Feeds

BOFH: We who are about to dial salute you

A grisly end for he who disturbs the pax bofhica

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Episode 7

BOFH 2004: Episode 7

It's quiet. Damn quiet.

And I like it! Apart from the boredom that is...

The PFY's skipped off to an extended lunch with some woman he was "accidentally" stuck in the lift with for a couple of hours yesterday, and I have the place to myself.

Peace.

Quiet.

Boredom.

>clickety<
>Ring<

"My mail's just come up with an error when I send - is there something wrong with the server?" the user whines.

"I doubt it, mail's still coming and going like it normally does," I respond, looking at the mailer logs.

"Not for me," the user snaps.

"Right, so the problem seems to be isolated to you, which means we should ask the technical fault diagnosis questions."

"You mean like: 'What has changed?'" he asks.

"No, more like: 'Who have you pissed off?'"

"What?!"

"Did you bring a car to work today?"

"Yes."

"Cut anyone off?"

"No."

"Park in someone else's park?"

"No."

"Fail to hold the lift door open for someone with a geeky look about them?"

"No."

"Say something nasty - however quietly and discreetly - about a technical support person?"

"No."

"Laugh when someone else did?"

"No."

"Date someone that a technical support person has had a recent failed relationship with?"

"No."

"Date someone that a technical support person is trying to have a failed relationship with?"

"What?! No."

"Run off at the mouth about some technical standard or the other which you don't subscribe to?"

"No."

"Push in front of someone at the lunch queue?"

"No."

"Push in front of someone geeky looking at the pub?"

"No."

"Spill your beer on someone geeky looking at the pub?"

"No."

"Only shout half-pints when it was your round at the pub?"

"No. And I don't go to the pub anyway."

"You don't go to the pub?! That could be it!"

"What?!"

"Yes, you're right, you're a user and it's next to impossible for a user to offend a technical person with their absence. Nope, you've got me stuffed, I have no idea why your mail client's not working!"

"It wouldn't be something to do with the O-something Service pack that the support guy installed this morning would it?"

"By service pack you mean something that looks like a cheap electronic clock with a couple of large waxy sticks connected to it by wires?"

"What! No, he installed something on my computer."

"Right, good point. Open your browser will you?"

>clickey< "Ok."

"Is your favourites tab full of links to porn sites, and has your hard drive been running non-stop since the 'Service Pack' was installed?"

"No, and.. uh.. No."

"Hmm. Perhaps they DID install a Service Pack…"

"That's what I told you!" he whines again.

"Yes yes, well done. What mailer are you using - Outlook Express?"

"No, Outlook."

"Which is updated by the Office Service Pack, not the OS Service pack."

"I...."

"Tricky."

"Yes, but when will I be able to send my email? It's important!"

"Of course it is - all our clients are important to us. Ok, I'll have to give you a call number to track this while I look into it. You'll need to quote this number when you call back, so write it down."

"OK."

"7PQ8339017B," I say, reading the serial number off my deskphone.

"7PQ8339017B."

"No, P."

"7PQ8339017P?"

"No 7PQ8339017B"

"That's what I said the first time!"

"Ok, read me what you've got?"

"7PQ8339017B," he blurts.

"Ah, I see the problem, it's 7PQ8339017B!"

"That's what I said!"

"With one B and one P."

"But not in that order," he says.

"In what order?"

"The BLOODY NUMBER!" he shouts. "7PQ8339017B!"

"Look, I can see that you're getting a little upset about this, so why don't I give you a shorter number," I say, calmly.

"Right. What?"

"17."

"17," he repeats.

"No 70, 7-0."

"70."

"And that's a shortcut to the first number?"

"Yeah, we don't get that many calls. OK, can you call me back in five minutes?"

. . . Five minutes of relaxation later . . .

>Ring<</p>

"I'm calling about my call."

"Which call was that?"

"Call number 70."

"Seventy? That's not a call number!"

"You said you'd give me a short one, 70!"

"Ah. You don't have the 11 digit one do you?"

"NNGggg.... Yes, I WROTE it down. 7PQ8339017B."

">clickety< Ah right, you can't get to the website www.screaminglygaycontacts.com. Huh, there's no username logged against it. Hang on, I'll just put yours in. >clickety<"

"THAT'S NOT MY CALL!"

"Sure it is - it's the number you gave me."

"7PQ8339017B?"

"uhhhhhh, yeah."

"What about 7BQ8339017P?"

">clickety< Ah, user can't send mail. Short call code 17."

"Nnnnggggg... Can you take my name off the other call please?"

"The first call you logged?"

"I DIDN'T LOG IT!!"

"Oh, right. Well, I've assigned it to the helpdesk group, so you'll have to talk to them to get them to cancel it."

"I DON'T WANT IT CANCELLED, I.."

"Just want to get to the website, I know. Although frankly I think you should probably be doing that sort of thing from home..."

"IT'S NOT MY BLOODY CALL!"

"But you gave me the call number?"

"It was the number you gave me when I logged my call!"

"About not being able to get to the screamingly gay site. Yes."

"No, about my mail!"

"Your mail? What mail?"

"BASTARDS!" he snaps, slamming the phone down.

"Who's bastards?" the PFY asks, back from the pub with a 5 degree lean.

"We are, apparently. Guy's mailer won't work."

"That the user you blacklisted this morning cos you were bored?"

"Probably."

"Service Pack Job?" he asks.

"I think so."

"The CD version?"

"He called you a bastard," I murmur.

"Not the CD version then. Got any clock batteries?"

. . .

Boredom. The silent killer. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
VMware's tool to harden virtual networks: a spreadsheet
NSX security guide lands in intriguing format
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.