I won't try to kid you here, it's a long and complex procedure and there may be other, quicker and easier methods but this one worked for me.

  1. Have a phenomenally huge row with someone you care about very deeply at about 6 o'clock at night. You should feel desperate, betrayed, worthless, revolting and generally prepared to do a Reginald Perrin by the end of the row

  2. Get massively drunk.

  3. Your pager should go off at 5am, calling you to work to mend the vital ISDN connection to the Paris office, which has conveniently shat itself.

  4. You should drag yourself into work by about quarter to six, unshaven and hung over. You should have absolutely no success in restoring the ISDN line but you should keep trying despite increasingly panicked and infuriating demands to "make it work now!" from the directors.

  5. At approximately 9am, you should receive your first telephone call from some annoying accounts manager on the fourth floor of your seven storey block. Although the company has a perfectly capable helpdesk, this man is obviously far too important to phone them, and because your official title is "Systems Manager" instead of "Senior Sysadmin", he will only speak to you. He has a problem with some missing data. You check the file. It's there and intact. You inform him of this and ask him to contact helpdesk with the details. Your hangover should get much worse about now.

  6. Between 9:30AM and 11AM, you should continue to fail to get any joy with ISDN line. Your head should begin to feel as it will explode very soon. You should be blatantly lied to by British Telecom (who will eventually prove to be responsible for the line fault) and you should also receive a further five telephone calls from the gobshite in Accounts.

  7. At exactly 11:05AM, you should receive yet another phonecall from the accountant. At this point, you must leave your desk, storm past a batch of programmers and admins who should cower at your expression. You should storm down the stairs from Level 5 to Level 4 and you should collar an intern at the door, demanding he point out the manager responsible.

  8. Find the manager. Sit in his chair. Open the file (an Excel spreadsheet) that has been giving him problems. The fault is that he has stretched his column-widths to see more data but doesn't know enough to scroll along to see what's now off-screen.

  9. This is where you go fucking mental. Seize the bracers-wearing yuppie by his tie and drag him to the open office window. Demand that he empties his pockets. He will comply, trust me on this.

  10. Force him head first through the window looking down on the Thames, first supporting him by his waistband and then by the ankles while yelling "and if you need to look a bit further you can scroll-" (downward plunge) "-and then scroll back again!"

  11. Then yank him back in and leave him a crumpled mess on the office floor. Stride back to the machine room, listen to a grovelling, blame-shifting toady from BT try not to admit that the rectified ISDN fault was their problem all the time, and go to the pub.

The next day you will be summoned to a Director's meeting expecting to be fired. In fact, you learn that you will face an internal enquiry. Two weeks later, they eventually fire you for gross misconduct.


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