The Bastard Operator From Hell
The Bastard Operator From Hell maintains his level of bad taste and seeks sweet revenge ...

It's New Boss time yet again and, because it was caused by politics that I was uninvolved in, I'm worried. Doubly worrying - the official office grapevine (Sharon the ex-ex-boss's secretary) has it that the new boss is a Bean Counter!!!

A new boss is bad enough, as they all want to distinguish themselves by re-arranging the department hierarchy to transform it from a stunted money-soak into a glittering and applauded service division.

But a Bean Counter is bound to be much worse!

Bean Counters have a reputation for reshuffles that are worse than a half-blind, epileptic poker player in a disco.

To get to this position he must have:

Amazing what you find out when you throw a passive fax-receiver across the CEO's personal fax line ...

It's 9.15am on Monday morning, and the entire department waits with bated breath for the arrival of Gerry, the new commander in chief.

He emerges from the rear stairwell catching half the department lift-gazing - quite a change from the normal clock watching.

Straight away he calls a meeting to discuss his 'departmental economising'.

None of the staff really care, they've been moved around so much in the last couple of years that the walls are on wheels and the room directory is a blackboard. Not even X.500 can keep up.

The meeting trundles along with the usual nightmarish staff regroupings (PC support with the telephone operators; Unix operators with the tea lady , and so on).

Groups are renamed 'Knowledge Units', so everyone gets a warm feeling from the reshuffle shafting they just got.

The meeting takes a turn for the worse as the bifocals of death come to rest on me.

"Simon, as network engineer, you will be invaluable in your position on the help desk. Your co-operation will ensure network fault resolution times drop dramatically ..."

I don't think I need to mention that the chances of me accepting a position on the help desk are so slim that it would make an anorexic Ethiopian on a hunger strike look like Porky Pig.

On the way back to my office I realise that I can make the most of this by rising from the hell I've just been placed in, or by wasting my time in pointless revenge.

I let a coin decide by flipping it ...


Revenge it is then.

A freak earthquake shocks the coin to 'Tails'.

Revenge it is then.

'Edge' was so close too.

The way is clear. Gerry has obviously spent a weekend formulating this and will shortly fire a salvo of memos both around the department and up to the Execs.

I dust off my Router Text-Change software (a simple piece of code that simply watches packets go by and occasionally introduces a spelling mistake or adds a zero to the end of a figure), make a few modifications and upload it to the network hardware. To be on the safe side, I upload the duplicator code as well.

Scant minutes later my workstation beeps as e-mail from the boss comes in. A memo confirming the decisions made at the meeting if I'm not mistaken. (Never am. Never was. Never will be.)

I don't need to open the message to know that the 'To:' line has been written with an inventive expletive sequence.

Two minutes later the phone rings. Caller ID returns: 'Big Guy'.

"What the hell's going on with the system?" The CEO growls.

"What do you mean?" I ask, caring and concerned.

"My printer's spewing the same memo over and over and I've been receiving repeated e-mail messages"

"That's not from Gerry is it?"

"Yes, why?"

"Oh, he's probably been playing around with his printer and mail client settings again. I'll sort it out post haste."

The CEO hangs up, and I drop the router out, so solving the problem. Round One to me, I think.

I would ring the Boss, but he appears to be talking to the CEO about something quite pressing at the moment. Perhaps later ...

To be continued ...

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