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  1. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 13:40:17 EDT 1992
  2. Article: 1585 of rec.humor.d
  3. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  4. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  5. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  6. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #1 - REPOST
  7. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071645.8724@waikato.ac.nz>
  8. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:16:45 GMT
  9. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  10. Lines: 127
  11. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19502 rec.humor.d:1585
  12.  
  13.  
  14.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #1
  15.  
  16. It's backup day today so I'm pissed off.  Being the BOFH, however, does have
  17. it's advantages.  I reassign null to be the tape device - it's so much more
  18. economical on my time as I don't have to keep getting up to change tapes every
  19. 5 minutes.  And it speeds up backups too, so it can't be all bad.
  20.  
  21. A user rings
  22.  
  23. "Do you know why the system is slow?" they ask
  24.  
  25. "It's probably something to do with..."  I look up today's excuse ".. clock
  26. speed"
  27.  
  28. "Oh"  (Not knowing what I'm talking about, they're satisfied)  "Do you know
  29. when it will be fixed?"
  30.  
  31. "Fixed?  There's 275 users on your machine, and one of them is you.  Don't be
  32. so selfish - logout now and give someone else a chance!"
  33.  
  34. "But my research results are due in tommorrow and all I need is one page of
  35. Laser Print.."
  36.  
  37. "SURE YOU DO.  Well; You just keep telling yourself that buddy!"  I hang up.
  38.  
  39. Sheesh, you'd really think people would learn not to call!
  40.  
  41. The phone rings.  It'll be him again, I know.  That annoys me.  I put on a
  42. gruff voice
  43.  
  44. "HELLO, SALARIES!"
  45.  
  46. "Oh, I'm sorry, I've got the wrong number"
  47.  
  48. "YEAH?  Well what's your name buddy?  Do you know WASTED phone calls cost
  49. money?  DO YOU?  I've got a good mind to subtract your wasted time, my wasted
  50. time, and the cost of this call from your weekly wages!  IN FACT I WILL!   By
  51. the time I've finished with you, YOU'LL OWE US money!  WHAT'S YOUR NAME - AND
  52. DON'T LIE, WE'VE GOT CALLER ID!"
  53.  
  54. I hear the phone drop and the sound of running feet - he's obviously going to
  55. try and get an alibi by being at the Dean's office.  I look up his username
  56. and find his department.  I ring the Dean's secretary.
  57.  
  58. "Hello?" she answers
  59.  
  60. "Hi, SIMON, B.O.F.H HERE, LISTEN, WHEN THAT GUY COMES RUNNING INTO YOUR OFFICE
  61. IN ABOUT 10 SECONDS, CAN YOU GIVE HIM A MESSAGE?"
  62.  
  63. "I think so..." she says
  64.  
  65. "TELL HIM `HE CAN RUN, BUT HE CAN'T HIDE'"
  66.  
  67. "Um. Ok"
  68.  
  69. "AND DON'T FORGET NOW, I WOULDN'T WANT TO HAVE TO TELL ANYONE ABOUT THAT FILE
  70. IN YOUR ACCOUNT WITH YOUR ANSWERS TO THE PUURITY TEST IN IT..."
  71.  
  72. I hear her scrabbling at the terminal...
  73.  
  74. "DON'T BOTHER - I HAVE A COPY.  BE A GOOD GIRL AND PASS THE MESSAGE ON"
  75.  
  76. She sobs her assent and I hang up.  And the worst thing is, I was just guessing
  77. about the purity test thing.   I grab a quick copy anyway,  it  might make for
  78. some good late-night reading.  
  79.  
  80. Meantime backups have finished in record time, 2.03 seconds.  Modern technology
  81. is wonderful, isn't it.
  82.  
  83. Another user rings.
  84.  
  85. "I need more space" he says
  86.  
  87. "Well, why don't you move to Texas?" I ask
  88.  
  89. "No, on my account, stupid."
  90.  
  91. Stupid?  Uh-Oh..
  92.  
  93. "I'm terribly sorry" I say, in a polite manner equal to that of Jimmy Stewart
  94. in a Family Matinee "I didn't quite catch that.  What was it that you said"
  95.  
  96. I smell the fear coming down the line at me, but it's too late, he's a goner
  97. and he knows it.
  98.  
  99. "Um, I said what I wanted was more space on my account, *please*"
  100.  
  101. "Sure, hang on"
  102.  
  103. I hear him gasp his relief even though he covered the mouthpeice.
  104.  
  105. "There, you've got plenty of space now"
  106.  
  107. "How much have I got"
  108.  
  109. Now this REALLY *PISSES* *ME* *OFF*!  Not only do they want me to give them
  110. extra space, they want to check it, to correct me if I don't give them enough.
  111. They should be happy with what I give them *and that's it*
  112.  
  113. Back into Jimmy Stewart mode.
  114.  
  115. "Well, let's see, you have 4 Meg available"
  116.  
  117. "Wow!  Eight Meg in total, thanks!" he says pleased with his bargaining power
  118.  
  119. "No" I interrupt, savouring this like a fine red, room temperature "4 Meg in
  120. total"
  121.  
  122. "Huh?  I'd used 4 Meg already, How could I have 4 Meg Available?"
  123.  
  124. I say nothing.  It'll come to him.
  125.  
  126. "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhH!"
  127.  
  128. I kill me; I really do
  129. --
  130.  
  131.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  132.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  133.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  134.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  135.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  136.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  137.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  138.  
  139. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  140.  
  141.  
  142. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 13:41:41 EDT 1992
  143. Article: 1586 of rec.humor.d
  144. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  145. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  146. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  147. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #2 - REPOST
  148. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071726.8725@waikato.ac.nz>
  149. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:17:26 GMT
  150. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  151. Lines: 95
  152. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19503 rec.humor.d:1586
  153.  
  154.  
  155.                       BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #2
  156.  
  157. I'm sitting at the desk, playing x-tank, when some thoughtless bastard rings
  158. me on the phone.  I pick it up.
  159.  
  160. "Hello?" I say.
  161. "Who is this?" they say
  162. "It's me I think" I say, having been through a telephone skills course
  163. "Me Who?"
  164. "Is this like a knock knock joke?" I say, trying anything to save myself
  165. having to end this game.
  166.  
  167. Too LATE!  I get killed.
  168.  
  169. Now I'm pissed!
  170.  
  171. "What can I do for you?" I ask pleasantly - (one of the key warning signs)
  172.  
  173. "Um, I want to know if we have a particular software package.."
  174.  
  175. "Which package is that?"
  176.  
  177. "Uh, B-A-S-I-C it's called."
  178.  
  179. >clickety clickety d-e-l b-a-s-i-c.e-x-e<
  180.  
  181. "Um no, we don't have that.  We used to though.."
  182.  
  183. "oh.  Oh well, the other thing I wanted to know was, could the contents of
  184. my account be copied to tape to I have a permanent copy of them to save at
  185. home in case the worst happens.."
  186.  
  187. "The worst?"
  188.  
  189. "Well, like they get deleted or something..."
  190.  
  191. "DELETED!  Oh, don't worry about that, we have backups"  (I'm such a *shit*)
  192. "What was your username?"
  193.  
  194. He gives me his lusername.  (What an idiot)
  195.  
  196. >clickety clikc<
  197.  
  198. "But you haven't got any files in your account!" I say, mock surprise leaping
  199. from my vocal chords.
  200.  
  201. "Yes I have, you must be looking in the wrong place!"
  202.  
  203. So first he spoils my x-tank game, and now he's calling me a liar...
  204.  
  205. >clickety click<
  206.  
  207. "Oh no, I made a mistake" I say
  208.  
  209. Did he mutter "typical" under his breath?  Oh dear, oh dear..
  210.  
  211. "I MEANT TO SAY:  That username doesn't exist"
  212.  
  213. "Huh?  >wimper< It must do, I was only using it this morning!"
  214.  
  215. "Ah well, that'll be the problem, there was a virus in our system this
  216. morning, the... uh... De Vinci Virus, wipes out users who are logged in
  217. when it goes off."
  218.  
  219. "That can't be right, my girlfriend was logged in, and I'm in her account now!"
  220.  
  221. "Which one was that?"
  222.  
  223. He tells me the username.  Some people NEVER learn..
  224.  
  225. "Oh, yeah, her account was just after we discovered the virus."
  226. >clickety clikc<  "..she only lost all her files"
  227.  
  228. "But..."
  229.  
  230. "But don't worry, we've got them all on tape"
  231.  
  232. "Oh, thank goodness!!!"
  233.  
  234. "Paper tape.  Have you got a magnifying glass and a pencil.  SEE YOU IN THE
  235. MACHINE ROOM!!!!   NYAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  236.  
  237. I'm such a prick!
  238. --
  239.  
  240.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  241.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  242.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  243.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  244.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  245.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  246.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  247.  
  248. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  249.  
  250.  
