Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Hyper-Allergenic Google Dork

Remember that computer engineer/lawyer friend of mine who works as in-house counsel at Google? One thing that I didn't mention is that she's hot. My Hot Friend (hereinafter "HF") has big brown eyes, a major mane of chestnut hair and all the requisite girl curves, in ample abundance, in exactly the right places. HF's appeal isn't limited to the computer nerd crowd, either. I once took her to a party hosted by an I-banker friend and HF caused a veritable feeding frenzy among the overworked, rutting young analyst types in attendance.

In October 2005, my wife and I were in San Francisco and decided to visit HF at the Google campus in Mountain View. My wife and I weren't sure what to make of Google's offices as HF showed us around. There were bean bag chairs, candy stations and scooters that you could ride between buildings. It seemed like a huge camp for young adults rather than a market-leading software company. We ended our tour with dinner at one of the five cafeterias serving free meals to all Google employees, friends and family.

As it started to get dark, HF suggested that we ride back to San Francisco with her on the Google shuttle bus. My wife and I sat together near the back of the bus on the right side, my wife with the window and me on the aisle. HF took the seat next to me across the aisle. Her seatmate was a computer dork straight from Central Casting--a slightly pudgy guy in his late twenties with a pasty complexion, unkempt dark brown hair and unstylish glasses with thick lenses. Like most of the other people on the bus, the Dork was working on a laptop computer, his fingers flashing over the little keyboard.

We hit a random bump on the road and HF accidentally banged into the Dork's computer. "I'm so sorry!" HF exclaimed, "I didn't mean to bump you like that."

The Dork's head snapped up, his glower turning to a smile when he looked at HF. "Heh, heh, heh," he laughed nervously. "No problem."

The Dork continued to stare at HF. "Soooooo," he said, "what group do you work in?"

I could tell by the look on the Dork's face that he was smitten. "Oh sh*t!" I whispered to my wife, "that Dork's got game and he's bringing it on HF!"

Over the course of the next few minutes, the Dork and HF engaged each other in friendly conversation.

"You know," I said, turning to my wife, "HF doesn't seem completely uninterested in this guy."

A moment later, HF pulled out a pack of gum.

"Would you like a piece?" HF asked, motioning the pack towards the Dork.

The Dork beamed. "Is it sugarless?"

"Yes," HF replied with a nod of her head.

"Well, in that case, no thank you," the Dork said, pushing his glasses further up his nose. "I'm allergic to aspartame!"

And the moment was over. HF slowly turned away from the Dork and towards me. HF chatted with my wife and me the rest of the way to San Francisco.

My trip to the Google campus left me with two major "take aways":

1. Google's "aren't we cool" culture of extravagance is a waste of stockholders' money and is unsustainable in the long term; and

2. If you're a computer dork looking to score with a hot chick and said hot chick offers you a piece of gum, TAKE THE GUM! Even if it means having to steal away a few minutes later to jab a syringe into your thigh and inject yourself with an antidote to anaphylactic shock, TAKE THE GUM! For the love of God man, TAKE THE GUM!

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