Jul 24

Sometimes I am a Dick

*Phone rungs*

Me:Good afternoon, Insane Asylum!

Caller:Hi. can I speak to Joan Crawshore please.

Me:Who? Sorry no one of that name here.”

Caller:Sorry it’s who I have down as a contact there, well who can I talk to about changing your power supplier.”

Me:Humm. that would be a Dave Jones”

Caller:Can I speak to them please?

Me:Sorry, He’s on holiday atm. He’ll be back in 2 weeks.

Caller:Thanks, I’ll call back then.


Two weeks later :-


*Phone rungs*

Me: “Good afternoon, Insane Asylum!

Caller: “Hi. can I speak to Dave Jones please.

Me: “Who? Sorry no one of that name here.”

Caller: “Sorry it’s who I have down as a contact there, well who can I talk to about changing your power supplier.”

Me: “Humm. that would be a Thomas Evens”

Caller: “Can I speak to them please?

Me: “Sorry, He’s on holiday atm. He’ll be back in 2 weeks.

Caller: “Thanks, I’ll call back then.


Two weeks later :-


*Phone rungs*

Me: “Good afternoon, Insane Asylum!

Caller: “Hi. can I speak to Thomas Evenss please.

Me: “Who? Sorry no one of that name here.”

Caller: “Sorry it’s who I have down as a contact there, well who can I talk to about changing your power supplier.”

Me: “Humm. that would be a Susan Jenkins”

Caller: “Can I speak to them please?

Me: “Sorry, She’s on holiday atm. She’ll be back in 2 weeks.

Caller: “Thanks, I’ll call back then.


This may have been going on for several months now….

I’m slowly running out of made up names.


Feb 13

Conversations with Support – Updated

This morning as I was in the Support Office attempting to dismantle a multimeter using a Swiss Army Key (Long story and totally Irrelevant here) the following conversation happened between OfficeBitch1 and myself. I should point out OfficeBitch1 (A name given him by TheGovernor)  used to be the main Support Guy of the Asylum many years ago, and has recently come back one day a week to get himself back into IT.

OB1: “I cant log in!! Has my password been changed?”

OB1: “Stupid keyboard is broke! the m key doesn’t work, no wonder I cant log into my account”

GN: “The m key is broke? do the other keys work ok?”

OB1:Yes, everything is fine bar shift-m”

GN: “Hang on, lower case m works? just shift-m doesn’t?”

OB1: “yes. m works by itself, it doesn’t with shift”

GN: “Why don’t you use caps lock then?”

OB1: *Typing* “arrgh That doesn’t work either!!!”

GN: “Did you turn caps lock off after you typed the M?”

OB1: *mutters* *types*

In his defence, the issue was that he was using the wrong email address as his username, and he had his laptop set to numlock so the m was in fact a 0. Even still I feel for anyone phoning the Asylum today for support.


I was right in worrying. I just had a simple “add this text to dns record” support ticket escalated to 3rd line Server support on the one day of the week when we have double the normal amount of support guys in. Apparently Cut & Paste is too advanced for 1st & 2nd Line Support.


Sep 20


TheGovernor has recently Implemented a bizarre new security regime here at The Insane Asylum. This basically involved placing a “Hidden Camera” in the Padded Cell of YoYoMan.

Here we spot the lesser spotted YoYoMan in his unnatural habitat.

This may have seemed a Good idea at the beginning. But alas we are not called The Insane Asylum for nothing.

The local Wildlife spot the hidden camera.

Along came Tux and frightened the poor Roo away.

They made friends.

And thats why we can’t have anything NICE!!!!

Oct 06

Madness, Total Fraking Madness

The Mental Asylum where I work is an ISP, we supply all the usual stuff, Hosting, Domains, Email, ADSL, Dial-UP, Phone lines, VoIP, PBX’s, Virtual Servers, Co-Lo’s, etc, etc.  And as such we have a reasonably busy support department.  Oh and on top we also do IT Support, Site Visits, New Installations, etc.

So imagine the madness of letting all the support staff go off on holidays for the same two weeks? Yup, we are a ISP with no support staff for two weeks. How Fraking mad is that?

