Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I’m Feeling Lucky

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-
a-noticeable-difference) girlfriend;

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.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really think I'm neurotic? I mean, I always thought of my neurosis as cute-ish, you know, more "High Fidelity" John Cusack than circa 1977 Woody Allen (if John Cusack was a girl with magic hair, of course.) Anyway, we should talk about this more later.

Also, do you think those chicks get to work on the Floo Network.

August 1, 2007 at 1:46:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous simon said...

Dan,

I don't often comment, because I usually have little to say. But payment is payment, and your blog is a good one. So there you go.

-Simon

August 1, 2007 at 2:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, we take the 1/2/3. i think the floo network is only available in England and fictional novels as of right now.

August 1, 2007 at 2:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Arjewtino said...

I heard your age slower when you're in Google. Is this true? Will you live a few more years now?

August 1, 2007 at 2:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dan said...

It's true. While I was there I saw a baby in a top hat. Apparently it was their first CEO.

August 1, 2007 at 2:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Amanda said...

Google should run the country. Magical cafeterias for everyone!

August 1, 2007 at 3:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Leezer said...

Here in Seattle (home of Microsoft, Amazon, and Nintendo), food-orgies for the mouth in corporate cafeterias are de rigeur. Theses places also have pugs stationed at every table and you wipe your wet BBQ'd hands on them instead of napkins. Does Google have THAT? Didn't think so.

So those girls at Google probably don't wear Ann Taylor?

August 1, 2007 at 3:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger mindy said...

Maybe Google will buy your blog now and you'll be really rich and really stinkin' famous. That'd be awesome. Can I meet them?

August 1, 2007 at 4:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Scottsdale Girl said...

*sigh* We USED to have a cafeteria. Now we have a roach coach. It's not the same.

August 1, 2007 at 4:35:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Green said...

And imagine how much more awesome it'd be if you were at the Google out here in CA! (If you come to that Google caf, let me know and I'll take you out to dinner with my roommate - we're good at making boys laugh.)

August 1, 2007 at 8:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Sarah said...

Whoa-ribs the first time you meet people? That's a bold move. I once challenged a friend's boyfriend to a rib-eating contest upon the 2nd or 3rd time meeting him. I kicked his ass but lost the respect of every single person who witnessed it. I really don't care, though, because we were at TGIFriday's and let's face it-nobody at TGIFriday's has the right to judge me.

August 1, 2007 at 9:43:00 PM EDT  
Blogger margaret said...

interesting to hear that, if someone were to attempt to rape you, your instinct would be to bite into them like a rib (ew?).

although i guess it does depend on where you're biting.

August 1, 2007 at 9:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Boo said...

Yes, but what did those sheilas WANT??

August 2, 2007 at 12:59:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous factory_girl said...

I wanna go Google...

Ribs ... hmmmm ...

August 2, 2007 at 4:13:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous nancypearlwannabe said...

You just reconfirmed the fact that I need to send my resume to the new Google branch here in Boston, like RIGHT NOW.

August 2, 2007 at 11:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Julie_Gong said...

Thank you for confirming all those magical things really do happen at Google.

I'm going to now go cry myself to sleep at my desk because I will most likely never see a unicorn mating.

August 2, 2007 at 11:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

At my old law firm they had free gourmet coffee (Flavia). It would've been delicious even if I had to pay for it, but it was even more so because it was free. Here, I have to pay for my own coffee (which sucks, but it's 10 feet away) or walk 2 blocks to Starbucks, which is expensive and tiring to someone as lazy as me.

Like you, I've never made a dime off blogging, but someone showed me their va-jay-jay once as a result of my blogging. Then I made sweet, sweet, mediocre love to her.

August 2, 2007 at 5:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger sadielady said...

I just went on a tour of my old law firm in their new building yesterday. I still do business at my new place with lawyers from the old place, so I still see some of them regularly, and still have to work with them sometimes on some cases. Anyway, as this one guy was showing me and my current boss around the new place, pointing out all the new amenities, including the new improved much much larger break room with all its new coffee machines with all the new and different choices they have available to their employees, I was bummed ... damn, why couldn't they have had flavored coffees and cappuccinos and espressos etc available when I was there? I don't care about the food, but I might have stayed a legal whore there for more and better coffee choices.

August 2, 2007 at 8:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger g_nee said...

I too feel I must leave a payment of some sort and tell you that you are freakin' funn-ay!!!

August 2, 2007 at 11:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger -J said...

Kick ass.

Wait, you got a girlfriend from having a blog? Good job.

August 3, 2007 at 6:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger DLH said...

Flavia sounds like a female body part. But really I can't talk. I wokr in the most outdated facility still standing in America.

August 6, 2007 at 11:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Meow said...

I love this post.

August 7, 2007 at 1:36:00 PM EDT  
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