From December 2013

This sensationalist story (first spotted on SFist) was just too outrageous not to post: the BBC has a profile on homeless Google employees:

An ex-Google worker has revealed how he lived at the firm’s campus in Mountain View, California, for 54 weeks between 2005 and 2006, kicking off a trend.

Matthew Weaver told the BBC that he had been dared to spend a year based out of a campervan parked on one of the company’s lots.

He added that while he believed he was the first to do so, several others later followed his lead.

The story then goes on to detail the many perks these “homeless” Googlers enjoyed on the Mountain View campus while living out of vans and cars. It makes a kind of weird sense; why get a real home when all the vitals are available at your job—laundry, food, showers, foosball tables?

Although this quote from one of the Google employees does offer some reason for getting a room of one’s own:

He added that he had been comfortable with the lifestyle, but eventually moved out because it had become “a bit weird” to explain it to women he was dating.

The story doesn’t really go into why exactly all these employees opted to do this. Was rent so unaffordable elsewhere? Were the company’s famed perks too enticing to be separated from? But an amusing read nonetheless.

Daniel Hirsch

Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top...

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6 Comments

  1. Actually, this is pretty smart…and also accentuates the poor work/life balance of some of these employees….remember when computers were supposed to make “work more efficient” so long hours wouldn’t be so necessary? Ah…America…

    1. i have news for you. That 1960’s dream that computers and robots would mean that we could all get by by working two days a week was always a myth.

      The rest of the world is hungry for your job and will work for less, so don’t take that nose off the grindstone, buddy, or you will find that you are very very replaceable.

      You are only worth the value you add. So, do you feel lucky?

      1. Unless you’re Sam/John, who has his tenants doing all the work and sending him the money so he can troll the local blogs 24/7. But, oh, the value he adds to society!

        1. Providing homes in a city with a well documented housing shortage is probably the most generous and noble profession of all.

          And I’d be willing to bet that you owe your ability to live in Sf to someone like me.

          But I ask for nothing in return.

        2. Russo, you are just a plain idiot. All you do is insult people with nothing to add. What do you do for a living? How often have you spent extra time to learn, educate yourself to get a better job so you don’t have to work as hard? Without landlords, 2/3’s of this city would be homeless you ignorant troll. Some people take the risk to invest in a building in hopes of working less. How many people do you employ? Why don’t you buy a building and give below market rent to all the tenants?

  2. There is at least a bit of irony in the condemnation of owners removing rental housing from the market and the simultaneous condemnation of them for being owners of rental housing.

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