  251. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 13:44:09 EDT 1992
  252. Article: 1587 of rec.humor.d
  253. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  254. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  255. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  256. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #3 - REPOST
  257. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071748.8726@waikato.ac.nz>
  258. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:17:48 GMT
  259. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  260. Lines: 99
  261. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19504 rec.humor.d:1587
  262.  
  263.  
  264.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #3
  265.  
  266. So I'm working so hard I barely have time to drive into town and watch a movie
  267. before I told people their printing will be ready.  The queue's WAAAAY too
  268. long to have everything printed (and sorted) by the time I told them, so I
  269. kill all the small jobs so there's only 2 left and I can sort them in no time.
  270.  
  271. Then, after the movie, (which was one of those slack Bertolucci ones that takes
  272. about 3 hours till the main character is killed off in a visionary experience)
  273. I get back and clear the printouts.
  274.  
  275. There's about 50 people waiting outside and I've got two printouts.  That's
  276. about average for me.  I thought I'd killed more tho.  Anyway, I put out
  277. the printouts and walk slooowly inside, fingering the clipboard with "ACCOUNTS
  278. TO REMOVE" in big letters on the back.  No-one says anything.  As usual.
  279.  
  280. . . .
  281.  
  282.    I'm sitting back in the Operations Armchair, watching the computer room
  283. closed circuit TV, which just happens to be connected to the frame-grabber's
  284. Video player (sent off for repair, due back sometime in '94) when the phone
  285. rings.  That must be the 2nd time today, and it's really starting to get to
  286. me!
  287.  
  288. "Yes?" I say, pausing the picture.
  289.  
  290. "I've accidentally deleted my C.V!" the voice at the other end of the line
  291. says.
  292.  
  293. "You have?  What was your username?"
  294.  
  295. He tells me.  What the hell, I AM bored.
  296.  
  297. "Ah no, you didn't delete it - I did."
  298.  
  299. "What?"
  300.  
  301. "I deleted it.  It was full of shit!  You didn't ever get more than a B- in
  302. any of your subjects!"
  303.  
  304. "Huh?"
  305.  
  306. "And that crap about being a foreign exchange student, that was your girlfriend
  307. and we both know it."
  308.  
  309. "Huh?!!"
  310.  
  311. "Your academic records.  I checked them, you were lying.."
  312.  
  313. "How did y.."  He clicks.  "It's you isn't it?  THE BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL!"
  314.  
  315. "In the flesh, on the phone and in your account....  You shouldn't have called
  316. you know.  You especially shouldn't have given me your username.."  >clickety<
  317. >click<   "Neither should you have sent that mail to the System Manager telling
  318. him what you think of him in graphic terms..."
  319.  
  320. "I didn't send any.."  
  321.  
  322. >clickety< >click<......
  323.  
  324. "No, you didn't did you?  But who can tell these days.  Not to worry though,
  325. It'll all be over VERY soon.."  >clickedy clikc<  "..change my username back,
  326. and..."
  327.  
  328. "b-b-b.." he blubs, like a stood-up date
  329.  
  330. "Goodbye now" I say pleasantly,  "you've got bags to pack and a life to start
  331. over..."
  332.  
  333. I hang up.
  334.  
  335. Two seconds later the red phone goes.  I pick it up, it's the boss.
  336. He mumbles the username of the person I was just talking to, mentions something
  337. about a nasty mail message, and utters the words "You know what to do...", with
  338. the dots and everything.
  339.  
  340. Later, inside the Municipal Energy Authority Computer, as I'm modifying the
  341. poor pleb's  Energy Bill by several zeros, I can't help but think about what
  342. lapse of judgement - what act of heinous stupidity causes them to call.
  343. Then, even later, when I'm adding the poor pleb's photo image over the top
  344. of the FBI's online "MOST Wanted Armed and Dangerous, SHOOT ON SIGHT" offenders
  345. list, I realise, I'll probably never know; but life goes on.
  346.  
  347.    A couple of hours later, as I see the SWAT vehicle roll up outside the poor
  348. pleb's apartment I realise that for some, it just doesn't.
  349.  
  350. But tommorrow is another day.
  351. --
  352.  
  353.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  354.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  355.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  356.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  357.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  358.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  359.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  360.  
  361. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  362.  
  363.  
  364. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 13:46:02 EDT 1992
  365. Article: 1588 of rec.humor.d
  366. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  367. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  368. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  369. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #4 - REPOST
  370. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071807.8727@waikato.ac.nz>
  371. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:18:07 GMT
  372. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  373. Lines: 117
  374. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19505 rec.humor.d:1588
  375.  
  376.  
  377.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #4
  378.  
  379. It's a thursday, and I'm in a good mood.  It's payday.  I think I'll take
  380. some calls.  I put the phone back on the hook.  It rings.
  381.  
  382. "I've been trying to get you for hours!" the voice at the other end screams
  383.  
  384. "Not, it can't be hours" I say, putting Blade Runner back into it's cover
  385. and looking at the back, "it was more like 114 minutes.  I was on a long phone
  386. call with the big boss, trying to get you users some better facilities"
  387.  
  388. Hook; Line;  and Sinker...
  389. "Oh.  I'm sorry."
  390.  
  391. "That's ok, I'm a tolerant person"  I make a mental note to change his password
  392. to something nasty in the next couple of days.
  393.  
  394. "Um, I need to know how to rename a file" he says.
  395.  
  396. Oh dear...  Hang on, it's payday isn't it?!  I'm in a good mood.
  397.  
  398. "Sure.  You just go 'rm' and the filename"
  399.  
  400. "Thanks"
  401.  
  402. "No worries"  (Now I'm in a REALLY good mood.  I think I just might write that
  403. script to make saving impossible on rogue at random times like I've been think-
  404. ing about)
  405.  
  406. The phone rings again.
  407.  
  408. "Hello?"
  409.  
  410. "Hi there" I say
  411.  
  412. "Is this the Operators?"
  413.  
  414. "Yes it is" I say, nice as pie
  415.  
  416. "Could you get my printouts out please.  I need them urgently, and I printed
  417. them over 5 minutes ago"
  418.  
  419. "Your username?" I ask
  420.  
  421. He gives it to me, and I write it down for later.  "No worries at all!" I say,
  422. and head to the printers.
  423.  
  424. There's a HUUUUUUUGE pile of printouts there, and sure enough, his is at the
  425. top of the pile.  I pick it up, split it out of the rest and pour our ink-
  426. stained cleaning alcohol all over it, run it over a couple of times with the
  427. loaded tape trolley then slam it in the tape safe door some times as well.
  428.  
  429. Beautiful.
  430.  
  431. "Here's your printout" I say "Sorry about the delay, we've got a few printer
  432. problems."
  433.  
  434. He takes a look and shits himself.
  435.  
  436. "Well, can I print it again?" he asks, worried
  437.  
  438. "Sure you can" I say "But no promises, the printer's a bit stuffed today"
  439.  
  440. "Well can I print it on laser - is that working?"
  441.  
  442. "Yeah of course, but that'll cost you" I say, oozing compassion for the geek
  443.  
  444. "It doesn't matter about the cost, THIS IS URGENT!"
  445.  
  446. I slide-on back into the printer room and put in the toner cartridge we save
  447. for special occasions - the one that prints thick black lines down the middle
  448. of the page and is all faint on one side.  It took me quite a while to make it
  449. like that too.  The printout shoots through and I bring it out immediately -
  450. I don't want to miss this!
  451.  
  452. "W-w-what's happened to my printout?" he geek-squeals at me.
  453. Lucky I wrote that username down - I'm really starting to develop a taste for
  454. torture.
  455.  
  456. "Well nothing.  I mean sure, it's a little soiled, but that cartridge has
  457. already done 47 thousand pages and been refilled 17 times.  It's quite good
  458. compared to some we get"
  459.  
  460. Geek pays up and starts blubbing.
  461.  
  462. "Hey now.  There's no reason to cry!  Have you got a disk with your work on
  463. it?"
  464.  
  465. He gives me a box of diskettes and I step inside and run them across the bulk
  466. eraser.  I come back out again.
  467.  
  468. "Sorry, I just remembered, our machine is on the fritz, you'll have to take
  469. these to the other side of campus to the machine there, it'll print them ok,
  470. and it had a brand-new toner yesterday."
  471.  
  472. "GREAT!"
  473.  
  474. "No worries.  Oh, and hold the disks above your head the whole way there, the
  475. earth's magnetic field is particularly strong today."
  476.  
  477. "Huh?"
  478.  
  479. "No arguements, just do it."
  480.  
  481. He wanders off, hand held high.  Shit I hate myself sometimes.
  482. --
  483.  
  484.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  485.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  486.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  487.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  488.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  489.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  490.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  491.  
  492. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  493.  
  494.  
  495. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 13:48:33 EDT 1992
  496. Article: 1589 of rec.humor.d
  497. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  498. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  499. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  500. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #5 - REPOST
  501. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071825.8728@waikato.ac.nz>
  502. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:18:25 GMT
  503. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  504. Lines: 97
  505. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19506 rec.humor.d:1589
  506.  
