Writing

Software, technology, sysadmin war stories, and more. Feed
Saturday, October 27, 2012

Art and reality collide at a photo shoot

Some time around 2006 or 2007, there was some kind of artist who was associated with one of those magazines which likes to run stories about the "50 best places to work". It might have been Fortune, or it might have been something else. At any rate, this guy wanted to take a picture at Google with a bunch of employees running around doing things.

The catch, of course, is that he wanted to do it from a helicopter. That sounded like fun, so a bunch of us set up entries in our calendars to remind us. When the day arrived, we all trotted on down to Charleston Park at the designated time. There was this guy and he had a couple of assistants. I seem to recall they also had some kind of elevated structure so I guess he could get a feel for things before "taking it up".

They barked out something or other about what they would be doing. Then he went to the field next door, hopped into the chopper, started it, and flew up above the field. This is about the point when they decided to tell us what we should be doing. Apparently we weren't supposed to act like there was a gigantic flying machine hovering right there over us creating a serious wind. Or maybe we were. I don't know, exactly.

We couldn't tell what they wanted because there was a helicopter making a ton of noise right on top of us. Clearly, they had not thought this one through.

Situations like this remind me of a classic Simpsons episode. They've set up a new message board outside the nuclear power plant to say what's going on. The last one is "Core explosion. Repent sins". Homer says something like "If the core explodes, there won't be any power to light that sign!"

You're going to make a gigantic noise, and then you're going to get angry at us for not following your shouted instructions that we can't hear due to your noise? Absolutely brilliant.