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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003


    The Canonical List of Reasons
    Why You Can't Find Your System Administrator


    Compiled by the readers of alt.sysadmin.recovery in response to hearing about the book When You Can't Find Your UNIX System Administrator, from O'Reilly Publishing
    Last updated November 17, 1995 with 142 reasons. New note (July 28, 2000): there will be no new updates; I'd rather leave it in its' historical (November '95) state.


    They are hiding under the stairs
    They are on holiday for the first time in 5 years
    They are in the cellars conducting the rituals to keep the machines running
    They are in hospital suffering from an overdose of caffeine
    Taken away by the police after killing the last user who asked a stupid question
    "You *have* a system administrator ?"
    Walked past the table they were gibbering under
    The SysAdmin has built a maze with the door to their office at the center
    You *are* the system administrator
    Missed seeing the system administrator asleep under their desk
    The admin is chained to their desk in a dungeon only the CEO has the key for.
    Having to explain to the management why they need an asistant.
    The admin is suffering so bad from sleep deprivation that they may as well not be there for all the sense you can make of the words they are saying.
    You are afraid that the admin will use you as a punch bag so you are searching for them, but desperately pray that you don't find them.
    The admin came to work disguised as a tea boy to avoid talking to users
    The admin electroculted themselves whilst installing some cabling near the main power cable. Since the admin's body is the only thing keeping the power flowing, the management boarded up the body and pretended they still had a system administrator.
    Stuck in a lift shaft pulling network cable to another floor
    Getting Jolt out of their under-floor cache
    Hiding on the roof
    -- Simon Burr

    (S)he's looking up the BOFH excuse of the day.
    (S)he's out buying some caffeine.
    (S)he's busy installing xfishtank on the main fileserver.
    -- Mark D. Roth

    (S)he's out buying refills for the Nerf(TM) crossbow.
    (S)he's locked in the computer room playing Deathmatch.
    -- Dennis J. Preston Jr

    Booted to DOS and is playing doom across the network.
    Went to Stop&Go to get ANOTHER case of insert favorite caffinated beverage here
    Went to the room with padded walls that nobody dares open when the door's closed.
    Managed to find time to sleep for an hour or two.
    Just found out he had a two month old child, and is getting re-aquainted with his SO (and the new child)
    is playing netrek.
    Is in the hospital after being severly injured by a falling soda can mountain.
    -- William S. Duncanson

    Is closeted with boss trying to explain why (s)he uploaded a user to
    (s)he's at the hopital having his/her fingers splinted after typing 100 times NO you cannot use your old address after our domain name changes. Please go read the announcements that we have been posting for the last three months.
    -- Marge Robbins

    (S)he's catching twenty winks under the floorboards, tread gingerly.
    (S)he's watching the building electrician trip a circuit breaker that will reduce the company 'frame to rainbow colored slag,
    (S)he's out by the turnpike waiting for a case of Jolt to bounce out of the truck after it hits the speed bump.
    Is out back beating a luser into corn mash who asked "When will the system be back up" one time too many.
    Finished a double shift and is out back wondering what that big burning ball in the sky is.
    Is busy packing up to go to a site that has contemporary hardware
    Is engaged in a staring contest with a pack of evil dogs
    Is on the phone trying to talk his wife out of buying a house without ISDN
    -- The Unknown SysAdmin

    (S)he's sitting under the desk, hysterical at what the (l)user just asked.
    (S)he's at the pub, it's all *too* much.
    - Andrea Gibney

    (S)he's standing behind you, holding an axe.
    (S)he resigned in disgust five minutes ago.
    (S)he's in a meeting with the boss to discuss poor user response times.
    -- Ade Rixon

    Just look up at the ceiling (Think 'Aliens')
    -- Grant Denkinson

    (s)he can't be reached via phone or e-mail becuase (s)he is too busy on usenet telling everybody how busy (s)he is or thinking up 101 reasons why (s)he can't be found.
    -- D. Allen Bassham