  507.  
  508.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #5
  509.  
  510. I'm bored senseless, so I pass the time by reading users email.  I must admit
  511. that today's lot is PARTICULARLY boring, not one good message in all of them.
  512. I was expecting at LEAST some veiled reference to a grope in a storeroom, but
  513. nothing.  So I'm bored senseless by the usual drivel about some relative's
  514. surgery and how the weather is over the other side of the world - that sort
  515. of crap.
  516.  
  517. To relieve the boredom, I remove a e-mail party invite from a user's mail
  518. and post it under the senders username to to alt.singles.with.severe.social.
  519. dysfunctions on news, and make a note in my diary to be there with my
  520. camcorder.  Should be a blast!
  521.  
  522.   Next in line is the online medical records database, in which the company
  523. doctors store the current medical histories of the staff.  I grep it quickly
  524. for "herpes" and "syphillus" and sell the results to the local scum newspaper.
  525. I cover my tracks by adding an entry to one of the doctor's online electronic
  526. diarys for yesterday saying "$500, Med Recs To Paper"  I think that's all it
  527. should take..
  528.  
  529. I move some tapes from the racks to the trolley to make it look like we really
  530. use them, then start looking thru archie listings for a hidden x-gif site.  I
  531. find one then start a batch job running under some user's account to get them
  532. all back, charged to him.  I make sure he's got enough disk for the job by
  533. removing any files not related to the task at hand.  Like all those "Doctorate
  534. Final Report" papers that have got quite large in the last couple of weeks.
  535.  
  536. I go back to the mail now, as something's bound to have happened.  I do a grep
  537. on all mail files for the words "pregnant" and "family way", and post them
  538. anonymously to the local general interest newsgroup.
  539.  
  540. Then, before anything can happen, the power goes out!  The next second, the
  541. phone rings.
  542.  
  543. "Hello?" I say, annoyed - the coyote was just about to kill roadrunner again!
  544.  
  545. "Has the comput.."
  546.  
  547. I hang up.  This is a matter of life or death.  Quick as I can I rip the
  548. computer power cable out of the UPS and plug the TV in.  Damn!  Wylie missed
  549. again!  
  550.  
  551. Meantime, all the alarms are going off like crazy as the disks spin down, but
  552. that's ok, because my Mac and Terminal are hardwired to the UPS in any case;
  553. and I'm at the Beer Factory level in Dark Castle too.
  554.  
  555. The phone rings, so I pull the PABX breaker on the UPS switchboard and it
  556. stops.  Now to look like I'm working.  I break out the puck and the hockey
  557. stick and play a little one-on-wall.  From the observation window it'll look
  558. like I'm being blindingly efficient, as per usual.
  559.  
  560. 10 Minutes later, the power is back and we're two HDA's down, but what the
  561. hell, I haven't lost a man, I'm onto the final screen, and there's more
  562. cartoons!
  563.  
  564. The phone rings, it's a luser.  (What a surprise)
  565.  
  566. "Computer Room" I say, being efficient
  567.  
  568. "Hello, when will the compu..."
  569.  
  570. I hang up.
  571. I'm doing well in the screen, all I need do is get past the wizard who throws
  572. spells at you and I'm in!
  573.  
  574. The phone rings again.  I put it on hands free
  575.  
  576. "Computer Room" I shout, still deep in the game.
  577.  
  578. "I've lost my files" a user whines over the loudspeaker
  579.  
  580. "You bet you have" I say, as my concentration lapses just long enough for
  581. me to get zapped by the wizard.
  582.  
  583. "What was your username?" I say, all sweetness and smiles
  584.  
  585. He tells me, I look, and he's right.  Shit, and I didn't even do it!
  586.  
  587. Not to be outdone, I change his login directory to the null device, set his
  588. path to "." and redefine the command "news" to execute a script in his old
  589. login directory to send a nasty message to the equal opportunities officer,
  590. then delete itself.
  591.  
  592. Now that's trying!
  593. --
  594.  
  595.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  596.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  597.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  598.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  599.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  600.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  601.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  602.  
  603. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  604.  
  605.  
  606. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 13:50:01 EDT 1992
  607. Article: 1590 of rec.humor.d
  608. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  609. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  610. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  611. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #6 - REPOST
  612. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071842.8729@waikato.ac.nz>
  613. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:18:42 GMT
  614. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  615. Lines: 103
  616. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19507 rec.humor.d:1590
  617.  
  618.  
  619.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #6
  620.  
  621. It's friday, so I get into work early, before lunch even.  The phone rings.
  622. Shit!
  623.  
  624. I turn the page on the excuse sheet.  "SOLAR FLARES" stares out at me.  I'd
  625. better read up on that.  Two minutes later I'm ready to answer the phone.
  626.  
  627. "Hello?"  I say.
  628.  
  629. "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET YOU ALL MORNING?!"
  630.  
  631. I hate it when they shout at me early in the morning.  It always puts me in a
  632. bad mood.   You know what I mean.
  633.  
  634. "Ah, yes.   Well, there's been some solar activity this morning, it always
  635. disrupts electronics..."  I say, sweet as a sugar pie.
  636.  
  637. "Huh?  But I could get through to my friends?!"
  638.  
  639. "Yes, that's entirely possible, solar activity is very unpredictable in it's
  640. effects.  Why last week, we had some files just dissappear from a guys account
  641. while he was working on it!"
  642.  
  643. "Really?"
  644.  
  645. "Straight Up!   Hey, do you want me to check your account?"
  646.  
  647. "Yes please, I've got some important stuff in there!"
  648.  
  649. "Ok, what's your username..."
  650.  
  651. He tells me.  Honestly, it's like shooting a fish in a barrel.  Twice.
  652. With an Elephant Gun.  At point blank range.  In the head.
  653.  
  654. (Do I really need to tell you the clicky clicky bit?  I think not)
  655.  
  656. "How many files are in your account?"  I ask
  657.  
  658. "Um, well there should be about 20 in my thesis writeup, 10 or so with the
  659. data for it, and another 20 or so in a book that I'm writing"
  660.  
  661. "Hmmm.  Well, I think we caught it just in time.  You've still got 2 files
  662. left...  .cshrc and .login"
  663.  
  664. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaggggggggghhhh!"
  665.  
  666. He sobs into the receiver a bit - it really turns my stomach.
  667.  
  668. "What can I do?" he sniffs
  669.  
  670. "Ok, do you have any of your stuff backed up on floppy?"
  671.  
  672. "Some, but it's weeks old!"
  673.  
  674. I fire up the bulk eraser.
  675.  
  676. "Ok" I say "How about I come out and load all that data onto your account
  677. pronto so you can get some work done?"
  678.  
  679. "That'd be great, but it's all at home" he wimpers.  "I spose I'll just load
  680. it all in myself tonight"
  681.  
  682. "Sure.  But remember what I said, solar flares are bad for disks and machines.
  683. Protect your disks from solar activity to prevent them losing their data"
  684.  
  685. "How do I do that?  Wrap them in tin-foil?"
  686.  
  687. "NO!  TIN FOIL'S THE WORST THING!  YOU KNOW WHAT TIN FOIL DOES IN A MICROWAVE
  688. DON'T YOU?!"
  689.  
  690. "Yes.."
  691.  
  692. "Then don't use it.  There's only one thing that protects disks from solar
  693. activity.."
  694.  
  695. "What's that?"
  696.  
  697. "MAGNETS.  Wrap your disks up in a pillow case with lots of magnets - Solar
  698. Flares hate that"
  699.  
  700. "Wow!  Thanks"
  701.  
  702. "No worries at all..."
  703.  
  704. Shit I'm good!
  705.  
  706. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  707. WARNING!  I know it's really stupid saying this,  but if you really do wrap a
  708. disk in magnets, you need help.  So don't do it.  This is FICTION.  FICK-SHIN
  709. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  710. --
  711.  
  712.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  713.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  714.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  715.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  716.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  717.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  718.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  719.  
  720. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  721.  
  722.  
  723. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 13:58:52 EDT 1992
  724. Article: 1591 of rec.humor.d
  725. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  726. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  727. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  728. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #7 - REPOST
  729. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071902.8730@waikato.ac.nz>
  730. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:19:02 GMT
  731. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  732. Lines: 160
  733. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19508 rec.humor.d:1591
  734.  
  735.  
  736.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #8
  737.  
  738. So I manage AT LONG LAST, to get a couple of hours off for lunch, AND, because
  739. I can't leave my desk unattended, I get the janitor in and have him sit in
  740. my chair.  I tell him that all he has to do is make sure the receiver doesn't
  741. accidentally get put back on the hook. He agrees and I'm off.
  742.  
  743. First stop, the bank.   I change a $50 note into quarters and then ask to see
  744. a balance of my account.  Then I yank the power lead out of the teller's vdu.
  745. It dies.  I say I'm in a hurry and is the manager around?
  746.  
