Information technology is a field where strange people tend to flourish. There are plenty of generic “corporate stiff” types in this field and a lot of these people are nerds who never entirely got over their high school issues.
While this can be extremely dangerous to people who tick them off, it can also be hilarious to people in the audience. The following is a group of techies most people would enjoy having around–and a group who would make every workday a scary day.
Workers We Want
MOVIE: Office Space
Peter starts off as just another average, frustrated chump in the IT world. No doubt you’ve met that guy. He’s the type who is all slumped over and would drink like a fish if he could summon up the wherewithal to buck the system. However, after being hypnotized and put into a permanently relaxed and honest state, he becomes downright fun.
How many people would get into management if they admitted to being lazy, unmotivated and completely disenchanted with a workplace seemingly designed to run poorly? In the real world not that many, but it worked for Peter and he’d be a fun boss to have. Of course, when things went wrong he couldn’t be found–possibly the best trait of any boss.
MOVIE: War Games
David’s a bit of a scamp and he likes to hack a lot , but he’s pretty white hat about it. A veteran of the old school, he could field strip today’s wussy networks with no problem and make things work properly. After all, he helped a major computer get over its fetish for destroying the world and hooked it on chess.
David’s laid back style and brilliant mind would make him an easygoing tech who could swoop in, solve the problem at hand, and then flash one of his impish little smiles. Let any two-bit hacker so much as try to mess with his network.
Chuck graduated from MIT but got a really simple job. Unmotivated brilliance is a tragedy, but sometimes fate steps in. Considering Chuck’s accidental implantation with tons of government information critical to national security, he’s the kind of guy who’s handy to have around. He’s a reluctant spy but a good guy with a sense of humor and low blood pressure.
When you’ve got a report due in two hours and your hard drive crashes, you want it handled by a techie who has stared death in the face. Chuck is that guy and then some.
Workers We Want to Avoid
While the first group of techies are guys you’d love to have around the office, this next group is a set of very scary people. While they might just seem like ordinary nerds with delusions of grandeur, with the right equipment they can be devastating.
This is a scary guy. Not only is he willing to steal millions of dollars from a company that hired him to protect them from online threats. He’s even willing to go so far as to initiate a global oil catastrophe by capsizing hundreds of automated tankers. That kind of wreckage would make the Exxon Valdez look like a kid spilling a gas can on the ground by comparison.
This guy won’t help you fix a problem. More likely than not he’ll just laugh and moo at you because he thinks most people are cattle, then skulk away to go plot his next nefarious scheme.
MOVIE: War Games
Dr. Falken isn’t a bad guy by nature. He’s not planning to hurt anybody, but in the classical mad scientist vein he just doesn’t seem to connect the dots in time. Normally when someone programs a sentient computer, they give it an understanding of the consequences of their actions. Even Skynet knew what it was doing.
Unfortunately, Falken never gives Joshua, his uber-project, the sense to just give up when the results of a game would literally destroy the world. Morose over the death of his son, Falken is a calm but loose cannon who might just decide that nothing in this world is even worth saving. Imagine hearing a treatise reminiscent of Nietzsche over the water cooler.
MOVIE: Office Space
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Milton is just one more guy who’s given his life to a company and then acted surprised when they took it for granted. At first he’s just a mild-mannered nerd, but isn’t that how every massacre story begins? Ultimately he blows up the office. What if he’d been a little more ambitious? While the world will never know about that, guys like Milton are just a little too quiet.
Shutting it Down
Techies are a mixed bag. The relaxed and generally kind ones have an honor code, and defend their networks like Samurai. Unfortunately, there will always be the Ronin-types who only follow their desire for profit, revenge or to show they don’t care about anything anymore. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is more dangerous, evil or apathy. Defrag at least once a week, or else!