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Intranet Survivor

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Episode 1

BOFH 2003: Episode 1

BOFH logo "IT'S JUST A BIT OF FUN!" The PFY cries. "NO-ONE TAKES IT SERIOUSLY!"

"I think the people concerned are taking it rather seriously," The Boss responds unhappily. "In fact, the number of complaints I've seen so far would indicate that EVERYONE involved is taking it seriously!"

"I'm not taking it seriously" I point out sagely.

"Neither am I," The PFY adds.

"You're bloody running it!" The Boss snaps.

"Yeah, but only from an administrative stance - no other input. Other than that, it's the company making all the decisions."

"I think that in review we'll find there's a very clear case to support the complaints about you wasting the company's resourc.e"

"We're not wasting it!" The PFY argues. "It's spare CPU, disk, etc. It'd be a waste if we DIDN'T use it!"

"I think it's HOW you use it that people are complaining about."

"Why?"

"Because an <>b>'Intranet Survivor' Website ISN'T Company business!"

"Of course it is - it's ABOUT people in the company. And it's good for morale!"

"How?!"

"Because people get to vote for people they like. So people get the credit that they deserve. And people can update the website at any time, so good service is rewarded instantaneously! People get to feel good about themselves!"

"And how many positive comments have been posted so far?"

"I don't know," The PFY responds. "Obviously I can't read EVERY message posted as I've got a JOB to do, but I'd assume there'd be quite a few..."

"There are NONE!" The Boss snaps

"Well Obviously there would be SOME people who felt the need to..."

"AND" The Boss snarls "There's no SUBMIT button on the positive feedback page!"

"Did you scroll to the very bottom of the page, hidden behind the jpg picture of the world?"

"Uh... YES!"

"Really - must be an undocumented bug in the software, which I'll be sure to report back to the developers on their feedback form."

"If it has a SUBMIT button," I add.

"Anyway," The PFY continues. "The number of negative comments could be seen as a reflection of the negativity inherent in our company than the website itself. When more positive comments were logged, I'm sure it would be good for Morale!"

"Yeah, sure. However it doesn't matter, I want the site taken down!"

"Ok, we can do that - Now would you be telling the CEO or should we?

"The CEO?"

"Yes, he's interested in the site, and quite likes it really. See >tap<, >tap< he's the one up the top of the rating. In fact, he's so pleased with the site and feedback that he asked that it not be anonymous. As a matter of fact, I'm rather surprised that you haven't placed any votes - positive or otherwise for him. Is there some problem there - a bit of animosity that would be reflected in the continuance of your empl..."

Breaking the land speed record for a standing start, The Boss rockets off to his office to press the "Suck up" jpg a couple of million times before the CEO starts compiling his New Year's Dishonours list.

A couple of hours, many many keyclicks, and a brownnosey phonecall later he's back, this time back with some helpful suggestions.

"I think you should tone down some of the automated procedures," he mumbles.

"Which ones?!" The PFY gasps, horrified.

"The one that locks people out of the building if they have a low popularity score for a start!" he suggests, obviously not happy at standing out in the rain after lunch till a courier came.

"It doesn't lock them out!" The PFY cries. "The chance of the door opening for them is directly proportional to their popularity percentage. Unless of course their popularity is zero.."

"And then?"

"It updates the HR Database (changing the Salary to Zero), cancels the person's swipe card and notifies security to put their personal effects in a cardboard box and drop them out a sixth floor window. So it's like real Survivor, with people actually being voted out!"

"It's great fun!" I concur, nodding happily. "The Company Caterer left just 10 minutes ago after a particularly nasty cauliflower cheese. It really is a fantastic use of technology."

"I think HR will have something to say abou..."

"Spoke to them, passed on the CEO's thoughts on the topic and they agreed that perhaps it was a useful workplace incentive practice.

"The unions will never allo.."

"They got voted out yesterday after a video of them spending Union money at a strip show was anonymously posted to the site," The PFY adds innocently.

"I would have thought YOU would be a bit afraid of public opinion," The Boss snaps, not liking the way this is turning out.

"It's funny you should mention that, but would you believe it, when someone clicks on either of OUR names, the rating Down-Button disappears!" The PFY burbles.

"Must get around to reporting that," I murmur unconvincingly "The software's riddled with bugs - but then you must know that. HEY, isn't that your stuff passing by the Window?!"

>One hour later<</p>

"Well at least he put up a fight!" The PFY burbles happily. "It makes for lousy video streaming when they just give in. Who's next?"

"Well, bottom of the list - after that last anonymous video, the bloke with the nose picking habit who works in the mailroom."

"I hate him!" The PFY snips.

"We all do", I agree. ®

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2003, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights

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