    (s)he is hiding under a table so that (s)he will not be the one sitting for hours watching Ultrix reinstall from a single-speed CDROM because the users who inexplicably have root access have destroyed the filesystem *again* during a misguided attempt to "improve" /etc/rc by repartitioning the disk at boot time "so that it doesn't forget".
    -- Matt Bandy

    (S)he's in the bathroom... masterbating

    We have a 'secure room' here - bloody great lock on it. I hide in there
    -- Rob Wheeler

    The Grey Wall(tm) has fallen on them and no one has noticed their absence. [clunk,clunk,help!,anyone?]
    They've gone to find some more coffee. Sysadmin has left the building!
    -- Matt Haswell

    they've snapped, started muttering about "this damned post office", and left for the nearest gun store
    they're out on an interview
    they're seeing a therapist who doesn't have any computers in their office, a non-threatening place.
    they've gone to a computer museum to beg for parts for the PDP-10s running the place (ala Compuserve).
    they're out looking for an ad in any media where DEC mentions OpenVMS
    they're planning where to be on 01/01/2000, when all of the MVS systems, and some older minis in mission-critical applications like process control turn to crap. They may be shopping for a bomb shelter if SAC's launch control systems only have a two-digit year.
    they're at a travel agent's, booking a vacation to friendlier place, like Iraq.
    they're out fomenting rumors that the Windows 95 cd-roms have the Church of Scientology's copyrighted teachings hidden on the disk.
    They're meeting with Guido, to put out a contract on the parties that started the open systems myth.
    They've gone to Oklahoma City, to enroll in the FAA's Air Traffic Controller training program, to start a less-stressful career.
    They're seeing a commodities broker, to arrange direct deposit of their paychecks into buying coffee bean futures.
    -- Gerald (Jerry) R. Leslie

    -- Gary "Wolf" Barnes

    look better. He/She is probably in the basement somewhere behind the modem racks.
    _finally_ took a day off.
    It's 9 AM. He/she is not working that late.
    Vendor demonstration
    Convinience store across the street opened
    Pizza delivery is at the front door
    Sleeping under the floor tiles
    On some floor, in some wiring closet, trying to fix things
    In the dumpster behind the building trying to get rid of some frustration by using a sledgehammer on the Macs.
    -- Koos van den Hout

    Because the trauma induced by repeated attempts to install Solaris 2.5 pre-beta on an Intel system has forced him to seek psychotherapy.
    Still trying to come down from inhaling too much tape head cleaner.
    -- Nick Cuccia

    out chasing the rodents off of the twisted pair/power lines
    gone home to sleep (1st time in x days)
    been convicted of computer crimes (vague reference to randal schwartz)
    what was you're username?
    -- Tim Bandy

    Emptying the bit buckets.
    -- Michael Shields

    They finally caught him/her for that -big site-masacre (s)he thought (s)he'd gotten away with.
    -- Carlo Cozzi

    ObReason n+x: Your system administrator is walking in circles outside saying "TUESDAY? They want it by TUESDAY? TUESDAY?"
    -- Stephan Zielinski

    rcp $FAV_RESTAURANT:$FAV_FOOD /dev/stomach
    gurgle gurgle...
    -- Shannon Robert Madsen

    Hiding in wiring closet.
    Outside having a smoke because it's illegal in the building.
    On the roof of the building, contemplating jumping.
    On the roof of the building, contemplating which users to throw off.
    On the roof of the building, contemplating traffic.
    On the roof of the building, contemplating.
    -- Johan van Zanten

    In his/her manager's office, trying to explain why the manager gets lots of calls from lusers who can't find the sysAdmin.
    (for us part-timers only) In his/her manager's office, trying to explain why the "real" (programming) work doesn't get done. Manager doesn't understand -- when he gave you this job, he said it would only take a couple of hours a week....
    Is in luser's office, trying to explain why "export VAR=xxx" from one xterm window doesn't have any effect on the other windows. "But they're all on the same Xstation -- what's the problem?"
    -- Michael Hartwig

    Sysadmin's down in the administrative offices fixing one of their DOS boxes.
    -- Al Castanoli

