It's backup day today so I'm pissed off. Being the BOFH, however, does have
it's advantages. I reassign null to be the tape device - it's so much more
economical on my time as I don't have to keep getting up to change tapes every
5 minutes. And it speeds up backups too, so it can't be all bad can it? Of
A user rings.
"Do you know why the system is slow?" they ask.
"It's probably something to do with..." I look up today's excuse "... clock
"Oh" (Not knowing what I'm talking about, they're satisfied) "Do you know
when it will be fixed?"
"Fixed? There's 275 users on your machine, and one of them is you. Don't be
so selfish - logout now and give someone else a chance!"
"But my research results are due in tommorrow and all I need is one page of
"SURE YOU DO. Well; You just keep telling yourself that buddy!" I hang up.
You'd really think people would learn not to call.
The phone rings. It'll be him again, I know. That annoys me. I put on a
"Oh, I'm sorry, I've got the wrong number."
"YEAH? Well what's your name buddy? Do you know WASTED phone calls cost
money? DO YOU? I've got a good mind to subtract your wasted time, my wasted
time, and the cost of this call from your weekly wages! IN FACT I WILL! By
the time I've finished with you, YOU'LL OWE US money! WHAT'S YOUR NAME - AND
DON'T LIE, WE'VE GOT CALLER ID!!"
I hear the phone drop and the sound of running feet - he's obviously going to
try and get an alibi by being at the Dean's office. I look up his username
and find his department. I ring the Dean's secretary.
"Hello?" she answers.
"HI, SIMON, B.O.F.H HERE, LISTEN, WHEN THAT GUY COMES RUNNING INTO YOUR OFFICE
IN ABOUT 10 SECONDS, CAN YOU GIVE HIM A MESSAGE?"
"I think so..." she says,
"TELL HIM HE CAN RUN, BUT HE CAN'T HIDE.'"
"AND DON'T FORGET NOW, I WOULDN'T WANT TO HAVE TO TELL ANYONE ABOUT THAT FILE
IN YOUR ACCOUNT WITH YOUR ANSWERS TO THE PURITY TEST IN IT..."
I hear her scrabbling at the terminal...
"DON'T BOTHER - I HAVE A COPY. BE A GOOD PERVY AND PASS THE MESSAGE ON."
She sobs her assent and I hang up. And the worst thing is, I was just guessing
about the purity test thing. I grab a quick copy anyway, it might make for
some good late-night reading.
Meantime backups have finished in record time, 2.03 seconds. Modern technology
is wonderful, isn't it?
Another user rings.
"I need more space" he says
"Well, why not move to Texas?" I ask
"No, on my account, stupid."
"I'm terribly sorry" I say, in a polite manner equal to that of Jimmy Stewart
in a Weekend Family Matinee Feature "I didn't quite catch that. What was it
that you said?"
I smell the fear coming down the line at me, but it's too late, he's a goner
and he knows it.
"Um, I said what I wanted was more space on my account, *please*"
"Sure, hang on."
I hear him gasp his relief even though he'd covered the mouthpeice.
"There, you've got *plenty* of space now!"
"How much have I got?" he simps.
Now this *REALLY* *PISSES* *ME* *OFF*! Not only do they want me to give them
extra space, they want to check it, then correct me if I don't give them enough!
They should be happy with what I give them *and that's it*!
Back into Jimmy Stewart mode.
"Well, let's see, you have 4 Meg available."
"Wow! Eight Meg in total, thanks!" he says, pleased with his bargaining power.
"No" I interrupt, savouring this like a fine red at room temperature, with
steak, extra rare, to follow; "4 Meg in total.."
"Huh? I'd used 4 Meg already, How could I have 4 Meg Available?"
I say nothing. It'll come to him.
I kill me, I really do!