The seasons only really begun. I had my first Christmas work do yesterday. I wasn't really in the mood for it.
I'm really feeling the nerd bit. I REALLY hate being referred to as "geek" in the classrooms. One of the teachers at another school uses "expert" instead. Others use technician. None of them are great. Geek is terrible though.
The word geek is horribly dismissive. It's usually meant to say "I'm not that interested in what you're saying and am not going to attempt to understand it".
It's like the pizza delivery girl. I only really see her for around 2 minutes every 2 or 3 weeks. So she's the pizza delivery girl. Someone who I remember but don't know anything about. She's there to do a job
So I expressed this to someone last night. She looked at me and said "I think it's in your head". Well yes. Isn't that kind of the point? When you're making someone feel welcome, it's not a very concrete thing. You're attempting to put them in a positive frame of mind. It's all in their head.
I was talking to a kid at school yesterday. We have chats regularly. Normally I'm trying to get him to do something. He doesn't really get all that engaged until we get into some sort of conversation. So we're talking and he says to me: "You're the hardest adult to crack Mister".
It turns out he was referring to the fact that I have an evil tendency to deflect. I'm guarded. So I showed him the blog - incredibly quickly. I wasn't looking for him to read it - just to know that I do have some sort of outlet for not deflecting. He scanned it incredibly quickly and picked up on the nerd thing.
"Yeah mister. People call me a nerd all the time. It doesn't feel great".
"So what are you going to do about it?".
"I'm going to be rich and laugh at them because nerds earn more money".
So what can be taken from this? We're not actually claiming the words (geek/nerd) back. Or not effectively at least. That isolation is still felt. I'm concerned that he sees money as a solution there. And he's upset enough by it to want to do something but hasn't realised that those same people he wants to make feel bad are the same people he's going to have to live with and deal with on a daily basis.
But then... The people who hurt you are the ones you let hurt you. The ones who's opinion of you matters. So I could decide not to take offense. By... deflecting perhaps.
But that's no good either. I end up being awkward. Struggling with some social interactions. Being a nerd. Not feeling great at Xmas work functions.
How do most nerds avoid this? They have another life. People who see them as something other than geek. Unfortunately... I threw everything I had into the project. My social life is non-existent. And next year looks like it's going to be just as bad.
Last night I found myself texting. I had sat for 1/2 an hour with a conversation happening over me. i.e. I was between two people having a conversation before pulling out my cellphone. It got worse when I had gone to the toilet and returned only to find that I didn't have a seat anymore. It did give me an excuse to move around. I was feeling awkward about where I ended up. I've been avoiding one of those people who I am often offended by (Of course, I'm only offended because I care). It very much is in my head. It's just any social interaction with her at the moment results in an "Oookay". Very much a "You're weird". Essentially "geek" incognito. It's a little worse than that. There's a very dismissive "you're a geek" tone to her at the moment if I go even slightly outside of computers.
As far as work functions go, this wasn't bad. I've been to much much worse. The worse one was when I had to call out to the door men to kick me out as some bitter old guy had me by the collar and was just about to punch my lights out. I still, to this day (8 years later), have not figured out what this guy's problem with me was. It was mortifying having to explain myself on the following Monday - why I was one of those kicked out (I didn't want anything happening to the guy as I didn't know what it was that I may have done to cause offense and it was just easier me going).
So yeah. A Xmas work function. I think I've got another 2 for the year. Here's hoping that was the worst of it.