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BOFH 2003: Episode 29
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Old 26th November 2003, 13:10   #1
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Default BOFH 2003: Episode 29

It's a sad day for computing when your own boss doesn't even trust you to get equipment delivered, preferring instead to receipt it and lock it away in safe storage in the basement himself. This lack of trust is enough to upset a technical professional with impeccable standards.

"You know what I like?" the Boss chirps, watching the company banner whirl around on his screensaver as I enter his room.

"Hermaphrodite Nuns in Leather Saddlery?" I ask.

"What?! No!"

"Oh, you're past that now - good. Always best to make a clean break from that sort of thing - you never know where it might lead."

"I'm not sure I understand what you're implying!"

"Yes, mental faculties are generally the first - and worst - affected. One minute you're sure you know who you are and what's what, and the next minute you're logging into a chatroom as Rita, a lesbian truck driver from Hull."

"I think it highly unlikely that I would eve--"

"Know her do you?"

"Just what are you implying?"

"Implying? Why nothing! No, I don't imply anything. I let the keystroke logger do all that. I simply present the facts as I obtain them - with punctuation of course."

"What are you going on about?"

"Nothing, just testing."

"Testing what?"

"Oh, someone's been printing some smut to our printers then forgetting to collect it. We don't currently log it so we had to think of where it might have come from."

"AND YOU THOUGHT OF ME?!"

"Your name did come up. We saw the whole Rita, truckdriver thing and noticed a couple of similarities."

"What similarities?"

"Well, you both have a driving licence."

"So does half the building!"

"Yes, but half the building doesn't work in this office."

"So you're saying it came from this office?"

"No, but you work in this office."

"Yes?"

"And you don't find that a bit of a coincidence?"

"It's my bloody office!"

"Yes. Well. I can see you're getting upset, so maybe we should talk about this again later? Perhaps you want to arrange for personal support or legal representation?"

"What for? I haven't bloody done anything!"

"Yes, right, mum's the word then!" I say tapping the side of my nose knowingly.

The PFY is, meantime, in the next room on the other end of a long piece of thick wire which is inching out of the vent system over to the Boss' keys.

"So this isn't your printout then?" I ask loudly covering the noise of the keys' ascent while I mis-hand him a page so that it falls on the floor.

"Th-that's disgusting!" the Boss chokes, sitting up as the PFY's hand pops out of the vent and quietly grabs the keyring.

"It's not yours then?"

"Of course not!"

"Fair enough, well I s'pose I'd better continue looking for the culprit," I say, grabbing the printout and exiting.

. . .

"How long?" the PFY asks, scanning the Boss' keys nervously.

"Well, if you're lucky it'll be an hour, but he had onion bhajis for lunch so there's a good chance he's going to want to use the porcelain ashtray sometime soon."

"Almost there," he blurts. "Right! Where's the Magstripe duplicator?"

"Running on my box!" I snap, looking for signs of movement, so to speak, from the Boss' office.

. . .

One READ and two VERIFY swipes later we have all the info we need for a duplicate card issue...

"OK, I've got the Magstripe info. How do we get his PIN number?"

"Isn't it written on his card?" I ask, guessing at the high standards of security the Boss would aspire to.

"Oh yes..."

We slip back to the Boss's office to return the keys only to find him deep in conversation with a particularly annoying helldesk geek about the virtues of patching your system regularly to protect you from virus infection. I have to say that I'm all for users patching their machines, I'm just not happy with the guy spending half his life wandering around the office talking to people and doing bugger all else. That's a TECHNICAL role!

"Bloody hell, is that Linus Torvalds?!" I cry, pointing out the Boss' window.

"Who?" the Boss and helldesk geek ask.

It's my fault, of course, for assuming too much and aiming too high.

"No it's not, it's the bird with the huge hands from the bikini commercial," the PFY adds, going for the save.

"Where?" the pair ask, scrambling for the window while the PFY slips the keys down on the desk next to the Boss' wallet...

Which I yank the cash out of and slip into the Helldesk geek's jacket pocket.

You see a chance, you take it!

"So ANYWAY," I continue, ad libbing. "About that Internet porn thing - I think you might want to revise your story somewhat - now that we have credit card information. I take it your card number is uh... 4372 8015 73--"

"It's not mine!" the boss interupts. Look, I'll show you, I've got my card right... uh... Where's my bloody wallet gone?"

. . .

Ten minutes, and one call to security later we have a helldesk vacancy, and I also have the Boss' real credit card number for him to make a lot of suspicious Internet transactions with...

Which only leaves the kit to misappropriate...

Nah, I'll leave that for later.

I can do with the overtime...

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