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BOFH: The hostage's guide to lift imprisonment

Stay calm, conserve bodily fluids

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Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Episode 39 >BIMM<

. . .

>BIMM<

. . .

>ERRRRrrr<

"Bugger," the bloke next to me sighs as the lift stops suddenly.

"MMmmm," I say disinterestedly, unfolding my newspaper.

. . .

"Do you know when the lift will start again?" he asks.

"Sometime after people realise that the lifts are taking a while to turn up."

"Can we raise the alarm?"

"Go for your life," I say, gesturing at the ALARM button.

He presses it several times, to no apparent avail.

"Should we hear anything?" he asks.

"The alarm bell rings outside the lift on the ground floor," I say. "You won't hear it."

"Should I call someone?"

"Knock yourself out!" I say, moving away from the phone plate.

He presses the call button and we wait while an autodial sounds.

"At the tone, it will be 11:15 and ten seconds >beeep<" the voice echoes around the lift.

"Ah, the dulcet tones of the speaking clock!" I sigh. "Nice touch."

"W..."

"At the tone, it will be 11:15 and >BASH!<"

"The autodialler seems to have been reprogrammed to call the speaking clock - instead of the 24 hour contact number," I say, putting the remains of the call plate onto the floor of the lift.

"My cellphone!" he cries reaching into his pocket. "Who should I call?"

"Five quid says there's no signal."

"uuuuhm.. no. So we're stuck here!!!" he gasps.

"Not entirely."

"No?"

"No. See this pinhole here? That's the security camera."

"So security will see us?"

"Only if internet porn goes out of fashion. No, I am prepared to wager my five pound winnings on my assistant watching us very carefully from his desk."

"Who's your assistant?"

"You don't work here then?"

"No, I'm just here for the IT Systems audit."

"Oooof course you are. That's just great!" I sigh. "So you won't know my assistant. Yet."

"Should we try and tell him we're stuck?"

"Oh I'm sure he knows that. No, the way to proceed now is to cover up >plug< the camera pinhole."

"Why?"

"So he can't see us."

"Why?"

"So he'll wonder what we're up to."

"Why?"

"So he'll think about coming to investigate."

"And get us out?"

"Unlikely."

"So why do you want him to come and investigate?"

"So we can overpower him, possibly change places with him."

"You don't appear to have a very good relationship with your assistant."

"I wouldn't say that. In a Machiavellian industry like ours it's good to have someone who appreciates the value of being a team player - on your team"

"But?"

"With Machiavellian thinking there would need to be a compelling advantage in being on my team."

"And there isn't?"

"Well, there might be a grand in cash on the premises somewhere that a one-off lift repairman might lay his hands on when I got to it..."

>CLICK< >WHIRRRR<

With a lurch, the lift starts creeping up the shaft slowly.

"So you're going to pay him a grand to let us out of the lift?!"

"No, I just wanted to know if there was a microphone in the lift as well as the camera."

>SCREECH!<

"AHAH!" I blurt, finding a radio mike glued behind the handrail. >STOMP<

"Can't you... bargain with him?"

"Now I've broken the camera and mike - no. But I wouldn't have done it anyway - it sets a bad precedent."

"So we're stuck here?"

"Yep."

"What are we going to do?"

"The lessons of the past suggest the best survival technique is to conserve body fluids ...for.... reuse."

"You've been trapped in a lift before!!!?"

"No, but there's a pinhole camera, remember?"

"You watched them?!" he gasps, horrified.

"Watched them!? We made movies! It's rather difficult to make a credible case for the cost benefits of IT staff reduction when everyone in the workplace has seen you crap in your briefcase.."

"I.. It's not going to get to that is it?!"

"It could well doo-doo - so to speak."

"You don't see to be taking this very seriously!"

"Well lets face it, it's done now, isn't it? Besides, unbeknown to my assistant and in a stroke of pure luck, I'd purchased a four-pack of drinking water on the way to work this morning."

. . .

"Uh, you wouldn't consider selling me one would you?"

"Of course. A hundred quid!"

"What, I'm not paying 100 quid for a bottle of water!"

"Suit yourself."

. . .

. . .

. . .

"How big's the bottle?"

"325mls."

"100 quid for 325mls of water! That's extortion!"

"I think you'll find it's 200 quid!"

"What?! It was 100 a minute ago!"

"And it's 300 now."

"Ok, I'll take a bottle!" he gasps, realising the shocking rate of lift-based inflation.

"Money first, drink later!"

"I.. I don't have that sort of cash on me!"

"Ah, well then," I say, cracking open a bottle and drinking its contents.

"I've got >scrabble< Twe.. Ten quid!"

"For 10 quid all you'll get is a bottle of... my... urine."

"WHAT!?!"

"I said for 15 quid, all you'll get is a bottle of my urine."

Rock. Hard place. Lift Inflation. Potential Weekend wait....

"I.. I'll take it!"

"It's now 20 quid."

"I'll take it!" he gasps.

"I'd like you to ask nicely.."

"Please sell me a bottle of your urine for 20 quid!"

>CLICK< >WHIRR<

"Oh thank goodness!" he gasps, happy the transaction didn't have to be made after all.

"So in your report say IT spending is appallingly low and overly hampered by middle management."

"Why would I say that?" he snaps.

"If you think dropping a grogan in your briefcase is career limiting, what do you think propositioning a stranger for his bodily waste will do for you?"

"SAY CHEESE," the PFY says from the speaker grille beside the second pinhole... ®

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