What happens when Google swallows your life? A new hire at the internet company is blogging the experience, from waking in his Google apartment to taking a Google car to Google dinner and then Googling home via Google.
A Sun veteran, software developer Tim Bray was no stranger to big-company life. But he knew Google enveloped employees on a whole other level, so after his recent hiring he vowed to blog his Google experience "while my eyes remain fresh." Bray's writeup was friendly enough, but commenters couldn't resist comparing the Googleplex to the totalitarian systems depicted in the movie THX 1138, the book Brave New World and, most fashionably, in the TV show Lost, which features a crypto-military research project that calls itself "the Dharma Initiative."
And no wonder: Google swaddled Bray from dusk til dawn:
- Bray wakes up in his nondescript Google apartment in Mountain View, where he rooms with "a taciturn Czech" who is comically unwilling to discuss his "data security" work. The lodgings are, presumably, temporary quarters.
- Bray rides the Google Bus, enjoying Google Wi-Fi on his way to work, at Google.
- Breakfast is at a Google café: "I lean to the Google bacon, fresh fruit, a little wee scoop of hash browns, and Google coffee, which is perfectly OK."
- The workday includes an example of Google's maddening hiring process: Bray's division sounds like it really needs to hire, amid a "ferocious... head-to-head competition" with what can only be Apple, but the hiring committee rejects six of seven job candidates. High standards! "I'm in awe, and as with many other things I see here, wonder if it can be sustained."
- Finally, a break from the old Google grind: A buddy shows Bray an "out of the way" sushi joint... at Google. Sigh. At least it's "across a couple of Google parking lots which I'll never find again. It was good. They're all good."
- Bray grabs a Google Prius to buy himself a new camera at Best Buy. It's free, just like the "Google-sponsored taxi" he took home from the airport when he got into town.
- 6:30 rolls around, so it's time for dinner, taken with some office-mates on a picnic table outside a Google café. Bray breathes life into his surrounding by carefully taking note of the "slanting California sun" and "knifing California breezes." Ya, that'll get old.
- Finally, a non-Google trip, to a "pseudo-Irish bar." But Bray can't resist checking his "Google email on my Google phone." Well, hey, at least there are some non-borgs out there who can empathize with that particular form of Google immersion.
Disclaimer: Bray adds in an update that "normal" Googlers don't live like this, and there he's been at companies where people arrived earlier and worked later. So consider selling your Google stock, unless you've managed to snare a cushy/creepy job at the company.