Simon Travaglia

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Simon Travaglia is the author of BOFH, the Bastard Operator from Hell, the long-running series about a rogue sysadmin. He lives in New Zealand.
Man holds out fistful of  crayons

BOFH: Is everybody ready for the meeting? Grab a crayon – let's get technical

Episode 11 BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns So I'm doing some documentation – which we all know is a waste of my valuable time because everything I do is self-documenting – and the Boss walks in. "How's that documentation coming along?" he asks, looking at a long list of items on his personnel disorganiser. "It stopped the …
Simon Travaglia, 22 Jun 2018
Smartphone falls in water

BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

Episode 10 BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "You see!" the Boss says. "See what?" I ask. "THERE!" "Where? What are you pointing at?" "My contacts," he says, jabbing at his phone with a chubby finger. "What... about your contacts?" "Look!" he says, moving the stubby digit from his phone screen to an area of his Outlook …
Simon Travaglia, 15 Jun 2018
Repairman in orange overalls threateningly wields tape measure

BOFH: Their bright orange plumage warns other species, 'Back off! I'm dangerous!'

Episode 9 BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns I'm already in a bit of a foul mood when the Boss calls me into his office for "a quick word". The office Health and Safety enthusiast is there too so I know the meeting will be neither quick nor a single word. "It's about the ladder," he says. "What ladder?" I ask. "The ladder in the …
Simon Travaglia, 25 May 2018

BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Episode 8 BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns At some point in every successful IT vendor's lifecycle, their infrastructure gets so vast and monolithic that navigating their support network is pretty much impossible for everyone but the vendor's people themselves – and sometimes not even them. "So you see," I tell the Boss, "I log …
old man wearing gold chain and sleeve tattoos

BOFH: Guys? Guys? We need blockchain... can you install blockchain?

Episode 7 BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "I've got two words for you," the Boss says excitedly. "Block Chain!" "That's one word," the PFY shoots back. "Unless you're talking about old fashioned lifting apparatus," I say. "And it's usually said as 'Chain block'. Was that what you were talking about?" "No, I mean the new …
Simon Travaglia, 27 Apr 2018
man dressed as zombie doing accounts/audit

BOFH: We know where the bodies are buried

Episode 6 BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns We're having a company-wide operational audit. The Boss, bless him, thinks it's a routine process aimed at solidifying the company's position in the marketplace (blah, blah, blah), however the PFY and I know better having accidentally been bcc-ed in on a private email exchange discussing a …
Simon Travaglia, 20 Apr 2018
Scared looking office consultant hides under desk

BOFH: Give me a lever long enough and a fool, I mean a fulcrum and ....

Episode 5 BOFH logo – telephone with devil's horns "We put a fair amount of time into ideation sessions in an attempt to leverage your company's commercial value against the prevailing market perception," the suit says. ... "Just, ah, back that up a little there – you put a fair amount of time into what now?" the PFY asks. " …
Simon Travaglia, 23 Mar 2018
Plants growing from a urinal

BOFH: Honourable misconduct

Episode 4 BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns I’m on high alert in Mission Control. It’s 11:30am, I’ve not seen the PFY all morning and there’s a cold, half eaten chicken kebab sitting on the PFY’s keyboard. There’s a faint beeping noise from his desktop machine as the password field of his login is overflowing with H characters, …
Cover of PUBG game with the PFY's head (complete with headset) superimposed on hero's shoulders

BOFH: Turn your server rack hotspot to a server rack notspot

Episode 3 BOFH logo – telephone with devil's horns It's late on Friday afternoon and I’m having a couple of quiet beers with one of the local salesdroids. Ordinarily the only reason I’d do this is that (a) they’re paying and (b) there’s a tube station relatively near that has extremely poor CCTV coverage. It usually starts with me …
Simon Travaglia, 16 Feb 2018
open window in an office building... just the right size for a person to fall out

BOFH: We want you to know you have our full support

Episode 2 BOFH logo – telephone with devil's horns "NGGGGAAARRRGGGHHH!" the PFY says, slamming his mouse onto the desk several times. "Problems?" I ask. "Yes, I'm trying to get pre-sales support for a product but I'm just going round and round in the website which sends me to a Virtual Agent that can only interpret my question in …

BOFH: Buttock And Departmental Defence ... As A Service

Episode 1 BOFH logo – telephone with devil's horns The PFY is feeling a little unappreciated. APPARENTLY I’m not supporting him in his role very well and he feels a bit like a scapegoat. Apparently. Not that he’s mentioned it but the Boss’s PA, Rita, has been giving me a rundown on office gossip that she picked up from the smoking …
Simon Travaglia, 12 Jan 2018
 builder installs window latch

BOFH: The trouble with, er, windows installs

Episode 16 BOFH logo – telephone with devil's horns "What you're looking for is plausible deniability," I say to the Boss. "I don't know what you mean." "Well you know the rule about hanging up on someone?" "No." "Always hang up when YOU'RE talking, never when they're talking." "They'll hear the handset going down." "Only if you' …
Simon Travaglia, 24 Nov 2017
Belt with antique looking cellphone strapped to it in a brass pouch

