Boarding the 6:50 Google shuttle at 24th & Valencia

I’m not sure that working at Google means much outside the Bay Area, but from the way San Franciscans brag about their friends and significant others that work there they seem pretty sure it means a whole lot, everywhere.

While saying you have a friend who works at Google isn’t exactly like saying you have a friend who is a war correspondent, it is exactly like saying that you have a friend who is incredibly logical, makes bustaurants full of money using that logic, and rides a bus that even though you can’t get on, you can point to and say, “My Google Friend could get on that bus!”

Which brings us of course to the Google Bus.

I once made the mistake of walking to a different bus stop so I could get a better spot in the filth on the 71L For Dum-Dums, only to realize as soon as a Google Bus pulled up and I didn’t get on it, that this was also a Google Bus Stop.

I was then forced to studiously act like I didn’t care about not working at Google. This involved looking at my wrist where a watch would have been if I worked at Google, and shuffling around in my bag which would not have been pleather if I worked at Google, and trying to count to ten, which would have been way easier if I worked at Google.

In other words, I tried to pretend I was my own Google Friend, which totally worked until the bus pulled off without me.

At this point, instead of dropping the whole charade I glared at those tinted windows and muttered, “I missed the Google bus,” and then asked the imbecile next to me (it’s safe to assume that they were, since they did not work for Google) if the 71L stopped at Google, at which he or she (I couldn’t tell which because I never even applied to Google) only stared blankly, and I realized they must be illiterate, which I should have already known since there had to be some reason they were still standing at this bus stop not working at Google.

Photo: Jyri Engestrom

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  • The Feez

    i worked there for like two years and i was completely miserable. the problem with working at google is that you end up working with all of those people waiting at the bus stop, nothing but north face shell jackets and branded google t-shirts and kensington messenger bags as far as the eye can see and the unwavering knowledge that you are, in fact, part of something bigger than yourself, something huge and uncaring and possibly autistic

  • Katie Baker

    Conversation I had at a party last weekend:

    Guy: I work at this tech company in Sillicon Valley.
    Me: Oh cool, I work with startups a lot, which one?
    Guy: Google.
    Me: WTF, if you work at Google you just say you work at Google! That is like saying you went to a small college in Boston when you went to Harvard. Let’s just be honest.
    Guy: I don’t want to seem ostentatious (or something along those lines, he wasn’t very eloquent)

    I made fun of him behind his back for the rest of the night.

  • The Feez

    when i worked there i would always lie and tell people i worked at a start-up too, because admitting in public that you work at google either leads to interminable conversations about your place of employment, or just makes people assume that you have asperger’s and are seconds away from a soliloquy about star wars or server technologies

  • Andrew Dalton

    I once went to a business lunch at the Googleplex, which is a Googler’s way of telling you lunch in a Mountain View cafeteria is better than any fancy SOMA joint. My boss at the time described it as: “The nicest Junior College you’ll ever visit.”