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BOFH: How do you deal with authority?

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Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Episode 27 BOFH 2004

The problem with being an authority for something is there's always a bit of testosterone involved when someone wants to show you who's really boss.

How do you handle the transition of power into another hands? Take this little test to find out...

1. The boss is concerned about the amount of network traffic you consume and asks you to come and explain it. You'd take with you:

A. Traffic logs showing it was mostly Windows security updates
B. Falsified traffic logs showing it was mostly...
C. Your union representative
D. An axe, a large roll of carpet, and a large quantity of polythene, a bag of lime...

2. The finance user group wants you to explain the poor performance of their fileshare at their weekly meeting. Your first response is:

A. What finance user group?
B. What weekly meeting?
C. What performance problems?
D. >clickety< what fileshare?

3. The company auditor is concerned about anomalies in the asset register. You would assuage his fears with:

A. Comprehensive asset tracking information
B. Falsified tracking information
C. A large cash payment
D. An axe, a large roll of carpet...

4. The police are called in because of the disappearance of some senior members of staff. In helping them with their enquiries, you might need access to:

A. Security camera footage.
B. Swipe card access records
C. A bank vault
D. A hardware shop and a carpet factory...

5. A staff member complains about his files disappearing from the fileshare and the poor quality of the recovery mechanism. You would:

A. Check records for evidence of the files existance
B. Check backup logs for evidence of their removal
C. Cast your mind back to your recent needs for space to store music
D. Clean out his desktop machine as well - as a warning to others

6. The helpdesk would like a definitive answer on the time to resolve a user's problem. You would approximate the time by:

A. Past experience
B. Passing the case onto an assistant
C. Picking a number out of the air
D. (C) and reporting it in weeks.

7. Security want you to account for your movements the night you were working overtime and the boardroom plasma screen disappeared. You would:

A. Produce swipe card logs for the period
B. Produce login information and records
C. Produce your online gaming stats for the time
D. Produce a cattleprod and ask them to repeat the question...

8. With the turnover of managers, one thing that concerns you is:

A. The loss of institutional knowledge about why you do things the way you do
B. The need for some managers to assert their authority over you
C. Their bitchiness when you convince them otherwise
D. The high price of carpet and lime when they can't come to terms with (C)

9. The buildings maintenance people have identified that the computer room is only half utilised and wish to recover some space to create a new office, citing the opinion that the building is theirs to allocate as required. You would:

A. Argue that the growth of computing will more than account for your ongoing needs for office real estate
B. (A), then take them on a field trip to a similar organisation
C. (A), then take them on a field trip to a group of similar organisations
D. (A), then take them on a field trip to an end-of-run carpet warehouse...

10. You've got a floor tile up moving some cabling inside Mission Control when the Health and Safety person informs you that you haven't put high visibilty warning signs outside the office, filed a work plan with the Buildings Maintenance people, roped off the open area... You:

A. Thank them for their input and suspend your activities
B. Say you did, but Security's dog ate all your documentation
C. Say you did all the paperwork and left it beside the pump action shotgun in the computer rooom, and hopefully you'll remember which one you're supposed to bring back - if you have to go and get it
D. Remember to tell everyone that you saw a rat's nest under the floor - to explain the smell in a couple of weeks...

 

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