Working for Google, arguably the most powerful corporate entity of the Information Age, isn’t the perfect techno-Utopian fantasy that it may appear to be.
Working at Google involved a whole lot of “eating Google food, with Google coworkers, wearing Google gear, talking in Google acronyms, sending Google emails on Google phones,” according to former account manager Joe Cannella. It’s an environment in which you are given just about anything you could ask for, but “costs you the only things that actually matter in the end.”
Middle management politics are reportedly ruthless, because everyone is already overqualified. Google accepts nothing but the best, even for the most mundane jobs. You can work for eight years with little hope of promotion, because everyone in the building is gaming for the sweet spots.
Google cares about little beyond concrete, measurable success. Projects can be cancelled on a whim, and just because a person is brilliant and innovative doesn’t mean they have remotely effective leadership skills. It often seems to create a culture of chaos and self-advancement that can leave incompetent geniuses in positions of power that they have no idea how to effectively exercise.
There are dozens more embittered observations, but none that should be taken without a grain of salt. These seem to feature predominantly ex-employees, who would have good reason to disparage a place in which they’re no longer welcome. Still, it does provide a certain measure of insight into what can lurk beneath even the most polished facade.
In the words of one unnamed source, “It’s like never-never land — people never grow up.”
Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.