This is my two cents on the Google Drama, in the aftermath of them firing James Damore. It’s necessary to know the story before you begin reading my response, so here it is:
It’s amazing how many people have misunderstood & utterly failed to comprehend the long memo written by now former Google employee James Damore. He made a point in his response to being fired, published in the WSJ, which is lost on far too many, and that is the culture that is Google. I’m sorry, but Google can hardly claim to be a mere “employer”. They have a campus with residential dwellings for employees. Meals are free in the cafeteria & rival those of some restaurants I hear. You can bring your beloved pets and/or children to work – they have daycare & petcare for employees. Employees can take a nap if needed – there’s a place for that. They pay well & have stellar benefits which cater to any family type. There are people who’d perform certain favors to work there if they could. Google is a way of life. You can’t fart without someone there to make sure the smell doesn’t disrupt the ambiance of their workspa. Those are just a few benefits.
When you, as an “employer” & business entity, are so deeply entrenched into the lives of your employees (a misnomer too really, but I digress), you don’t get to hide behind the subterfuge of the normal rules of so called discrimination & political etiquette, that “normal” employers adhere to. And Damore didn’t discriminate against anyone. He wrote the 20 page memo in a work environment that allows such free time for innovation & creativity. Google isn’t just a place to work – it’s literally home too, for some. If Google hasn’t cleared the blurred lines between work & home in its policies, there’s a very good case to be made in his defense.
Folks, this is silly and outrageous. You don’t get to have so much room as an employer to involve yourself fully into the lives of your employees then abandon them when outsiders peep in & don’t understand. Google isn’t an employer, they’re not even in loco parentis, heck they ARE the parents. Shame on them for cutting the umbilical cord instead of being as nurturing as they’ve been in every other aspect of their employees lives, work-relatedness notwithstanding.
Until next musing,
Talitha K. McEachin