door Release" and "Halon Release" buttons just before they entered the computer room.

6. It's your favourite Engineer's birthday and you're going to get him the present he most wants in the whole world, which is:
A. A demagnetised, insulated shaft, posidrive subminiature screwdriver with his name engraved on it
B. A Ladybird "Beginners Electronics" book
C. A "Windows for Dummies" Book
D. A service guide for the equipment he's supposed to be able to fix
E. A bigger hammer.

7. It's the third time a user has contacted in the same week to say they've forgotten their password. You:
A. Change it for them
B. Change it to something like "Iloveanalsexooohyes"
C. B., then disable their ability to change it
D. C., then fudge their login window to echo the password to screen
E. D, then get out the soldering iron and your "Duffer's Guide to Tattooing" book.

8. Your boss comes in to talk to you about the amount of time you spend surfing the web. You:
A. Admit that you may be rather excessive
B. A, but say it's all work related
C. Deny everything
D. Deny everything, and finger someone else for the traffic
E. Admit it, say you promise to browse more, then flash the smutty-cache log info about, saying you'll name names.

9. Someone has lost the keys to the tape safe. You're extremely concerned because:
A. You'll have nowhere to secure the backups
B. You won't be able to get to the backups if they're needed
C. You didn't know there *were* keys to the tape safe
D. The buyer is going to be here any day!
E. The contents of your liquor cabinet might be up for grabs!!!

10. You're at a user group meeting when someone questions your frequent use of high voltage as a fault finding tool. You:
A. Agree never to use it again
B. Agree only to use it via a "Megger" tester
C. B, and never on Data circuits
D. C, nor on phone circuits as well
E. B and C, so long as testicles are still included

But where's the key?
Like most instructional exams, there's NO right answer, only answers that you should be struck about the head with a sockful of your own dung for using. Unless you're a certified MCSE person, in which case the answer to this and every other exam will be supplied to you in easily digestible chunks.

Thank you for calling Bastard Support. You are caller number 473. Your call will be handled in a similar order to the way cards get dealt in Freecell. ®

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2001, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

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