About Snrky...

Snarky, an adjective - Any language that contains quips or comments containing sarcastic or satirical witticisms intended as blunt irony. Usually delivered in a manner that is somewhat abrupt and out of context and intended to stun and amuse. Origin: Snark="snide remark". (The Urban Dictionary)

This is Snarky.  The guy behind the pear logo.  Visual pun intended.  He's a developer.  But not a very good developer.  The kind that gets an average annual review only because giving him less than average would take more investigative work than it's worth.  And you hope he's fixing more bugs than he's chewing up time from quality developers.  Not that any of that stops him from having strong opinions about how the business should be run.  And you can't explain it, but an awful lot of people seem to like him (or her - there are women developers who fit the same mold; they just tend to have more hair!).  Maybe it's his longevity and that he's been passed around so much  he knows everyone and they're all just thankful he's not in their group.

You can see in his dull, stick figure eyes that while he should be spending his time thinking about the code he's working on, there's really quite a bit more going on up there.  Most of it inane chatter about his day and his observations on everything.

This, unfortunately for him (or her!), is Poor Paired Cube Guy.  Forced to listen day in and day out to Snarky solely due to the vagaries of positional fate.  Poor Paired Cube Guy's response to Snarky, invariably, is exactly the same on any given day and in any given moment.  A cloud of dark annoyance and frustration coupled with some countersnark of his own.

Snarky and Poor Paired Cube Guy used to look like this: no pear machines, and totally, immersively MS Paint driven.  Poor Paired Cube Guy was seriously disadvantaged as his countersnark was never even visible if you weren't in the original post where you could find it in the title.  Not only was he stuck with an opinionated doofus for a neighbor, he was voiceless.

Much later, he gained a voice.  And got some character of his own.  Look at his eyes!  While Snarky is dull and sarcastic and a loafer, Poor Paired Cube Guy is driven, but annoyed.  I know, your really have to stare into their eyes a long time to put yourself into their souls, but I assure you, it's worth the effort.

Snarky seldom interacts directly with his boss.  But Poor Paired Cube Guy (PPCG; sounds like some sort of DNA-derived food additive) has to deal with everyone at the massive organization he inhabits: project managers, testers, developers, dbas, operations, business analysts, architects, senior management, executives, usability and information architects, tech writers...the list goes on and on.  And he has to listen to them talk about why Snarky's performance impacts him personally.  No man is an island and, unfortunately, the other half of your island is sometimes a polluted, dismal place no one would ever want to inhabit and that affects your property value (you can think of the rats on that side of the island as bugs, if you need to take the metaphor a bit further).

Here's Poor Paired Cube Guy with his boss, who's more likely to pontificate and offer up a few of those management metaphors than to listen.  That's what he keeps in his management tool set.  We don't do pointy hair.  He's got a tie.  Although in some organizations, casual dress means that's a thing of the past even for managers unless they're still trying to differentiate themselves from the direct reports.

Here's Poor Paired Cube Guy with his Project Manager who is usually upset that he doesn't have functional control over Poor Paired Cube Guy and Snarky, because if he did, Snarky would probably perform better.  You can tell by Poor Paired Cube Guy's body language that interactions with the project managers are generally more stressful than with other organizational roles.

And very rarely Poor Paired Cube Guy bumps into a co-worker on the elevator.  That could be anyone.  Those don't happen too often, because it gives the illusion Poor Paired Cube Guy is escaping.  That his life isn't quite as dark as his Snarky Thought Bubble seems to imply.  Having spent several years of my life focusing on dystopic societies and literature, the illusion of escape is the one thing that really destroys the perception of a dystopia, even if it's only an organizational dystopia.  We should probably attach Poor Paired Cube Guy's laptop bag to his arm to ensure you don't think there's a happy ending.  He's not escaping, he's just going home to do remote work.

As to why we didn't just call it Poor Paired Cube Guy instead of Snarky, seeing as he gets more face time, it just seemed rather clunky.  And PPCG seems like a rip off title for another, better, stick figure comic web site.  So enjoy - there are hundreds of comics on the site; a bit of content for everyone.  And sometimes you even get the same comic with multiple punchlines because there are two authors and we can disagrees about a comic, or decide it needs some software-style iterations, or just update the idea over time if it's a strong meme or particularly troublesome recurring issue in a developer's life.


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