OK, so you’re reading this blog and thinking: “What an asshole!” And you’d be right! I’m a giant puckered asshole spewing bile, poop, and filth around the globe all day. I mean, not really, but kinda really. I mean, if you encounter me online, I’m a big old dickhead, generally. Not always. I’m nice to nice communities. But in pedantic circles, I go for the jugular, and I don’t always win. But I will at least conjure some horrific verbal imagery and inflict it upon you in the process.
I mean, my writing always got me into trouble even before the Internet. From vaguely Nazi fliers during my trench coat period in high school (Honestly, they were only Nazi-esque because I had no clip art, and had to use images I pulled from the Mac version of Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat, which featured a portrait of a Luftwaffe pilot…. ResEdit FTW!) to pissing off a roommate to the point of him assaulting me, to getting my dad into trouble by leaving the Architect Sketch monologue on the desk of someone he’d gotten me a job with when I quit.
But, dear fucking lord, in person, I am a complete pussy. I lose every negotiation, I bend far when pushed. I am a soft touch. I’ve been told multiple times I am generous to a fault, meaning I am way too easily manipulated by people with a sob story. I don’t fall for them on the street, mind you. But the long con, from people who come to the museum and play on my sympathies, hooooooooo boy, do I get taken.
I enjoy being that way, mind you. I’ll always buy you a drink if you’re cashed out, my New Year’s party upcoming is a fairly open invite, with folks of all stratum beckoned forth with friends and family in tow. Everyone is welcome in my house, my workplace, and the museum! I was bullied as a kid, very badly in fact, so I am hyper sensitive to not excluding people. This is a common nerd trait, and one that was talked about a lot in the early days of Noisebridge.
As nerds in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s… Hell, even the 60’s and 50’s, we’ve all experienced the pain of being left to eat alone at school, or having only one or two friends out of a larger class that all seemed to enjoy each others company, sans you. That feeling of being pointed at and laughed at and generally treated like an outsider.
I remember the first time I ever felt accepted, it was at a YMCA Leaders sleep away camp, where all the leaders program teens from the Eastern seaboard were in one big ropes course/cap ground. People were super nice there! Then I came back to the base group I was working with to encounter a buzz saw from the person in charge, who informed me I had to really fix my shit before I could even think about going to another sleep away. I guess I hadn’t crushed enough aluminum cans. I dunno.
Anyway, I’ve modeled the museum on that sleep away camp. And on the Yak, a hacker group I joined in the late 90’s. A super accepting place that judges people by the work they do, not by the weird, possibly divergent personality they may posses. I mean, I fully understand that I can be a completely weird, hyper-active wackado. I appreciate unique individuals. We have many at the MADE.
But then, about once a year, we get a fucking piece of shit. A complete douche bag piece of shit dipshit, waste of human skin. Someone who walks in the door with the objective of getting my sympathy and taking 100% full advantage of it for free admission, a job, or whatever they fucking want.
And then the “Woe is me” bullshit begins, where they make me feel like a complete sonofbitch for being the ONLY FUCKING PERSON LEFT IN THE GOD DAMNED WORLD WHO’D GIVE THEM A CHANCE! I have had every fucking last bit of soul sucked out of me by these fuckers. They are like, 5% of the people who come to the museum to volunteer, but they end up taking about 90% of my personal emotional capital to deal with. I want to fucking self harm over these dipshits. They make my job into something where I have to be a jerk to people all fucking day by telling them, no, stop being a dipshit. No, you have to go now. No, I don’t care if you sob in front of me.
One of these pieces of shit caused litigation which the museum is still going through today, 2 years later. He’s since been banned by Oakland library and UC Berkeley. Another one of these pieces of shit convinced me he would kill himself if he didn’t have the chance to volunteer and work at the museum. Despite the fact he was a horrible, rude, asshole to everyone else at the MADE, I pushed hard to make room for him. In the end, he was fired for stealing… Fuck me, right?
Never mind the people who’ve repeatedly told me I am doing it wrong over the years. It really makes me appreciate the people who volunteer at the MADE, have a life changing event, and let me know they can no longer volunteer. It’s like, my personal dream. My wish. All I want is some competent people to volunteer their time to do some cool shit no one else in the world is doing, and for that volunteer time to NOT involve me being their personal fucking psycho-therapist.
I think a LOT of non-profit directors can sympathize.
So, while I was always an admitted asshole online, I feel like I am slowly being turned into one offline by people who suck out 2.4*10e26 times more energy than other normal people I meet.
I have been beaten into the realization that nerd groups need to be exclusionary. They need to just be fucking mean to some of the people some of the time, and say, “Get the fuck out, you piece of shit.” Fortunately, I now have my attorney. I think he’s probably Samoan!