In fact we have Linux Sys.Admins taking 1st line calls. In the words of a black and white funeral director “we’re DOOOOOOOMED!!!”

Mar 26

I Love the smell of Estrogen In the Morning!


Its all I can say, WOW.

I am experiencing a mixture of 60% Shock and 40% Anger, With a small sprinkling of Homicidal Tendencies on top.

I’d not seen the Governor all day in the Asylum.  I’d heard slight grumblings coming from down the corridor but that was it.  You see one of the Support Drones has not been doing his job fully, and it had been spotted while he was on holiday for a week.  And everyone else had run around sorting it all out (Without anything really being said to the drone.) Hence Grumblings.

Towards the end of the day, The Governor storms into my Cell screaming “Wheres this website!” “I’ve given you a long rain of time for it, I need it now“. Most people would have opened with a hello, or the question asked in a normal voice, not at full rage decibels.

Now, I’ve not worked on a major web project since I left the Development department three years ago, So I’m rusty. I should also point out that the website needing the overhaul was written by someone learning PHP badly at the time. Each page needs about 25 separate files of code to work, and DIV tags are spread over several files. Its a mess, and the work being done must not change the look and feel of site. Oh, and after the site was finished it had a lot of work done to it by another person with limited PHP knowledge. I digress.

So I’m rusty, it’s not an easy site, still it’s not impossible to do. Apart from the fact that I get disturbed a dozen times a day on average to help the Support Drones with problems with the ISP part of the company, or The Windows server admin wanting help with something, Or the Linux admin is working on something and wants some scripts altering to help him out, or improve something. Or the development department is bust so needs help, Or customers need help, Or the Governor needs stuff looking up or doing.

After each interruption I have lost my place on the project, and cant remember what I was doing, So I have to delete the stuff I was typing and start again. This week for example I managed about four hours of usable work on this Project.

This on top of the slight Depression I feel by not actually having a defined role in the Asylum. The Linux SysAdmin looks after the Linux Servers (Theres a lot of them), ICT Engineer only does ICT work, Developer only does development, Support guys only do support. I do, Support, Development, windows sysadmin, linux sysadmin backup work, internal development, bt development, question answering/help for all other departments, out of hours emergency support when linux sysadmin unreachable, I cover every department when they have staff people on holiday.

And they wonder a web project takes a bit longer to do than a dedicated web developer would take?

I can never finish any project, I start one, get a week working on it if i am very very lucky, then I’m given another project, and another.

I really feel like I will snap at any point. And being screamed at as the opening question of “is the website finished yet” really does not help.

I will admit that after that incident I may have vented slightly. I posted a Tweet on my Private, None Work based, None Linked to Work Twitter account thus :-

Given a web project, constantly pulled off to do other urgent jobs and get screamed at asking why web project not finished.

Only The Governor follows my Twitter account, So I get another ballistic explosion, of how he’s under pressure and how do i think it makes him feel to see a posting like that? err. probably no where near as bad as being the person screamed at for no reason? And I can remove that tweet or get sacked.

So I have decided to separate my personal “Social Networking” with my Current Employment. Since I feel I should be allowed to vent whatever I want on line as long as no names, or company names are mentioned.  It’s a hell of a lot healthier for everyone for anonymous on line venting, than holding the anger in, snapping, and going on a psychopathic killing spree in the office with a philips headed screwdriver.

Dec 23

Why’s the Rum Gone?

So its Christmas, Well OK it’s not actually Christmas Day or anything, It is however the last working day at the Asylum.


Now in the current financial climate, with customers going Bust, People spending less, the ready cash flow for the asylum is a bit on the bare side, so there is no bonus’s or such this year. Now one of the company directors has  bought every member of the Asylums staff a “Bottle of Wine” for Christmas, Which is a nice gesture, and as a director it represents the company.

The only problem is, He decided to get every member of the Asylum a gift, with the exception of the Two members of the SysAdmin department.

This man really needs to read the BOFH. He would then know how BAD an idea it is to annoy the Admin.

Next Year should be interesting.


BTW: Merry Christmas One and All.

May 21

Ghosts At The Insane Asylum

It seems the Insane Asylum is haunted, or we have the worlds weirdest burglars.

