Someone once asked me, “Just how much of a Geek are you?” and I think that’s a good way to begin my introduction to you on this site. It’s an interesting question because, in one sentence, you’re almost forced to come up with a rationale for your entire being – a kind of “Here’s why you should hire me” type response. I often compare questions like those, and job interviews, with Dating Websites. Through a series of unfortunate, and perhaps some fortunate, events in my life I’m currently in the unenviable position of having to use both of these kinds of sites.
And, OK, not everyone has to use a dating or a job seeking website, but let’s face facts, if you want to meet people and you want to do things then money is something you should be looking for – and the best way to get money, outside having Dale Winton write you a cheque, is to get a job – and equally, while it can be very difficult, actually make that very difficult to find a perspective partner, it can also be equally rewarding when you do find someone that you can spend time with.
So, here I am, registering my profile on the dating website and answering the questions there. One of my friends has told me this site is for getting a woman into bed, and regardless of anything else, I should be able to accomplish this with relative ease. It might involve me buying her a few drinks, taking her for a nice meal (not unpleasant), but in the end if I’m after sex (and that’s the only thing I’m after) this is apparently the site for me. However, my other friend tells me this is the site where he met his girlfriend, it’s a long lasting connection and he knows that if I want a dedicated and committed relationship then this is the site to be on. Google tells me the site is popular, and so I’m drawn to agree with them both in a manner of speaking, knowing that my body and my brain will tell me two different things anyway and that it’s always going to be based on who you meet and what you do and where it goes. I’m confused enough as it is and I haven’t entered my email address.
Now, as me, I tend to put myself on the line – I throw myself and my heart into things and I expect to reap the rewards. I don’t. About 30% of the time I reap the rewards and on the other occasions I’m left counting the change. It’s the same on a dating website. You put in the information, put your photo up there and contact a few people and you hope it goes well. When someone writes back insulting you for even contacting them it can be pretty damaging and leave you feeling a bit hurt. However, and this is where the Geek comes in, I’m also a little quirky and eccentric and I find myself using words and language that most people find rather bold and brash. In some cases I tone down the language, but I guess I’m a believer that if I’m truthful and honest from the start (that is, I don’t pretend to be anyone but who I am) I will eventually find someone that will accept me for me.
This tends to be the same criteria when applying for a Job. Recently made redundant, I went to my local Job Centre and registered, to which I was informed the new process of finding work from a prospective employer in the UK. Register your details, upload your CV and apply, not too bad for a computer savvy person like myself. The Geek in me certainly learned nothing new but had everything to gain from the experience. But that’s when it hit me, since all I had to do to apply was upload a CV, a one page document selling who I was and hit apply. No long winded applications, no cover letter, no supporting documentation or evidence, no references….nothing other than my CV….leaving me wondering just how many Geeks and Journalists (perhaps the same thing) were able to do the same. How much I actually stood out when all they took into account was actual work experience and basic fact.
So on the one hand, I dreaded answering the questions of the Dating website and yet I was reluctant to send off my CV without answering any on the other. I think that’s part of what makes me a Geek, because it’s the realisation that sometimes these kinds of questions are necessary, sometimes they (like everything else in the world) have their place and justification. If you don’t answer life’s questions and give more information than the basic facts, you’re not going to get anywhere, and that’s a universal president – not something solely confined to this website. The difference in “Geek Dom” (if I’ve just, according to Microsoft Word, invented a phrase) is that one takes pride in those things which make them slightly abnormal, indeed, better to have lived interesting than have simply lived.
But just who was the Geeks of yesterday? Before the arrival of mainstream comic books (some formed from Political opposition and concern about the threat of Nuclear War) we had Hippie’s, who spread free love and free thinking. But what of before that? Maybe the inventors of Industry and Technology, like Alexander Graham Bell, or the magicians and entertainers of their day like Houndi? Both these men, by their example, lived an interesting and extraordinary life. They contributed to society and left their mark upon the world. They were as much Geek’s, extra-terrestrial’s (which literally means outwards earthly) as you can get, moving beyond their realm and creating something the world had never seen. When Gaelio died the Spanish Inquisition by calling the world round, was he perhaps the Geek?
The next time someone asks me the question “Just how much of a Geek are you?” I think I’m going to ignore them and try and concentrate on doing something else. That might seem evasive, rude even, but the fact that we’re just like everyone else in the world means there shouldn’t be a distinction or labels attached. We are one. We are human. We are the collective. Maybe that’s me showing my Geek side, right?