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BOFH: The PFY punts for smut

Isn't that the only purpose of podcasts?

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Security for virtualized datacentres

Episode 11

"We should get a server for podcasts," the Boss announces, breezing into Mission Control under the influence of a new idea.

"What for?" the PFY asks.

"So we can deliver podcasts and video to our staff and customers."

"What podcasts?"

"Podcasts about what's happening in the company."

"Where are these podcasts at the moment?"

"We don't have any at the moment, but if we had a server for them people would do them."

"Which people?" the PFY asks.

"Anyone with something to say."

"You mean anyone with nothing to say - like blogs," the PFY says.

"What do you mean?"

"That most people don't have anything useful to say but feel obliged to say it anyway. I'm also saying we shouldn't be promoting a forum for them not to say it in."

"I..." the Boss pauses, working out the double triple negative.

"LOOK," I say trying to demystify the PFY's words. "Your average beancounter for instance, what's he going to say to the masses?"

"I..."

"He's going to say that thanks to his ingenious plan of importing pens directly from a former Russian state he's saved the company a couple of thousand pounds a year."

"It doesn't sound all that ingenious," the Boss murmurs.

"No, the ingenious part will be the bit he doesn't say - that he bought the pens knowing that most of them will fail and people will start bringing their own pens in and the company won't have to buy pens any more."

"I guess that's sort of ingenious."

"No it's not, because we paid for the dud pens in the first place! Ingenious would be to have a competition to see how many free pens staff can obtain from vendors clients and suppliers, with a 10 quid movie voucher as a prize!"

"I..."

"And even that is boring."

"I don't get your point..."

"My point is that what people think is interesting really isn't. For instance, you might believe that there's people who'd like to know about the refurbishment of the steam locomotive once used to drive the royal carriage between Walthamstow and Leeds..."

"No, you can't get a direct run from Waltham..."

"Woah there - I think I lost nine minutes of my life - I must have been abducted by aliens! No, no, that's right, you were telling one of your train stories again - I can tell the difference now because aliens only steal nine MINUTES, not NINE HOURS!"

"So the train thing was a demonstration of something you find uninteresting?" the Boss says drily.

"Its something everyone finds uninteresting. So if you're going to podcast something we should find something that people WANT to watch and make some of that."

"Porn," the PFY blurts. "Everyone likes porn!"

"You'll have to forgive my assistant," I counter. "He dropped a bottle of isopropyl this morning and stayed to clean it up."

"So what would people find interesting?" the Boss asks.

"Porn!" the PFY repeats.

"I don't know," I say, ignoring the PFY. "But that IS the point - the real work is in finding out what people want to see..."

"PORN!"

"...then once you've found it, make some of it - or hire someone to make some of it."

"Isn't it a little... twofaced... to get someone in to make videos which are supposed to be made by us?"

"You'll never regret using a professional."

"Are we still talking about Porn?" the PFY asks.

"Regardless," the Boss says, following my example and ignoring the PFY. "I'd like to set up a server so that anyone in the company can publish stuff."

"P..." the PFY starts.

"EXCEPT for him!" the Boss interrupts.

I quickly realise that the Boss is going to want this to happen and that any advice to the contrary is going to be ignored...

"I guess we could use one of our recently decommissioned servers - till things pick up - that way we'd probably have everything up and running in a couple of days," I suggest.

"Excellent."

...three days later..

"How many podcasts have we got?" the Boss asks anxiously.

"Hang on, I'll just count... ...uh ...and... ...None"

"But someone must have something to put up."

"I could..." the PFY starts.

"It's to be used for things pertaining to the company, its staff and business, and things of interest to them!" the Boss snaps. "Nothing else. And we need to get some stuff up soon because the Head of IT and the CEO are keenly interested in it as a medium for morale and recruiting."

...a day later...

"How many podcasts today?" the Boss whispers - with just a touch of pleading to his voice as I notice the CEO wander into the Head of IT's office.

"Four," I say.

"Ohthankgoodness," he gasps. "Although I knew it would catch on. Any viewers?"

"Stacks."

"What's been put up?" the PFY and the Boss ask simultaneously.

"One of the beancounters has an interesting video on recycling paperclips and staples."

"..."

"And the mail room has one about how to fill out shipping labels - although my personal favourite is the security fire drill procedure..."

"I thought you said there were stacks of viewers!?" the PFY says.

"Yes, but not for them."

"What are they watching?"

"An instructional piece contributed anonymously entitled how to get a shag at the office Christmas party."

"Porn?" the PFY asks hesitantly.

"No, more a morale and recruiting piece aimed at people who might otherwise not get a shag in the normal course of events. It meets all the prerequisite criteria by being of interest to the company and featuring footage of actual company Christmas parties... >DASH!< >SLAM!< ...Featuring actual staff. And, in a couple of cases some clients."

"PORN!" the PFY sighs happily, sitting himself down.

So the Boss was right - it was good for morale.

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