Date: Thu, 20 May 93 18:00:38 PDT
Subject: BOFH #5
BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL #5
I'm bored senseless, so I pass the time by reading user email. I must
admit that today's lot is PARTICULARLY boring, not one good message in all
of them. I was expecting at LEAST some veiled reference to a grope in a
storeroom, but nothing. So I'm bored senseless by the usual drivel about
some relative's surgery and how the weather is over the other side of the
world - that sort of crap.
To relieve the boredom, I remove a e-mail party invite from a user's
mail and post it under the senders username to alt.singles.with.severe.
social.dysfunctions on news, and make a note in my calendar to be there
with my camcorder. Should be a blast!
Next in line is the online medical records database, in which the
company doctors store the current medical histories of the staff. I grep it
quickly for "herpes" and "syphillus" and sell the results to the local scum
newspaper. I cover my tracks by adding an entry to one doctor's online
electronic diary dated yesterday saying "$500, Med Recs To Paper." I think
that's all it should take..
I move some tapes from the racks to the trolley to make it look like we
really use them, then start looking thru archie listings for a hidden x-gif
site. I find one then start a batch job running under some user's account
to get them all back, charged to him. I make sure he's got enough disk for
the job by removing any files not related to the task at hand. Like all
those "Doctorate Final Report" papers that have got quite large in the last
couple of weeks.
I go back to the mail now, as something's bound to have happened. I do
a grep on all mail files for the words "pregnant" and "family way", and post
them anonymously to the local general interest newsgroup.
Then, before anything can happen, the power goes out and my TV goes dead!
The next second, the phone rings. "Hello?" I say, annoyed - the coyote
was just about to kill roadrunner again! "Has the comput.." I hang up.
This is a matter of life or death. Quick as I can I rip the computer power
cable out of the UPS and plug the TV in. Damn! Wylie missed again!
Meantime, all the alarms are going off like crazy as the disks spin
down, but that's ok, because my Mac and Terminal are hardwired to the UPS in
any case; and I'm at the Beer Factory level in Dark Castle, too.
The phone rings, so I pull the PABX breaker on the UPS switchboard and
it stops. Now to look like I'm working. I break out the puck and the
hockey stick and play a little one-on-wall. From the observation window
it'll look like I'm being blindingly efficient, as per usual.
10 Minutes later, the power is back and we're two HDA's down, but what
the hell, I haven't lost a man, I'm onto the final screen, and there's more
The phone rings, it's a luser. (What a surprise) "Computer Room" I
say, being efficient "Hello, when will the compu..." I hang up. I'm doing
well in the screen, all I need do is get past the wizard who throws spells
at you and I'm in!
The phone rings again. I put it on hands-free. "Computer Room" I
shout, still deep in the game. "I've lost all my files" a user whines over
the loudspeaker. "You bet you have" I say, as my concentration lapses just
long enough for me to get zapped by the wizard.
"What was your username?" I say, all sweetness and smiles. He tells me,
I look, and he's right. Shit, and I didn't even do it!
Not to be outdone, I change his login directory to the null device, set
his path to "." and redefine the command "news" to execute a script in his
old login directory to send a nasty message to the equal opportunities
officer, then delete itself.
It's all just part of the job. Who says I don't earn my pay every day?
[Stay tuned for BOFH #6 tomorrow... -psl]
© 1993 Peter Langston