I'm still pissed about the bait and switch they pulled by telling me I'd be working on Chrome, then putting me on this god forsaken piece of shit on day one.
anywhere from 4-5 different products at the same time. All centered around activism and used by millions of people.
I got the job.
To be continued…
I was told it meant I’d be working on Google+.
Fuck. “Whatever”, I thought, “I’ll just do my best and move to Chrome or something cooler after a while” Heh, so naive.
Aside: The building design could only be described as kitsch. Goofy colored furniture. A slide. Crap...everywhere.
We had access to “his” cafe too. A super fancy vegan cafe called “cloud” that wouldn’t be sustainable in the real world.
His name was Vic Gundotra.
To be continued...
I had been solo & remote for 3+ years with the non-profits since I had left my second job, a little agency in LA.
(still reminisce about the old days, @WesOHaire?🤗)
This was their first job out of an Ivy League. They were one level below me. They were working on a tiny sliver of a sidebar tucked away on an internal page of Plus. Games, or something. “Inconsequential” is a good description.
I was kind, of course, and let them know if they needed any help to just let me know.
Now my second indication that Google wasn’t what I expected.
Never would’ve imagined that I was joining a team of 50+ designers where a bunch of them had never designed before.
And I was “evaluated” at *about* their level? These weren’t interns, these were designers in their very first roles ever...at Google.
My desk mate was still cranking away on their little area.
I’d grab a seat and draw some ui, or and icon, or rattle off thoughts. Whatever they needed.
Everything being produced felt disjointed or siloed. Not part of the whole. The M.O. was build and copy as much shit as possible. “Win the race.”
FB copied some of my visuals on this, but whatevs our whole platform was a ripoff of theirs. 😆😅
Designed some community branding, did a sweater design for SWSX, drew some visuals for people. The entire time I was also noodling about the disparate stuff I was seeing.
He was a smarmy, politically motivated little fella who had no intentions of ever leaving Google. He told me that. I didn’t like him from the moment I met him and the feeling was mutual.
I knew it wouldn't go well.
I took the standard vacation time towards the end of the month, except I didn’t really vacation, I worked through all of it.
I had a vision.
To be continued...
I had a lot of admiration and respect for many of them and wish more of them had stayed in touch.
I found him and was able to give him a quick elevator pitch on what I was going for with RTC.
“No, we’re not doing that.”
The whole team would rally around my work.
Just kidding I’ll keep going. 😂
Greg tells me a couple days later “Vic wants to call it North Star. He thinks it will be foundational.”
Me: ??? “I’m going to need to know who, or at least what the feedback is...”
Jim: “They’re just not working and a lot of people are saying that.”
Me: “Dude, what? How am I supposed to work with this?”
Jim: “I don’t know I...”
Jim: “Yeah, ok, sounds good. I’ll put something on the calendar.”
In the early evening I got a call from my dad. My grandmother’s health took a turn for the worst. They weren’t sure she’d make it past the evening.
I was working my ass off, stifling the grief of my dying grandmother, all because of his passive aggressive scheduling. And he was out with our competitors??
Angry is an understatement.
I finished working through tears. I got it done and fell asleep at about 4am.
MOTHERFUCKER ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?
“No worries Jim, let’s do it tomorrow.”
I had to do something about this. This was totally unacceptable to me. I forwarded the email to Greg, like the idiot that I am.
No response. On my commute in, I got a notification of a meeting.
Location: Greg’s Desk
I told him. He patronized me with his stupid fucking nods and his shit-eating grin.
Greg: “So I know that you have big ambitions here. I know you think might want to manage this team.”
I never said that shit.
Me: “Uhhhh, ok? But why aren’t you addressing what I told you? You’re making me feel like I don’t belong here.”
Greg: “I’m not sure you do.”
He laughed and said, “No, but you can go home now.”
What. The. Fuck.
To be continued...
I may sound petty and bitter when referring to Greg and Jim. I am. I’m a human and I wear my heart on my sleeve.
People could tell I wasn’t happy. I could tell they weren’t happy with me anymore. I’d would try to see the project to launch.
These fleeting moments kept me from quitting each day.
I gave my whole spiel and rattled through the deck I had made. Took about 10 minutes.
No acknowledgement of anything I’d just presented.
Is said, “Ok, I’m having trouble seeing how this translates, but I’d love to see what you can do with it.”
I moved on and continued to do my work.
The entire design team was given a $500 allowance to buy any device they wanted. 🤦♂️
The conventional thinking was that “If they made it through the hiring process, then they can figure anything out.” This isn’t true.
I was a huge fan of the “Dear Sophie” ad. Makes me cry every time I see it.
No one else on the team could do it, so I did. It was a trial. Took so much effort. Didn’t matter in the scheme of things.
Now I needed to figure out what was next. I wasn’t planning on leaving. Google is a massive company and it’s relatively trivial to switch teams.
“Hi all, I’m looking to join another team. Thanks for your consideration.”
I sent it. It did make people feel bad 😔
Designing a TV experience has always been a minor fantasy of mine. This team was impressive and I wanted to join them.
I thought, “I hate this company so much.”
I negotiated hard. I got what I felt I was worth. They gave me a signing bonus worth almost as much as the 4-year equity grant from Google.
I sent a resignation email to Greg. He forwarded it to HR within seconds.
I walked past his extended hand, and said “Nah, man.”
I turned around and looked him the eye as I backed out of the door.
The end -