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BOFH: Where the hell have you been?

Uh... Holiday?

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Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Episode 1 "Where the hell have you been?!" the Boss snaps as I open the door to Mission Control, letting the PFY in before me.

He almost sounds angry!

"Yes," I reply, turning to the PFY. "Where the hell have you been?"

"I'm talking to you!" the Boss adds.

"Yes," I say, still talking to the PFY. "So listen up!"

"Not him, you!" the Boss shouts.

"Me?" I ask, oozing innocence. At least I think it's innocence. Actually, it might be... No, no, it's innocence.

"Yes. Where have you been?"

"Uh... Holiday?" I suggest.

"I know you were on holiday, but why weren't you back till today?"

"Because..... I.... was.... on..... holiday.....?" I say. Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, don't look around the eyes, look into my eyes... >click< you're under. I've been on holiday. >click< and you're back in the room.

"I know you've been on bloody holiday! But what were you doing on holiday?"

"Drinking? Resting? A bit of light engineering on the Myford? Day trips with the Mrs?"

"No, I mean WHY were you on holiday?"

"Uh.. to drink, rest, do a bit of li..."

"WHY WAS NO-ONE HERE?!"

"Uhh... My able assistant was here..."

"NO HE BLOODY WASN'T!"

"Really?" I ask.

"No!"

"So Systems and Networks were locked up like a drum?"

"YES!"

"I see. And what broke?"

"What?"

"What did you need urgently - which broke while we were away - that's annoyed you?"

"Well, nothing really."

"I see. So you're annoyed because nothing broke? I mean we can fix that in no time!"

"No! No, I'm annoyed because no-one was here!"

"And nothing broke. So instead of being pleased that we have a reliable and robust infrastructure you're going to labour the whole being-on-site point?"

"Look, I'm not going to argue with you. You were supposed to be here and you weren't. In fact according to the contract we have with you, you're supposed to give a week's notice of any absence outside of emergencies."

"Well maybe this was an emergency?" the PFY suggests.

"And what emergency would that be?"

"Death in the family," the PFY says, thinking furiously of a less-than-loved relative who could be used at short notice to substantiate this claim.

"As I thought, nothing. So I'm sorry, but I'm going to raise this as a breach of contract."

"But it's only a breach of our contract if we didn't inform you."

"You didn'.t"

"Of course we did. And you okayed it"

"No I didn't!"

"Of course you did, and I have the email to prove it. Or at least I will before you get back to your office. In fact, it's probably also in your online dairy! You may even >clickety< have even agreed to extend my holiday and allow me to telecommute for the rest of January."

"I think he said we both could >clickety<," the PFY says. "Yes, here it is... dated December the >clickety< 19th."

"HAH!" the Boss says. "BUSTED! The 19th was a Sunday! And I was at my wife's sister's birthday in Hull!"

">clickety< Well it looks like the swipe card access logs would disagree with you. You were in several times that day to talk to us. >clickety< >tap< >tap< >clickety< Our meetings are even recorded on the CCTV Surveillance system. Which reminds me, we'd best fill in our overtime for that day. How many hours did we work?"

"27," the PFY replies.

"You can't work 27 hours in one day!" the Boss snaps.

"Ordinary people can't," the PFY says. "But you're right, we must have worked >clickety< two days."

"Good grief! >clickety<," I add. "So we did - but if that's the case then we would have worked more than ten consecutive days!"

"Of course!" the PFY says. "The penalty clause."

"What penalty clause?" the Boss sighs, knowing he's about to be shafted.

"The penalty clause in the contract to prevent you working us unreasonably. Isn't it something like a week's paid leave?"

"Indeed it is."

"This is preposterous - anyway, you won't have a contract once your unnotified absence is brought to light."

"What unnotified absence?"

>clickety<

"Last week."

"But we were here last week >clickety< >tap< even the cctv cameras agree," I say, turning my monitor to show him. "See, the newspaper on the visitor's table has a headline from last week on it."

"As opposed >clickety<," the PFY adds, "to the paper on the desk when you supposedly came in last week - which is from months ago. Looks like someone has made a crude attempt to prove that you were in. I bet >clickety< there's no history of you even coming into the building - apart from this morning..."

"I..."

"Or we could just take that penalty clause week's holiday and forget the whole thing?" I suggest.

"I.."

"Excellent. See you next week then." ®

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2005, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

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