    He's out getting a caffine fix.
    -- John Wanger

    There's more caffeine than blood in his veins, and he was last seen hopping down the hall pretending he was a pogo stick.
    -- J.D. Falk
    Well the sysadmin is too busy

    1) playing with the web
    2) reading news
    3) sleeping
    4) reading other peoples email (not that I do this...)
    5) installing the latest Xgame on the main fileserver... (this is real cool)
    -- Michael Miller

    S/He is playing DOOM, to release pent-up tension created by lusers.
    S/He is down to the 7-11 down the street, to buy extra strong coffee and caffeine tabs.
    S/He is currently full asleep over Her/his keyboard.
    -- Ingvar Mattsson

    has slashed her/his wrists on the Answerbook(tm) or Univers CD.
    recovering from the paper cuts after printing out large chunks of aforementioned CDs
    has gone to visit a luser in a department with a snazzy new SS20, but no clue [as what to do with it]
    has gone to visit (the same luser) to explain in words of one syllable why NetBEUI is a BAD THING to run over the campus network
    is pulling a blue snake out of a IBM 3850 (?) DASD in the machine room to give to the CS museum.
    in a meeting
    trying to *avoid* being in a meeting
    is talking to his manager
    has worked so much overtime he is now owed 6 months contiguous, paid leave.
    --Russell Street

    Busy threatening a user that was complaining about the machine being down for the back-up.
    Hiding in another office where he can work without getting interrupted.
    Wandering around the halls looking for his/her lost sanity.
    Out at Starbuck's for the X time today getting a grande cafe mocha with an espresso chaser.
    Showing the boss, for the X time, how to turn the laptop upsidedown and shake it to get it to reboot (ala Dilbert and the Etch-A-Sketch cartoon). :-)
    Busy sitting in the middle of a pentagram with black candles putting a curse on the air-head executive that started circulating the warnings about the "e-mail virus".
    Busy installing a new clutch to better shift paradigms with. (ala Dilbert)
    --Michael Faurot

    (S)he's off running round the building trying to find who has addopted the servers IP address.
    (S)he's off round the building trying to find who has tured off which router, or have they just unplugged our link to the outside world.
    --Ian (God they both happened in one week) Dobbie

    they're busy rerouting their support telephone to the luser of the day
    they're busy updating their BOFH excuse server
    they're busy testing new ideas for the BOFH Of The Year Award.
    --Sean B Purdy

    Performing minor surgery on an ailing DAT drive using only a cow orker's dissection kit (this is a Pharmacy department) after the verdammt cleaning tape decided to remove half the drive's mechanism when it ejected. (This actually *worked*. Boy, was I surprised.)
    --Chris Richardson

    has been replaced by a comupter.
    --Lars Syrstad

    Busy fending off the person who isn't your boss but yet (s)he feels (s)he is and this person rants the loudest so he/she ends up getting what he/she wants done.
    --Jeff Ballard

    Changing the batteries in the UPS
    --Rebekah Oberin

    Have you checked under the desk/crawlspace?
    --Aaron Sommer

    they have found the exit.
    (it's like a maze, with little lusers all alike)
    they have been fired; no longer needed with windoze 95.
    --Mike Wessling

    (S)he's dead,
    (S)he's dead tired,
    (S)he's joined a cult practising Windoze 95,
    (S)he's at the CA meeting (Caffeeine Anonymous),
    (S)he's on the top of the buildingggggggggggg.....................thud!
    --Stuart Owen

    (S)he has phobia toward your name.
    --Ivy Kuang-Ying Shih石光莹

    Someone just mentioned "Windows" and "95" in rapid succession...
    --John Vaughan

    He was arrested cause the police thought he was a Drug dealer when they saw the three pagers on his belt..
    --Pete Shipley

    They're actully in their office, but buried under the mound of paper, manuals and spare parts that just avalanced off their desk..
    The Cray's Chiller decided to go on vacation, and (S)he got stuck to one of the vents on the Y-MP after switching to air-cooled mode.
    --Jeff Wolfe


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Not all funny, but still got a chuckle from em. Defiantly made my day a whole lot better..


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