The other night I was bent over my MacBook programming a Joomla! CMS component for one of my other websites when my roommate duly informed me that Bravo was teaming up with Randi Zuckerberg to come out with a Silicon Valley reality TV series. I paused for a moment, three letters formed in my mind—WTF?!—as I considered the implications, and then laughed. Bravo won’t be getting this right. I went back to programming.
If you watch the video, a woman remarks at 1:30 that: “Silicon Valley is like high school, but its only smart kids and everyone has a lot of money.” I know of only one company in the valley that fits that description.
When I worked eight months at the help desk call center for Google in 2007, the pecking order was quite obvious: engineers and mangers worked directly for the company and everyone else worked for the vendors.
The engineers and managers were mostly twenty-somethings hired straight out of college who looked like the uber-elite crowd from high school. Especially all the hot-hot-hot women running around the place. I’m surprised that Playboy have never done a photo shoot of the hot-hot-hot women at Google. No high school would be complete without a sparkling vampire—*cough* Al Gore *cough*—hanging around the campus to give it some sizzle.
As for everyone else, we worked for the vendors who provided all the services that made the company run. We weren’t young, sexy and rich. I was a fat white guy who answered the phone to explain to these young engineers that the reason their computer didn’t work was because they haven’t turned it on. (I reassured upset engineers that Google was developing all the Star Trek technologies that they seen on the TV reruns.) Those phone calls were the highlight of my unglamorous days.
What Bravo wants is the soap opera that can overwhelm and destroy a Silicon Valley company.
Only once did I get sucked into that at Google. The lead field tech screamed at me over the phone for 15 minutes for my obvious lack of training in handling a particular ticket. He really needed to talk to my supervisor but vented at me instead as I was professionally obligated to stay above the fray when answering the phones. That moronic behavior rattled me enough that my supervisor sent me home with pay. My supervisor’s boss later explained that the field techs were under duress because their jobs might be moved from Google (cool) to a vendor (not cool). I was happy to get out after the stock price peaked in December 2007 and started a long slide into the Great Recession. I later heard that those were unhappy times for the young, sexy and not so rich crowd.
When the new show does air, I’ll be blogging about every episode of the young and the restless in Silicon Valley. Bravo won’t be getting this right. This should be fun for those of us who know better.