Things That Piss Geeks Off

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Misc - Sunday, October 28th, 2007

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The Geek community is sometimes one of the easiest demographics to peg. Go to Star Trek conventions, have a level 78 wizard in a MMORG, collect manga? OK, you’re in. Try that with soccer moms or middle managers. You’re likely to end up running into a soccer mom who is a middle manager. One of the most gregarious attributes of geeks is that when you have one geek mad at you, they’re all mad at you at the same time.

Here’s something that I think may help non-geeks deal with geeks a little easier: when you have a whole slew of geeks mad at you, and you don’t know why, check this list:

Laziness – Number one, and probably numbers two through five as well. I’m not talking about body-lazy; geeks here are indifferent. But mental laziness drives geeks to scream and claw down masonry. If you ever want to get flamed to a golden brown with a side of Hollandaise sauce, just pop into a chat and ask a question that Google could have answered, or post in a forum with a question that’s answered on page one of the manual.

Irresponsibility – Geeks are big believers in “they are best helped who help themselves”. If you got into a jam through your own stupidity, a geek will be more likely to point it out to you than offer sympathy. Did you get ripped off in a 419 scam, get a virus from an email attachment, or get your site hacked from leaving a gaping hole in your password verification method? You should have known better, sniff the geeks.

Greed – Now, a little greed isn’t too bad. Geeks have jobs and like to make money, too. But when a corporation or industry takes it too far and does stuff like… oh, say… force a mom to take her baby video offline because it contains a Prince song. Stuff like that draws the ire out of the community. Boooo! Mean, mean Universal Music Publishing Group hates mommies and little babies!

Inept Bureaucracy – Geeks lack patience. When they go to the government or their management to get this simple little thing done, and it takes filling out mountains of paperwork to do it, they’re just as likely to say “forget it”, or else try to look for clever ways to bypass it. To a geek, time isn’t just money; it’s life’s breath.

Hypocrisy – Ooooo! Don’t say one thing and do another around a geek; they will catch it, document it, and post it for all time. For instance, if you’re a paid corporate shill, that’s all you; the most you get is mild dismissal. But keep being a paid corporate shill while pretending to be one of the geek bunch, and may Cthulhu have mercy on your soul!


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17 Responses to “Things That Piss Geeks Off”

  1. Richard Chapman Says:

    “To a geek, time isn’t just money; it’s life’s breath.” That’s a good thing too, otherwise Bill Gates would live into the next two millenniums.

    That’s a great line really. Thanks.

  2. RMPink Says:

    There are many points in here which, in my opinion, seem to be too general. As a proud self-proclaimed geek, I will have to respectfully disagree with almost all of this article. These items do not apply to the geek community, but more accurately apply to the subset of holier-than-thou geeks, something which I can honestly say I cannot tolerate. Given an opportunity, any geek I am pleased to call a friend is patient and helpful.

  3. Alan the Great Says:

    Nowhere is this more true than on http://forum.hackinthebox.org. These guys are awesome, but if you so much as suggest a violation of one of these rules…

  4. florida mom Says:

    Geeks also hate sites that don’t load properly or crash due to increased traffic. Dude, fix it!! 👿

  5. cosmcruncher Says:

    I think many people have a problem with those things. As a geek, though, I try really hard to realize that not everyone can know as much or be as focused as I am. I have learned to be patient with others and realize that they likely have something they excel at also. Not everyone wants or cares to know as much as I do about everything.

  6. Seamus Says:

    RMPink seems to not have read the article very thoroughly.

    Irresponsibility and Inept Bureaucracy are dead ringers of stupidity, and do not require a “holier-than-thou geek” to despise.

    Patience on the other hand is a virtue. I work inbound tech support (looking for a better helpdesk job), and if you don’t have patience while walking a starfish* through technical problems, then you don’t last long.

    *A creature with no brain, that excretes from the same orifice from which it eats.

