Odd, eccentric, and unconventional
DeviantART is big
-- 35 million unique visitors per month, over 110 million deviations, with 100,000 new pieces of art submitted every day. But we're more than just numbers, we also do a lot of stuff
-- community projects, contests of all kinds, World Tour/deviantMEETS, feature releases and enhancements galore, you get the idea. But we didn't get here overnight. There are extremely passionate individuals who breathe life into all aspects and areas of deviantART. From keeping the site online, to developing new products, there are departments of people behind every piece of deviantART.
You may have noticed that we're currently on a bit of a hiring spree
, which is great for the community because it means we'll be able to do more of the things you love. But finding quality people to fill open positions is hard. The world is full of talented (and less talented) people, but just because someone looks good on paper doesn't mean he or she will fit seamlessly into deviantART, our workflow, or our company culture.Which got me thinking: what common bonds do current deviantART administrators have? Aside from us being cliché super geeks, what's the secret sauce that makes us... us?
After much thought, and consultation with fellow admins, I think I'm on to something. We're all... really weird
. Okay, maybe that's unflattering. We all have amusing "eccentricities" and "foibles" that make us unique and special. And sometimes, our weirdness manifests itself in the form of irrational fears. I'm talking about the crazy stuff; the stuff that makes you weird because you absolutely have no choice. You're committed to the weirdness and have no power otherwise.
So, let's go over some of these irrational fears, shall we? I'll even start with me! $Heidi: Elevators.
Until about six years ago, I wouldn't go in elevators at all, for fear of getting stuck. Not alone, not with other people, not even a little. You couldn't pay me enough to do it and that's saying something because I love money. What's that? We need to go to the 37th floor? Let's do it! Point me to the stairs. Happy to get the exercise.
Though, I'm glad to report that I've come a long way in the last few years, as I'll now ride in an elevator if I'm with trusted
individuals. People who understand that my heart skips if the elevator squeaks, bounces, or does anything out of the ordinary. I'm sure the EKG results would be fascinating. (For the record, if I tell you that I'm scared of elevators and your first reaction is to jump up and down -- while in an elevator with me -- don't be surprised when my fist meets your face. Also, you're no longer a trusted individual. And you might be fired.) `trowlandson (Tom): Blood.
Just mentioning blood can make Tom squeamish to the point of fainting. So the idea of actually giving blood -- involving a needle, a prick of the skin, and the feeling of having blood drawn -- is much too much. Once upon a time, Tom had to give blood for a routine physical exam. He was so anxious leading up to the appointment that he forgot to drink water and became dehydrated, making it impossible for the nurse to take blood. He ended up having to reschedule after she was unable to find a suitable vein. Also, the nurse was so concerned that he would faint that she had to ask him to sit down. $LaurenKitsune (Lauren): Flying.
While a fear of flying is fairly common, Lauren takes it to a bit of an extreme. The best part is, she tries to keep it hidden -- praying only when people aren't looking. She tries to make her peace with God before every flight and convinces herself that life was a good run anyway. This may be a common fear for many, but do these people also joke constantly about their impending doom long after it stopped being funny?
Well-intentioned person: "Excited for your upcoming trip?"
Lauren: "Well, no, because I don't like dying in plane crashes."
Well-intentioned person: "Did you know that statistically, you're more likely to die in a car than you are in a plane?"
Lauren: "Did you know that having flown an average of once a month in my lifetime with an Air Force and airline family that, statistically, my number is up?"
Well-intentioned person: "We've landed! Aren't you relieved?"
Lauren: "No, we're flying back in a few days, and I'll probably just die then." $danlev (Dan): Bugs.
Dan and bugs simple do not get along. Especially after seeing photos or videos of bugs, his mind is set that they're out to get him -- especially in his bed. He'll fully inspect his bed before he goes in it, to make sure there aren't any tarantulas waiting to cuddle up with him during the night. When he finds a spider in his room, he won't be comfortable until he knows
it's dead. He'll throw things at it so he doesn't have to touch it... and one time, he may have called his Mom and asked her to kill it. `mattdanna (Matt): Upside-down.
Matt hates, with a passion, the feeling of being upside-down. Even stargazing while laying flat makes his stomach turn. In the event you start talking about rollercoasters or hanging someone by their ankles, be prepared for Matt's face to look a little green. $Ayame-Kenoshi (Toby): White coat syndrome.
Toby has white coat syndrome, aka fear of a person in a white coat (specifically doctors). It's something that's been passed down in her family for years and even though she's not as bad as her grandparents, she still doesn't like the thought of having to see a doctor (and will only take medication if she's writhing in pain). This fear is especially unfortunate, as she also has a great fear of catching diseases -- like getting rabies from petting a cat that's been outside for a few hours. $kouiskas (Gilles): Lack of blood flow.
It's happened to us all -- you fall asleep with a body part in a compromising position, cutting off blood flow to an extremity, and when you wake up something's gone numb. When this happens to Gilles, he goes into a mini-panic until the numbness wears off for fear that the feeling of numbness will never go away. An episode of mini-panic may involve screaming. (Yes, it does.) $Moonbeam13 (Danielle): Failure.
Fear of failure is another common phobia, but because Danielle's so thoughtful, she's not only afraid of her own fear of failure, she's also afraid for everyone else. Her fear leads her to believe that she's single handedly responsible for the success and happiness of those around her. It's kind of like a super hero complex. +spyed (Angelo): Snakes.
I've already said enough and value my job too much to say any more. Other notables:
(Chris): Open water.
(Stan): Horror movies.
(Ollie): Getting lost in strange places.
(Simon): The water wraith.
There you have it, friends, and that's just a small sampling! DeviantART is run by a bunch of weirdos -- a bunch of weirdos who truly love what we do and are thankful we have an outlet for, and friends who put up with, our... quirks.