Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm sarcastic, but am I sarcastic enough?

When I got hired at That Company, I remember talking privately to one of the designers I knew best about something. "Were you the funny smartass where you used to work?" He smiled and said yes. "It's tough here, isn't it? Everybody is a funny sarcastic bastard."

This tradition, although of unknowable origin (perhaps it was the CEO), continued throughout subsequent hires. It became tougher and tougher to land a real zinger that made everyone laugh.

Furthermore, almost nothing could be accepted as anything but sarcasm. "Interesting gameplay" became the default comment that meant, "What a stupid idea, you idiot!" It was taken for granted that everything had "fuckwad" added to the end. For example, "You did a nice job on that card, FUCKWAD." That last word wasn't spoken, but considered to be said.

Personally, I found it difficult to communicate an actual sincere thought, due to the unbelievable amount of sarcasm in the air. (I have the occasion to speak sincerely on occasion, about 1 in 1,000 times.) So I invented a hand sign. When I raised my left hand, I was being sincere. At all other times, one could assume sarcasm. At least fifty percent.

Even in my new work environment, the same problem persists. "Are you enjoying playing that game?" I answer yes, and everyone thinks I'm being sarcastic. So I have to tell everyone about raising my hand. Then it's sincere.

Honest. I'm raising my left hand as I post this.


Brad said...

Interesting blog post

Jason said...

ho n you you l hn n yp/

(That was "How can you raise your left hand and type?" without the benefit of any left-handed keystrokes. Turned out worse than I thought.)

TheGirard said...

Wait...did you put a quarter in the bin of mordency?

Bpaul said...

Trippy view into your work world sir. Thanks for sharing.

(my hand's up most of the time)

Mkae said...

I remember staring at you for long periods waiting for a clue as to whether or not you were being a sarcastic bastard. I decided that most of the time, you were.

I do agree about the difficulty of one-upping everyone. I work in an area full of smart-asses.