Bodge

Like any self-respecting professional, I hate bodge jobs. I have two simple rules relating to bodging a job:

  1. Don’t bodge it.
  2. If you really have to bodge it, make sure you do a better bodge than the last bodger did.

Of course, different people have different ideas of what constitutes a bodge. Let’s establish a baseline:

This is a bodge. In fact, it is a monstrous bodge – and frankly, anyone who doesn’t agree can just stop reading and bugger off now. When I first spotted it in the cellar of our admin building last year, I was glad it was nothing to do with me or my network. Whoever did this needs to be savagely beaten with their own shoes.

Especially because last week, it became my problem.

It turns out this cable is not part of the telephone system, as I had previously suspected. Instead, it is mid-way down a length of cable that runs from an RJ-45 socket in one of the floor boxes in the admin office, and at some unknown time was actually cut completely about 20m further down. The end that is terminated is suspiciously labelled with the name of the company that provides our MIS, which gives me even more reason to dislike them.

I’ve known about the floor box and the loose end of this cable for some time, but it was only last week that I realised that the laughable repair attempt above was part of it. This realisation was annoying because I needed to extend the cut-off length of cable back to the cabinet to provide an additional network port in the office, and running a new cable would, for a variety of reasons, involve destroying half the floor.

Normally I wouldn’t ever extend a network cable, even when done properly. This is a something I consider a bodge, even though many do not. And so it came to pass that I, the Angry Technician, invoked my second rule of bodge jobs:

Cat 5e Junction Box

I decided to sacrifice the extra 20m beyond this and bring a new run from the cabinet all the way back to the cellar, where I could join it properly and fix it near the ceiling, instead of at waist-height where it was previously hanging. It’s still a bodge, and I still don’t like it. But its a hell of a lot better than the last bodger did.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

12 responses to “Bodge”

  1. p858snake says :

    “running a new cable would, for a variety of reasons, involve destroying half the floor.”

    o.0 If the old cable is there, just attack the new run of cable to the end of the old (eg: electrical tape comes in handy) then just pull the cable though from the other end.

    Also are those metal staples I see on on those cables o.0

    • Mr. DOS says :

      It may have been on another of the failure-type blogs I read, but I seem to remember AngryTech mentioning somewhere else that some of the cabling he’s responsible for runs through solid concrete.

      • AngryTechnician says :

        That would be these cables. The situation in the office is similar, only more fiddly. There is no way I can pull back; I once spent 3 hours trying to clear the obstructions in the cabling route without success.

        The metal staples are on cables that are definitely not mine. Those ones actually are the telephone system.

  2. Vialli says :

    I’m going to check my Technical Supervisors previous employment, this work looks familiar!

  3. Computer Repair Ajax says :

    Nothing I hate more than fixing someone else’s mess. Sometime’s you just sit and wonder “what were they thinking”?

  4. Anon says :

    FWIW, “botch” and “bodge” are two different things. A “bodge” is a rough-and-ready fix. A “botch” is a screw-up that generally has to be redone because it’s broken something. A “bodge” might be sticking in some extra thermal paste because a CPU cooler won’t sit nicely, whereas a “botch” would be applying said thermal paste to the underside of the CPU.

    • AngryTechnician says :

      For the most common usage I would agree, but I consulted several dictionaries while looking for an AmE equivalent of bodge and all of them listed something along the lines of “to make or perform clumsily” as a secondary definition of botch. Collins even directly references botch in the first definition of bodge.

      Can you suggest a better AmE equivalent?

      • me says :

        Yes it’s a 2 year old post, but this fits the MW definition of a Kludge if ever there was one.
        w ww.merriam-webster.c om/dictionary/kludge

  5. MMB says :

    Jury-rig might be a good fit. In AmE it means to make a quick fix with on-hand materials. The connotation being that it’s fixed, but just barely, and just for a little while.

  6. ScottishTech says :

    Kludge?
    Fudge?
    Pockle?
    Workaround?

  7. Simon says :

    I made a crossover cable like that once.. But I was a kid and really wanted to play Quake against my mate (yes, I had one mate) but didn’t have a router!

  8. Bodge says :

    First of all I am surprised at a “professional” misusing the word “Bodge”. The word you should have used is “Botch” which comes from the french “Botcher” which is “Butcher” and basically means to cut, slice or hack up. The “Bodger” comes from the name Bodger and is the old english name for a “Greenwood turner” known today as a Lathe operator. Bodgers would take fallen and downed trees, spice the wood and make chair legs, spindles for backs etc and sell that to the carpenters who would make the completed item from the bits bought from the Bodger. The old term “half a job Bodge” stems from the fact the bodger made “parts” FOR furniture and not the whole item effectively doing half the job. “Bodging” is a great and not yet dead skill still practiced by professional bodgers at trade fairs around the world whilst BOTCHING is the butchering of the job (not quite the same thing is it?)