I am not an expert. I have not dedicated countless hours and days and months and years to the profession of Finance and Bidness. My use of the word “Business” should be proof enough. I am not a cut-throat tactician with a penthouse office and thousands of shares of an up and coming company destined for billions. I am not the end all discussion or even the infallible word of this valley and all it promises, and destroys.
I am Rye, a staunch observer. I guess you could call me an expert observer. From my little cardboard shield as Master of Games to plastic shield as Master of Quality Assurance I have watched. Creepy? Maybe a bit. Extremely enriching and edifying? Absolutely. I observe, I listen and I watch. I feel as though so many people forget so many things so much of the day, that what I do could almost be an appreciable bidness profession. Professional Observer and Watcher. Still sounds a bit creepy to me, maybe, Senior Efficiency Officer, that sounds better. Because if there’s one thing observing, learning and watching has taught me, is the painful obvious faults people repeat constantly.
This little beginning isn’t about the faults, we’ll get to that later. I’m more interested in starting off with a question and a lovely bulleted (why is WordPress convinced this isn’t a word, is beyond me) list of answers/notes.
Is the rest of the nation (USA) wondering why all these dog-eat-dog migrants are invading their towns/cities? (By Migrants I mean those considered at or below the poverty line -now six figures in the bay area- who are leaving the Valley in droves)
I definitely know Oregon and Washington are becoming more and more irked by the timeless march of those disposed by the Silicon Valley. It’s a Grapes of Wrath story except Californian’s, especially those of the Bay Area are escaping to find better lives in a place far less expensive and more homely. Soon the nation and maybe even continent will be filled with those chewed up and spit out by the grinding machine of the Bay Area.
With those happy thoughts bouncing around in your noggin lets get to understanding this paradox of “making the world a better place,” and then making it impossible to live in the Bay Area by understanding a few rules (or guidelines may be a better description).
- If you’re not making heaps of profit, you’ve lost.
-Honestly this goes without saying. The next bullet will certainly explain what I’m about to type out here, but putting aside the veil of “enriching and enhancing human lives” if you’re profit numbers, exp as I like to see it, is too low then you’re destined for the poor house. There are people living out of Trailers on the side of suburban streets that can’t afford a house but are trying to rake in as much dough as possible. It’s becoming a regular thing and I think that should illustrate this point/guideline/unofficial rule best.
- Brand yourself or whatever you’re hawking as “enriching and making the world a better place.”
-This applies almost everywhere nowadays but damn does the Valley have this down to a science. People inhale these products that usually don’t help anything and then get quite P.O’ed when it turns out the product is pretty much garbage. I still wind up amazed by people who feel betrayed or personally screwed with. Don’t get mad at the major companies, their loyalty is and always will be to the investors and shareholders, the end.
- Act nice at all times, function as a cut-throat opportunist along with the former.
-I recently had the estimable pleasure of having a long time friend use HR worthy corporate jargon on me as I was starting a bidness venture. He was worried about an S.O. being screwed and so he dropped into the friendly faced sharp toothed grin of HR personnel. It was infinitely astounding to see that transpire. We had always been friends that could speak frankly with one another, that was a learning experience for me.
- Trust no one.
-I’m afraid that philanthropists and philosophers would be enraged by this notion, but its nevertheless truer now than the comprehensible past. I’m sure many will call me a pessimist, but there are just too many horror stories of friends effing over another for a small bit of cash to really disprove this.
You certainly don’t see other creatures fuck over one another for percentage points…
- Greed is acceptable and an integral driving force, as long as you don’t call it “greed.”
-I wanted to call this one, “Greed is eternal” but I don’t want to blatantly rip off a Sci-Fi franchise that’s used this. If ever you want to see where where we’re possibly headed I would recommend watching Star Trek, there’s a race that absolutely mirrors the Valley perfectly.
- Be generous, so long as the long term justifies the generosity.
-I have broken, and continue to break, this guideline constantly. I cover expenses for my friends, I doll out the green, I bring the supplies and take a bigger hit on my finances, so my friends and I can enjoy ourselves. I’ve done this strictly so we can all relax and not worry about who will cover whom. I feel a constant anxiety and nervous breakdown around every corner, I would not recommend my lifestyle but rather generosity for an end gain.
