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BOFH: Going Postal

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Episode 5

More wonders from the House of BOFH™

BOFH 2002: Episode 5

It's 9am when I pause from my daily operational maintenance procedures (checking the out trays of the printers to see if anyone's been printing any juicy porn) to observe The Boss swiping his heart out outside the office.

"Could you let me in please?" he asks through the glass, giving up on the normal access method.

"I'm afraid I can't," I respond. "For some reason the security system believes that you're not permitted in this office."

"That's ridiculous!" he snaps back. "I've got access everywhere! I've got more access than YOU!"

"It would appear not," I respond. "But I think you'll have to take it up with Security."

While The Boss is busy fuming, The PFY wanders up, accompanied by one of the Helldesk geeks.

"What's going on?" The Geek asks.

"The Boss is locked out," I respond.

"Aren't you going to let him in?" The Geek asks, moving towards the door release button.

"Ordinarily, yes."

"But?" he asks, hesitating.

"Well, it's possible that he's been fired and we've not been told about it."

"That's ridiculous," The Boss snaps through the glass.

"Can't we let him in and find out?" The Geek asks, about to press the Door Open button.

"A policy that's probably worked well in several office shootings.." I respond, staring at The Boss intently.

"SHOOTINGS?"

"Yeah, you know. Guy gets fired, comes back the next day and mows down his co-workers."

"As opposed to just getting another job," The PFY adds.

"You know, he does look rather angry," The Geek murmurs quietly, noticing The Boss's crimson visage.

"So are you going to open the door?" the PFY asks The Geek. "I mean obviously we're not really worried as our office is lockable, and that fails the computer room is a fortress."

"This is ridiculous!" The Boss cries. "I still work here and I'm NOT carrying any guns! I don't even OWN a gun."

"And a disenfranchised worker would never lie," The Geek blurts, getting in on the act.

"I could always shoot through the glass," The Boss murmurs.

"He's threatening to shoot us!" I cry.

"I said I COULD. If I had a gun!" The Boss cries.

"You could have one in your bag!" The Geek blurts, beating me to the punch.

"I don't have a gun in my bag."

"Could you open your bag?" The Geek asks.

"I'm NOT opening my bag!" The Boss cries, peaking on the 'annoyed' scale.

"What's happening here?!" The Head of IT asks, wandering up.

"Security has locked him out, and he just threatened to shoot us," The Geek replies.

"WHAT!"

"It's OK, the glass is bulletproof and explosion-laminated," I add.

"I HAVEN'T GOT A BLOODY GUN!" The Boss shouts as The PFY, Geek and I step back from the glass.

"That's what he said before he said he was going to shoot us through the glass," The Geek burbles, giving the naso-anal interface a good workout.

"Call security!" the Head of IT commands, in executive-decision mode.

Being a good brown-nose, The Geek scurries off quickly and 30 seconds later I notice the red 'LOCKOUT' lamp on the swipe card readers illuminate.

(Man, this beats working!)

"They say they're not equipped for this, but they've called the Police!" The Geek gasps to the Head.

"THE POLICE!" The Boss cries. "This is out of hand! My bloody card just doesn't work!"

"He's getting very aggressive!" The Geek notes, taking the lead role in the inquisition. "Are you sure the glass is bulletproof!"

"Yes it is." I respond. "But has anyone considered that it may just be that his card's not working?"

"The why did he threaten to shoot us?" The Geek asks, Perry Masoning away. "And then he wouldn't show us in his bag! Who knows WHAT he's got in there."

I stifle (with effort) the urge to suggest "A packet of smokes and a stick mag" and once again try for the voice of reason. "It may just be a broken swipe card."

"Does he look like someone with a broken swipe card?" The Geek snaps back, gesturing at The Boss, who's looking a lot worse for wear.

"Ok, I'll show you in my bag - will THAT satisfy you?"

"If you're going to show us the bag you must have your gun somewhere else. Or maybe you've got those explosive shoes like that terrorist!" The Geek cries back.

I pause momentarily to review what's taken place. And to think I was going to settle for just sending The Boss down to security to get a new card...

My thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of armed Police, who direct The Boss into a sprawled position on the ground while they search him for weapons.

Half an hour later it's over, and a very rumpled Boss enters his office, but doesn't sit down, thanks to an overzealous suggestion by The Geek about where he might be hiding an offensive weapon... Moments later, he's at the door of Mission Control, tapping on the glass...

No, I couldn't..!

I let him in.

"I.. Uh.. Just wanted to thank you for your efforts in trying to calm down the situation earlier on," he mumbles. "Things seemed to get out of hand when the Helpdesk bloke got involved. And I was.. wondering if you could..."

"Organise for the Helldesk geek to be at the bottom of a Comms riser when a carton of tinned goods accidentally falls from the fourthh floor?"

"uh.. yes."

"The PFY's already onto it..."

It's like clockwork around here.... ®

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2002, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

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