September 29, 2009

Dinner on the periodic table

September 29, 2009 - Categories: geek, life

Geekiness makes my heart flutter.

Last night, we had dinner with W-‘s family. Conversation topic? The periodic table, would you believe it. His dad was quizzing one of the kids on what the valence number of carbon was, and before long, most people were involved in trying to reconstruct the periodic table from memory. Ah, geeks.

That reminded me of my friends, who were Quite Geeky as well. One of them could perform the parlor trick of rattling off the elements of the periodic table, in order. He also memorized quite a number of digits of pi. One of my favourite memories of my group of friends is of that night that we were hanging out on the roofdeck, and the talk turned to secret geek powers. _Two_ of my friends started listing the digits of pi, in unison. Stereo geekiness! (No wonder I had crushes on them at some point. <laugh>)

And W-… Ah, W-. We were playing Twenty Questions with J- once, and it was W-‘s turn to come up with something. Several questions in, I asked, "Is it flexible?" He laughed and said, "To an engineer, everything is flexible," and we had a fun time joking about engineer quirks. With all the wordplay, the computer-related jokes, and the general math and science quirkiness we share… Whee!

We also appreciate geekiness in other fields. There are photography geeks, bike saddle geeks, and so on. There’s just something fascinating about people who are fascinated by knowledge.

It’s fun being a geek.

Personal connection and a trip to the dentist

September 29, 2009 - Categories: web2.0

A personal connection can make going to the dentist a lot of fun.

I like going to my dentist. Part of it is because I get paranoid about my teeth, running to the dentist at the slightest hint of a cavity. Part of it is that my dentist’s office is pleasantly quirky, adorned with well-shot portraits and oil paintings of a pet poodle. (I kid you not.) It’s a little like getting to see his personal side.

The office manager knows me by name, reads my blog(!), and laughs about my own quirks: the virtual assistants who call her to schedule, reschedule and confirm appointments; the varied interests she reads about; the ways I handle my health coverage. (I think I’ll revert to the standard plan next year.) The dentist jokes about technology and asks about my trips. Sometimes the assistants chat with me about graduate school or life in general.

I like getting e-mail updates, hearing about the different things that are going on, checking out the pictures they’ve just posted.

Imagine if more companies and more services made you feel that they knew you as a person… =)

And for businesses: It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to be real. Those personal characteristics make it easier for people to relate to you.

(Note: I’m not getting anything for this post, although I like to imagine that my dentist is extra-careful when drilling because he knows I blog. ;) )