BOFH: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

Episode 15 BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns “I don’t know what to say,” the Boss says, looking confused. “It’s OK, there’s nothing to say,” I reply. “It happens every year – you’ve just not been here long enough to know.” The Boss has a dilemma. A pair of our main virtual hosts has some interoperation hardware issue which is …
Simon Travaglia, 10 Nov 2017
Tea mug wth buttered toast on a plate

BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Episode 14 BOFH logo – telephone with devil's horns There's trouble in the state of Mission Control. It has come to the attention of the Director that the PFY and I occupy a slice of priceless real estate complete with six full-height pivoting windows opening out to one of the few views which doesn't have a vast expanse of another …
Simon Travaglia, 27 Oct 2017
Man gets tie stuck in paper shredder...

BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?

Episode 13 So I'm walking down the corridor from Mission Control with about a ream of financial paperwork when I notice the Boss coming the other way with the IT Director in tow - never a good sign. I quickly slip down a side corridor towards the lifts but not so quickly that the Boss doesn't see me going. I get to the lifts just as the …
Simon Travaglia, 13 Oct 2017
Man and robot...

BOFH: Come on, PFY, let's pick a Boss

Episode 12 "I don't think your reviews are overly helpful," the Director sulks. "What do you mean? We read the resumes, attended the interviews; we asked some questions!" "I'm referring to your comments on the candidates." "Which ones?" I ask. "All of them!" It's appointments time again and we're looking for a new Boss after the last …
Simon Travaglia, 29 Sep 2017
Tea with biscuits.

BOFH: We're only here because they said there would be biscuits

Episode 11 "We just DID this!" the PFY snaps - before I can beat him to it. "Yes, but there have been significant changes to the company since then and these need to be reflected in the company branding, the logo, our mission statement and the website," the Director says. "There's going to be a meeting about this, isn't there?" I sigh …
Simon Travaglia, 15 Sep 2017

BOFH: Oh go on. Strap me to your Hell Desk, PFY

Episode 10 "So what do you think?" the Boss asks. "You've had more experience than me at this." "Hypochondria?" I say "Yes, I suppose you're right." "There's nothing hypochondriac about repetitive strain injuries!" the Boss snaps. "You mean OOS," the PFY counters. "And of course there is. Have you ever noticed how over-represented …
Simon Travaglia, 28 Jul 2017
man in pain at workstation

BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

Episode 9 "I wasn't built for user support, I know that now," I sigh. "I know," the PFY replies, without looking up from his game. "At one time I thought I could do it but now I know I'm asking too much of myself. I don't like lazy people, stupid people or whiny people." "I know." "I can't stand tinkerers, tweakers, or people who …

BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

Episode 8 I never cease to be amazed by the seemingly endless possibilities for forming a committee to not do something. It's as though whenever there's a critical mass of deadwood in one room they'll end up creating a committee to legitimise themselves, make some decisions to address the ills of whatever they've talked about, issue …
Simon Travaglia, 23 Jun 2017
Man with bun sucks on vape. Photo by shutterstock

BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour

Episode 7 "Simon, Steven – a word?" the Boss burbles warmly. "What's up?" the PFY answers warily. "Nothing - just having an interesting conversation with a bloke from an outfit that deals with infrastructure obsolescence, code debt and I.T. asset leveraging." "Ah yes, I thought I felt a disturbance in the force," the PFY nods. "Come …
Simon Travaglia, 16 Jun 2017
James has entered the bastardly matrix. Illustrations from SStock, text from The Reg

BOFH: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back

Episode 6 "Ok James, I think it's time we released you into the wild," I say. "What?!" James gasps, no doubt thinking window, brief scream, distant thud, car alarm. "Into the wild," The PFY says. "We can teach you no more. From now on it's all practical experience." "What?" "We've found you a job, faked some credentials and you have …
Simon Travaglia, 28 Apr 2017

BOFH: Defenestration, a solution to Solutions To Problems We Don't Have

Episode 5 "The thing is," I explain to James, "the vast majority of management bright ideas aren't – they're just stuff which keeps the Boss occupied till lunchtime firing off urgent emails about problems we don't have." "Then after lunch he'll send maybe three or four more emails," the PFY adds, "at least two of which will want updates …

BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

Episode 4 "Ah! Simon, Steven - this is James," the Boss burbles, pushing a young lad forward like a ritual sacrifice candidate. "James is doing a 2 week placement with us as part of his further studies." "James!" I say, holding out my hand. "James is here to make some modifications to the software that imports people into our security …
Simon Travaglia, 31 Mar 2017
It's beer o clock for sysadmins. Photo by SHutterstock

BOFH: Don't back up in anger

Episode 3 Backups. Backups Backups Backups. Backups Backups Backups Backups Backups. What more can I say? "So do you have a backup of that?" the Boss asks. "No." "We don't back up your laptop." "But you told me you back up everything?" "Everything on the server, yes." "YOU SAID you backed up everything but desktop machines." " …
Simon Travaglia, 17 Mar 2017

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