Simon Travaglia

It's backup day today so I'm pissed off. Being the BOFH, however, does have it's advantages. I assign the tape device to null - 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.

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 speed.''

``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 Laser Print ...''

`` SURE YOU DO. Well; You just keep telling yourself that buddy!'' I hang up.

Sheesh, 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 gruff voice


``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''

``Um. Ok''

``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 puurity test in it ...''

I hear her scrabbling at the terminal...

``Don't bother - I have a copy. Be a good girl 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 don't you move to Texas?'' I ask

``No, on my account, stupid.''

Stupid?!? ... Uh-Oh ...

``I'm terribly sorry'' I say, in a polite manner equal to that of Jimmy Stewart in a Family Matinee ``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 covered the mouthpeice.

``There, you've got plenty of space now''

``How much have I got''

Now this REALLY *PISSES* *ME* *OFF*! Not only do they want me to give them extra disk, they want to check it, to 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 ``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.

`` aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhH!''

I kill me; I really do!

Mark Orchard-Webb
Tue Aug 22 11:30:04 EDT 1995