What the job looks like for a technology giant

Original author: Tom Mitchell
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You are in San Francisco. Or where there. Silicon Valley, after all, in San Francisco? In any case, you live here. Close to other techies.

Since you have already climbed out of your single bed, you are most likely sitting in the corporate bus. You register your place via smartphone. Sit next to a colleague and communicate with him through a smartphone. And you have a smartphone with a new version that has not yet been released - because it is slightly thinner than the version that has already been released. And he knows how to recognize the retina.

Getting to the office takes less time than you would like. The office building is designed to resemble the leisure centers of the 1970s, it sits in the middle of the lawn, and the California (or whatever) sun winks at you, reflecting off its windows. There is a lot of grass outside, but there are few windows in the building.

You must drink coffee because your manager spent $ 10,000 on a coffee machine, which is controlled by the application from your smartphone. It is also the “social zone” of your company, where you are obliged to chat with everyone who is there. You complain about this rule to the woman you see for the first time. She smiles, but looks over your shoulder.

You bring coffee to your workplace. But this is not your workplace - this is a common workplace, which everyone periodically takes as necessary (hot-desk). And while you chatted by the coffee machine, you only had the edge of the table. One that smelled of tuna. And it continues to smell like that no matter how many emails you send with a smell complaint.

You pull your laptop out of your backpack as if it were a skateboard. And although you are not physically developed at all, you want it to turn out to be a skate. Or a shotgun. You insert it into the dock, and it clicks displeasedly. It takes ten minutes to get the dock monitor to copy the laptop desktop. Nothing comes of you. You open some application there that you use for programming, and for three hours you run the cursor over the lines, the meaning of which you do not fully understand. At some point, your manager distracts you - she claims that she is bored, complains about the daily routine, but he actually checks to see if you got coffee in the morning.

“The Daily Routine is a good name for a cafe,” you say. But she does not hear you. She asks if you will play in the department's softball team. You answer that your wrists hurt.


Although all employees dine in the buffet, the most important people are always at the head of the line, or sitting at the best table, overlooking the parking lot.

You wait in line for food for about 15 minutes, scrolling through the screens in the Tinder social application, hoping that people will lag behind you with their conversations. The woman you met by the coffee machine is standing by the salad bar. She smiles at a tanned man working in the sales department. He has bristles and a rocket salad. You swipe your chin with your finger - I would also like to have a beard.

All that is left of the food is mushroom risotto. You hate him, but food is a good excuse not to sit at a laptop. You join four strangers to you. They are discussing the application that one of them recently downloaded. The user enters the number of times when he went to the toilet, the duration and color of urine - and at the end of the week the application says what he is sick with and when he will die. You feel a sore on the tongue at the moment when the spoon stirs the risotto warmed up in the microwave.


You are returning to the common workplace. Walking up the stairs is considered an exercise. The rest have already returned, and you worry that you are late. Your manager is not nearby, and you open your application for programming. You chase the cursor line by line, scratching periodically.

A letter from HR arrives with a reminder - you are expected at an optional training event tomorrow after work, the absence of which will look strange. It is dedicated to the mental health of technology workers. Your email application automatically adds a reminder to the calendar. Your phone vibrates, confirming receipt of a reminder.

You drive the cursor. The air conditioner purrs. Someone's phone rings and they apologize loudly. At some point, you decide to go to the toilet, but worry that you have to talk to someone. Yes, and those guys with an application for urine can be in the toilet. They can notice your color.

A video call is your manager. She smiles, her room looks like it is in that part of the planet where it is more sunny than in San Francisco, Silicon Valley or wherever you are. But her office is actually a little further down the hall. She wants to check if you drank coffee in the afternoon. You lie that you drank. She leans to the side and checks something on some electronic device. She says that the Wi-Fi of the coffee machine is probably buggy, because it says that you only drank coffee today in the morning. You agree to drink more coffee. The manager asks if you made a decision about the softball team. You mumble something about your wrists.


A bus is waiting in the parking lot. The headphones inside it make some kind of sounds. The seat script is below you when you descend on it. That sounds indecent. You look back to see if anyone has noticed. But all heads are bowed, as if in prayer.

You open Twitter. Fingers freeze in indecision. You close Twitter. The sun begins to set. The bus leaves the parking lot. You catch the driver's eye in the rearview mirror. He looks away.

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