Did you know that new Google employees are ‘Nooglers’, that staff over 40 are ‘Greyglers’, staff that leave are ‘Xooglers’ and those that bring their dogs to work are ‘Dooglers’?
Cute names or something more worrisome?
Well, Automattic has names for its employees too, all based on variation of the company name.
We have Newmatticians (new employees), Boldermatticians (employees 40 years old or over) , Sabbatticians (an employee currently on a sabattical) and Trialmatticians (potentially new employee currently on a trial contract), amongst others
What you’ll notice about ours is that of the 4 I mention, 3 are just factual descriptions – “new”, “sabbatical” and “trial”, describing their situation. The final one, Boldermattician, was a name chosen by those who fall into that category – self-owning the name. This one compares sharply again “Greygler”, where an age stereotype is being used – being grey doesn’t mean you’re old and equally being old doesn’t mean that you’re grey.
On top of this, what goes along with some of this use of language by Google is worrying too. New employees are required to wear, for their first week, a multi-coloured propeller-topped hat to show that they’re a “Noogler”. Let’s look at how Wikipedia described these types of hats…
Artist Ray Nelson adopted the use of the propeller beanie as emblematic shorthand for science fiction fandom. This was in self-mockery of the popular image of fans as childish.
Today, computer savvy and other technically proficient people are sometimes pejoratively called propellerheads because of the one-time popularity of the propeller beanie.
In the 21st century, propeller beanies are rarely seen on the street, and are primarily worn for satirical or comedic purposes.
So, a propeller hat is indicative of being childish and is meant to be worn in a self-mocking way. Except, only self-mocking if you choose to wear it yourself. Although it appears you don’t have a choice.
On Friday there is a TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday) meeting in which Sergey and Larry (Google’s founders) will speak and the nooglers will have to wear cool Google hats with spinners on top.I am a Noogler
Bryce thinks that hat is cool but what if you don’t? I wouldn’t and would refuse to wear it. That’s an awkward first week (and maybe your last). That is one hell of a way to make new employees feel really uncomfortable.
A friend of mine works for Google but had his first week in Europe – his only requirements was to join a queue of Nooglers who had to come down a slide in-turn, so maybe this is a US-centric thing. But, still, even the idea of the slide makes me cringe.