So much has happened. Both in the world, and in my life. In hindsight, I really wish I had kept this blog going. Documented all the crazy stories of the pandemic for future digital archaeologists to find. I didn’t, because I was so very tired.

Now that we’re well into 2023, I think it’s high time to revive The Secret Geek Blog for good.

Let’s start with what’s new in my life, because that’s always been the core of what this blog has been about. An autotherapeutic rant about the shit that happens to one aging geek.

Back in 2019, I was looking for a new job, because mine sucked. Then the pandemic hit and I decided to put those efforts on hold. After all, back in 2020, nobody really knew how this would play out. It was, of course, the right decision, but meant I spent two and a half more years in what can only be described as an abusive professional relationship.

It wasn’t all that bad, though, in that my boss left for greener pastures, and our new acting team lead turned out to be pretty okay.

And then our CEO fucked up. I can’t go into details, because this would be highly recognizable to anybody “in the know”, but let’s just say he was up to no good. He got caught. Legal got involved. Things were being swept under the rug. Then he got caught again, and I decided to escalate things up the corporate ladder, right up to God Almighty himself. Well, the corporate version, anyway, the CEO and owner of the big corporation that owned the subsidiary that my employer was a subsidiary of.

The gears of justice grind slowly, and the immediate result was that I got bullied by the perp. I remembered I had wanted out anyway, and I decided to talk to one of the many recruiters who contacted me. They asked me what I wanted to do next, and before I knew it, I was hired.

I am now line manager for a total of twenty-five people.

I mean, the pay is better, and in some ways, it was a good move. I am learning new things. I might even have the opportunity to steer things in the right direction for a change.

But fuck me if there aren’t a gazillion downsides that make this so not worth it.

First and foremost, I used to have to only deal with my own tasks. Well, now I have twenty-five people who all have tasks, and maybe half of them are really not doing a great job. They require a great deal of hand-holding or even micro-managing. And if you think that one guy micro-managing a dozen others does not scale well, you are so very right.

I did not track my work hours in detail – I started to, but I quickly stopped because there was simply no time. I estimate I worked an average of 12h per workday at the end of 2022. I’ve since “cut down” on hours, and it’s closer to an average of 10 hours now.

My boss, whose promotion opened up the position I was hired for, is still interfering with my team. When it’s time to do the actual work, I get to do that. But he oftentimes overrules my decisions. Not because my approach is wrong or anything, it’s just that he likes to be in charge. Needless to say, this creates a situation where my direct reports pick and choose who they talk to. Just like children who, if they don’t like what their mom told them, approach their dad in hopes of getting a more favorable reply.

Most days, I get home and either fall asleep on my couch or doze off in front of my PC.

I’ve been considering leaving this company again. And I really should, even though part of me wants to stick with it until I can show at the very minimum a full year of Management experience, or better two. I am just not sure if I will survive this for an entire year, much less two.

Case in point, I am typing this at 3:00am, after getting home at 10:30pm and falling asleep for a few hours.

This is absolutely how I had imagined my life growing up.

Not.

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I wrote up a long rambly post about how 2020 sucks for this reason or that.

Then I threw it away because, hey, you’re all living through the same shit I am – from COVID19 to cancel culture, from “blacklist” being a “racist term” (it’s not) to face masks being a symbol of oppression (somehow), and from 5G conspiracy nuts to the continued gender war.

I feel physically drained by it all. I kinda want to move abroad, live in a small house on the coast, and never talk to people again, because too many of them suck.

(Of course a lot of people don’t suck, but you don’t really notice them because the sucky ones are so much louder.)

Maybe it would help if I start telling people that I sexually identify as a millionaire. I mean, after that guy who identifies as a woman who identifies as a deer, and somehow gets away with it, that might not be the boldest of strategies. If the banks don’t pay up, they’re clearly discriminating me. Right?

Sigh.

I am tired. So very, very tired.

 

I had such plans. I was going to post nice statistics after using Tinder for three weeks, and then again for three months. It was going to be glorious and nerdy.

Except Tinder sucks as a data source. It’s really, really hard to keep track of people who unmatch you unless you are quick with updating your lists and I am not.

So instead I’ll have to summarize.

First the surprising thing: I got a ton, and I do mean a ton, of matches. I had not expected that.

However, and this is the unsurprising thing, it’s all for naught. A whole bunch of it was matches with women living abroad (especially Chinese and Russians). A whole lot of the matches never resulted in conversations. I realize that I am having a hard time sending someone a “first message” if I know nothing about them. I mean, I could come up with a cheesy pickup line, but can I really? At the very least it’s not really “me”.

As for the matches that resulted in messages being sent, I have to say that it seems that holding a conversation seems to be a bit of a lost art nowadays.

In the end, there was exactly one person I actually had a conversation with, until she remembered that she was a christian and really wouldn’t date an atheist.

So… tl;dr – Tinder is still a waste of time.

Well, 2019 kinda sucked so I am glad it’s over. I hope you’ll all have a happy new year!

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions, but obviously there are a few things I’d like to tackle next year. Like, getting a not shitty job working for not horrible people.

You’d think that’s not too much to ask for. Right?

Right?!

So, I was right about the matches with the Chinese girls being a con. It’s a somewhat well done one, compared to what you usually get, because they are patient. But scammers they are.

First they try to build up trust by talking about themselves. Some sent photos of their families, etc.

Then they’ll start to mention they are making a lot of money with investments.

Next they’ll send some screenshots for “proof”.

And after that they begin to talk up how great and trustworthy their “analyst” is who makes them all that money.

I didn’t play along further than this, but I am sure they would have offered me the opportunity to also participate.

