A Quora thread has popped up in which Google employees past and present have been airing their grievances about working for the AdWords distribution company, er, search giant. The grievances are various and plenty. Taken as a whole, the thread expresses a sentiment that Google is nothing like how it used to be when it was a scrappy young startup. Rather, it’s much more like a stereotypical, corporate-American workplace infested with immaturity, arrogance, and mediocrity, if the thread is to be believed.
“I’d say the relentless daily mediocre thinking of middle management types who are completely focused on metrics to the exclusion of all other factors,” summarized one Quora user, presumably a genuine Google employee. “They don’t want to rock the boat, they don’t know how to inspire their workforce, and they rely far too much on the Google name and reputation to do that for them.”
Another major gripe was about the size of the company–too big, it seems. Some employees feel they can’t make a difference in such an anonymous environment, one in which overqualified workers do under-interesting tasks like answer customer service tickets for Google-owned social network Orkut. “Google is an incredible machine that prints money thanks to AdWords,” wrote another Quora user/Google employee. “Unless you are an amazingly talented engineer who gets to create something new, chances are you’re simply a guy/girl with an oil can greasing the cogs of that machine.”
The gab fest is rife with delicious gossip morsels. Check out the Quora thread for the full buffet, including complaints about disrespect towards temps, the fact that employees can’t work from home, too much drinking going on, a lack of focus on good visual design, overpopulated cubicle spaces, an obsession with trivia like whether there should be massage chairs in the nap room, and much more. We advise you to take it all with a grain of salt; we all need to let off steam once in a while. Then again, Google might just be a real-world incarnation of Office Space