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BOFH: Birthday present backfire

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Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Episode 7 "I'd like a bit of birthday advice," the Boss asks, after the PFY and I show up to his office in response to a call.

"Keep having them?" the PFY chips.

"Wa?"

"Forgive my assistant," I say calmly. "His battery's almost flat and needs a good recharging with a high voltage device. What he meant to say was that we'd prefer cash in large denomination bills."

"?"

"Normally it's up to an individual manager's discretion about making some personal contribution on the anniversary of someone's birth."

"Oh. No, that wasn't what I was after. I wanted to know about digital cameras."

"I'd still rather have the cash," I confess.

"No, I want to buy one for the wife - her birthday!!!" he blurts, tapping the photo frame on his desk. "But I don't know what to look for."

"What do you want the camera for?" I ask.

"Her birthday."

"No, what do you want to USE the camera for?"

"Just holidays, photos of the family. But I don't know what I should be looking for - there's so many options," the Boss burbles, flipping the pages of a digital photography magazine.

"Well if it's for your family," the PFY responds, suppressing a shudder as he looks at the chamber of horrors that is the Boss' desktop photo. "I'd be looking for a couple of things."

"Yes?"

"Low resolution for a start," he continues, taking another gander at the Pandora's family photo.

"Really? The magazines seem to rate higher resolution as important."

"Low resolution gives you the benefit of...uh...soft focus - especially if the camera is used at a distance."

"Oh. What about zoom?"

"Ordinarily a good thing, but in your case I'd avoid it like the plague. You can use digital zoom later!"

"But won't my images become... >flip< >flip< >flip< uh...pixilated?"

"Yes. But pixilation is a good thing - it's even more soft focus."

"Speaking of focus - fixed focus or auto focus?"

"I shouldn't worry too much about focus if I were you..."

"Why not just get a family portrait?" I say tactfully. "They can do wonderful things with an airbrush these days!"

"What...why?"

"Well...Just...sometimes it takes a professional to bring out the true photogenic quality."

"Oh. I SEE!" the Boss snaps. "Well my family may not be the Osbornes..."

"Donny and Maree, or Ozzy and Sharon?" the PFY asks helpfully.

"..." the boss says.

"Don't listen to him," I say, cooling the situation off a little. "How about you just buy something entry level and, if things...work out...you can upgrade to something much better in the future. That way you get a chance to experiment with the medium and see how you like it!"

"What about digital enhancements?"

"I think you'd best leave that to the professionals - they get paid to do that to themselves. Those new electronic vacuum devices are not for the uninitiated..."

"Huh? I was talking about external flash and datestamping."

"Oh, right! In that case I think you'll find most cameras have datestamping and an internal flash."

"Yes, but what about an external flash?"

"Ah...darkness is your friend," the PFY suggests condescendingly.

"I...should I get more storage?"

"Nah, cameras are tiny things - you could just put it on the shelf."

"I meant more internal storage in the camera!"

"Oh, ok. I dunno, if you use all the soft focus options we've suggested you should get by with the standard 128 MB card."

"Hmmm. Yes, well, thanks for your help but I think I'll just ask the guy at the shop."

There's just no helping some people...

...

"So what do you think?" the Boss asks, displaying his latest purchases.

"Nice," the PFY says. "10 megapixel SLR with interchangeable lenses, low light enhancement and up to 1/4000 shutter speed. And you're sure you showed the salesguy your wallet photo? It's such a cruel trick!"

"What?!"

"I said it's such a cool thing." the PFY blurts. "It's what I'd get myself if I were looking for a camera. Oooh, and look, a one gig storage card. I like it. Mind if I snap a couple of shots of the office?"

"I...no, go ahead."

...The next day...

"It's going back?!" I gasp as I see the camera all boxed up as new with attached receipt.

"Yes, I...the wife's decision. She doesn't like it."

"That's such a shame. She didn't like the features?"

"No"

"The cost?"

"No"

"The complicated interface?"

"No, I think it must have been the HUNDRED OR SO PHOTOS OF THE ATTRACTIVE WOMEN THAT WORK HERE!" the Boss snaps.

"Ah. So the PFY left some images on the card that your wife thought you'd taken?"

"It would seem so," the Boss seethes.

"Oh, and as a result you lose your camera?"

"Oh, not just the camera," the Boss says, as he starts putting his desktop contents into a box.

"SHE MADE YOU RESIGN!" I gasp. "What a result!"

"I beg your pardon?"

"I said, what an insult!"

...later that day...

"He QUIT?!" the PFY said "But I actually liked him!"

"So you sabotaged his camera?"

"I didn't, I was taking some snaps of the girls. I didn't want him to go!"

"I think you're going to have to accept some of the blame."

"I...didn't even mean to!"

"Sometimes bastardhood's like a magnet - you just can't turn it off."

"That's terrible" the PFY says. "... ... ... Still, tough luck. Fancy a pint?"

Ah, the recovery powers of youth. They bounce back so quick... ®

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