  7. Raptorrat Says:

    [quote]
    (These items do not apply to the geek community,) but more accurately apply to the subset of holier-than-thou geeks, something which I can honestly say I cannot tolerate.
    [/quote]

    Ah, but in my opinion, they are hypocrites, so that’ll fit right in the list.

  8. Farker Says:

    Dude, if sites get farked, it’s not 1 geek’s fault.

  9. steeleweed Says:

    Geeks resent stupid questions? Never! The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked. Why should surf thru manuals or obscure code for three hours if I can get the answer in 5 minutes from a fellow geek? True geeks got that way by being fascinated with something, usually technical but sometimes cultural – there are history geeks as well as computer geeks. Finding their specialty fascinating, they are generally eager to share it and DO NOT RESENT teaching others, at any level. I have been a computer geek for 45+ years and a language geek even longer. I am happy to educate any who ask or will even listen (probably tell you more that you wanted to know about everything).
    Anyone – self-proclaimed geek or otherwise – who is pissed off at ignorance is suffering from hubris and bad memory. There was a time when they were also dumb as a post, until someone took pity on them.
    We all stand on the shoulders of others.

  10. Teapot Says:

    😯
    I think those things apply to everyone at some point or another, however, since a great many geeks end up working in IT depts they may have slightly less tolerance than others, because frankly, you get a lot of “starfish” to deal with and things you wouldn’t expect.
    For example, my dept gets Help Desk tickets to hang cork boards, picture frames and change light bulbs in addition to “please create my powerpoint presentation that i need tomorrow and have done no work on, thanks, that’d be great.” This on top of general server maintenance, R&D etc.
    Viva la Geek.

  11. missourimule Says:

    “The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked.”
    Not at all true. Asking a question, even one that’s easy for me to answer, doesn’t annoy me. What annoys me is asking the *same* question over and over, especially when the answer is a simple three-step process that you do 20 or 30 times a day. And you haven’t even *looked* at the online guides that show you how to do your job. A customer who hasn’t tried to decipher an owner’s manual? OK. As long as they follow directions, that’s cool. But when they argue how to do something they admit they don’t know how to do?

  12. ziraffa Says:

    “…ask a question that Google could have answered, or post in a forum with a question that’s answered on page one of the manual.”

    Or more commonly, call me or stand at my desk so I can Google something for you. 😡

  13. Hunt Says:

    or people who stuff usb cords into an ethernet port..

  14. jerry Says:

    Most geeks I know are lazy, irresponsible, greedy, inept bureaucrats working in academia, or corporate America and pissing on the rest of the world because they hate the life they have chosen to live.

  15. Dave Says:

    Any self proclaimed geek is not a geek. It’s not something you can just proclaim, it’s something you come to understand about yourself.

    Now there is a difference between RTFM and a little hand. If someone is consistently asking questions about a topic they have no clue on I say go do your homework and ask me about particulars. I’m a horrible teacher and don’t have that much time. But if you can’t figure out why your DVR keeps recording 5 minutes earlier than it should… Yeah i’ll show you where it is.

    I don’t mind teaching people what I know, the world would be a better place if everyone was a little smarter. Myself included. But if I tell you something once, you better learn it. I don’t teach twice.

  16. BILLIOeng1 Says:

    though at first glance you may not traditionally pigeon hole me as a geek i do have some geek like qualities that show. i HATE dumb people, if i ask a question i expect an answer that will fulfill my need. people with little vocabulary that only give answers such as “yeah/no” angers me so. the meek will inherit the earth…my arse “the geeks shall inherit our earth”. long live the geeks!

  17. BILLIOeng1 Says:

    in addition to what DAVE said. being a geek is a state of mind not what social groups decide to categories us as. deep down i am a geek as i have now come to realise and accept but my geekiness originates from my need for intellectual fulfillment and because of this “us geeks” should be looked at differently, with respect. dont mess with us for our wrath is immense. and you may end up on youtube.lol.:d

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