ask the guy

by Eric Laberis
The worst thing that could happen in your life just did. It’s 8 pm on a Sunday night and your computer just crashed. To make matters worse, you were working on a presentation for work that’s due first thing Monday morning. This presentation will mean the difference between a key to the executive bathroom or to your new home in a locker at the bus station.
What are you going to do?
Well, since everyone knows a geek, the answer is simple: Bribe that geek! That’s right, swallow your pride and call the guy. But whatever you do, you better go to him bearing gifts. To help you out, I’m going to give you some ideas on how to tear your friendly geek away from whatever he or she is doing and get them to help you. Here is a list of things that will get your savior’s attention:
Adult Beverages Let me be clear here. When I say “adult beverages,” I mean beer. Do not use alcohol like rum, vodka or gin if you expect more than 15 minutes of work from your friendly neighborhood computer geek. Also, only use adult beverages if your geek is old enough to drink. The beer you choose is key; it will show your new best friend how valuable their work is and how important it is that they get the job done. DO NOT try something cheap like Keystone, Natural Ice or Budweiser. Guinness is always a good choice, but show your friend you put some thought into the gift. If you want my attention, Blackened Voodoo from Dixie Brewery will do it.
Tickets To Sporting Events Believe it or not, most geeks like sports. Just because we (stereotypically) are not good at them doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy them. I’m a Jaguars fan but can rarely afford to attend.That means those nosebleed seat tickets your boss gave you won’t go unappreciated. If you want to get creative, the Jacksonville Roller Girls still have some games to play in 2011. Also remember, unless you plan on making this geek your friend for a day, you better give tickets in pairs or you will be attending said event with your new hacker friend.
Munchies A hacker loves munchies. It seems that working at a keyboard all day updating your Facebook status, slaying evil demons or writing HTML code for web pages has the same effect as certain herbs some people use for medicinal purposes. Good bribery munchies include, but are not limited to, Hot Pockets, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper and any candy that comes in bite-sized pieces with no wrapper. Most computer professionals I know like Cheetos, but this is a bad choice. That sumptuous orange powder gets all over a keyboard and plays hell with mice.
CASH When all else fails, resort to the all-powerful standby: CASH! Everyone can use a little extra dough, but using cash as a bribe can be tricky. You can’t come off as being cheap; remember, you are asking for a favor. You have to offer enough to make it worth your new buddy’s while, but you don’t want to break the bank. If you can get your geek friend to give you an idea of how long it will take to fix the problem, figure about $35 an hour as a bribe. Believe me, this is a reasonable rate for someone to save your bacon at work.
These bribes should get your computer fixed in a reasonably quickly, allowing you to finish your project in time for your deadline. Also, proper bribery can lead you to making a new friend who will help you for less in the future. Remember, GEEKS ARE PEOPLE TOO. Try to say “Hi” and act like a friend; it will pay off in the future.