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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Bio Hazards

We have this fancy new employee directory web site at work. It’s meant to help us find each other, by showing our office locations, phone extensions, and a photo.

It is not, I’ve been told, meant to help us find pics and phone numbers of hot chicks on the floor above us, so we can call and giggle at them like an idiot. I’ve been told this several times, in fact. Last time in writing, even. Whatever.

Anyway, we’ve also been encouraged to fill out a ‘biography’ section for the web site. No bunch of nameless and faceless cogs are we — they want us to learn about each other, to share our interests and goals and aspirations.

“In my spare time, I model mens’ underwear and maintain a topiary crafted as busts of famous Danish physicists.”

I’ve tried this ‘sharing’ thing. And dammit, it’s not working out. I just can’t find a bio that screams ‘Charlie!‘ Not in a supportive, unhorrified tone of voice, anyway. My attempts have not gone well.

First, I tried the ‘Employee of the Month’ angle:

I’ve been working here for a little over two years. My hobbies include filing papers, working late, fetching coffee for the boss, and just being the bestest darned member of ‘Team Success’ I know how to be. Gosh!

No good. I proofread that, and gave myself a wedgie. I needed something more subtle. So I tried the ‘Interview-Speak’ approach:

My tenure of employment in the current establishement has afforded me the opportunity to enhance my skill set, tackle technical challenges, and develop a strong interdisciplinary view of our overarching mission as an organization.

Nice. What does it mean? I have no fricking clue, and I spent twenty minutes writing it. I think maybe it describes the time I figured out the automatic towel dispenser in the bathroom. I’m not sure. Bet I could land a CIO position with doubletalk bullshit like that some day, though.

I decided to go back to basics, with the ‘Honesty Is the Best Policy’ strategy:

When I’m not working, I enjoy many hobbies. You might find me playing volleyball, cheering on the Red Sox, or passed out face-down in a pool of tequila and lemonade outside my local liquor store. Also, I like boobies. And I wouldn’t drink from the coffee pot on the fourth floor, if I were you. Trust me on this one.

Honesty was never my strong suit. So I tried the other extreme and went the ‘I’m Better Than You’ route:

I came to this company from Harvard University, where I earned several of my many Masters degrees. In addition to being a black belt in karate, jiu jitsu, tae kwon do, and several martial arts you roundeyes have never even heard of, I’m also a world champion yodeler, chess grand master, and Nobel Prize laureate. In my spare time, I model mens’ underwear and maintain a topiary crafted as busts of famous Danish physicists.

Nice effort, to be sure. But someone’s bound to eventually ask me to break a cinder block in half or trim their hedge to look like Neils Bohr, and the jig would be up. So that wouldn’t do, either.

I started to think I’d never have a suitable bio, when an idea finally struck. What’s the point of this bit of personal info, anyway? It’s to encourage people to leave me the hell alone, so I can get some damned work done. Peachy. I know how to do that:

I live in a small studio apartment near the office, with my nine cats and life-sized cardboard Xena ‘action figure’ for company. I enjoy collecting stamps, writing Babylon 5 fanfic, and sorting recyclables into the proper bins. Stop by my cube any time to discuss the inconsistensies in the Skywalker clan backstory, the advantages of artifact-heavy Magic decks, or to trade Dungeon Master wardrobe tips. ‘Live long and prosper’!

Brilliant. And only marginally autobiographical. Hey, recycling is important, dammit!

I’m also happy to report I haven’t had a single person drop by my cubicle to talk to me since I posted that bio. Even the cleaning staff won’t come near it.

And if anyone ever does — looking for Klingon ringtones or DragonBall bumper stickers, no doubt — I can always bonk them on the head and ditch them in a conference room. Who’s gonna miss somebody like that, eh? It’s probably just the CIO, anyway.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Bio Hazards”

  1. RRaccoon says:

    Nice. You should write my intro if they ask me for one. Only you can NOT use that geek stuff because there are way too many nerds already giving me the “I wonder if she’d wear the Leia outfit” look.

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