Deep Down in Silicon Valley


The picture above is from my first day at school. My mom, oddly fearful of people in the future not knowing who was pictured or what was going on, staged the scene with my name and a questionable “school” sign. This may be the first time I ever had to wear a nametag. 

My mom always says, “If you don’t have to wear a name tag at work, you really made it.”

By her standards I made it years ago, but by Bay Area standards, I’m in my second week of making it: I work for a tech company that’s paying me well. I’m still adjusting to the job, but it seems great so far and the switch to technical writing and editing from mostly sales and CPG copy has been stimulating. 

It’s been fun to see the Silicon Valley stereotypes up close. I take two trains to get in to the office and get a lot of people watching in. One of the things I’ve noticed is how popular fancier versions of the classic Clark’s desert boot are for men. I’ve always gone in for the regular beeswax brown or black leather options, but dudes down here wear all manner of oddly colored and contrast stitched shoes. 

Plaid shirts or branded t-shirts are the norm for men. Women tend towards modest and patterned business casual. They are, on the whole less schlubby than their male counterparts. 

All manner of accessories are employed to better manage the commute. I’ve seen a smorgasbord of laptop backpacks, motorized skateboards and noise cancellation headphones in the last two weeks. It’s like a Sharper Image couture show. 

Personally, I haven’t changed really anything about my gear, but I do have my eyes on some nicer headphones (piped in office music is extremely distracting to me when I’m writing) and those Mission Workshop bags look pretty sturdy. I’d like to get myself a cool bicycle built up, but my trusty old Diamondback is holding up just fine. 

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