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Three keys to successful interactions with Scientologists
1) Do not bring up psychiatry, counseling, depression based drugs. If they bring it up, just nod your head. Do not argue with them about it. They have been brain washed to say that they are all bad despite evidence to the contrary.
2) Do not bring up anything that might possible critize the church. I made this mistake once when I asked why their cource material was so expensive. The story here is that a prospective member needed to cell $20K worth of cource materials before they could become part of the C-Org (a person who works for the church). The 20K worth of stuff was just 5 or 6 items (Book Series, Audio Tapes etc). My inlaws immediately got offended and refused to talk to me about it. They didn't speak to me for about a month (a blessing ).
3) Do not say anything derogatory about L Ron. He the modern day jesus to them.
Except for these 3 things, they seem like mostly normal people but I have quite a few stories that are very eye opening.
At the moment it's only me but as a contractor I've worked with some characters, OCD and hypersensativity mostly, the occasional freezer gnome, one or two schitzos, international socialist revolutionaries, dishonest Canadians, Brixton hard men, frighteningly clever Indians, Geordie PE teacher... Everyone one of as lovely as can be of course.
The strangest tale I've ever heard of wierdness in the IT workplace though is the one about the phantom log layer but we'd better not get into that in the lounge
"The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage."
Thucydides (B.C. 460-400)
Where I work, I sit opposite a chap when he swings his legs back and forth he looks like something that a dog does to your leg!
Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, served in a Provençale manner with shallots and aubergines, garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top and Spam - Monty Python Spam Sketch
There's this one guy who single-handedly empties the soft drinks in the pantry. No matter when you pass across his desk, you'll see several empty bottles of pepsi, coke, and whatever else was available in the fridge. The guy carries something like 3 or 4 bottles to his desk at once.
He collects Oranges, Clementines and Satsumas on top of his Desktop in various
stages of decomposition
I have ten of these of top of my machine, none of them rotten though admittedly the kiwi fruit doesn't look too attractive. The exhaust air from my pcs dries them out nicely. I found one under my desk the day I started work and I still have it 14 year later.
I'm not sure we have anyone here who is an out and out weirdo. Just your run of the mill oddities that can probably be found anywhere. A lot of them have been here a long time and there is a strangeness that comes over all who have settled into the same groove for many, many years.
Last place I worked I'll have a go at.
PT - Supposed development manager, complete social inadequate. Lived on his own, living room was a single chair, a projector and screen, with games consoles and freeview box linked to it. Once turned up late to a meeting because he had been watching Pokemon. Once said he had had Smarties cereal for breakfast, when challenged "I didn't know they made a cereal" replied "It was just a bowl of Smarties". Got the job because he had been there since the start. One of the main reasons I left.
***EDIT - Sorry, Smarties cereal was IT Crowd, he said Skittles, and this was several years before The IT Crowd. Yes, he was that much of a cliche.
AM - Started out as a 16 year old, mum knew the IT Director. Very smart, very capable, extremely intense. Got sacked for shagging the 15 year old work experience girl who was also the daughter of the HR manager. They remained in a relationship for over 4 years. Recently saw him again (7 year later) working in MacDonalds.
Can't remember his name - didn't turn up one day, then the police did and took a load of computers away. Now in prison.
TB - known as monkey since he turned up one day in a jumper that looked like this fella[^]. Once deleted a directory of source code by mistake; this led to the introduction of SCM. Once moved a directory of source code to a different directory by mistake. Once drove into one of the 4 foot high boulders used for traffic management on the site whilst waving good bye to someone, hit it square in the middle of the front bumper and put a V shape into the car, writing it off. Once went into town at lunchtime, when got back to car it wouldn't unlock. Phone breakdown, when they got there discovered he had been using his wife's keys to get in (not sure why he had them), his keys were in the other pocket. Once driving to work when his puppy jumped out of the car window at 60mph. It rolled down the road and was apparently unharmed. I could go on and on to be honest.
J can't remember his surname - completely dominated by his wife, all his wages paid into her account and he had to ask for any money he wanted. Hence he rarely came out on work dos cos he wasn't allowed.
CD - proper geeky dev, very talented, except at life. Spent all his nights playing EVE Online and couldn't get to work ontime. They changed his hours to start at 1400 and he still couldn't get in. Phoned up once to say he couldn't come in because of insomnia.
DT - Indian genius, wonderful bloke, massive drinker. Died of cancer in his 30s. Went through phases of drinking, vodka when working in Russia, Port at once point, and by the end was on nothing but Guinness because he thought it was good for him. I still miss him 10 years on.
