I spent the weekend working the photo booth in Silicon Valley. I sported active-wear all weekend to blend in with the local women:
Maybe it’s because the companies that made Silicon Valley so famous feed, entertain, and wash their employees onsite, but I had trouble finding things to do. The bars were so empty and calm. The stores had no customers. I texted Nicopolitan, who lived and worked in the SV for a spell, and he replied: There’s a mall. It has an H&M. That’s all I know.
I ended up sitting and writing at Blue Bottle Coffee for six hours. This is what a coffee shop in Palo Alto looks like:
I thought it was the fanciest place I had ever seen – until I made it to my event at Facebook Headquarters.
WOW. That was an experience. Facebook HQ is currently made up of two massive compounds. They each span multiple acres and contain their own villages that give food, entertainment, and amenities to over 15,000 employees. Both compounds have restaurants scattered throughout the campuses where employees can literally walk up and say something crazy like,
“Hey, I’d like to have a cornmeal dusted sushi burrito and a nitro cold brew coffee!”
Then the people behind the counter say,
“OK! Here you go!” and then GIVE THE EMPLOYEES THEIR FOOD FOR FREE.
There’s no POS system or logging of the meals. John Smith in coding could go the Menlo Park BBQ and order ribs four times in one afternoon and no one could say shit to him about hogging all the ribs. Facebook is made of ribs.
I couldn’t make it to the ribs shack because a Facebook employee must be within 10 feet of a guest at all times and they all had other things to do. I gazed at the rib shack from the terrace and mulled over every scenario in which I could make a run for it – super speed, drafting behind a larger employee, knocking someone out and stealing their clothes – but the rib shack stood in the middle of open quad full of employees. It would be impossible to make it to the middle undetected.
NO RIBS FOR YOU. NO RIBS FOR YOU EVER.
In the end I managed to grab an escort who stood off to the side and watched me make myself a sandwich at their sandwich bar. Eggplant tapenade, freshly carved Turkey, green superfood spread – they had it all.
I had to leave the event early to catch my flight back to Los Angeles, but I managed to snag a miniature apple pie and a canned cold brew on my way out of the compound.
Speaking of airports, something about flying makes me want to ignore all common sense and pretend I’m fucking rich. I can’t count my crimes against fiscal responsibility committed in an airport. $7.99 to watch a San Andreas featuring Dwayne The Rock Johnson? Take my Visa, please!
What about that slice of knockoff Sbaro’s pizza? I shouldn’t even be eating pizza, but who cares? We’re at the airport! Nothing bad can happen to us here! Or, wait, everything bad could happen here; I might meet my death on that plane so who actually gives a fuck if I pay $60 for an airport manicure?
Shoot. Nothing brings out my stupid privilege like the airport. Let me tell you something about privilege: Privilege is when you’re ready to choke an American Airlines flight attendant because they gave you pretzels instead of Specaloos cookies and oh fuck I KNOW THEY DIDN’T JUST TURN AROUND AND GIVE SPECALOOS COOKIES TO THE PERSON BEHIND ME AFTER THEY TOSSED ME A BAG OF PRETZELS WITHOUT EVEN GIVING ME A CHOICE.