Indiana University isn't the only Midwestern university hoping for some search-engine magic to boost its tech image. The University of Michigan is pleased as punch that it persuaded famous alumnus Larry Page, the Google cofounder to build an Ann Arbor campus in 2003. Most of the hires, naturally, are recent University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State graduates. U of M president Mary Sue Coleman gushes, "Attracting companies like Google is absolutely critical to the transformation of the Michigan economy... To see this be a reality and to look at the energy here in the office ... It really is a dream come true.'' To anyone, that is, except the bulk of the workers in Google's Ann Arbor annex.
While Google's rapidly growing Ann Arbor campus is a boon to the local economy and recent grads enjoy all the benefits endemic to Google, like copious free food, the reality of working in Google's Michigan offices involves the deadeningly repetitive, manual work associated with Google's booming ad business. The campus is home to Google's AdWords operations. That fabulous Googly job? For most, it involves approving text ads and answering phone calls.