Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Origin of the Golem (Short Version)

I’ve been the Red-Headed Golem since 2000.

In the early part of that year, I was obsessed with the word Golem. Probably influenced by its use in an episode of Batman Beyond - a favorite DVD at the time - and ignorant of it’s origins in jewish folklore; I assumed the word was synonymous with "boogeyman" or monster. I liked how it sounded.

Some people assume it’s a misspelling of Gollum - the character from Lord of the Rings. It doesn’t help matters that my original blog had Gollum in the header image. That was just a coincidence.

Anyway, in 2000 I was working as a project manager for a local I.T. consulting company. For complicated reasons (see the Long Version), the company thought it would be a good idea to dump their existing clients and replace a lot of their experienced employees with MBA types, most right out of college.

Some managers stayed on; I was one. But a lot of good people were let go. If you want a good idea of what the company soon became, check out the Simpsons episode "I am Furious Yellow". We were just like the fictional Better Than TV, with a lot of noisy slackers, and stock options dispensed like toilet paper.

There was some tension between the old guard and the next generation. Nothing serious, but a lot of mutual mistrust.

Anyway, a friend of mine - one of the employees that had been let go - sent me an e-mail asking how the company was doing. "Okay," I replied, "but the new kids stare at me like I’m some kind of red-headed golem."

So that’s where the name came from.