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BOFH: A little Ray of sunshine

Happy thoughts in the comms room

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Episode 38 "It's a work of art," the PFY sighs.

"Beautiful!" I concur. "You've done a fantastic job - as usual."

"Thanks," says Ray, our cabling contractor. "I'm well pleased with it myself. No problems or mods before I send the bill in?"

"No thanks - and add a little bonus in for yourself for, I dunno, design consultation."

"Thanks!"

Ray wanders off and the PFY and I just stand and appreciate the work he's done. The eight wonders of the modern world have absolutely nothing on a perfect Cat-6 install, beautifully velcroed strain relief, smooth turning radii, all terminated with care at a pristine new patch by exception rack. I could weep!

"Right, get two separately keyed high security locks on these doors - in fact, have them replaced with security doors labelled 'Danger - Radiation Hazard Inside' and alarm the area."

"Aren't you going just a LITTLE overboard?" the PFY asks.

"If I was able to, I'd lock a trained attack dog in there with a fixation on genitals."

"Why?"

"There's something about a new comms closet that just attracts idiots, it's like a wingnut tractor beam - they come from all over the building."

"To look?"

"No, to touch, they want to... destroy... the beauty of it. We can't have that! This is my new quiet place!"

"Your what?" the PFY cries.

"Quiet place. The place you go mentally when you need a break. Some people have ponds and some have beaches, but to me a brand new comms room - unfettered by random acts of cabling - is nirvana itself. It's beautiful ... It must be protected - Oh, and soundproofed, like an isolation chamber!"

"It'll cost!"

"I don't care what it costs, get it done - Now! When you've made the calls, bring me back a hammer and some nails - I'll stand guard meantime."

The PFY wanders off shaking his head - for all his experience he's still an amateur when it comes to the machinations of an idiot's mind. The door is duly nailed shut, and contractors scheduled to arrive within a few days.

As luck would have it, the contractors arrive the next day and I escort them personally to the comms room, opening the door to find ...

... it's exactly the way I left it. Joy of joys, saints of computing be praised!

"Now you'll be sure to vacuum up all your woodshavings, ironfilings and everything?" I ask.

"Sure," the bloke from the security company says.

"And you're not going to run ANY cables near those ones, just slap a dialer termination point over there and piezo sounders there and there," I say, pointing out the locations on the wall with little diagrams on them.

"Uh-huh," he responds .

Three hours later I have the keys but I wait patiently for him to leave the building before running upstairs, unlocking the doors to find...

...it's still ok. He's been as good as his word, it's a minter! And the doors require keys from both sides! I lock myself in for a mental recharge, noticing - nothing, absolute silence in fact.

Happy thoughts.

Happy thoughts.

Happy thoughts.

The phone rings. It's the Boss. He wants me to reinstall his desktop machine because his REGEDIT session didn't work out well. What the hell, I tell him I'm be down in Five!

Happy thoughts.

The Boss's machine is a tricky one because he's somehow managed to damage his filesystem in the process and wants to recover some personal documents. Normally, the tool I would use for this is a large hammer, but I'm in a good mood so I spend the three hours it takes and recover his holiday snapshots - saving him the hassle of rescanning them.

Happy thoughts.

The next day the PFY comes by with the maintenance engineer for the building supervisor who tells us that at we're going to need to run larger pipes from the rooftop chiller to our computer room aircon units as they can't keep up with the load. It'll be costly, noisy and dusty for a couple of days. I just nod.

Happy thoughts.

A user rings and lives through the exercise.

Happy thoughts.

I get to work the next day and security ask to see my pass, like they're supposed to do every day. I show them my pass calmly and make my way up to Mission Control.

Happy thoughts.

The PFY, concerned for my mental stability, suggests that perhaps I would like an appointment with a special doctor who really cares. Shaking my head placidly, I lead him back to the source of all joy so he can appreciate…

... the two large chiller pipes running through the middle of the room. Dust everywhere. Water cutoff relay wires heavily cable tied to my data cabling. I ... A mains cable ... terminated in a patch by exception frame.

H…

H...

It's no good. I call the buildings manager and ask him to bring the aircon guy up here ASAP.

No-one ever sees them again. True, the 'Radiation Hazard' cupboard makes a lot of very dull thumping for a while, but on the one occasion someone decides to investigate they find keys broken off in the locks ...

HAPPY THOUGHTS! ®

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