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Is that a rocking horse in your bedroom?

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Security for virtualized datacentres

Episode 42 "I... what?" the PFY sniffles, reading through his email.

Once in a while - not very often mind - I could swear the PFY had been to a customer service course or maybe worked in one of those soulless fast food chains. Like today for instance:

"Hi there, I need someone to come up and change the toner cartridge in my machine."

"Well, I can probably make it up there after lunch," the PFY says nicely. "Where's the replacement cartridge held?"

"Nowhere, you'll have to bring one with you."

"Ah. I'm sorry, but we don't have spare cartridges because of the number of varieties of printers out there. You'll need to order one and give us a call when it comes in," the PFY says.

"I don't have time to do that!"

"Well in the interim you might try rocking the cartridge from side to side to stir up the remaining toner - that might buy you a few pages," the PFY suggests helpfully.

"No, I really do think I'll need a replacement cartridge!" the user insists.

"As I said, if you don't have one we can't replace it," the PFY repeats.

"Surely you can order it!?"

"Yes, but that will probably take a number of days and then I'd have to bill you through our convoluted internal charging system - it'd be quicker for you to just order it yourself."

"Can't you just run down to the shop and pick one up?"

"Oh, and pay for it myself, claim the money back through petty cash after filling in several forms including the one about why I got something outside of the procurement procedure - finally being reimbursed weeks later? I think I'll give it a miss..."

"Do you know who I am?" the user says, uttering the words most guaranteed to get on my wick.

"I ... No" the PFY says

"Just a minute!" I cry, dashing over to the PFY's desk and interrupting the conversation. "It's you isn't it?!!!?!?!"

"Who?" the PFY and the caller say simultaneously.

"You... THE MOST IMPORTANT USER IN THE WORLD!!! I'm very sorry, I didn't recognise your voice at first - I thought you were someone else."

"I... Who did you think I was?"

"For a minute there I thought you were... EVERY BLOODY USER WHO RINGS US! So how's about you get off your arse and call stores for a replacement cartridge?"

>Click<

"Well," the PFY says. "That was effective. Think we'll hear from him again?"

"Bound to," I say.

. . Half an hour later . .

"Ok," the Boss sighs wearily "Which of you was talking to the new Head of Financial Services?"

"There's a new Head Beancounter?" the PFY says "Since when?"

"Since the last one found a horse's head in his bed," the Boss says, staring at the PFY.

"It wasn't a real horse!" the PFY says defensively. "It was just the head of his kid's rocking horse."

"And you think that was appropriate?"

"Which circumstances were these?"

"He rejected an expenses claim for a meal I had on a conference."

"And that made it appropriate for you to sneak into the man's house, saw the head of his child's rocking horse and pop it between him and his wife while he slept?"

"I... uhmm.. yes. It was an expensive dinner," the PFY blusters.

"Well anyway, the new guy isn't impressed and has demanded that someone come up and fix his printer."

"It's not broken, it's just out of toner," the PFY says. "And he doesn't have a replacement cartridge."

"I have a replacement cartridge," the Boss says. "I went down the road an bought one."

"Oh," the PFY says.

"And I'd like you to go and replace it, now if you don't mind."

"Fair enough," the PFY says graciously.

This I just have to see!

. . .

And what a disappointment it is. I was expecting the PFY to 'accidentally' drop the cartridge in such a manner that the toner reservoir became damaged, filling the printer with toner, but no. Whereas I expected him to get a heat gun to make sure the toner got nice and stuck to every part of the inside of the printer he instead did a perfect 10/10 install - even putting all the parts back in the box for recycling. Could the young man be getting jaded?

"About time too," the new Head Beancounter says, creeping up behind us when the job is done. "Is it ready to go?"

"Yep," the PFY says. "Should be all go. You can do that urgent printing now."

"Oh, it wasn't urgent, it was just a couple of black and white prints of our new home that I wanted to send to the wife's parents."

"I..." the PFY says, lost for words.

"But I suppose I should send them through - if only to test the printer."

>Click< >Whirrrr< >Whirrrrr< >Whirr<

>Ring<

"Hello," the PFY says, picking up the printer room phone in a dedicated service professionals manner. "...Sure"

"What?" I ask.

"He wants me to bring his printouts to him," the PFY says, grabbing the printouts and heading towards the door - WITHOUT picking up some blunt instrument!!!

. . . 30 seconds later in the Head Beancounters office . . .

"Here you go," the PFY says handing the printouts over. "Nice house."

"Yes," the Head Beancounter says. "We like it."

"And is that your family?" the PFY asks.

"Yes, that's Peter and that's Nigel."

"Lovely kids," the PFY chirps. "Oh... and is that a rocking horse in the background?"

Uh-oh...

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