Andrey started this meme, or more precisely brought it into the uISV/BoS community, and I rather like it. (Suggestion for next time: name three people you’d like to answer and tag them via trackbacks. The combination of trackback plus attention leads it to go viral quickly. It certainly worked in the MMORPG blogosphere, at any rate.) In particular, his post justifying it on BoS rather speaks to me. Professional relationships are about more than just accumulating Google juice and career advancement… not that those are bad things!
Alright, five things you know/don’t know about me:
You know: I live in Japan.
You don’t know: I hate Tokyo, with a burning passion in my soul. I would rather live in Baghdad than Tokyo. The city is too big (it REDEFINES “too big”), the pace of life is too fast, the cocoon of anonymity (which it even worse if you are a foreigner) makes the isolation people feel on moving to New York pale in comparison. Every time I go to Tokyo for a business trip I feel depressed even before I make it out of the train station.
You know: I used to work as an order entry operator and English teacher.
You don’t know: I’ve held at least 16 different positions in my young life. That was the count four years ago, anyhow, and I haven’t updated it since then. My current day job I have been with almost three years, which is an eternity for me. Oddly enough, all but one of my jobs ended with my employer and I parting on amicable terms. That one ended up with a 20 lb weight thrown at my head. Ask me about that story sometime, its far enough in the past where I can laugh about it.
You know: I do work as a translator/interpreter when needed in addition to consulting and engineering duties.
You don’t know: My single biggest professional failing is that I am a functional illiterate at the Japanese language. I could translate this post into Japanese without difficulty, given sufficient time and access to a computerized dictionary. I could not do it by hand without sounding like a slow third grader. My reading comprehension ability is similarly probably somewhere near that of a Japanese middle schooler, with the wrinkle that I can read oodles of technical jargon and understand most of the Japanese Constitution but would have difficulty deciphering the directions for making a box of Mac and Cheese. This situation is only gradually improving, since my job only rarely requires me to write and I generally only read documents which are already in my sphere of competence.
You know: I used to play World of Warcraft.
You don’t know: I helped found a guild and put in upwards of 20 hours a week for almost a 2 year period. I had a reevaluation of priorities which happened right before I founded Bingo Card Creator. One of my major instigations for doing so was I suddenly had so much free time and nothing I could really sink my teeth into in terms of intellectual problems. (People who think videogames are mindless entertainment which teach no valuable skills have never attempted to create an equitable DKP system.)
You know: I love fantasy books. (Well, OK, you could know that if you read my paen to Harry Potter on my product site.)
You don’t know: I was a rather freakish kid back in middle school (before and afterwards, too, although I feel as if I am losing my touch in my old age). One of the reasons was that I memorized the entire Hobbit, word for word… without intending to. I didn’t realize this was strange until about sixth grade, when we were doing factual identification questions from the reading during class and I answered them with paragraph-length quotations from memory. My teacher went all googley-eyed and asked “So what happened next?”, and rather than paraphrasing I repeated the next paragraph. He then had me recite the rest of the chapter. (The book was Dragonwings, incidentally, dealing with a white girl, a Chinese boy, and the Boxer rebellion… and flying on a glider. Sort of mystical realism if I remember correctly. As I type this snippets of dialogue are floating through my head.) Anyhow, I don’t have comprehensive recall anymore (and never had for anything other than written words, song lyrics, and anything said to me by a girl I was interested in — I forget names within 45 seconds of hearing them if I don’t repeat them under my breath, for example), but I still love my fantasy books. (Incidentally: I’m totally incapable of this in Japanese — I’m lucky to be able to keep six words straight or remember a character for more than two minutes. Let me tell you, that transition bites.)
You know: I enjoy writing.
You don’t know: I once had dreams of becoming a newspaper columnist (my father tells me my very first “what I want to be when I grow up” answer was the Commissioner of Weights and Measures. I have the vaguest inkling of a memory of voicing this). I tried it for a while, actually. The pay is lousy, the deadlines are irksome, editors are a bear to deal with, and the death threats I got caused needless distress for my family, so I found greener pastures.