I could probably go on.
One mention from a bloke who left here shortly after I joined; MH - couldn't touch any food with his hands when eating it. Watching him eat a packet of crisps was great fun.
Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends.
That is scary, could be to do with a 'J' being in your name, as a 'J' who I went to uni with took strange delite in leaving apples until they went brown and moldy and fired them over a wall in to a playing field. He now 'works' in local goverment.
AG: A legend in his own lunch break and a total pratt. He was always bad-mouthing other employees and when they came into the office he was as sweet as syrup. He liked to boast that his IQ was the highest break in snooker, 147. He was clever, for sure, knew his stuff but as a technical manager he couldn't motivate a bucket of piss.
PM: A big fat bloke who delighted in farting often and loud. I can laugh at lavatorial humour on the worst of days but he got right up my nose, literally. He was another self-important tosser but give him credit, he was excellent at 1st-line support and knew the company's databases intimately. His ability to clear support calls was really appreciated. Often, he'd sit quitely staring beyond his monitor (there was f*** all behind it). Obviously he'd seen something in the ether that we couldn't.
GC: She was PM's manager. Scottish. Average-looking slag (I did say Scottish, didn't I? ) I used to love winding her up. Utterly gullible and she'd go off to the loo talking to herself. She couldn't hold eye contact. Her gaze was always on the floor even, I suspect, when making phone calls. She'd chair the morning change control meetings and she would do nothing but face the whiteboard even when taking questions. How she got to be a manager we never worked out. Inept. She had nice wotsits though.
GK: Bloke I knew in Joburg. A lovable chap, always smiling, willing to help, very clever. But don't lend him trailers. He wrote off three, one of which went head-over-heels and nearly overtook him at speed as it wasn't hitched to the towbar securely. He apparently rushed home and placed all his shopping on the stove - a ring was still on. He came back to find cat food on his ceiling. Totally unlucky in love. Dressed like a vagrant and sometimes ponged a bit like one. Eccentric but a decent guy.
MT: A huge, morbidly obese Canadian. He used to walk up Commissioner Street in Joburg talking to everyone under the sun - people he didn't know. He'd sit in the canteen eating buckets full of food as it was a free canteen. He tried losing weight by running around the long corridors and he once raced into a meeting, threw himself into the chair but his, easily, 150Kg weight was too much. The chair broke underneath him. We could do nothing but piss ourselves laughing. Sad thing is, nobody could pull the broken chair off him and an ambulance had to be called. He muttered, "basstard, basstard, basstard..." for ages.
"I do not have to forgive my enemies, I have had them all shot." — Ramón Maria Narváez (1800-68).
"I don't need to shoot my enemies, I don't have any." - Me (2012).
We've got something of an eccentric superstar. Thinks he knows better than everyone which is why he reimplements everything from scratch, including large parts of ADO.net. He won't trust anything by a third party, that includes most of his colleagues and Microsoft. He once told me that my ASP.net MVC frontend had "too many dependencies on IIS" and told me to remove them all before integrating it with his stuff, claims COM is easier to maintain and deploy than .net, asserts that a service-consuming application should never reference anything from System.ServiceModel, despite all the WCF client stuff being in there.. I could go on forever. I used to get annoyed at him but since I came back from xmas holiday and saw his new desk I'm convinced he's just a bit of a weirdo. Instead of sitting like any other normal person, he's got himself a wooden, tall breakfast bar table which is fine for standing up and working, only he sits perched on the wooden bar stool that comes with the table. He also drinks chocolate milk through a straw and blinks uncontrollably when you talk to him.
One final year apprentice we've got is a proper tool. Comes to work in a suit complete with bluetooth earpiece even though he's actually a support tech who does a bit of development work that the other devs can't be arsed with. Won't listen to a word of advice during code reviews and openly says he doesn't care that his reflection-based masterpiece of solid WTF is practically unmaintainable by anyone other than him because and I quote, "I'll be long gone by then". Has a big mouth and an even bigger opinion of himself. Management material. Needs a massive kick in the balls from a thousand thai boxers and professional footballers.
We've got some characters who shout and swear a lot, or look like they've had too much high powered blotter acid for breakfast but they're more or less OK.
Then there's this other guy who drinks ten cups of tea a day, constantly watches documentaries on youtube, goes on about the need for UML, patterns, unit tests and decoupling til he's blue in the face and posts on this site full of weirdos called codeproject.. can't stand him.