It had to happen eventually, I suppose. I met one of you. Rather, I had one of you barge into my life and stick your outstretched hand into my face. The following guest post is written by longtime Stank troll Chris, who is now my—sigh—co-worker. The unedited version was even longer. You're welcome.
I've heard John's name a number of times, but I've never had a formal introduction. John's "mentee," Elizabeth, was responsible for pointing me at checkraise, and over the last few years it has held a position of high esteem next to many other, and equally worthy, curmudgeons on my RSS feed.
After my recent transfer, his name began popping up more often. This time it wasn't coming from Elizabeth; the writers on THIS team knew him too. And when they said his name it mostly wasn't preceded by "That fuckingâ€¦" or followed by "...the miserable bastard." They liked him. I'd transferred right into a lair of followers, sycophants, and former co-workers (including my manager, who John described to me as "the most exhausting person I've ever met."). My fate was sealed. I knew then that I'd get my introduction in short order. Or would I? After a few weeks of never seeing the guy, I had to ask of his whereabouts. "He only comes in once every few weeks," I was told.
Yesterday he showed up. I was told he was "in a meeting" but it's probably okay to drop in and say hello.
Folks, I've read this blog for some time now and I knew that barging in would likely be a bizarre situation. Aside from a few emails, this guy doesn't know me from Adam. I'm neither fan-boy nor sycophant, but I had to introduce myself if only to combat the preconceived notion that nobody in Seattle is pleasant or can carry on a conversation with a total stranger. His congenial nature is well known. I was sure he'd appreciate the gesture.
I found him in his boss's office. I was to leave soon so it was now or never. With a knock on the door, I was let in.
Me (extending handshake): "Pardon the intrusion but I thought I'd introduce myself while you're here - otherwise you'd think I'm a complete bastard."
John (accepting said handshake): "Okay."
Boss (looking disturbed and confused): "You know this guy?"
Me (as usual, I begin to over-explain myself): "Yeah we know each other through a circuitous combination of friends and acquaintances."
(John shoves the door into me. )
John: "Okay, now, FUCK OFF!"
In under two minutes, I'd managed to coax a FUCK OFF out of John and it took nearly no effort on my part. The look on his boss's face as the door closed? PRICELESS. It's exactly what the U.S. Military was hoping for when the phrase "Shock and Awe" was coined.
So now we've met. Elizabeth's world is likely crumbling down around her. I was only disappointed in that I didn't have enough time to show him pictures of my children.