A few years ago while on tour, I was given the chance to take a tour of the Google offices in Minneapolis, I think. (The city started with a M. Beyond that, it’s a blur.) The intent had been to chat with their reader group, but it fell apart to lunch at their legendary spread, and then because of a miscommunication, cupcakes in their lunchroom.
It was all very nice, and I enjoyed the tour as the young, late 20 something showed me around their various themed areas, proud of the fact that there was food available everywhere within a few paces of everyone’s desk. There were foozeball tables, and a slide to get from level to level, a place to do yoga, or just be alone. One section you could bring your dog in, and another had subdued lighting with leaf shadows on the floor. If you wanted, you could take your laptop to a brightly lit area that was set up like a living room to do your work in. It was all very nice, and as we went along, the woman seemed to be getting more and more frustrated that I wasn’t falling over myself with “ooh!” “Nice!” “I wish I had that!” Because, ah, apart from the foozeball table and slide, I did. I took for granted that my dogs were going to be a silent company, or that I had fresh caffeine steps away, or if I needed to step out for a moment into a garden to distract my mind so it would work better, that I could.
I think it’s great there’s a place you can go to work and be in an environment that you can work efficiently in, where they know creativity is born in various stimuli, not forced out like toothpaste by four walls and the latest software. But I’ve got one thing that they don’t. At least no one showed me.
My music is cranked this morning, shaking the windows as I sit at my desk. It won’t be quaking long, but the pounding of another crafter’s message into my psyche is singularly the best way to free the shackles. Always has been, way back to the communal fire, the storyteller’s stage.
And then it goes quiet apart from the soft scratch and click as brain-noise turns to text.
Perhaps Google should put in a music room. . . .