Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Lawnmower Boss

Right, here's the deal. We have one of those photocopier/printer/scanner/fax machine jobs that plugs into a network point in here. Because the whole building is on a shared network of some kind, occasionally something happens that leads to, for reasons I don't really understand, the scanner function not being able to see the network. It appears to happen just randomly sometimes and I have neither any clue as to why nor any inclination to try and figure it out. I'm pretty sure no-one is actively trying to hack the photocopier, at least.

So anyway I went for a smoke, and upon my return am greeted with hostility and accusation, thusly :

The Boss : "Are you turning the photocopier off whenever you go out?"

Here's me : "What?"

The Boss : "Are you messing about?"

Here's me : (sigh) "What are you talking about? What? Just what can it possibly be?"

The Boss : "Every time you go out the scanner stops working."

Here's me, slowly, deliberately. I'm chewing this idea over in my mind : "Every time I go out, the scanner stops working. You think that the scanner stopping working is somehow linked to me leaving the room. That is what you're saying to me, right?"

The Boss, verging on manic : "Are you doing something to it!?"

Here's me, steadily ascending in volume, steadily losing my grip : "Yes! Yes I am! I have this... little... fucking... fucking remote control button, in my pocket, and every time I go for a cigarette I push it so the scanner stops working! Ha! HA HA!"

The Boss : "Well if it's not you what is it?"

Here's me : "Well fuck me, you've got me there. You're like Sherlock Bloody Holmes, ruling out the impossible first. Brilliant."

The Boss, possibly realising that this is epic lunacy, retreats somewhat : "Well have you any idea what the problem might be?"

Here's me : "I think... and it's just a theory... that someone in the conference room is using a machine for whatever, and whenever it gets turned on, for some reason it either hogs that network point, or it's an IP address thing, and somehow boots our scanner off the network, so it can't see our shared drive anymore when we try to scan. But I don't know for sure, ok? It's just a thought."

The Boss sits down at her desk and telephones reception, and more or less screams "Koala says your conference machine is disappearing our scanner!"

I am holding my head in both hands, trying not to hyperventilate.

The Boss replaces the telephone handset and turns to me once more.

"They want us to send theme a description of the problem by e-mail so they can forward it to the IT guy."

Here's me : "No sweat, I'll do that now."

The Boss : "No, I want to do it."

Here's me : "Oh fuckkkkkkk...."

The Boss : "Well?"

Here's me : "Well what?"

The Boss : "What should I say to them?"

Here's me : "Just let me send them the e-mail."

The Boss : "NO."


Here's me : "Riiiiiight. OK. Tell them, uh... that we recently installed a new printer and scanner unit that connects via network point six"


Here's me : "Oh, gawd, no, I mean it connects to network point number six. The point in the wall."


Worth mentioning, The Boss writes all her e-mails like this, in block capitals with no pronouns in sight; they pretty much all read like war-time telegrams. I'm serious, fuck Neo, if The Boss had been plugged into The Matrix the machines would have released the humans and slunk off to be subservient but untroubled pocket calculators and iPods instead.

Here's me, pretty much giving up : "And... at various points through the day, randomly, the machine can't see the network. Not the firewall. Forget the firewall. The network."



Here's me : "Just so, yes."

Glint in my eye.

Here's me, and I'm not joking when I say I deserve a fucking Oscar for how I deliver this : "You should let him know it happens every time I leave the room, too. In case it's anything to do with my phone."

If I can get a hold of the response from the IT guy I'll certainly share it with you.


  1. You are Magneto.
    To bring down the network, turn to page 73.
    To fuse the Boss' fillings together, turn to page 117.

  2. *wedges finger in book at page p73 but turns to p117*

  3. Just found you through spEak You're bRanes. Top stuff. Just one question - how am I supposed to get any work done with your entire archive to plunder?

  4. I'm really enjoying your blog, I found it through some forum, can't remember which one. I laughed out loud reading through it all. I just have one question, when talking to the boss, do you swear this much? Or is it just put in the blog because its running through your inner monologue?


    I think I might have to get a T-shirt made.

