Like human trafficking, blogging is a thankless job. And it’s not even like the majority of bloggers are making any money off it. Unless you have a profoundly original idea (like this, or this, or my next project, www.dogswearingcats.com – keep your fingers crossed) or access to pictures of celebrities’ vaginas, chances are you’re not turning a profit.
Instead, bloggers settle for compensation like “a nice comment” or “an OK looking reader who’ll hook up with you.” Which, when you think about the effort some people put into their blogs (present company excluded) seems like a raw deal. I mean, just imagine doing your current job in exchange for a compliment. Like “Hey Bob, pay day again! Uh . . . you did a really great job on that expense restructuring project. Your spreadsheets were hilarious! Have a great weekend!”
Not to say that I’m complaining. On the contrary, I’ve been pretty fortunate. Having never made a dime from blogging, I’ve still managed to suck whatever I can out of it. Such as:
– a (pretty, successful, slightly-more-neurotic-than-your-average-girl-but-not-enough-to-really-make-
– the new dimension to my relationship with my mother, when she asked me what a chode was;
– a working knowledge of HTML;
– pictures of women’s underwear (once);
– a sense of accomplishment (twice); and
– a Tylenol (which I found while digging through my bag for a scrap of paper I had written an idea on for a blog post).
I mean, that’s a lot of crap that I didn’t have before. But I have to say, the best thing I’ve gained from blogging is . . . new friends.
Specifically, these two
stalkers girls who tracked me down on MySpace and sent me a note asking me if I’d like to have lunch with them at their office one day. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Lunch at their office? Isn’t that like someone inviting you to do work at their home? Fine, maybe you’re not thinking that because it’s stupid, but the point is, lunch at their office is different. It’s special. Because they work for a little company called Google.
Maybe you’ve heard of it, or at least heard the rumors about their office – about how they have scooters and toys and how unicorns are brought there to mate in a safe environment and fairies sort and deliver the mail with pixie dust. WELL IT’S ALL TRUE. Do you know how when an atheist is arguing with someone who believes in God, and the atheist invariably asks, “Well if God loves us so much, how come he lets bad things happen to good people?” and the person who believes in God just says something like, “Everything happens for a reason”? Well they don’t have discussions like that at Google because no one gives a crap because everyone is happy.
How could you not be with the llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll and the llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll and all the llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll running around, and how every time you llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll someone would llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll. I mean, they have an entire collection of llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.* I’m not ashamed to say I cried when I saw it all.
But the most magical part of all was their cafeteria. Sweet mother of all that is edible, their cafeteria was an orgy for the mouth (Ew?). Upon exiting the elevators on the cafeteria’s floor, you are met with a wall of beverages, lined up perfectly in a refrigerator case like at Whole Foods (I imagine this is what the waiting room at the entrance of Heaven might look like as well). The girls I was with walked over and each grabbed a bottle of water. I, being intimidated, did the same. Rookie mistake. I can get free water anytime I want it. I passed up free iced tea (FLAVORED). I still wish I could have that one back.
But I made up for it once we got to the main food area. There are different stations, each with a theme: seafood, meat, vegetarian, hot sides, cold sides. It was like in a cartoon when a king is having a feast and he sticks a whole ham leg in his mouth while servants bring him tray after tray of food. It was never enough. I was overwhelmed. If Freud is right and humans innately crave to be back in the womb, then the Google cafeteria is my womb. I felt at home.
So what did I end up eating? Oh, you know. Just some bourbon glazed ribs, some cornbread soufflé, sautéed asparagus, something that I don’t even know what it was but it was the best thing I had ever put in my mouth. The worst part was that I had to interrupt my eating to make conversation with these two smart, pretty girls. But eventually I figured, “Fuck it, carpe diem” and bit into a rib as though it was trying to rape me. Barbecue sauce = everywhere. Me = not caring. Girls that invited me = regretful. But I thought, “If this is payment for years of blogging, so be it.”
The girls (who wish to remain anonymous so as to retain their jobs and their self-respect), sweethearts that they were, sent me on my way with a take-out tray of desserts, which I ate on the train next to a woman who looked at me with disdain. (If you are afraid I may drop blueberries and whipped cream on you, that’s your problem.) I got back to my office a little sad, knowing that the free meal I had just eaten at Google’s office was the best meal I would eat all week. Indeed, right now I am eating a slice of pizza and (I’m sorry, pizza) it sucks. It doesn’t have any fresh sushi on it or any Curried Pineapple Chicken Breast. I had to pay for my Snapple.
“But hey,” I tell myself, “at least I still have the most important . . . friends.”
* Content redacted, as per confidentiality agreement signed at Google’s reception desk.