Visiting Techie Town

Intel Touch Screen Computer

Intel Touch Screen Computer

Over the years we’ve grown quite comfortable using Google’s services. Let’s face it –  they do make it easy. What could be simpler than their Plain Jane website that puts the world at your fingertips? What could be better?

Well, Google really disappointed me for the first time yesterday and I am heartbroken.

We finally made time to take a much needed mini-vacation to the Silicon Valley and a visit to California’s Great America. On our way to check into our room at the Embassy Suites we couldn’t believe our luck. AMD, Yahoo, Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, and other big techie  businesses just flew past our car window.

Yahoo Front Desk

Yahoo Front Desk

We decided right then that we couldn’t leave the area without visiting a few businesses on Monday, since California’s Great America was closed. I am so grateful to have found the Intel Museum. While it wasn’t Great America, it was educational, fun and interactive, we all enjoyed our visit and it didn’t cost us a dime. The rest of the day, we wouldn’t be so lucky.

Yahoo's Purple Cow

Yahoo's Purple Cow

Our  second stop was Yahoo, since it was closest to our location. It seemed that everywhere we turned we would find another Yahoo office location.

Yahoo Prime Grade A eMAIL Cow

Yahoo's eMAIL Cow

We found the visitor’s entrance easily but sadly, the lobby was empty, there was no one to greet us. Instead we found a sign, instructing vistors to  please sign in. Well darn. We were infomed by an employee who happened by that Yahoo does have a store, where we could purchase  Yahoo products. At another location. Oh well, back in the car. 🙂

Yahoo's Purple Chair

Unfortunately, the clothing was either a size small or  2XL, too small or too big. I purchased a very large shirt to use as nightwear.

Yahoo Purple Fire Hydrant

We were disappointed but left in good spirits. We were on our way to  visit  the Googleplex and couldn’t wait to get there.  The first  impending sign of doom came by way of a fire hydrant  that had been painted Yahoo purple only a block away from Google’s main office. We were perplexed. We drove to the end of Ampitheiter Way, then turned around and headed back to the last entrance to Google.

Google Plex

We found a sign for visitor parking and headed down the walkway. We showed up at lunchtime, there were people everywhere. It was almost like we were invisible, no one said hello, no one even gave us a second glance. We tried door after door, looking for a visitor center. The “No Name Cafe” was busy, the food both looked and smelled delicious. I was hoping beyond hope that the cafeteria was open to the public, but alas I had clung to false hope.

Google has Quality Bugs

Not only was the “No Name Cafe” open to employee’s only. The entire place, including the visitors lobby we finally found tucked back in the corner requiring a badge to enter. I finally located a phone and tried three times to reach a real person, only to be informed that “Google is a closed campus.” If you don’t have an appointment, you don’t get in.

I still can’t believe we drove all that way, only to be turned away by large, cold, uncaring, super-techie’s that are far too busy to say hello and spare a few moments of their time.

Google's 'Got Badge?' sign

When we arrived back home, we checked online again. Surely, Google must have a visitor’s center with a gift shop somewhere? We were right, they have one in New York. That simply doesn’t make any sense to me — none at all. Google has a massive amount of office space. You can’t tell me that in a place that size, they couldn’t manage to squeeze out a few hundred feet to put a face to such a public company.

You know, I don’t think anyone in the Silicon Valley smiles and I find that really sad. It seemed that everywhere we went, people were unhappy, in a hurry and couldn’t be bothered to give a wave or say hello. You would think the people at Great America would all be bright and chipper, after all they get to listen to all that terrific music all day long and meet new people. All I saw was a sea of frowns on their faces.

Grandma had some terrific advice, “When you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” So, that’s exactly what I did.

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