  6. Please, please, never quit your job.

    This is just all too marvellous! :-)

  7. @ Edward - how are *you* supposed to get any work done? ;)

    @ Claire - yeah, I do, although (I think, at least) that's not particularly unusual for this country, especially in the shipping industry. "Fuck" is practically punctuation here.

    @ Fourstar - I'll take one please!

    @ Tim - Jesus, I would if I could, honestly - but short of a lottery win or something, you're stuck with me for now :D

  8. that email is likely to turn up on that "emails from crazy people" site.

  9. I mean the following quite sincerely and without sarcasm:

    Either you are making up, or grossly exaggerating, these stories for comedic effect (in which case, well done), or, your boss has fairly severe mental problems, possibly a form of Aphasia/Disphasia, to the point at which she has become borderline incompetent at her job.

    First, how did she get to this position, secondly, why haven't you, or anyone else, attempted to get her some help from higher up in the company? If they have trouble believe you, you need only point them at this blog.

    She clearly needs help. (And, assuming this is all true, if you stay and don't do anything, so will you.)

  10. David! Don't ruin it for everyone! I only just found this place!

  11. Well, I got no work done at all this afternoon having been led here from SYB during lunch. This deserves to be made into a film - it's bloody tremendous. Well done.

  12. Just found this blog from where it was top of the popular links.
    Spent the best part of today reading backwards to the begining.

  13. @ David - you think this woman is "borderline incompetent"? I think she may be a couple of borders over! She's frickin' epic!

    Thanks the gods you're back Koala! "You're like Sherlock Bloody Holmes, ruling out the impossible first" - made me laugh so hard there was almost pee! Ha!

  14. Great stuff! - Just found you via spEak You're bRanes. I had to stop reading it in the office becuase I broke into laughter (we don't do happy here).
    Keep it up!

  15. A friend pointed me toward your journal in an attempt to help me feel less alone when dealing with MY crazy boss. It worked. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  16. How on earth does the woman manage to do her job without someone slapping the shit out of her everyday?

  17. Just been introduced to this blog, and have been weeping with laughter for half an hour. However, I must ask---it seems likely that you're highly competent at what you do. Otherwise, nothing would ever get done in your department. So, can there seriously be no other jobs in your city?

    Would you like to come to Chicago? I do think my company's still hiring

  18. Hello to all the new folks! Cheers for the kind words, various of the questions and issues raised above may be dealt with in a future posting, if I get the time to wax slightly philosophical on some of these things :D

  19. To any sceptics out there, I've heard tales of people being promoted out of harm's way, and I believe I've experienced it in my career too (no I don't mean me).

    People who have some use but no people skills can end up being pushed up the ladder til there's no chance of them meeting the public or any customers, then there's only staff being sent insane by them, and that's just fine for some reason.

  20. Also, with Guantanamo Bay shutting down, why not just make any suspect terrorists work with your boss, the moment they want to confess they can quit :D

    I sense waterboarding would be like some surfing holiday in the Bahamas compared to ten minutes in her terribly wrong,wrong company.

  21. The problem with reporting "upwards" in a company in my experience is that half the time you end up working for somebody as awful as this, you discover that the only reason they have a job is because their manager is just as bad. Very few manager intentionally hire people who are better than them.

    Of course, in turn if this lady hired Koala, then...oh. Sorry buddy ;-p

    Keep up the good work :)

  22. I.T. Bloke replied :

    Without physically seeing how that this scanner is cabled to the network, I would be unable to guess what the issue is. My first advice would be that the XXXX Shipping network is firewalled off from the rest of the XXXX Centre network. This gives XXXX Shipping their own private network, separate from the XXXX. If a folder has been shared out for the scanner to access, that folder and contents may be visible to all the other computers on the network. If the shared folder is disappearing, it may be because other people are accessing it as there is a restriction built into Windows XP Professional as to how many people can access a shared folder on the network.

    No issues with internet access would cause the fault described below.

    Sounds like "bollocks" to me but I can't be sure. Although it appears that she told him that the internet broke the photocopier so it's probably not really his fault if he's a bit wrong.