Feeds

BOFH: A spot of bother

The doggone call is yours

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Episode 9

It's a bloody Friday afternoon. People should know not to bother us when all we're wanting is a slow glide to the weekend...

>ring<

"Our system isn't working."

"Really," the PFY says, putting his newspaper down with a sigh. "What system is that then?"

"The one which does the ticker tape thing at the bottom of my web."

"So not really a system, more a java applet in your browser?"

"I don't know - all I know is that it's not working," the user burbles, "and I need it working. It was working this morning and it's not working now."

"OK," the PFY says helpfully, asking the standard IT support question - "What has changed?"

"Well it's afternoon now," the user responds.

"Yes, very good, but let me rephrase the question - What, TO DO WITH YOUR MACHINE, has changed?"

"Nothing."

"You've not installed something, uninstalled something, moved something, plugged something in, unplugged something, changed a setting or two?"

"Nope, nothing."

"Used a different browser maybe?"

"What do you mean, different browser?"

"Nothing, just talking to myself," the PFY says, realising that he almost opened Pandora's hard drive. "Tell you what, I'll be up to have a look at it as soon as I can."

Which is complete porkies, as evidenced by the PFY's dive back into the newspaper.

That's the thing about non-specific complaints about 'the system' and 'not working' - they don't motivate you.

Moments later the phone rings again and I answer it so as not to disrupt the PFY's cartoons.

"Yep?"

"I've got it too!" the user at the other end of the line gasps.

"Canine herpes?!" I gasp, picking two words at random from the sewer of my mind.

"WHAT?!" the user gasps back.

"Is this not the vet?" I reply, realising that whilst there's no motivation to get involved in user problems late on a Friday there's a rich seam of enthusiasm to be tapped when user torture is on the cards.

"Uh... No?" our user says, confused

"Oh, my mistake - you see I was just talking to the vet about the dog that was caught in the basement and had to be put down because of its.. uh... diseases. And when you rang and said you had it too..."

"I was talking about the software failures in accounts."

"Oh the java thing, not canine herpes?"

"No!"

"Alright then, no problems. And you don't own a dog?"

"Ah... yes, but that's got nothing to do with it!"

"Of course not," I say, clicking my way furiously through my caller's personal documents to his photos folder. "Nothing at all. Anyway, the dog we captured was a... golden retriever with a red collar. You don't have a golden retriever with a red collar do you?"

"I... Yes, but it doesn't have canine herpes."

"However would you know that?" the PFY asks, smelling blood in the water, dropping his newspaper and jumping into the conversation. "I mean the vet had to take a blood sample to find that out for us! What sort of person tests their dog for canine herpes?"

"I didn..."

"More importantly," I ask, pursuing the PFY's topic. "WHY would someone be routinely testing their dog for canine herpes? I mean I assume it's routinely by the way you said No instead of Not that I know of. That was fairly definitive..."

"I don't routinely test my dog for..."

"So it was a one-off test then?" the PFY interrupts "Something made you decide to test your dog? Maybe you had a party - a few close friends, a few too many drinks - things got out of hand - we've all been there."

"Except for the dog bit," I add

"WHAT?!?! I don't know what you're talking about - I'm just calling to say I can't get the financial information ticker tape thing to play on my screen!"

"Oh right!" I say. "So this has nothing to do with the dog in the basement?"

"NO!"

"Oh, right then! OK, I'll open a new job for you on the helpdesk system and it'll keep you updated. You'll get regular email updates or you can call the helpdesk if you need an urgent update. Your job reference code is... DOGHERPE - just use that if you need to know what's happening..."

"DOGHERPE?!!!?"

"Yeah well, I'd already typed it in and clicked Next," I say. "Anyway, I've fired that off to the helpdesk and they'll be able to track the call for you."

"In fact," the PFY says, "you probably don't even need to remember the DOGHERPE bit because it'll be tied it back to your username - all you need to do is ring them."

"But if it makes it easier we could change your caller ID to that so that when you run the helpdesk it would show up on their display??" I add

. . seconds later . .

"Well he's never calling back," I say, hanging up from handsfree. "EVER. About anything. Demons from hell could be using his USB key as a portal to this universe and he won't touch the phone..."

"It's God's work," the PFY says, reaching for his newspaper once more.

>RINNNGGGG<

. . .

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.