Once upon a time, I would listen to stories of my roommates's coworkers, and they all had cool nick-names. I thought sadly, "none of my coworkers have nick-names. They're all called boring things, like Chuck, or Janice, or Eric. Wouldn't it be cool if they had nick-names?"
Since starting at this job, I have learned the error of my thinking.
Coworkers sometimes acquire nick-names because everyone gets along with each other so well that they get nick-names based on shared experiences. But more often than not, coworkers get nick-names because you just don't respect or like them enough to bother dignifying them with their given names. Given names aren't descriptive enough, and frequently don't sufficiently warn the listener of what they are about to deal with.
So, for those who are interested, I present a list of the wonderful people I work with, and their associated nick-names. All of them have earned their names in one way or another.
Just to keep this from being the monster post that ate New York, I think I'll throw in a cut-tag here.
Where to start...? I think I'll start with:
The Chihuahua On A Stick - Also known as the Original Irresistible Force. She is actually a lot cooler than the nickname would imply. But she reminds me of the way that once you set it off, a Chihuahua will start knawing on your leg and won't let go and won't ever stop. She's like the squeaky wheel that will never go away, and won't back down. (Hence, the Irresistible Force appellation.) I happen to agree with what she says most of the time, so I don't find her to be a nuisance. In fact, I've been known to intentionally tell her things that I know will set her off, if they are things that I think really need fixing. This is the "Stick" part of her nick-name. I sometimes use her like a bizarre, living, political weed-whacker. Point her at a political problem person at work and *BZZZZUUUUMMMM* problem gets knawed into sawdust. But I know that if I ever forget to hold her by the stick, I'll get my arm shreaded off as well. She's sort of a double-edged... um, wheed-whacker.
And next should be The Village Idiot , also known as the Original Immovable Object. He and the Chihuahua On A Stick hate each other. Watching them in a discussion together is like watching a visual demonstration of the theoretical Irresistible Force meeting the Immovable Object. It's an amazing thing to behold -- if one is in the next state. The Village Idiot is one of the two people in the office I avoid like the plague. He's old, which is not a sin unto itself. But he's also biased and stubborn, and seems to think that no one is as smart as he is. His favorite method of conflict resolution is to shout at someone until they decide that it's much easier to agree with him so that they can quit dealing with him.
Following the Village Idiot in a really freaky, Kenta-ish manner is The Ball-less Wonder. Yes, it's true -- this man has no balls. I am far from the only person to notice this. I do, sadly, notice it often, since he is my boss. In any given situation, he tends to crumble like coffee cake when the slightest pressure is put on him. He also has a bizarre habit of starting to say something mind-blowingly stupid, pause as he realizes that he's saying something mind-blowingly stupid, and then keep going on supporting his mind-blowingly stupid statement. You can see it in his eyes that he knows he is being dumb. But somehow he can't seem to just stop himself and say, "sorry, that was dumb." No, he must keep digging himself in deeper. It's very odd to watch, and would be entertaining, it if wasn't so frustrating.
Next up in my department, we have Tester Boy. Tester Boy was not named because of his glorious, stunning, amazing testing skills. No, Tester Boy earned his nick-name from his complete and utter inability to test his code. He's even had times when he asked me to help him come and debug his code, even though he works in a language I don't really use, and have little training in. Other than this one minor personal problem, Tester Boy is actually reasonably interesting to talk to. He's also the guy I ask about cars that aren't available in the US.
Also in my department is Ding-Dong. Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Ding-Dong, since he is the twit who was whining that he had to provide data to support our recent recall. I rarely interact with him, and in general, he's mostly harmless. He's just a ding-dong. He used to have balls, but his wife (who is a VP here) wears them on a necklace now -- and everyone knows it. I think generally people overlook his minor personal flaws, out of respect for his loss.
Rounding out the other folks in my department is The Other VB Programmer. She doesn't program VB any more, but the name stuck. She's the most clued person in the department, and is generally not a bad person to have around. She's also one of my first IniD converts and is a rabid fan (though she tries to hide it, since it would be too freakish), so she gets points in my book.