  747. He rolls over like a man-sized twinkie and asks what the problem is.  I say
  748. that all I want is a balance of my accounts.  I cross my fingers.  YES!
  749. He finds the vdu lead out, plugs it in, and logs in, TO THE MANAGER'S ACCOUNT.
  750. Now's my chance - I slip up against the counter, slopping 200 coins across the
  751. counter.  The manager ignores it, but all the tellers dive for the money.  I
  752. watch, unobserved, as the manager types in his password at the breakneck speed
  753. of one character a minute.  At that rate I should've got $100 worth....
  754. He finishes typing.   "MONEY".  What a toughy!  Well, that's my mortgage taken
  755. care of tonight...
  756.  
  757. A user that I recognise from "D(eletion) day '89" approaches.  I think he's
  758. going to talk to me.  Even the bank manager is shaking his head furiously.
  759. But it's too late, he stops.
  760.  
  761. "Um, excuse me, Could you tell me what is the best computer to buy to do my
  762. thesis on?
  763.  
  764. ?!
  765.  
  766. Right.
  767.  
  768. "You've heard of Commodore 64's?" I ask
  769.  
  770. "Yes?.."
  771.  
  772. "Avoid them like the plague!  Not many people know this, but computers aren't
  773. made to handle that much memory - it's over 64,000 things, more in some cases.
  774. It's a recipe for disaster!"
  775.  
  776. "Oh!"
  777.  
  778. "Try something safe and proven.  A ZX81 with dual cassette drive if you can
  779. get it.  The 1K ram model.  Write that down.  Don't buy a disk drive - You
  780. know how they're always failing, but music cassettes last forever!"
  781.  
  782. "Hey thanks!"
  783.  
  784. "No worries.  What was your username again?"
  785.  
  786. He tells me.  Just in time for D-Day 92.  You'd think they'd learn.
  787.  
  788. I get back to work and the janitor's asleep at the terminal.  I ask him if he
  789. wants to work here too, but he likes the ability to bust in on people when
  790. they're in the toilet...  
  791.  
  792. I put the phone back on the hook, and straight away it rings.  I hate it when
  793. it does that, it takes me AGES to get my walkman phones in.
  794.  
  795. It's the hottest hosemonster I've ever met, and she's got a computer problem!
  796. I love it when that happens!
  797.  
  798. "What's your username?" I ask
  799.  
  800. She tells me (as if I didn't know)
  801.  
  802. Quick as I can I read all her e-mail (mostly boring stuff), then grep everyone
  803. else's mail files for her username.  Nothing.  Excellent!
  804.  
  805. "What's the problem?" I ask, all smiles and charm.
  806.  
  807. "I can't save my documents, it says something about space."
  808.  
  809. "Not a problem for long" I say, and delete everyone else on the same disk as
  810. her.  "You should be fine now.."
  811.  
  812. "Thank you so much" she gushes.  
  813. I make a mental note to do something to her account again tomorrow.
  814. "No worries."
  815.  
  816. The phone rings almost before I've got it on the hook.
  817.  
  818. "My files are all gone!" a voice whines out at me.
  819.  
  820. "When did this happen?" I ask.
  821.  
  822. "Just now..." he says, through the tears
  823.  
  824. "I see.  Well, I wouldn't worry, there's three days till the end of the
  825. semester, if you work day and night until then, you should get at least a C-"
  826.  
  827. He sobs a couple more times then hangs up.  What a wimp.
  828.  
  829. THE PHONE RINGS AGAIN!
  830.  
  831. "The screen on my PC is really dim" The woman at the other end says  "Should I
  832. wind the brightness knob up?"
  833.  
  834. "NO!" I scream  "Don't touch that knob!  Have you any idea of the radiation
  835. that comes out of that thing when the knob gets wound up?!!!!"
  836.  
  837. "Well I..." she says, all uncertain
  838.  
  839. "TAKE MY ADVICE!"  I say "There's only ONE way to fix a dim display, and that's
  840. by power surging the drivers"
  841.  
  842. The words "power surging" and "drivers" have got her.  People hear words like
  843. that and go into dummy mode and do ANYTHING you say.  I could tell her to run
  844. naked across campus with a powercord rammed up her backside and she'd probably
  845. do it...  Hmmm...
  846.  
  847. "Have you got a spare power cord?"
  848.  
  849. "No.."
  850.  
  851. "Oh well, never mind, we'll have to do the power surge idea...  Ok, quick as
  852. you can, I want you to flick the power switch of your PC on and off 30 times"
  853.  
  854. "Should I take my disks out?"
  855.  
  856. "NO!  Do you want to lose all your data!?!"
  857.  
  858. "Oh.  No!  Ok.."
  859.  
  860. I listen carefully.. ..
  861.  
  862. ...clicky..clikcy...clikky.. .. .. ...clicky.     ...cliccy..
  863.  . . BOOM!
  864.  
  865. Amazing, it probably made it to 27 - the power supply usually shits itself
  866. at 15 or so...
  867.  
  868. "MY COMPUTER BLEW UP!!!" she screams at me down the line
  869.  
  870. "Really?  Must've been a dodgy power supply!  Lucky we found out now!  Is your
  871. machine still under warranty?"
  872.  
  873. "NO!"
  874.  
  875. "Dear oh dear.  Well, Best get it repaired then.  Did you backup your files?"
  876.  
  877. "Yes, to the system, Yesterday, but all this morning's work is gone!"
  878.  
  879. "Oh dear.  What was your username, I'll just check that your backups worked
  880. ok?"
  881.  
  882. She tells me....
  883.  
  884. --
  885.  
  886.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  887.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  888.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  889.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  890.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  891.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  892.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  893.  
  894. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  895.  
  896.  
  897. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 14:01:15 EDT 1992
  898. Article: 1592 of rec.humor.d
  899. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  900. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  901. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  902. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #8 - REPOST
  903. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071919.8731@waikato.ac.nz>
  904. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:19:19 GMT
  905. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  906. Lines: 110
  907. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19509 rec.humor.d:1592
  908.  
  909.  
  910.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #8
  911.  
  912. I'm at my desk as usual, and a user calls.
  913.  
  914. "Hello Computer Room, Simon here, How can I help" I answer
  915.  
  916. "I can't get into my account!" A user mumbles at me.
  917.  
  918. "What was your username please?" I say
  919.  
  920. They give me their username.  No worries.  I look in their account.
  921.  
  922. "No worries, it was just a badly made login file.  I've fixed it, you should
  923. be able to login."
  924.  
  925. "Thanks!"
  926.  
  927. "No worries.   Have a nice day!"
  928.  
  929. WHAT IS THIS?  you're asking yourself.  Has the BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL
  930. turned over a new leaf?  Sold out?!   GONE INSANE?!!!
  931. Nope.  The BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL is being logfiled.  And if that's happen-
  932. ing, I'm being bugged as well.  So I'm being nice till I can find the bugs.  It
  933. shouldn't be long - bear with me.
  934.  
  935. Ah.  One in the phone handpeice.  Basic.  But then the boss is a sneaky sort,
  936. so there's probably a couple more.  Ah!  And another in the base of the phone
  937. and one inside my keyboard.  Time for a mad coffee-spilling frenzy.  This is
  938. a big job, so I bring the whole jug over and wait for a witness.  The System
  939. Manager comes in.
  940.  
  941. "Where's that report of mine?" he asks in a surly manner - he's obviously
  942. pissed that I haven't implicated myself yet.  Antagonist Identified.  As
  943. the Principal of "BASTARD OPERATOR SCHOOL" (me) will tell you, "There's no
  944. problem so large it can't be solved by killing the user off, deleting their
  945. files, closing their account and reporting their REAL earnings to the IRS"
  946.  
  947. I pull his printout from under the coffee jug where I put it, and the coffee
  948. splashes all over the phone and keyboard, which for some reason were stacked
  949. on top of each other.
  950.  
  951. "Woopsy!"  I say, mock horror on my face.  The System Manager's face tells
  952. me I was right in my guess.
  953.  
  954. "Don't think you'll get away with this!" he snarls and stomps off.
  955.  
  956. I click on the ethernet monitor and watch the traffic coming out of his PC.
  957.  
  958. Ah!  A memo, authorising the termination of my contract, going to the laser in
  959. the director's office.  I make a few alterations to the file in the spool
  960. directory and let it go to it's destination.  I run my dinky little program
  961. that deposits -522 to the PC and our mainframe shits itself.
  962.  
  963. Later, while booting, I'll remove that nasty logfile business.
  964.  
  965.       Next, I wander into the comms room and plug my earphone into the spare
  966. RS232 port in the Directors office.  It's amazing how simple it is to bug an
  967. office once it's got data lines going to it!
  968.  
  969. Director:       "Are you sure about this?"
  970. SysMgr:         "OF COURSE!"
  971. Director:       "You don't want to reconsider?"
  972. SysMgr          "NEVER!"
  973. Director:       "Very well, I'll fax it to staffing now.."
  974. SysMgr          "EXCELLENT!"
  975.  
