Around the same time that particular adventure went awry and I quit IRC, I started a little community of my own, and maybe thanks to the hard-earned experience, that one, I've got to say, was rather a resounding success. Outwardly, it was a place for French-speaking people to discuss the works of Anne McCaffrey, though what made it great was never the subject matter as much as the people who came to discuss it. Some of us started meeting up IRL, and I found great friends on the way, the least of which not being kefen, and a girl to share my life in the person of jallora. Even now, as the community itself has mostly gone dormant, our group of friends is still in steady touch and see each other regularly.
Managing this community brought me other benefits, like a basic experience of organizing people and dealing with interpersonal politics. At some point we founded a fanzine; my first serious writing dates back from then. I... don't entirely hate what I wrote then, when the mood seizes me and I dive back into the archives. For me, that's saying a lot. Good times, and good work.
Fast-forward to this morning. A coworker from presales turns up in our room for the daily hellos, and we perform the ritual geek-oriented smalltalk. I like this guy; he sometimes tends to fall into the typical communication failure modes of purebred geeks, but as the whole he's the cool sort of geeky guy I get along great with. We often discuss sci-fi and fantasy and tabletop RPG, and we might have played a game of Magic or two in the rest area. At this point, as we discuss the latest series like Game of Thrones and fantasy books in general, he brings up Anne McCaffrey and Pern. He's a huge fan of Pern, he says; got all the books, do I know about them?
I most certainly know about them, yes, and have absolutely read them.
"Good," he says, and begins to expand upon how much he loves the series.
"So how come we've never seen you on Pern.fr, then?" I say, with a bit of teasing reproach.
He grins right back. "Because you don't know my nickname. I was a semi-regular there."
And with that, his clients turn up and the bastard saunters off happily without telling me who the heck he is there.
Crazy small world. It's the second time in my career I end up realizing I know a coworker from way back.