Going on to outside of my department (yes, all of the above except the Chihuahua On A Stick are in my department; there are more, but they don't even merit nick-names), we have The One Clued User. He's cool. He's clued. I love this man, in a purely "you don't make my life suck; did I mention how wonderful you are?" kind of way. His was the first project I worked on when I started here, so I got the mistaken impression that the company was sane. I am in awe of his ability to not smash in the heads of stupid coworkers with heavy pieces of machinery, which are usually lying around in his office.
Just 'cause he's so random, I'll throw in Fake Lan-Evo Boy. He gets his nick-name from a car which he used to drive. The car in question has a body kit that makes it look an awful lot like a Lan-Evo, complete with the huge, ugly spoiler. (Sorry to fans of the Evo; I just happen to think that the spoiler is really chunky-looking. Since this is my blog, I'm going to take the opportunity to editorialize. Please don't tar and feather me for it!) The first time I saw the car was just after I got back from a trip to Japan, and I spent a long, jet lagged moment staring at the car in perplexion, thinking "but, there aren't any Evos in the States?" Oh, and it's gold. Disturbingly gold. He appears to have turned over to some other coworker (honestly, the way people play musical cars in the parking lot perplexes me utterly), but the nick-name has stuck. Other than his slightly odd taste in cars, he seems to be a pretty reasonable person, though I don't talk to him too much.
Next we have Surly Boy. Surly Boy used to be a fairly reasonable, normal coworker. Then one day a hideous lab accident befell him and he was transformed into Surly Boy. Okay, so maybe that lab accident part was made up. But once upon a time he was an okay coworker. Then over time he got more and more surly. Now he rolls his eyes and gives attitude when anyone asks anything of him. He is the bane of my work existence. I would be less annoyed with him if it wasn't for all the times that I've had to scramble just to cover something caused by Surly Boy not bothering to do his job. That, and his not doing his job ends up reflecting on me, and making it look like I'm not doing my job. Surly Boy thinks that he knows everything about this company (okay, he does know a lot, I will give him that), and that he's irreplaceable. He had not yet realized that because of his habit of coming in no earlier than 11, and because of his really annoying, bad attitude, everyone has been figuring out ways to get rid of him, or work around him. Surly Boy will be phased out of his current position at the end of this week. The entire company waits with bated breath to see what happens to him next, since no one in the company is willing to take him in. Even if the managers were willing to, the rest of the staff doesn't want him.
Replacing Surly Boy is Golden Boy, whose nick-name always reminds me of some lech anime. Golden Boy is also know as Creepy Stalker Boy. Other than his bizarre insistence that I read luuuuuv stories (his term, not mine, and at the time, I was reading a non fiction book that had nothing to do with luuuuuuv stories), and his wondering why on earth I would want to read a collection of essays on the modern Japanese psyche, he's not that bad. (He also, rather clearly, doesn't know me terribly well.) It's just that something in his manner always makes me feel like he's some kind of freaky stalker who is trying to hit on me. Aside from that one minor issue, Golden Boy is a wonderful coworker. He is the exact opposite of Surly Boy. He is polite, he is friendly, and most important of all, he gets the job done. Even if he doesn't know how to do it, he cheerfully applies himself to learning it. It's a wonder to watch.
Now, I'm not sure how The Princess managed to slip by in the previous discussions. She is the only one who chose her own nick-name, mainly from repeatedly saying "I'm the princess!" Since she really is, the name stuck. She works for the Chihuahua On A Stick, and we take turns giving each other horrible days. Despite that, she's one of the few coworkers that I genuinely like. She also happens to share my birthday. The Princess is wonderful to have around because, like the Chihuahua On A Stick, you point her in the right direction, and just watch the problems vanish!
And last we have the newest addition to the nick-name collection, Echo Boy. Echo Boy will sit and tell you what you just told him. He acts like the information is completely new to you, completely missing the fact that he's repeating exactly the same information you just gave him. He is a contractor, working in my department. I've worked with him previously, and he was annoying then too. I don't know if it's that Echo Boy doesn't believe that other people might have useful contributions and be able to figure things out on their own, or if he reserves this behavior just for women. Either way, he's another in the collection of people who think they know so much more than you do, even in areas that are nominally your primary field (which he's never worked in before). Perhaps he thinks he knows more than he does, since he parrots back whatever people who are actually in the know say.
And there you have it -- Sandpanther's Circus of Nick-named Idiots!