  976. Two seconds later the System Manager strolls in smiling.
  977. "Well, I'll really miss you Simon.." he says, full of himself.
  978.  
  979. "Oh?" I say, all sweetness and charm "Where are you going?"
  980.  
  981. "No Simon" he says, with glee "You're going"
  982.  
  983. "A PROMOTION!" I say "You've finally written that letter to the head of
  984. staffing telling him he's a bum-sucking arse bandit and that you quit?"
  985.  
  986. "No..."
  987.  
  988. "Are you sure?  It's much better than the one about me being fired.."
  989.  
  990. "Y.."  His eyes widen slightly
  991.  
  992. It's like clubbing a seal to death with a foam cushion.  He runs to stop the
  993. fax.  Only, having just resigned, >clicky cklikcy< his card key no longer
  994. works...
  995.  
  996. Ametuers...
  997.  
  998. The Phone rings.  It's the same guy as before
  999.  
  1000. "I can get into my account now, but I've run out of disk"
  1001.  
  1002. "Hang on, I'll see what I can do"
  1003.  
  1004. >clicccky<...
  1005. rm -r *
  1006.  
  1007.  
  1008. --
  1009.  
  1010.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  1011.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  1012.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  1013.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  1014.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  1015.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  1016.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  1017.  
  1018. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  1019.  
  1020.  
  1021. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 14:04:13 EDT 1992
  1022. Article: 1593 of rec.humor.d
  1023. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  1024. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  1025. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  1026. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #9 - REPOST
  1027. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071936.8732@waikato.ac.nz>
  1028. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:19:36 GMT
  1029. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  1030. Lines: 112
  1031. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19510 rec.humor.d:1593
  1032.  
  1033.  
  1034.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #9
  1035.  
  1036. I'm driving to work and I'm stuck behind this old guy, the classic slow driver
  1037. from hell,  whose  car red-lines at 20 mph and can't take corners at more than
  1038. 5.  I honk my horn but his hearing aid's probably turned way down to "whisper",
  1039. so I'm stuck.
  1040.  
  1041. I make a mental note of his license plate.  In fact, I did that 60 times a
  1042. minute for 15 and a half minutes.  Oh dear.. oh dear....  Looks like another
  1043. call to the DMV Database to register a vehicle as stolen by out of town arms
  1044. dealers...
  1045.  
  1046. I get to work, flick the excuse page over.  "ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION FROM
  1047. SATTELLITE DEBRIS".  Fair enough, it looks like it's going to be a good day.
  1048.  
  1049. I log into "FUCKYOU", (the help-desk enquiries username) and go into mail.
  1050. There's 3 new messages, the first of which is 117 lines long, so it's obviously
  1051. a storyteller.  Shit, I hate that.  Instead of saying "My account needs more
  1052. disk space" they tell you about how they're doing this bit of research for a
  1053. lecturer and how it's got to be in yesterday, and they almost had it but their
  1054. second cousing twice removed had a perforated herpes scab and lost a lot of
  1055. blood and had to be rushed into hospital... etc etc.  I delete the message.
  1056.  
  1057. Second message I read, but it's one of those people who can't handle the mail
  1058. interface and send a null message, so all you get is headers.  I reply to the
  1059. message saying "No worries, we can do that by next tuesday".  Hope it was
  1060. important.
  1061.  
  1062. The last message I leave for tommorrow, because Saturday would be a dull day
  1063. if I ever had to work then.
  1064.  
  1065. The phone rings.  I thought I'd fixed that!
  1066.  
  1067. I put it on hands free so I can slop some pizza into the microwave.
  1068.  
  1069. "Yes" I call
  1070.  
  1071. "Something's wrong with my Boot disk, I can't login to the server"
  1072.  
  1073. "Have you got your disk with you?"
  1074.  
  1075. "Sure!"
  1076.  
  1077. I go get the disk and put it and the pizza in for 5 minutes on "ULTRA-NUKE".
  1078.  
  1079. Six minutes later, he rings back.
  1080.  
  1081. "It still doesn't work, and now my disk makes a funny noise and smells."
  1082.  
  1083. "OH SHIT!  It's that electromagnetic radiation from satellite debris again!"
  1084.  
  1085. "Really?  I think I heard about that!"  (What a tool!)
  1086.  
  1087. "Yep, I'm sorry, you'll have to buy another disk"
  1088.  
  1089. "Oh, that's ok, I don't mind, the old one was getting worn.  Thanks"
  1090.  
  1091. "Sure, no worries.  And be sure to run it through our virus checker FDISK
  1092. when you get a lot of important data on it..."
  1093.  
  1094. "I will!  Thanks!"
  1095.  
  1096. "That's Ok - it's my job!"
  1097.  
  1098. Xcbzone is running really slow so I kill off a whole lot of database backends
  1099. that seem to be hogging all the cpu and get back into my game.  Much better.
  1100.  
  1101. It isn't easy on the frontline, work work work...
  1102.  
  1103. I go to the cafeteria for a quick 2 hour snack - they're so nice to me there.
  1104. They always have been, ever since that computer glitch that registered their
  1105. kitchen as an organ recipient - very messy.  I grab a couple of cans of coke
  1106. and some cheese things and cruise on back to the office via the first year
  1107. computer funamentals lab.  I look in the window on the scene that unfolds it-
  1108. self to me - a lab full of first years with no demonstrator.
  1109.  
  1110. WELL I'LL JUST HAVE TO HELP!
  1111.  
  1112. I walk on in.
  1113.  
  1114. "Right, I'm your temporary replacement demonstrator and today we're going
  1115. to put our assignments aside for half an hour to learn about the REMARK
  1116. function, or, as it's known to the computer literate world, rm.."
  1117.  
  1118. I should have been a teacher you know - I've got this way with people...
  1119. ...
  1120.  
  1121.  
  1122. --
  1123.  
  1124. -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
  1125. This signature was created using RoboSig, the errorfree sigmaker.
  1126. Simon Travaglia, spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz, Uni of Waikato, P B, Hamilton, NZ
  1127. Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author
  1128. and have no bearing his work or employers (but his teddy agrees with him)
  1129. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1130. Rules for Academic Deans:
  1131.  (1). HIDE!!!!
  1132.  (2). If they find you, LIE!!!!
  1133.                                         -- Father Damian C. Fandal
  1134. --
  1135.  
  1136.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  1137.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  1138.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  1139.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  1140.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  1141.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  1142.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  1143.  
  1144. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  1145.  
  1146.  
  1147. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Sun Jun 21 14:06:53 EDT 1992
  1148. Article: 1594 of rec.humor.d
  1149. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  1150. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  1151. Newsgroups: rec.humor,rec.humor.d
  1152. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #10 - REPOST
  1153. Message-ID: <1992Jun17.071952.8733@waikato.ac.nz>
  1154. Date: 16 Jun 92 19:19:52 GMT
  1155. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  1156. Lines: 147
  1157. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:19511 rec.humor.d:1594
  1158.  
  1159.  
  1160.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #10
  1161.  
  1162. I get invited to a lecture as a guest speaker in "Computing Operations Fund-
  1163. amentals",  so  I  leave  the control room in the capable hands of Sam, the
  1164. janitor and cruise on down.
  1165.  
  1166. The lecture starts and goes ok, then there's a 10 minute period where students
  1167. get to ask a "real operator" questions that they have about operations.
  1168.  
  1169. I get out my pad and pen.
  1170. "Before we get started" I say, "could you just call out your username before
  1171. you ask me a question, I find it easier to apply your problem to terms you
  1172. would understand better"
  1173. The lecturer eats all this up - the personal touch really gets to them.
  1174. "First Question, You over there.."
  1175.  
  1176. "What do you think of the privacy of individuals on a shared system?"
  1177.  
  1178. "What was your username please?"
  1179.  
  1180. "CMS1103"
  1181.  
  1182. >Scratchy scritch<
  1183. "Computer Privacy...   Hmmm.  This is a toughy really.  You mean stuff like
  1184. reading the email between you and your counsellor about you not wanting to
  1185. come out of the closet?"
  1186.  
  1187. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGH!"
  1188.  
  1189. "AH.  Well, he seems to have left - must have picked a bad COMPLETELY RANDOM
  1190. example.  Next question.  You, over there..."
  1191.  
  1192. "CMS1136.  I was.."
  1193.  
  1194. "Ah yes, 1136 the only person on campus who subscribes to alt.sex.buggery.by.
  1195. sailors.dressed.in.mums.clothing"
  1196.  
  1197. "It's purely for research purposes!"
  1198.  
  1199. "I'm sure it is.  You do a lot of story posting for a researcher don't you?"
  1200.  
  1201. "NNGggggAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHGH!"
  1202.  
  1203. "Next please..."
  1204.  
  1205. ...
  1206.  
  1207. ..
  1208.  
  1209. Two minutes later, the lecture theatre's empty.
  1210. That's the problem with students today, they just don't want to learn.
  1211.  
