The Last Bastard Part III
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 96 20:22:23 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: The Last Bastard Part III
...The Bastard Celebrates Christmas 95...
It's a slow day on the systems front following a network outage that's
chopped the site in half. No-one seems to know exactly what's happened to
the backbone except that it's completely dead.
In fact the whole day has been rather slow. So slow I passed some time
earlier in the morning helping one of our buildings people hang the annual
executives portrait photo in a place designed to inspire confidence and team
spirit in the workers. Sure, using a nailgun just to hang a photo was a
little excessive, but there was some obstruction in the wall which was
difficult to nail through. An obstruction which was concidentally thickwire
ethernet shaped. Anyway I hope they find that outage soon...
Meantime I kill a little time by trolling the offices of the Network Team
for Xmas pressies. You know the sort of thing, "Thank You" bottles of Wine,
Xmas Food Parcels, etc, from grateful suppliers. It's not like they'll
report them missing, for to do so would be tantamount to admitting that you
hadn't handed them over to the boss for him to "reapportion" as he sees fit.
So I'm in the department Brown-Nose's office when the phone rings. What the
hell, Xmas Spirit and all that, time to bury the hatchet.
"Hi, how long will the network be down"
"Should only be a couple of days"
"But I have to get these invoices rectified by the end of tomorrow!!'
"No Chance. I'm sorry, you should have thought about that before now.
Honestly, we can't be expected to make allowances for your personal
"No Buts, Maybes or What-ifs. It's your own fault."
"Do you know who you're talking to?"
"Well, my Caller-Id tells me that you're Charleston, Head of Accounts - and
I would have to admit that you do have that whiney, bean-counter telephone
voice that denotes a white collar worker desperately in need of a good ten
minutes alone with me and a staple-gun"
"Oh, you're a DEAF whiney bean-counter?!?"
"I. I.." he splutters
Hatchet FIRMLY buried, I hang up. I'm about to leave when I notice that he's
left a privileged session open to the router. A quick >clickety clickscrawly
scrawly Five minutes later I'm back in the computer room, stashing my spoils
inside the covers of some old-style 12" removable disk packs. Leaving the
disks laying around would only draw undue attention and suspicion, so I dump
them in the bin where they should've been put years ago, except that they
have valuable corporate data on them.
I hear the Operator's phone ringing and feel obligated by the past to answer
it. Besides, the operators had heard a rumour that there was a 48 disk
software install happening in the basement and had rushed off with the
portable bulk eraser. If I taught them well (and I think I did) they'll only
buzz floppy number 47 under the pretence of analysing it for magnetic
"Is this the operator?" I hear
"Yes" (A little white lie that won't do much harm.)
"I'm in a little bit of a bind. My supervisor has gone away he's still
running some licensed software on his machine, so I'm locked out of it."
"Well, is there anything you can do?"
"What sort of machine is it?"
"Well, a lot of that licencing is network based.."
"So if I disconnect it from the net mine will work?"
"That would cause Defunct License Child Reflection on the net. You don't
want that do you?"
>Dummy Mode On "Duh. No, I guess not"
"Right. What you need to do is to go into your supervisor's office, drag
the documents they're working on into the trash can, which will relinquish
the license they're working on. Then quit the application. Then EMPTY TRASH
from the menu to force the license to be removed, then start the application
"But won't that.."
"Delete the files? Of course not. Do files get deleted when you drag a
floppy into the trash? No!"
"Oh. Ok, thanks"
"Hang on. Remember to leave a note on your supervisors desk to tell them
what you did in case they have licensing problems too"
Mission Accomplished, I go to the smoko room and check out the Xmas tree.
Sure enough, the lights are the cheap, in series AC kind. I drop a bit of
coffee and some water in the bottom of the boss's mug then fill the sink up
with hot soapy water.
Bare minutes later the boss rolls in to get a coffee. Noticing the dirty
mug, he proceeds to the sink of hot soapy water. Seconds later the Xmas
tree, precariously balanced on its fibreboard base, lurches sideways into
the bench area, dropping a few of the colourful bulbs into the water.
A promotion to a vacant position looks imminent...
[Oh no! Can this be the very last of the series?... -psl]
The electronic rights of BOFH are owned by DATAMATION magazine.
All other rights are retained by Simon Travaglia <email@example.com>.
© 1996 Peter Langston