Friday, September 03, 2004

Who is/was Frank?

Okay, here goes. My old blog was called Frank's BLOG, and on day one I said that my name's not Frank, and that there are two boring stories for why that is/was my nickname.

Story #1: I got laid off from a job 2 weeks before Sept 11, 2001. I'm a developer, and hence there was nobody hiring for the rest of '01. I got work at McDonalds as a cashier in November, IIRC, and actually enjoyed it. We had a good crew, and I closed, which was fun in its own way. I typically had a couple of supervisors, Dan and Janae. Dan was a fellow geek: a gamer and RPGer, and just a great guy to talk to in the down times.

Janae, OTOH, was a wiry, scrappy Asian girl (I was mid-30s, she was early 20s, I can call her a girl, methinks) who could outwork three of just about anyone else. It was amazing seeing her in action. She was loud, profane, and listened to some of the most revolting stuff that can't even be described as music that I've ever heard, (after hours, while we cleaned).

And she had a mean/playful streak. After I was brought on, we hired another lady, perhaps my age, whose name I forget, but perhaps it was Michelle. Michelle was very nice, but physically didn't move that fast. I never got a feel for her mental abilities, but she was probably average in that regard, but she just moved very slowly, and Janae, after tiring of trying to get Michelle to speed up, just started picking on her at every turn.

As an example, we were in an average, suburban, single-story McD's. Toward the back was a supply closet, and in this closet, Janae told Michelle, were the stairs to the upper-level storage room. Told Michelle to go put whatever upstairs, then shut the door behind Michelle after she went in. (Personally, I think Michelle just played along with Janae, but maybe she wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Anyway.)

And, back to our story, we also had another guy named Dave, maybe 17, who also closed most nights. Janae then told Michelle to take something up to Frank (referring to me) up front (I closed the registers and counter area). Michelle, of course, didn't know who Frank was, and Janae kept insisting that's what my name was, and that Dave was the other guy, and how on earth could we have two Daves working at the same place. So Michelle obligingly trotted off to give me whatever. So I became Frank on the closing crew, at least whenever Janae was supervising.

Story #2: By December of '01, I found a job at a small consulting company, run by the two guys known in the olden days of this blog as Chester and Gumby. Chester ran the show, and Gumby did the coding, (and Skippy, a junior guy, ran the production stuff), although there were grand and fantastic arguments between Chester and Gumby about which of them was actually providing the most value to their little 2-3 person company. Then I was hired, making it a 4 person company. But let's back up a bit.

A month or two before I was hired, Chester and Gumby decide to hire someone. They found some guy from St. Louis named, oh, I dunno, John-hyphen-Alphonse, or some other pretentious thing. Chester and Gumby liked his resume, and Chester then talks to him on a phone interview. During the interview, Chester says something about "I can call you John, then, right?", to which John-hyphen replies "No, I prefer to be called John-hyphen-Alphonse". This goes over like a lead balloon with Chester, who prides himself on not putting up with such nonsense. Of course, Chester is quite PC to people's faces, nods and continues, but once John-hyphen leaves, responds to Gumby with his typical "Well, that's just Jack!" and adds "We'll just call him Frank, then".

So for various reasons, the hyphen probably not being the only one, Chester decides to pass on John-hyphen at the same time as hearing about me from the local LUG, and invites me in for an interview. Either he didn't tell Gumby this, or Gumby was heads down in code and didn't pay attention, so when I come in, I get introduced by my proper name to Gumby, who for whatever reason thinks that I'm John-hyphen, and proceeds to call me Frank in whatever conversations he has with Chester about me.

So then I start, and sometime during the first week, I get informed that I need a nickname. That everyone there has a nickname, and that nobody is known by their given names. And that nobody gets to pick their own nickname. Okay, fine, whatever. People hired after me were known as Red, Dirt, Hoofddorp, etc. Chester tells me about the whole John-hyphen/Frank deal, and I chuckle about Janae naming me Frank as well, so it stuck.

See, I told you they were boring stories.

Oh, one more thing. Gumby, having his trait of being "head-down, not paying much attention", only knew me as Frank. Shortly after I left both that company and the state in which it resided, I applied for a mortgage, and gave Chester and Gumby as employment references. Gumby apparently answered the phone when the mortgage folks called, and said "Dave? Never heard of him", getting me in loads of suspicion and so forth with the broker. Got the loan anyway, but only after I called Gumby up and informed him of who Dave was, and that I did indeed work for him for many months.

Anyway. Now you know.

No comments: