Monday, September 13, 2004

Geeks R Us

My buddy Jason works at HP. I figure there are 15,000 employees. You won’t find him. He and three other people interviewed prospective candidates last week for a position on campus. He said they overnighted an offer to the lucky bastard worth the dough and the ball was in his court to accept, deny or play a friendly game of hardball. I asked him how they narrowed it down to one from the dozen they spoke with. Besides qualifications, one of the things he mentioned was “presentation.” He said the group liked the polished professionalism the young graduate displayed. I asked if he was hiring in the PR department and he said no. Then why the fuck did you pick the suit?

Huh?

I think people put too much value on the link between personal appearance and ability to do a job. If it were up to me, I’d use an entirely different system. I’d assemble a team of misfits. Bring me your tired, your weary, your geeks. Make them nerdy and hard up. Give them an overbite, glasses, acne, and a fucked up hair cut. Mismatch their clothing, lace their teeth with braces and throw a crack into their voices. Put a snort in their laugh, a fidget in their stance, and a remove all traces of rhythm when they dance. Do all of these things and I’ll show you a group of men and women who have had nothing to do but surf the net, write HTML, hack into systems, and develop a loyalty to one another no group of suits will ever understand.

These people know they won’t get anywhere unless they earn it. No low cut blouses, no ass kissing empty promises to be quickly forgiven with a few hollow compliments. No back biting, no shark pools, no superficial bitches gossiping. Just a group of geeks with heart and determination. I would call them the Geek Squad and I would be proud of them. We’ll have code names for each other like Scooby, Zephyr, Darkness, and Disco Duck, like in a club because they understand clubs. They understand loyalty. And they will understand how appreciated they are.

They will be compensated on merit and when funds are in short supply we’ll make up our own form of compensation, such as a day at the Laser Tag park or Dave & Busters arcade. They will get together socially for morale parties. They will work together in large open rooms, no cubicles. Casual conversation and playfulness will be encouraged to keep the mood light and the productivity high. Paper ball fights will be a weekly event.

If I were a manager at the company known for Innovation, I’d have the happiest, most productive team on campus. But then, nobody’s asking for my fucking opinion.