For my first developer position at TrueCommerce I was provided a standard issue whiteboard for my cubicle. After a few weeks of providing developer support – your first developer job is light on the development and heavy on the sitting at people’s desks, waiting for an error – I wrote, “The doctor is IN,” on the top of the board. When I went to lunch, I’d erase it, write OUT, and off I went. When you’re debugging Windows COM errors, you try to make your own fun to get through the day.
After a while, that got old, so I started erasing everything after “The doctor” and putting in some kind of movie quote or song lyric. You know: “The doctor’s life flashed before his eyes: cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea.” That sort of thing. People’d stop be to see what I’d written, to see if they caught the reference or not. It wasn’t long before people started calling me, “The Doctor.” Including the VP and CIO. “Doctor,” Russ would say, “we’ve got a problem and we need your help.”
At the time, I’d never seen an episode of Doctor Who, and thought he was called “Doctor Who” and not “The Doctor.” The whole thing started as a reference to Lucy from Peanuts. I walked around with the nickname for years and it never clicked. Even after I started watching the show, it didn’t occur to me that I’d walked around an office for four years, getting called “The Doctor” for my notable ability to sort (technology) problems that had everyone else stumped. I stumbled into a nerderific and fantastic nickname and hadn’t the faintest clue what I’d done. Even after I’d watched Doctor Who and become *ahem* a bit of a fan, it didn’t click until I’d decided to dress as the character for Halloween. If there comes a nerdier moment in my life than when this all came together and didn’t stop me from choosing this costume, it’s probably time to call it a day.
Anyway, that was how The Doctor dressed up in a Doctor suit for Halloween, and his wife joined in on the fun.