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RE: Taking your time when a crisis occurs

From: Eric D. Pierce <>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 10:44:26 -0700
Message-ID: <>



definition #1)

   Dilbert's boss, a clueless manager who likes to have    pointless meetings, harass workers. He really doesn't    have a clue.

definition #2)

   A specific form of a very common creature, he is one of   those people that are too stupid to get any real work done   and are therefore transferred into management. Commonly   seen carry his etch-a-scetch into endless meetings, he is   the product of Scott Adams' Dilbert comic

[further elucidation]:

   How a PHB eats a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

   First, the PHB (or Pointy-Haired Boss) asks Alice to    expense the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and she of course    files it under [idiot expenses, like everything else the    PHB asks for. After the Peanut Butter Cups arrive in a    mangled cardboard box, shipped UPS (pronounced "oops") of    course, the PHB retires to his office to ostensibly    consume his sugar-filled morsels. He finally manages to    remove the two peanut-buttery cups from the packaging,    and places them on the table. He examines them, but is    unable to decide what to do next with them. The PHB then    reaches for his phone and calls up Dogbert for his expert    advice.

   Dogbert assures the PHB that he is desperately in need of    a "Peanut-Butter Cup Consumption Device". The PHB    expenses this as well, and upon receiving the PB-CC,    which looks exactly like a spork, he finally consumes the    peanut butter cups, and, unwittingly, their papers.

   "..and remember.. there's no wrong way to eat a Reese's"


- - - -




   An associated character is the PHB (Pointy-Haired Boss) as    espoused in the "Dilbert" cartoons of Scott Adams. Adam's PHB is    clueless to the point of clinical brain death, yet retains his    elevated position in the company. BOFHen draw the appropriate    lesson, and see analogies in much of their companies' managers.    Adams remarked [8] that virtually all of the events depicted in    "Dilbert" have been claimed to have occurred in Real Life. The    BOFHen are not surprised.


   The general BOFH attitude towards large firms (VBCs) is one of    contempt; their credo (hard to fault in terms of accuracy) is that    VBCs promote stupid people who then produce stupid corporate    policy. "Corporate" is a dirty word to most BOFHen. Microsoft    notably comes in for an exceptionally high level of abuse. Much of    this must be put down to job-related frustration; rare is the BOFH    who is not required to support MS products, and these products    have a long-established reputation for being a pig to maintain and    support. The Microsoft policy of global domination by marketing    may also raise the hackles of the BOFH hackers, being the opposite    of all they stand for. The BOFH view of MS was summarised well by    HK:

       I trust Microsoft.

       I trust them to be spectacularly unable to get anything 
      right, including and especially hard things like 
      industrial espionage. Sure, they'll make clownish, 
      clumsy stabs at it and fail in predictable, amusing 
      and embarrassing ways, and then do it all over again. 
      And their victi^H^H users will not only forgive them 
      but spend a lot of energy making up excuses for them.  

   Having said that, grudging praise of very limited aspects of MS    apps is not unknown among BOFHen. It is however very, very rare.


   BOFHen do not generally share the unbounded joy that Linux seems    to bring many hackers. Their concern is that a new generation of    sysadmin wannabees is about to rise, who like to tell BOFHen their    jobs but don't know their /dev/arse from their elbow. The BOFH    creed on operating systems is summed up in the a.s.r. FAQ:

    Q3.1: Are there any OSs which don't suck?

  1. No. See the hall of shame and OSes that suck

   and GA was more specific:

       Eh? Linux is luserproof? What kind of "proper" set up
      is that, ripping out all removable media devices and 
      ethernet, freezing the hard drive spindle, encasing it
      in concrete and dropping it off a pier?  


   An interesting offshoot of the BOFH attitude has been appreciation    of Darwin's theory of evolution. The BOFHen generally believe (and    the facts appear to be on their side) that they are among the more    clued and adaptable of Earth's inhabitants, and that any upwards    evolution of the human race is only possible if the herds of    lusers are thinned out a little.



On 7 May 2001, at 8:50, Koivu, Lisa scribbled with alacrity and cogency:

> However, the real question is, what's PHB?

Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ:
Author: Eric D. Pierce

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Received on Mon May 07 2001 - 12:44:26 CDT

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