He also gave out a bunch of rings for free…with some ambitions to go along with them :3
- Be as selfish as possible, just don’t brag about it.
-Try to scrounge every little cent, but while doing so make the claim “I have kids to raise,” or “I’m trying to get through college” or better yet “I’m poor AF and no one ever helped me in my time of need.” What else can you do, only the massively wealthy can be free with their money and usually they aren’t.
- Treat your friends as temporary but hold on to them for as long as you can.
-I’ve lost a good deal of friends, either from early deaths or irreconcilable differences…like a divorce I suppose. It seems the aforementioned rule coupled with this one…err or guideline, makes for friendships in the Valley. Don’t worry it will be coming to a city near you! Either way, selfishness and close eared indifference along with seeing friends as just a temporary status has made for both shocked observation on my side as well as feelings of betrayal. I’ve seen some close buds or gals completely betray or screw over another, for no better reason sometimes than they wanted to. Even now I’m still surprised after so many times of this. The best bet for most is to not think about it as that would only create a vicious circle in your head with no end.
- Claim that people matter but know that absolutely no one does.
-Over and over I hear two things here “it is what it is,” which has bothered me for reasons I wont get into, and “Look out for number one,” of course number one is you. I didn’t include best friends or family because I’m including it here, and they’re optional. I’ve read, seen and heard horror stories of family screwing over family, especially narcissistic parents, and experienced it a bit in my own family, extended, luckily. A common theme in the Valley is look out for yourself and only yourself.
- No one knows better, but claim you do with steadfastness.
-Honestly, the most aged CEO to the 12 year old that’s finally formed some logical coherent thought are about at the same level of awareness. I’ve met Marketing Executives and real top tier leaders that made such watered down grandiose statements that parallel preteen wishful thinking that I first take it as a joke…then see the reality. I am absolutely part of this group like everyone else, I’m just a bit more cynical (ok really cynical) about everything.
- People love cynics and hate optimists.
-Ever heard someone say “well it could be so much worse, at least you have [insert bland everyday appliance here].” Over and over again people, myself many a time, roll their eyes at these people and get borderline frustrated at these supposed optimists. Cynics on the other hand will say “trust no bitch,” and many will laugh and many will nod their heads in agreements. A curious paradox where the optimists are just trying to make this Shit world less shit and the cynics only show it for what it is, shit. Than again, “misery loves company” as they say.
- Drive as fast as possible to get where you want as fast as possible.
-Slow drivers are either old or not from around here but are quickly getting the hang of it. L.A. is one thing when it comes to traffic, but the Valley has road rage and sociopathic drivers that would put Boston to shame. Don’t believe me? Drive on the 101, 880 or 280 during any time at 8-9 AM and 4-6 PM going north in the morning and south in the afternoon.
- The Bay Area is for bidnesses, not people.
-Regardless if a bidness say so, they do not see people as a part of life, they see margins and investors/shareholders. These facets of the Bay Area do not see human beings as human beings rather as supply and demand. I’ve honestly received shocked stares when I mention something along the line of “Well what about the people who live here,” as if the word “People” means something entirely different to bidness and the commercial market.
I’ve always seen this image as more of “Plow over whoever and whatever to get that extra small margin.” Though I know some economist major will refute and most likely fight me on that, even physically probably.
Think I’m wrong? I most definitely may be wrong, but whereas my eyes are open just enough to see that, are yours? Still disagree? …hmmm
More than anything I know that this is full of ironies. But the best part is if you know me personally all those ironies I make apparent and point some out that you may have missed. This has nothing to do with politics, but hoo-boy is that another can-of-shitworms, this is just the sad sad reality we’ve slowly descended into…or maybe not so sadly…who knows? In either case I see this as an ongoing ritual. I know there are far more rules (sorry, guidelines) to implement for the Bay Area and soon to everywhere else, but frankly this has taken weeks already to go over. Doubtless, I’ll be adding another set in the not-so-distant future. And while I wanted to keep it on the spectrum of ten per release, I just couldn’t help throwing another one or two up there.
Take cover from the Barrage,