BOFH: Where the boss gets all the tracking devices he wants

Episode 16 There’s nothing I love more than a conversation with an expert. So many people have vague and uninformed opinions about things, it’s good to talk to someone with experience who knows what they’re talking about. I can hardly wait.

“And so when it detects motion, it sends you a text message with the image.”

” Like this photo ? the PFY asks, looking at the offered phone. “What is 720p?”

“Oh, I can’t remember the model number, but it’s a fantastic piece of kit.”

“Apparently,” replies the PFY. “So, do you think we should put this all over the building?”

“It’s a thought.”

“So I’ll be getting, what, maybe 200 text messages an hour until you find the person who takes all the teaspoons?”

“I …”

IF we could recognize them from a distance with such low resolution.”

“Yes, but …”

IF they did not hide them in their pockets.”

“I …”

“And IF the camera was not solar powered in the first place.”

“Well, obviously you can buy a powered one.” cut the Boss.

“Or maybe install a solar light to power the solar-powered camera. OR we could just buy a few extra teaspoons.”


“And you think if we set up all these cameras and watch them night and day, we’ll eventually catch the master criminal who steals a teaspoon every… what, a few months?”


“Have you thought about following the teaspoons?” I suggest.

” To follow them ? »

“Yeah. Put a GPS tracker on the spoons.”

“Can you do that?” he gasps, in great danger of getting wet in his excitement.

“Sure. We would need a teaspoon with a handle large enough to put the tracker in, but I think we could do that.”

“It sounds good.”

“Oh, but wait, we won’t have the budget to do this,” says the PFY.

“Just use the miscellaneous expense budget,” the boss casually suggests.

“Oh, we spent all of that getting our SSL keys cut at the locksmith and then hardening our hard drives,” I interject.

“I guess maybe I could get some money out of my miscellaneous budget,” he offers.

“Very well, it’ll only cost a few hundred pounds – in cash – to get the trackers plus whatever it will cost for the big-handled teaspoons…”


“Yeah, well, you probably don’t want a paper trail if you’re buying personal trackers.”

“Ah, yes. Good point.”

…a week and 200 pounds of lager later…

“That’s amazing,” gushed the Boss, rolling a teaspoon. “You can’t even see where you opened it.” How did you pick it up?

“With thermal paste,” I say. “Good things.”

“How do I turn it on?” ” he asks.

“It’s already on.”

” And how does it work ?

“We’ve installed an app on your phone that will alert you when a spoon leaves the tearoom,” I say. “Plus or minus 15 meters.”

“So…I could…” he said as he left the tearoom.

Moments later, I hear his phone ringing in the hallway.

“It’s good!” he enthuses, returning to the room. “But does it work outside the building?”

“Outside the building it should be even better. It will locate the spoon within three meters, more or less, as the signal is not impaired by the concrete of the building.”

“I’ll try that!” he said, stopping for the exit.

Half an hour later, he’s back.

“THIS IS INCREDIBLE!” he is crying. “He messaged me every ten minutes with the location of the spoon. It’s only a matter of time – we’ll find the spoon thief!”

Or maybe not. It’s only a matter of time before the boss realizes that the Find-my-spoon app is really a Find-this-phone app and the game is over. And it depends a bit on when a spoon leaves the room, which is where the PFY’s tearoom camera came in so handy. Streaming the boss’s camera and mic is also useful to us…

The next day, the Boss is back at Mission Control.

“It doesn’t work,” he says. “I asked Steve to take a spoon with him when he went to get pizza yesterday and nothing happened.”

“He can’t have used the right spoon,” says the PFY, in a stroke of genius.

“The right spoon? »

“Yeah, only one of them is tracked because of the high cost of subminiature trackers.”

“Can’t you follow them all?”

“If you still have a thousand pounds.”

The boss is reluctant to spend more money on tech to track spoons, and we’re clear. Until …

… the next day …

“I sent Steve back to the pizzeria last night with ALL the spoons and nothing happened!” he smokes.

“Really?” responds the PFY looking up from his desk. “That’s unusual. But wait – you didn’t put the spoon in the dishwasher, did you – it’s not dishwasher safe!”

“I…Wha…OK, I think we should open all these spoons so I can see that tracker.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” I said tentatively. “We need to know if this is an intermittent issue or if the dishwasher is hurting – as I thought we were using the dishwasher in conjunction with hot drinks to heat up the thermocouple to charge the tracker .”

“We did it,” confirms the PFY, still tapping on his desk, “as well as a small autogyro to convert the stirring motion into electricity. Maybe it just sat idle too long.”

“Steve took ALL of them with him when he >PING!<"

“What is that?” I ask. “Is the spoon back online?”

“It’s… it seems,” the Boss said. “And it’s just outside the building.”

The boss rushes in as the PFY continues to provide coordinates over the phone.

It was only a matter of time, really.

Sooner or later, if you focus on your phone screen instead of your surroundings, you’ll forget to look both ways before crossing the street.

“There was a terrible accident,” said the PFY, closing its mapping application.

BOFH: Where the boss gets all the tracking devices he wants

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