It makes me cringe to even say it now. Why have we been putting up with this for so long? The fact that we’re really good at what we do has been completely subsumed by the idea that we don’t take showers (we don’t. But that’s not the point). The fact that the world is becoming more dependent on our services every day is completely ignored next to the fact that we can’t talk to members of the opposite gender (we actually can. As long as that person knows their way around a command prompt and can give us the decimal representation of a 6-digit binary number, we could SO have a coherent conversation). The fact that several of the world’s wealthiest people subscribe to our dogmas, and that that the President of the Frikin’ USA demanded that his blackberry be tweaked, by us, for use as the Official Smartphone of the Commander in Chief does nothing to ameliorate our allegedly more important lack of fashion sense.
You see, we have an image problem. When Best Buy unveiled its newest nefarious plan to coerce money from the wallets of innocent consumers, The Geek Squad, they made it very clear that these people couldn’t dress themselves beyond black and white, with a skinny black tie. They made it very clear that these people had no life whatsoever and that they were created simply to hook up all your crap, and drive Beetles while doing it. They wanted people to come in expecting an anti-social college grad that hadn’t showered in at least 2 days, who acted superior and condescending, who spoke incoherently about all things technical, and in the name of all that is unholy, they succeeded.
The point I’m trying to get at here is that we need to find a different name for ourselves. Yes, I know that we like to be non-conformist and identify ourselves with a label that only we think is ‘cool’. But seriously, we aren't in high school anymore (We are in college). We need to grow up and realize that as much as we like being ‘different’ and ‘counter-culture’, we need to get jobs. The world has come a long way in the past 40 or so years making the computer world a necessary part of life, but those who master the science of the geek must come out from under the silicon curtain. We need to free ourselves from our self-imposed showerless incarceration and start wearing clothes that match. We need to break free from the chains of parental dependence and start proving to the world that can apply the same skills we use to
Now, I know that this is a lot to ask; Identifying color schemes between all the various necessary clothing objects on my person is a skill set that will haunt me for the rest of my days. However, I propose a small but important step. We need to change our name. I don’t mean translating our current names into Klingon (Google already offers this important service to humanity). We have to do away with the term “Geek”. Maybe if we stop calling ourselves geeks, we wouldn’t follow the negative behaviors associated with the term. If we were called Computerologists, maybe we would take one more shower a week. If we were called Computing Professionals, we would dress a little better. Maybe if we weren’t called “IT guys” but “IT Men” we would have some more self-confidence in casual conversation. Maybe if Desktop support was replaced with Desktop
There are many possible names, some better than others (IT Men sounds like it would be a great name for a gay Internet Café). In all seriousness, I’m leaning towards Technologist (Cham-vaD, loosely translated into Klingon [“for technology”]). I go around calling myself a professional geek, but I would feel a whole lot better about myself if I would go around calling myself a technologist. A company wouldn’t have an IT guy (or Man), but instead have a Resident Technologist. There are probably better names out there on the Interwebs, but that’s the best I can think of right now.
From here on out, I will try to refrain from using the word “geek” to describe my Technologist brethren. The image of the “geek” is one we made for ourselves and we are the only ones that can fix it. We have an image to save, and right now it’s being saved as a low-quality JPEG. Get that lossy **** of a format off my hard drive, take your rightful place in society, and don’t ever wear a brown belt with black shoes.
Note: This is a work in progress. I plan on making revisions and improvements to this as they come to me. I'll keep you posted. Maybe one day somebody will take it seriously.