I Used To Work At Google. Now I Flip Burgers.

SwitchUpCB, PhD
5 min readJan 28

“Do you want fries with that?” The customer in front of me had just finished ordering. Management says that you can never be too sure. So you have to ask... I just give the people what they want. Of course, that always backfires on me.

I remember the day that a lone Google Recruiter came marching into my life. It’s so unsuspecting to see the words “Direct Hire” in the subject line of your inbox after four months have passed since you applied. No time to complain though. You get one chance. I took it. Five rounds later, I became a Noogler.

The team I was placed on was called Area 120, Google’s Internal Incubator. Area 120 was a place where any Googler could pitch an idea and get it funded: You hire a team. Obtain cash. Then get 6 months to prove yourself to the world. Successful products get “acquired” by Google and provided dedicated time. You end up with loads of money when all goes well.

On my first week of the job, Google was reported to “slash its internal incubator by 50%.” No one reached out to see if I was OK. That’s fine. My manager — who worked at Google for 9 years — told me that this information was inaccurate: We actually closed 7 out of 15 projects and started 4 new ones, leading to a total of 15% “reduction of headcount envelope”. She just loves that phrase 😊.

94 days later, she was out the door. On that same day, I attempted to login only to receive a weird authentication error. That’s when I knew I was gone too. Area 120 was shut down. Every person apart of it, let go… I didn’t even get to prove myself.

For weeks, my manager has expressed what no one else dared to say: “Google is TOO FUCKING FAT! We don’t even manage out our low performers… Instead, we let them sit on the couch all day and pile up SHIT.” She made a wish that we would become a company to let go the “lower 5% performers” on a yearly basis. I agreed. Who cares about low performers?

I’ll never be considered one…

Google is an amazing company to work for. I loved every day and every week I spent there. But at the end of the day, I was the one saying…