  1212. I go back to control and Sam's asleep at the console again.  I think he's
  1213. after my job.  I make a mental note to tap into the salary database and
  1214. cancel his health and accident insurance payments.  You can't be too careful..
  1215.  
  1216. I put the phone on the hook for the first time this afternoon and it starts
  1217. ringing almost immediately.  THAT'S IT!  I redirect it to 911 catch a bit of
  1218. shuteye.  That'll teach them.  OOPS!  Almost forgot to turn over the excuse
  1219. calendar.  "STATIC FROM NYLON UNDERWEAR"  Nope, too plausable - although in
  1220. some cases I could do an on-site check.  Nah, can't be stuffed.  I'll pick
  1221. another one.  "STATIC FROM PLASTIC SLIDE RULES"  Now THAT'S one with a
  1222. challenge!
  1223.  
  1224. I un-redirect the phone and drag the rubbish bin so it rests on the printer's
  1225. stacker - another job well done.  The phone rings - this could be the big one!
  1226.  
  1227. "Hello?"
  1228.  
  1229. "Hi, Um, how do I spell-check my file?"
  1230.  
  1231. "Simple, just type `spell' and the filename"
  1232.  
  1233. "Thanks"
  1234.  
  1235. I'm so bloody nice this morning.  Especially as I know that my version of spell
  1236. introduces  errors  instead  of detecting them.  Things like changing friend to
  1237. freind and vice-versa.  What the hell.
  1238.  
  1239. The phone rings - it's them again.
  1240.  
  1241. "There's something wrong with spell"
  1242.  
  1243. "What makes you think that?"
  1244.  
  1245. "Because my file is all corrupt now!"
  1246.  
  1247. "That doesn't sound like spell to me.  Are you logged into thru PC?"
  1248.  
  1249. "Yes, but I can.."
  1250.  
  1251. "Please, leave the technical diagnosis to me...  Now, is there a plastic ruler
  1252. somewhere on or in the desk?"
  1253.  
  1254. "Um >clunka<, yes..."
  1255.  
  1256. "Right.  You've got a static buildup on your hard-drive caused by the changing
  1257. electrostatic field generated by the ruler - the same one that makes bits of
  1258. paper stick to it when you rub it up and down your arm..."
  1259.  
  1260. DUMMY MODE ON
  1261.  
  1262. "Oh.  What do I do?"
  1263.  
  1264. "You know how you get paper off a ruler by hitting it on a table lots of times?
  1265. Well do that with your PC.  Say 20 times - lift it about a foot off the desk &
  1266. drop it."
  1267.  
  1268. "Oh.  OK"
  1269.  
  1270. >crash<
  1271.  
  1272. >crash<
  1273.  
  1274. >crash<
  1275.  
  1276. "Um, the screen went dark"
  1277.  
  1278. "That's ok, it's supposed to do that - keep going.  And when you're finished,
  1279. do the screen as well, that static may have gone up the wires to it."
  1280.  
  1281. >crash<
  1282.  
  1283. >crash<
  1284.  
  1285. >crash<...
  1286.  
  1287. I hang up.   I get up and go out to the public area to put honey in the floppy
  1288. drives when a guy who looked like Lee Harvey Oswald runs up to me and shoots
  1289. me, only the sound comes from the machine room, and I can hear the ex System-
  1290. Managers chuckle....
  1291.  
  1292. Later, in the ambulance, I realise.  I forgot to get the guys username...
  1293.  
  1294. Then everything goes dark
  1295. --
  1296.  
  1297.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  1298.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  1299.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  1300.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  1301.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  1302.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  1303.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  1304.  
  1305. The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.
  1306.  
  1307.  
  1308. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt Tue Jun 23 23:53:23 EDT 1992
  1309. Article: 18754 of talk.bizarre
  1310. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!wupost!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  1311. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  1312. Newsgroups: rec.humor,talk.bizarre,comp.misc,alt.tasteless
  1313. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #11
  1314. Message-ID: <1992Jun23.095137.8897@waikato.ac.nz>
  1315. Date: 22 Jun 92 21:51:37 GMT
  1316. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  1317. Lines: 106
  1318. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:20031 talk.bizarre:18754 comp.misc:2255 alt.tasteless:7738
  1319.  
  1320.  
  1321.                 BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL LIVES!   #11
  1322.  
  1323.  
  1324. The darkness cleared as we got out of the tunnel and it occurred to me that
  1325. I couldn't be all that injured.  Then again, maybe I was.  Someone was going
  1326. to p..
  1327.  
  1328. I died.
  1329.  
  1330. Of course, a true BOFH considers this not really as dying, but more of going
  1331. home for the holidays.
  1332.  
  1333. Five seconds later, I'm getting the upside of 15Kv across the nipples. (These
  1334. ambulance guys sure know how to party).
  1335.  
  1336.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL LIVES!
  1337.  
  1338. Three weeks later I'm back on my backside and feeling rested at relaxed behind
  1339. the console again.  The rest has done me good, I feel *great!*.  I catch up on
  1340. everyone's email then let the students know I'm back by performing an impromptu
  1341. preventative maintenance in the middle of lab time by kicking the restart
  1342. switch (They love it really)
  1343.  
  1344. I flip today's excuse card,  "GLOBAL WARMING"  YES YES YES!  What a welcome
  1345. home!
  1346.  
  1347. It's the end of the month so all those automatic email reminder programs will
  1348. be sending messages all over the place.  I set the system clock back 7 days
  1349. to buy some peace and quiet and swap the printer ribbon for the three year old
  1350. one with holes in it.
  1351.  
  1352.     I sort through my snail mail and crack open the BOFH Monthly Newsletter,
  1353. "kill -9" and check out the articles therein.   There's a nice peice of making
  1354. OS2 slow, boring and painful, but it looks exactly like the OS2 installation
  1355. instructions to me...  Ah, who knows.  I head straight to the BOFH Wizard
  1356. section to see if any of my articles were published.   All of them!!!  Even
  1357. the one about the c compiler that randomly removes one line from the source
  1358. code it's compiling!
  1359.  
  1360. The phone rings.
  1361.  
  1362. "The Screen on my PC is blank!!!"
  1363.  
  1364. "It's the power cord" I say
  1365.  
  1366. "No, I checked that.  When I switch it on, it does nothing!"
  1367.  
  1368. "It's the power cord" I say
  1369.  
  1370. "No, I checked and it's all plugged in properly.  There's no lights on the
  1371. keyboard or anything"
  1372.  
  1373. "It's the power cord" I say
  1374.  
  1375. "Oh.  I just noticed, the cord's not plugged in properly!"
  1376.  
  1377. "The power cord?" I ask
  1378.  
  1379. "Yes...  Woopsy"
  1380.  
  1381. "No worries at all" I say "Is it all working well now?"
  1382.  
  1383. "Yes, I think so.  I'm sorry, you WERE right all along"
  1384.  
  1385. "Yes, we're getting a lot of this, it's due to the current Global Warming
  1386. problem.  It causes random thermal expansion and contraction resulting in
  1387. temperature induced movement of friction based holding mechanisms.."
  1388.  
  1389. I listen carefully.  Nothing.  In other words, <DUMMY MODE ON>...
  1390.  
  1391. "You can fix it permanently tho'" I say
  1392.  
  1393. "Really?  How?"
  1394.  
  1395. "Well it's all to do with lowering salt deposits on the metal contacts"
  1396.  
  1397. "Oh!"  (Dummy mode irrevocably engaged)
  1398.  
  1399. "All you need to do is just take the power plug out deposit some dilute mineral
  1400. salts on it.  Do you have some dilute mineral salts on you?"
  1401.  
  1402. "Uh, no?"
  1403.  
  1404. "Ok, no worries, just stick it in your mouth drool into it.  But make sure you
  1405. wipe the plug first to get rid of any germs, and TURN THE SWITCH OFF ON THE
  1406. MONITOR before you do - we don't want a nasty accident!
  1407.  
  1408. "Oh.  Ok!"
  1409.  
  1410. >Fzzzt< >clunk!<
  1411.  
  1412. I hang up as the receiver hits the floor.  Disk space is too good for them.
  1413.  
  1414. --
  1415.  
  1416. ______________________________________________________________________________
  1417.  spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz - Simon P Travaglia   Voice: 064 7 8384008  "Hello?"
  1418. Computer Services, Waikato University, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand
  1419.  -- Elvis Presley is alive and writing my signatures at Waikato University --
  1420. Disclaimer: Elvis would agree with me, but he's got dirt in his mouth.
  1421. ______________________________________________________________________________
  1422.  
  1423. A recent moralist has affirmed that the human heart is like a jug.  No mortal
  1424.  can look into its recessed, and you can only judge of its purity by what comes
  1425.  out of it.
  1426.  
  1427.  