So in the end, this isn’t something that’s really dangerous in any way shape or form to anybody who pays even a little bit of attention.

I did manage to annoy one of the scammers to the point where they sent me “I fuck your mother” insults, so there’s that.

I hate when people give me gifts. They mean well, but they always miss the mark.

So about a week ago, my neighbor emailed me. The gist was, “Secretgeek, I won’t be home for a week and I think i forgot to turn off my lights. As you have my emergency keys, could you please do this for me?”

I thought that was a bit silly, but sure, no big deal. Went to her apartment, turned off the lights, sent her an email back. “Done – enjoy your trip.”

I had already forgotten about this until I got home today. In front of my door stood a small paper bag. Puzzled, I took it inside and opened it.

“Thanks for helping me out,” said a note. In the bag I found a container… with vegetable soup. Water with a couple onion bits and carrots floating in it.

I mean, what’s the point? I didn’t do anything that required compensation. I don’t need food. I am not even fond of soup. And, while this is probably cynical and mean, I am pretty sure she just had some soup left and no idea what else to do with it.

I’d much rather she just said “thanks” and left it at that. Now social convention compels me to pretend to have liked the soup, thank her for it, return the container, and make small talk doing so.

Sigh.

So I set up a new Tinder profile. Tinder has never really worked for me, but I was bored at work (very, very bored) and swiping on profiles is something I can do to kill time.

In three days, I’ve gotten 28 matches. Which is probably 26 more than I ever got on Tinder before – in total. (Well, probably not quite, but you get the idea.)

Now I wonder, of course, what changed. I mean I am older now and may hair more gray, but if anything I would expect age to make my “dating pool” smaller. Sure, older women are more in my range, but younger women should find me outside their range. For reference, I set my “age preference” range to the full “18 to 55+” range.

So what did I do different?

  • My photo is okay. Not awesome, not terrible. I kinda don’t think it is very different in quality from previous ones, but it’s a possibility.
  • I am a little more liberal swiping right than I was in the past. I don’t swipe right on nearly all profiles, but I’ll swipe right when I am undecided about a profile.
  • I used a short one line text on my bio, basically saying “Just looking for good dates, but if we like each other we don’t have to stop there”. I don’t have the text I used last time I installed Tinder, but it definitely was more lengthy and complicated than that.
  • I prefaced my description with my height – having recently learned just how superficial the average Tinder user is, and being a fairly tall dude, this seemed like a good idea and my money would be on this being the biggest factor.

Not much to go on, but okay. And while that’s interesting, quantity means nothing. Have I got any actual results to show? Not really.

  • Of the 28 matches, I removed two after matching because looking at their photos again, they were way too obese.
  • I haven’t sent messages to three matches, yet.
  • Of the remaining 23, I got replies from 16 matches.
  • Six matches turned out to be Chinese who “just left” my city, and “will be back in January”. I am not quite sure what their con is, yet, but it’s a definite oddity.
  • Two were scammers who tried me to sign up to some third party crap sites using their referral codes.
  • One match lives in Dubai and “will visit Europe next year”.
  • One was “looking for a sugar daddy” – also known as “I don’t want to admit that I am a prostitute but I totally am”. I declined.
  • One turned out to be a prostitute – “want to have sex for 150”. (I declined that too.)

The youngest woman I matched with is 18, the oldest 55 years old.

So my “actual” success rate after three days is … zero. I still win in that this turned out to be a very interesting experiment.

So, I went on a date last night. Matched with a woman – let’s call her Dora – on an app (not Tinder), had a brief conversation, and we agreed to meet for drinks.

Dora is an ex-pat from the United States, a self-professed nerd (“since way before it was fashionable”), and she “has people skills”.

The date started off alright, but as we got to talking things quickly went south.

At one point I mentioned an event from high school that involved a girl being, well, a derp. Her immediate reaction was “It’s very interesting that the one event you remember from high school involves a woman in a negative light” and accused me of being a sexist. I very nearly walked out at that point, but I didn’t.

Probably should have.

Dora’s “people skills” soon manifested themselves, as she picked an argument with a girl sitting one table over – and essentially called the girl, her job, and the social projects the girl was working on “stupid” to her face. Of course what Dora was working on was better, more brilliant, and much more meaningful in affecting change. The two also engaged in an – excuse this surely sexist phrase – dick measuring contest about who had lived in more, and more interesting, countries. I cringed, hard.

When that ended and we finally left the bar, I walked her to the nearest subway station. At this point I knew I would never want to see her again anyway, but I do believe it’s customary to at least say something like “Thanks for the evening, have a good night”.

Nope, not Dora.

“Fuck – my train,” she exclaimed, ran off, jumped onto the train, and wasn’t seen again.

I took a taxi and went home.

I realized, as I was sitting in the rear of the taxi, that this had been my first ever date with a “geek girl”. I had always thought that going out with a fellow nerd would be a cool thing – finally, someone who isn’t dumb and understands technology – but this was more than a little off-putting. If this is what regular people experience dating nerds, it’s no wonder nerds don’t get laid much.

I’m really getting too old for this shit.

From a dating site profile:

“I am from Mars, here to study Earth humans.”

So I asked her whether she was a Green Martian, a Red Martian, or one of the Tripod-driving Martians.

She had no idea what I was talking about.

Oh well.

99.99% of the time I only reply you when I am pooping Not your typical smelly, vegan, hairy, feminist gal *I’m not looking for boyfriend,fwb,etc* Looking for someone to help me take Instagram pics TYVM

I can only hope this is a fake/joke account… but I am really not sure it is.

 

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