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An Imagined Interview with a Google Bus Rider Using Only the Google Talking Points
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Telegraph | January 21, 2014
We asked the hard questions. He gave the approved answers.
Google isn't feeling so lucky these days. In advance of today's MTA hearing on the proposed pilot program to regulate the tech industry's commuter shuttles, the company's Transportation Team issued talking points to employees who may be testifying in support of the program. Using the actual talking points, we conducted an imagined interview with a Googler over $4 toast and single-origin espresso. Here's the transcript.
San Francisco: You moved here last August after getting your MBA at Wharton and deciding that you didn't want to work at Goldman Sachs after all. You paid $17,000 per month over the asking price for an apartment that had recently housed a commune of gender-queer performance artists who, under rent control, were paying $13 a month for it, freeing them up to spend their time protesting the phallocentrism of HBO's Looking and planning for and/or recovering from Burning Man. How do you feel about your impact on the City?
Random Googler: I am so proud to live in San Francisco and be a part of this community.
Since you moved into the neighborhood, the following businesses have been forced to shutter because of skyrocketing rents: An indie bookshop, a mom-and-pop hardware store, a pop-and-pop record store, and a tie-dye t-shirt assembly plant, each of them in continuous operation since at least 1912. How do you feel about this?
I support local and small businesses in my neighborhood on a regular basis.
Let's talk about the bus. Sure it's convenient for you, but you have to admit that it is a little insidious for a dark-tinted window private bus to be using the Muni stops.
My shuttle empowers my colleagues and I to reduce our carbon emissions by removing cars from the road.
But do you really like riding like a sultan above the rest of community?
My shuttle empowers my colleagues and I.
Couldn't you just live in the South Bay or take Caltrain?
If the shuttle program didn’t exist, I would continue to live in San Francisco and drive to work on the peninsula.
What would happen if the protestors ever succeeded in shutting down the bus program entirely?
I would continue to live in San Francisco and drive to work on the peninsula.
Do you feel obliged to give back to the community?
I am a shuttle rider, SF resident, and I volunteer on a regular basis.
Where? Where do you volunteer?
Do you ever worry about your impact on folks on the margins here in the city?
I volunteer on a regular basis.
What do you think the solution is?
The peninsula empowers my colleagues and I by removing the neighborhood from San Francisco.
Sorry? I think you mixed up your talking points there.
I urge the Board to adopt this pilot as a reasonable step in the right direction
Thought you might say that.