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BOFH: Friday madness

There's only one way to get you through the afternoon

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Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Episode 40

It's a Friday afternoon and the clock has stopped. All the clocks have stopped. It's been 2:15pm for the past two hours, I'm sure of it.

"COME OOOOONNN!" the PFY whines.

"It's no use," I say. "The seconds hand is moving but the minutes hand has just stopped!"

"I want the pub," the PFY gasps. "I NEED the pub!"

"Me too," I sigh. "What time is it now?"

"Two fifteen."

"IT WAS TWO FIFTEEN LAST TIME I ASKED!" I whine.

"IT WAS PROBABLY TWO FIFTEEN WHEN WE GOT IN THIS MORNING!" the PFY whines back. "Nggaaaaargh!"

I hate Friday afternoons.

"What's up?" the Boss asks, wandering into Mission Control without purpose - which, if I may say so, is just the icing on the bloody cake.

"Nothing," I sigh. "We're just waiting to go home..."

"That's hardly the attitude!" he cries. "What about sorting out something by the end of the day?"

"Something like what?" the PFY asks.

"I don't know... Surely there's something in your helpdesk queue?"

"Help yourself," the PFY says, turning his monitor around.

"What about that one - printing delays?"

"The one that requires us to refresh the print server and all the print drivers because someone in Beancounter-land updated their printer driver and found that their printer had a hitherto unused duplexing function, then, as a public service updated the drivers on all other printers regardless of what type or manufacturer they were?"

"I..."

"Which would involve us having to do a walkaround to each printer which is now uncommunicative to find its exact make and model, then find the drivers, THEN update the print server with them?"

"Surely it's possible?"

"So's giving yourself a circumcision under local, but you don't find many people doing it," the PFY quips. "If we changed things now it'd cause a major printing outage over the weekend which would mean that half the beancounters wouldn't be able to take their work..."

"...Porn," I correct.

"..home with them," the PFY finishes. "Which means we'd be called in several times over the weekend to fix the colour printers."

"Okay, so maybe that's not a Friday afternoon job," the Boss says. "What about that?"

"Change the access password for the HR documents webstore," the PFY says. "Nope. If you do that on a Friday afternoon you actually decrease security because half of HR have already gone home - which means that the other half will leave notes on their screen about the password change."

"Okay, what about that?"

"Update the BIOS on a stack of desktop machines in Beancounter central."

"Yeah - that seems simple enough."

"It is - if the reason for the update was anything more compelling than a boot screen image."

"Mmm?"

"They want a BIOS upgrade to fix the utility that lets you put your own picture in the background of the boot screen."

"I... Perhaps that's a bad example.."

"They're all bad examples," the PFY says. "And the day is just dragging on and on."

"I hate Friday afternoons," I add.

"Isn't there a bit of housekeeping you could do - some tidying? Some documentation?"

"Nope."

"What about this?" the Boss asks, picking up some install media off the PFY's desk. "Surely this should go away somewhere"

"Sure," the PFY says, taking it and tossing it in the bin.

"It's the eternal problem," I say to the Boss. "You don't want to start a big job because you won't have any time to complete it and you don't want to start a small job because it's Friday afternoon and you just can't be arsed. Half the company's already gone home and the only reason we're still here is because the offsite tape storage guy is late..."

"One of the outside tables has just come free," the PFY says despondently, gazing out the window to the pub across the road.

"So if you can't do a small job and can't do a large job, are there any medium sized jobs?"

"Nope. There's only really one thing which passes the time when you're bored on a Friday afternoon."

"What's that then?" the Boss asks.

"Multiplayer gaming."

"You're not suggesting you play games on the company time?"

"No, no, I'm suggesting we play games on the company machines, the company network AND the company time," I say, scratching around for my headset...

.. only to find that it's in two pieces after what looks like a run-in with a wheely chair.

"DAMN IT!" I snap. "I knew we shouldn't have shot that albatross!"

"Ay?" the Boss says.

"Nothing," I say. "Who fancies a game of I Spy?"

"Okay then," the PFY says.

"I SPY, WITH MY LITTLE EYE... SOMETHING BEGINNING WITH... C.P"

"C P.." the Boss says looking around. "Two words then. Ceeeeee Peeeeee. Cee... >KZERRT!<"

Well, it passes the time...

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