Thursday, June 2, 2011

Inadvertent Dork Checking

Some years back, I used to work with a guy who liked to do something he called Dork Checking. He would purposely get something wrong that only a true dork would care about so that the dork would correct him. And then he'd laugh at the dork. He got me once by saying, in the middle of a conversation about some work topic, "It's just like that guy on Star Trek who's half Klingon and half human. I think his name is Wolf or something."

"That's Worf," I corrected, and then got laughed at for not only knowing, but caring enough to say something.

Today, a patron asked my desk colleague if we had the book The Fall of Rome. Being the insufferable know-it-all that I am, I just had to jump in, asking him if he meant the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.
"If that's the one written a long time ago," he said, not unreasonably.
"Yep," I replied, my insufferability growing by the moment. "The first volume was published in 1776." Then, to add wiseassery to insufferability, I just had to add, "Nothing else of note happened that year."

The patron gave me a squinty, pinched, oh-you-moron sort of look and said, "America was BORN that year." He might as well have added "jerk" or "dumbass" to it for the level of contempt his statement held.

But I didn't laugh or call him a dork. I just felt a little bad.

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