  1428. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!europa.asd.contel.com!uunet!comp.vuw.ac.nz!waikato.ac.nz!spt Tue Jun 23 23:56:42 EDT 1992
  1429. Article: 18879 of talk.bizarre
  1430. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!europa.asd.contel.com!uunet!comp.vuw.ac.nz!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  1431. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  1432. Newsgroups: rec.humor,alt.tasteless,talk.bizarre
  1433. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #12
  1434. Message-ID: <1992Jun24.091930.8919@waikato.ac.nz>
  1435. Date: 23 Jun 92 21:19:29 GMT
  1436. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  1437. Lines: 119
  1438. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:20116 alt.tasteless:7773 talk.bizarre:18879
  1439.  
  1440.  
  1441.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #12
  1442.  
  1443.   I get to work and I'm a bit tired so I plug a thick hunk of copper across
  1444. the  three  phase  supply  and  throw the switch.  The room is plunged into
  1445. darkness as the circuit breakers trip and for once the machine room is silent.
  1446.  
  1447. I like it.
  1448.  
  1449. I pop the phone off the hook and close the curtains on the observation window.
  1450. Now it's *really* dark in there.  I wouldn't be surprised if someone had an
  1451. accident in here..
  1452.  
  1453. I lift a couple of floor tiles up in the darkness and call our maintenance
  1454. contractors saying the mini popped the breaker again, then replace the fuses
  1455. in it with a couple of nails and short the power supply to ground.  You can't
  1456. just hope for this sort of thing, you've got to MAKE it happen.
  1457.  
  1458. 15 minutes later the engineer arives and falls down the hole.  I pop the floor
  1459. tiles back on just as the System Manager (a new and very thorough individual)
  1460. comes in, telling me to watch out, someone could really hurt themselves in the
  1461. dark...
  1462.  
  1463. I nod & tell him that we can't really afford all the downtime, and should I
  1464. just throw the breaker and hope that there was no major fault.  After thinking
  1465. about the negative publicity we're getting already, he makes the last decision
  1466. of his short career and tells me to go ahead.
  1467.  
  1468. Later, when the smoke clears I examine the smoking remains of the mini.  Not
  1469. a pretty sight...
  1470.  
  1471. "Strange that the breaker jammed shut, isn't it?" I say to our manager as he
  1472. packs up the personal things in his office.  "One in a million chance.  A pity
  1473. that someone saw what you did and posted the whole story to comp.misc.  You'll
  1474. be lucky to get a job managing a car computer after all that publicity..."
  1475.  
  1476.    I go back to the machine room and throw the rest of the breakers to liven
  1477. everything  up,  then  login  and  start  deleting  users'  email.  I spot an
  1478. interesting off-the-record sexual proposition from our male consultant to a
  1479. member of the men's swim team which will make a good motd, so I copy it there,
  1480. modify root's owner name to be "Winker" and password to be "ljkadlkajflkj"
  1481. (then call the big boss to report a suspected intrusion).  Should be at least
  1482. a couple of hours of login time before we can sort that out.  In the meantime,
  1483. people are just going to have to read that message...
  1484.   I realise the message has been read when I hear the gunshot from behind the
  1485. consultant's closed door.
  1486.  
  1487.    I edit the online helpdesk information and change the phone number to the
  1488. System Manager's  -  he'll probably appreciate the extra calls at such a sad
  1489. time...
  1490.  
  1491. I hear another shot and realise he won't be answering any calls today.
  1492.  
  1493. I put the phone back on the hook and flip today's excuse card.  "Poor power
  1494. conditioning".  Too plausible.  "STATIC BUILDUP".  Still a bit too plausible
  1495. for my liking, but I don't want to run out of cards before the end of the
  1496. year, so I decide to run with it.
  1497.  
  1498. The phone rings almost as soon as I've got "Top Gun" in the video machine so
  1499. I pause the video and put the phone on hands-free.
  1500.  
  1501. "I think I've bought a bad floppy disk"
  1502.  
  1503. "Yes?"  I wonder if I've suddenly become the consumer's watchdog?
  1504.  
  1505. "Well, I've got this disk and it won't format.  All the others in the box did
  1506. so I thought I must have a bad disk"
  1507.  
  1508. "Why are you calling me about this?" I ask
  1509.  
  1510. "Well, the disk says guaranteed; where do I go to get a replacement?"
  1511.  
  1512. Ah!  Of course.
  1513.  
  1514. "Well, let's see.  Are you sure it's the disk, and not just some problem with
  1515. static buildup?"
  1516.  
  1517. "Huh?"
  1518.  
  1519. "Static Buildup, you know, static electricity that's passed from you to the
  1520. computer"
  1521.  
  1522. "But I'm wearing a wrist strap!"
  1523.  
  1524. Around about now I realise I'm deep in dweeb country.  Wrist straps aren't
  1525. fashion accessories in my part of town...
  1526.  
  1527. "Of course you are, but your average wrist strap has a 1 meg resistor in
  1528. series with it, a *really* poor earth.  What you need is a direct earth
  1529. connection.  Hang onto the frame of something that's earthed properly."
  1530.  
  1531. "What, you mean like our stainless steel bench?"
  1532.  
  1533. "Excellent.  Now, have you got a paper clip to discharge the static with?"
  1534.  
  1535. "Hang on.  Yeah"
  1536.  
  1537. "Ok, with your other hand, poke the clip thru the ventilation holes at the back
  1538. of the unit, and just touch the contact at the end of the thick red wire."
  1539.  
  1540. "The one going to the power supply?"
  1541.  
  1542. "Yep, that's it"
  1543.  
  1544. "....Hey, isn't that the li... >kzzzzt!<   >clunk<"
  1545.  
  1546. Another call solved by the helpdesk from hell...
  1547. --
  1548.  
  1549.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  1550.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  1551.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  1552.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  1553.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  1554.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  1555.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  1556.  
  1557. It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning
  1558.  to others.
  1559.  
  1560.  
  1561. From news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!mips!samsung!uunet!comp.vuw.ac.nz!waikato.ac.nz!spt Tue Jun 23 23:58:48 EDT 1992
  1562. Article: 18880 of talk.bizarre
  1563. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!mcnc!uvaarpa!darwin.sura.net!mips!samsung!uunet!comp.vuw.ac.nz!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  1564. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  1565. Newsgroups: rec.humor,alt.tasteless,talk.bizarre
  1566. Subject: BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #13
  1567. Message-ID: <1992Jun24.092010.8920@waikato.ac.nz>
  1568. Date: 23 Jun 92 21:20:10 GMT
  1569. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  1570. Lines: 142
  1571. Xref: news.duke.edu rec.humor:20117 alt.tasteless:7774 talk.bizarre:18880
  1572.  
  1573.  
  1574.                         BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #13
  1575.  
  1576. I'm busy with my new shell replacement login script, and it's almost foolproof.
  1577. Let's just say it pops up with:
  1578.  
  1579. "Yes means No and No means Yes.  Delete all files [Y]? "
  1580.  
  1581. upon login.  I'm really starting to worry about the number of account breakins
  1582. we've been having recently....  The manager isn't though.  His main concern
  1583. appears to be the number of computer-related fatalities on campus.  Funny
  1584. world, isn't it?
  1585.  
  1586. I flip the excuse card.  "DOPPLER EFFECT"   Sounds implausible enough that it's
  1587. plausable - with a little work of course.
  1588.  
  1589. The phone, the bane of my existance, rings.
  1590.  
  1591. "Hello, Computer Room"  I say, being helpful
  1592.  
  1593. "Is this the Technicians?" The caller asks.
  1594.  
  1595. Amazing the number of deaf people that use these things.  What the hell, I'm
  1596. bored..
  1597.  
  1598. "Yes it is" I lie (Nixon could've done with me)
  1599.  
  1600. "I've got a problem with my floppy drive, it doesn't seem to be reading all
  1601. the time"
  1602.  
  1603. "Hmmm.  How old is the drive?"
  1604.  
  1605. "About a year.."
  1606.  
  1607. "And it sometimes fails and sometimes works, but it's starting to fail more
  1608. and more?"
  1609.  
  1610. "YES!"
  1611.  
  1612. "Yeah, it's the Doppler effect of magnetism.."
  1613.  
  1614. "I thought that only happened with light and sound?"
  1615.  
  1616. >Bullshit mode ON<
  1617.  
  1618. "Yes, well it's been found that on a spinning surface, like a disk, the
  1619. particle's magnetic alignment changes, especially when the head is stationary
  1620. and slightly magnetised in respect to it."
  1621.  
  1622. "Duh.  Oh"
  1623.  
  1624. "So, what you need to do is to demagnetise the head.  Have you got a disk head
  1625. demagnetising loop?"
  1626.  
  1627. "Uh....  No?"
  1628.  
  1629. "OK, we'll have to do it the hard way.  Have you got your original diskettes
  1630. for your software?"
  1631.  
  1632. "Yeah."
  1633.  
  1634. "Right, chuck them in the drive, one by one, and format them."
  1635.  
  1636. "WHAT?!"
  1637.  
