Old Man Bryant or “The OMB” is a nickname given to me by the young whippersnappers with which I used to work. I fought the name for a while and then embraced it as it seemed much better than the previous one: Graybush. It is all about perspective really. When you are the guy in the office that is constantly giving other people nicknames or pulling the practical jokes you really can’t bitch too much when you get a nickname.
The story of the nickname started back right around the time I moved over to work on the “new game” that was in development at the time. I was just being my usual self and was constantly joking around with my group of testers. Oh yeah, I work in the video game industry in QA…so if you have seen Grandma’s Boy…yeah, that was me. Anyway, like I was saying, I was just doing the usual stuff and making fun of some of my testers when one day one of them just backed his chair up, looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Oh shut up Graybush”.
I was speechless.
First of all, I didn’t…until that very minute…realize that I was sensitive about my age. At the time I was what…36 or 37…but most of the guys working for me were in their very early 20s. My facial hair had been turning a bit white for a couple of years but I never really thought of myself as “Old” until that very moment. I was thrown for a loop…and everyone noticed it.
The chink in my armor was found. And everyone was around to witness it. As you can imagine, I was just thrilled.
From that moment on there were Old Man jokes of pretty much every variety. I think there were at least three 40th birthday parties for me (with a freakin’ cake and everything) on days that were nowhere near my birthday…and I just turned 39 a couple weeks ago too. I would come back to my desk and there would be streamers hanging up over my cube that had little plastic “40s” on them. I even received a god damn cane from one of those little rat bastards.
All because I flinched at the name Graybush.
OMB evolved, and not quickly mind you, over a couple years as the new nickname. I can’t tell you the amount of variations of OMB I saw during testing of the game on different character names, guild names, etc. It seemed like everytime I tried to make fun of anyone they would come back at me with an Old Man joke.
Luckily, it was pretty much the only thing I flinched at and over the years I learned to just roll with it. Until now…even though I am no longer working with those guys…I have embraced the name.