Atta Ikede

July 16, 2008

Just shy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 10:44 pm

Big companies like Google, Yahoo, etc. offer shuttle bus services from various points in San Francisco out to the corporate campuses in the valley to ease employee commutes. These shuttle buses are just regular coach buses that are presumably outfitted with wifi or something so that the nerds on board have something to occupy themselves with.

Taking a bus like that is definitely more convenient than the public transit alternative or driving, especially for people who live at the north or west ends of the city. The highway and rail transit services only really serve the central and southern part of the city so us suckers living in the other areas have to first fight through city traffic (or take the bus) to get to the highway/rail transit and then join the rest of the commuters to get to our destination.

Luckily I work in downtown San Francisco and so am spared any sort of commute. hehe!

Anyway, my morning route takes me past a Google shuttle bus pickup spot.

First of all, how do I know it’s a Google pickup spot? Well, I’ve been taking the same bus for 3 months now, and there are people lined up at that corner pretty much every morning, and i’ve seen them enough times to have spotted significant amounts of Google paraphernelia and an absence of other tech brands that I can conclude it’s a Google stop. (ah … the old confusion between spot and stop strikes again.)

Secondly, why am I spending all this energy describing this stop/spot? Umm, I don’t know. That was totally tangential. What I was really trying to talk about is the people I see lining up at the Google spot. Stop.

The bus crowd is quite lively. People who get on the bus in pairs or groups obviously chat with each other but everybody else is quiet and occupied. Everybody is busy doing something — reading a book, fiddling with ipods, playing with their blackberries, flicking through content on their iphones, whatever.

The bus stops across the street from the Google pickup spot, and I usually have a seat on the side of the bus facing the Google lineup (it’s the sunny side), and so I usually get a nice little chance to observe the lineup.

The interesting thing about that lineup is that those people are totally dead to the world! They just stand next to each other, staring straight ahead or at their feet. There are usually 3 to 6 people waiting there when my bus goes by and it’s rare to even see somebody fiddling with a gadget. I’ve never seen these people talk to each other or have any sort of animation. Granted, i’m only seeing them for like 30 seconds, but still! I’ve been getting that 30 second glimpse for the last 3 months and i’ve NEVER seen a conversation! I’ve also yet to see somebody reading a book!

I dunno. The impetus to blog about this came today when I saw the lineup again in the morning, this time with about 6 people and I noticed that one curly haired girl in the middle of the lineup was madly scrolling through something on her blackberry. i could clearly make out that distinctive thumb flick from across the street! She was definitely excited about something! Suddenly I though to myself “ah .. she must be in marketing”, and then suddenly I realized wow .. that was atypical.

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1 Comment »

  1. wow, this is an interesting post to read

    Comment by picnic buddy — July 17, 2008 @ 12:27 pm


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