  1638. "Don't worry, it won't work - remember the drive is failing.  All that happens
  1639. is that the virgin magnetic field of the disks realigns the magnetic field of
  1640. the head, because they weren't written by a doppler effected drive."
  1641.  
  1642. "Oh, yeah!"
  1643.  
  1644. "So, when it gives you a write error and asks if you want to continue, you
  1645. say yes.  Do it with all your original diskettes, then, to complete the
  1646. demagnetising process, run a head cleaning diskette through the drive as
  1647. well, which will pick up the stray magenetic particles clinging to the head."
  1648.  
  1649. "Oh.  Ok. Thanks"
  1650.  
  1651. "Don't thank me - IT'S MY JOB"
  1652.  
  1653. I put the phone down, it rings again.  It's the big boss.
  1654.  
  1655. "Simon, could you come to my office please?"
  1656.  
  1657. >ALERT!<
  1658.  
  1659. Quick as I can, I press the panic button on our LAN-Analyser, or to be more
  1660. precise, the "Generate 90% random traffic" button
  1661.  
  1662. "Sure, would you like me to come now, or..
  1663.  
  1664. The other phone rings.  I chuck it on hands free
  1665.  
  1666. "Hello, Computer Room, Simon Here, How can I help?"
  1667.  
  1668. "THE NETWORK IS DOWN, ALL OUR PCS HAVE SHIT THEMSELVES!" the voice on hands
  1669. -free screams into the mouthpeice of the other phone
  1670.  
  1671. "I see" I say calmly  "Yes, our Monitor shows it up, it looks to be a bad
  1672. segment of thinwire - please hold the line while I unplug it"
  1673.  
  1674. I press the "I just got a raise" button (AKA "Stop Traffic Generation") on the
  1675. Lan Analyser, and almost immediately the user shouts back "Excellent, it's
  1676. working now, thanks"
  1677.  
  1678. "That's ok, don't mention it.  Have a nice day"
  1679.  
  1680. The big-boss has been listening to all this, so I reckon that the trip to his
  1681. office won't be so bad after all.  I tell him I'll be right down as soon as
  1682. I secure the net and hang up.  On the way down, I invent a new buzzword which
  1683. always keep management happy.  Complete Transient Lockout.  Sounds much better
  1684. than pulling the plug.  Like Master-Reset sounds better than off-switch.
  1685.  
  1686. I get to his office and the staffing officer is there too.  Uh-oh.
  1687.  
  1688. "Simon - How would you like to be our System Manager?"
  1689.  
  1690. ?!!!
  1691.  
  1692. "Well... I don't know, I like that hands on.."
  1693.  
  1694. "Extra 10 grand a year, Varisty Car.."
  1695.  
  1696. "Monaro?"
  1697.  
  1698. "Ok"
  1699.  
  1700. "Sold!"
  1701.  
  1702.         ....And so ends the saga, as it should have at #10.
  1703. --
  1704.  
  1705.  +--------+ --+--        +         --+--                 Who needs X? I've got
  1706.  | +----+ |   |          |           |                   a VT100 complete with
  1707.  | |    | |   | |  | `/` +--   --    |   ,--, `/` +\ /+  enhanced video.......
  1708.  | +----+ |   | |  | |   |  ) (  )   |   |--' |   | V |
  1709.  | VT 100 |   + +--+ +   +--   --    +   `--' +   +   + Fax:  (064)-7-838-4066
  1710.  +--------+ Simon Paul Travaglia,  Computer Services,  University  of  Waikato
  1711.  [========] Private. Bag 3105,  Hamilton, New Zealand. spt@grace.waikato.ac.nz
  1712.  
  1713. It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning
  1714.  to others.
  1715.  
  1716.  
  1717. From news.duke.edu!duke!concert!gatech!swrinde!mips!decwrl!decwrl!waikato.ac.nz!spt Mon Jul 13 22:56:18 EDT 1992
  1718. Article: 21909 of talk.bizarre
  1719. Path: news.duke.edu!duke!concert!gatech!swrinde!mips!decwrl!decwrl!waikato.ac.nz!spt
  1720. From: spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Travaglia)
  1721. Newsgroups: talk.bizarre,rec.humor
  1722. Subject: THE BASTARD SYSTEM MANAGER FROM HELL
  1723. Message-ID: <1992Jul14.093257.9349@waikato.ac.nz>
  1724. Date: 13 Jul 92 21:32:56 GMT
  1725. Organization: University of Waikato Computer Centre
  1726. Lines: 95
  1727. Xref: news.duke.edu talk.bizarre:21909 rec.humor:21408
  1728.  
  1729. I figured I'd *have* to do one at least...
  1730.  
  1731.  
  1732.                         BASTARD SYSTEM MANAGER FROM HELL
  1733.  
  1734. I get into my office and it's my first day - I want to make a good impression,
  1735. so I empty my IN tray into the bin.  Now that's what I call efficient!
  1736.  
  1737. I get a call from the big boss - he's been getting complaints about the trainee
  1738. bastard operator from hell.  I ask him to forward all the complaints to me and
  1739. that it would be best to let me deal with them.  I ring the operator and get
  1740. him to make an appointment with me.
  1741.  
  1742. Two weeks later, he does, and I show him the complaints that have accumulated
  1743. so far.
  1744.  
  1745. "Seventy Three complaints in your first three weeks!" I shout "It's good - but
  1746. it's NOT Good Enough!  You should be getting at least 10 complaints a day - AT
  1747. LEAST!   Now, let's see what you're doing wrong:
  1748. You get a call from a user - what do you do?"
  1749.  
  1750. "Kill them off?" The TBOFH replies
  1751.  
  1752. "NO!  How can you kill them off if you don't know their USERNAME?  Your
  1753. FIRST priority is to get their username.  Then what would you do?"
  1754.  
  1755. "Kill them off?"
  1756.  
  1757. "NO!  Get them to tell you what their problem is!"
  1758.  
  1759. "Why?"
  1760.  
  1761. "Because later I can say they didn't explain their problem to you properly.
  1762. It's a great defence - works every time.  A user rings me up to complain; I
  1763. listen to their problem, then say "OH, WHEN YOU SAID `MY PC DOESN'T WORK'
  1764. HE MUST HAVE THOUGHT YOU MEANT `HOW CAN I MAKE MY PC NEVER WORK AGAIN AND
  1765. DESTROY MY LIFE'S WORK AT THE SAME TIME?' - IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME!'  then
  1766. they tell me implausible that is, I say how terribly sorry we are, then
  1767. fake some connect and CPU time records so their monthly bill is about the
  1768. same as the Uraguayan national debt.  
  1769. So, after you've heard their problem,  what do you do?"
  1770.  
  1771. "Kill them off?"
  1772.  
  1773. "NO!  Then you make up some excuse.  Have you got an excuse card calendar?"
  1774.  
  1775. "Uh.  No.."
  1776.  
  1777. "And you said you were qualified to operate a computer!  You'd better have
  1778. mine."  I pass my computer card calendar over,  flipping it to page one -
  1779. "ENTROPY".......  ...I like it.
  1780. "Now, you give the cretin an excuse then what do you do?"
  1781.  
  1782. "Kill them off?"
  1783.  
  1784. "YES!"  (He certainly has a fixation)  "Then what?"
  1785.  
  1786. "Hang up?"
  1787.  
  1788. "NO!  Then they'll call you back when the problem recurs.  Your job is to
  1789. make them FEAR calling you.  How can you work when people are calling?  So,
  1790. you make them pay for calling in the first place.  What would you do?"
  1791.  
  1792. "Delete their files?"
  1793.  
  1794. "Yeah, it's a start, but then they may call back when they get new files.
  1795. You want them NEVER to call back.  What could you do?"
  1796.  
  1797. "Swear at them?"
  1798.  
  1799. "No.  I can see we'll have to demonstrate.  Have you got a metal ballpoint?"
  1800.  
  1801. "Yes"
  1802.  
  1803. "See that wallsocket over there.   Take the refill out of the pen and poke
  1804. in into the wallsocket."
  1805.  
  1806. "But it's live!"
  1807.  
  1808. "Would I really make you do it if it were live?"
  1809.  
  1810. "Oh"  >fiddle< >fiddle<   >BZZZZZZZEEEEERT!<
  1811.  
  1812. of course I would.   He was no good anyway.
  1813. --
  1814.  
  1815.    ______________________________________________________________________
  1816.  The Sturgeon General has  determined that reading signatures can cause gross
  1817.  deformities in  fish,  carrots,  turnips, politicians and other dumb animals
  1818.         DO NOT LOOK AT THIS SIGNATURE THROUGH A MAGNIFYING GLASS
  1819. spt@waikato.ac.nz - Simon Travaglia, Computer Services, University of Waikato
  1820. Fax: 064-7-838-4066  Ph: 064-7-838-4008  SM: Priv. Bag, Hamilton, New Zealand
  1821.    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  1822. Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.
  1823.                                         -- Holmes
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