Last night as i made my bid for freedom I left Gawain my trusty work desktop recompiling its kernel, and doing other re-compiles of parts of its OS. I know it was doing this as the screens were scrolling with code as i switched off the monitors by the switches on their front.  I then left the Asylum at the same time as DemonP, which left two inmates left in the building who left not long after us. Now they set the alarm and locked up the building. All was well!

This morning I entered my padded cell, hit the buttons on Gawains monitors to check my social networking sites before work began… NOTHING… I press them again, and they remain blank. “Ok” I thought “My machine crashed over night” So i hit the power button on Gawain… NOTHING… Hummm? Power cut? No, everything else is working. So I investigate more and discover the extension lead that powers my desktop, monitors, switch, VoIP phone had been switched off at the wall.  Now the socket is semi behind my desk, and blocked by the wedged open door, in other words “Impossible to be accidentally switched off” besides it was still on when I left the night before.

ARSE! That’s a tad annoying” says I. Ok the exact words I may have used were not quite that polite. Right, switch the socket back on, power up the machine only for it to sit at the maintenance prompt due to disk errors. Get them fixed, and have to kick off the re-compiles to repair the damage caused by a unscheduled  power off mid compiling. So far I have spent all day trying to get my desktop back up and running.

SO I checked with the two guys who left the Asylum after me last night, both deny switching off the power and say they would never do such a thing as they know the problems it would cause. (I should take a second to explain here that one is a sheep following the new-age hippie flock at the minute and keeps moaning we should switch off all electrical devices at night to save the planet).  So no one turned it off, which leaves us the following options.

1) Ghosts: The Asylum is haunted with an odd poltergeist who’s only presence to date is switching one power switch to the off position.

2) Burglars: Last night some burglars picked the locks on the main building, then picked the secondary locks on the secure part of the Asylum, disabled the alarms and gained entry.  They then did not steal any of the expensive equipment that’s all over the place, but just switched off one power socket before resetting the alarms, re locking the doors, and leaving.



May 08

Violence has its place.

Today I was reminded why I make it a policy to be unarmed in the office.  The extra time needed to find a suitable weapon gives my temper time to loose its edge. And on days like today every second gained helps keep people alive…

Now I’ve been busy all week, my current work load is stacked miles high, so I’m not in the happiest of places to begin with.  So imagine my annoyance when a support phone call comes through to my desk (I am way down the hunt group list, so a lot of people who’s job it is to answer the phones must have ignored their phones for it to come to me.) So I get disturbed from my work to take the call, to find the person on the other end chasing up one of our engineers who was supposed to be doing a job that morning, only has forgotten.

So I try and put the call through to the director in charge of support, who asks me to take the guys name & number, create a support ticket, give it to him and he will phone the guy back. “Now am I the only one thinking, WTF? they guy is on the phone, we don’t need to get his number so we can phone him at cost to us, he’s on the line!” but ok, the guys a director so. I take the details, make the ticket, and go tell the guy its there…

Then after the cut off time to phone the customer back the director asks “have you got his email addy?” err nope, wasnt asked for that, not need an email address to PHONE a guy back. then the director tells me i should have collected more info, and not just made a ticket, but also emailed him so he knew the ticket was there. (I thought walking into his office to tell him it was there should have been enough)

I’m sorry, but when did i become a Fraking Secretary?

Apr 15

Some days are good!

In the velvet darkness, of the blackest sky


All morning the skies above the Insane Asylum have been dark & brooding as we are sat under a Thunder Storm. Now this is not necessary a bad thing,  OK. So my dogs are outside getting drenched, OK I will spend longer driving home at the end of the day, OK parents with their kids off school will be cursing the weather, and other Bad things I can understand.

But there is a light in the darkness of everybody’s life..

What is that positive light I hear you ask. Yes I heard you, thanks to a flashplayer plugin on this site it recorded your statement, and emailed it to me over to my iPhone. No! I will not go do that to myself. Behave!!!

Well to answer your none-rude question, The positive light is ;- I work for an ISP, which means computer, technology, things that need power to work, and since the storm keeps taking out either our electricity or our Internet connection, it means I get to spend the day sitting back, playing on the Internet via my iPhone. ;o)

Life Is Good!