BOFH: What to do when the Boss gets touchy-feely
Episode 32 BOFH 2004
"I'M NOT A SIMPLEMINDED BLOODY IDIOT YOU KNOW!" the Boss shouts.
"MMmmmff," the PFY responds, getting a mouthful of the book I'm holding before he can say something he'll regret. Well, something that the Boss will regret. Actually, something the Boss won't understand, ask for clarification for, get annoyed about, do something stupid and retaliatory, in turn receive something from the PFY in the stupid and retaliatory line. That he'll regret.
"What's wrong with me having full network access?"
"If we allow the application you're using to contact the internet, it'll most likely cause your machine to be infected with one of a number of new viruses, which will most likely cause a lot of the workplace machines to be infected."
"Don't people have antivirus programs on their machines?"
"Yes, but the definitions are rarely up to date - and peer-to-peer networking is a good way of downloading the latest in viruses."
"But if I kept my machine up to date, it would all be ok then?"
"Not necessarily, no," I reply.
"Because you're an idiot," the PFY blurts, before I can install another chapter.
"I beg your pardon?" the Boss says, in a tone which would tend to suggest the matter isn't going to end here.
"ID-I-OT," the PFY says slowly. "YOU... ARE… ONE."
Which clears up any potential misunderstanding the boss might have about the message that the PFY is trying to convey to him. All that we need now is the Boss to want to make a big deal out of it…
"Right!" the Boss says, storming out.
Cat, Pigeons, frantic fluttering noises.
. . .
"So the purpose of this interview is to investigate the complaint that's been made to ascertain what actually took place from the viewpoint of all parties," the HR woman says. "Now we have a statement here, which I'll read shortly, but at this point I'd just like you to recount your memory of what took place earlier today - in your own words. Bear in mind that anything said in this room should remain in this room."
"Well," the PFY starts. "I got to work at about 8:15am…"
"Yes, ok, I should have been a bit more precise," the HR rep says. "What I actually meant was what occurred earlier this morning - in the conversation with your manager."
"The conversation with my manager?" the PFY repeats vacantly.
"I think you know which conversation…" the HR rep says kindly.
"Do we really have to go into it - I mean it's all water under the bridge!"
"Once a complaint's been made, we have to investigate it thoroughly."
"But what if Simon withdraws it?"
"Withdraws what?!" the Boss snaps.
"Why would you think that Simon would've brought the complaint?" the HR person asks, raising a finger for the Boss's silence.
"I... Isn't this about the harassment thing?"
"The harassment thing?"
"The boss. Propositioning me. I only told Simon because it disturbed me - I didn't want to get anyone in trouble."
Ooooh, the old "boss is all over me" defence.
"WHAT!?" the boss shouts.
"I didn't even mention the doors thing," the PFY adds.
"The doors thing?" the HR person asks.
"The way he... always closes the door when I go into his office. It makes me... uncomfortable."
"It's for privacy!"
"You never close the door for the secretary or the Head's PA!"
"I don't get complaints about them!"
"Actually, people complain about me," I add, "but I don't get the closed door treatment."
"You never bloody turn up!"
"Uh-huh. Very convenient."
"I'M A HAPPILY MARRIED MAN - WITH TWO CHILDREN!"
"Cover story," the PFY murmurs quietly.
"Ok, I… I think this may have got a little out of hand," The HR droid interjects, holding up a hand. "Simon, what's your opinion?"
"I'm sure some people find my assistant attractive, but I favour the child bearing - as opposed to ball bearing – gender."
"I'M NOT BLOODY GAY!"
"Sure, Elton," the PFY snaps.
"Well I have to say that this complicates matters somewhat," the HR person interrupts. "I'm going to have to seek some advice from my supervisor before we go any further."
. . .
Several extended "counselling" sessions later…
"So we're agreed that you might have misheard him, and he, in turn might have misunderstood your... concern for his wellbeing," the HR rep says, scratching notes as she goes.
"I suppose I may have been mistaken," the PFY admits.
"And I might have heard him say something else I guess," the Boss responds.
"Ok, in that case I can't see any reason in us following this up any further," the HR rep says, signing the bottom of her page and making to leave.
"All this because you don't want me to run a file sharing program," the Boss murmurs to the PFY quietly. "It's sort of pathetic really." "Plonker," the PFY mouths back.
And there go those words he's going to regret... Well, the Boss is going to regret..
"BAD TOUCHING!" the PFY shouts, jumping up from the table and hiding behind the HR rep before Boss can move.
Sigh. It is sort of pathetic really. But the touch of fun makes everything worthwhile.
"I saw everything!!!.." I blurt. ®