dinsdag 3 mei 2011

De scanners van Google dragen gele badges

Wat een raar verhaal van Andrew Wilson over de mensen die de scanners voor Google Books bedienen. Wilson was in 2007 dienst bij Transvideo Studios en Google, het wordt niet helemaal duidelijk wat hij deed op de Google-campus, maar naast het gebouw waar hij in werkte, werden blijkbaar boeken gescand.
However, a fourth class exists at Google that involves strictly data-entry labor, or more appropriately, the labor of digitizing. These workers are identifiable by their yellow badges, and they go by the team name ScanOps. They scan books, page by page, for Google Book Search. The workers wearing yellow badges are not allowed any of the privileges that I was allowed – ride the Google bikes, take the Google luxury limo shuttles home, eat free gourmet Google meals, attend Authors@Google talks and receive free, signed copies of the author’s books, or set foot anywhere else on campus except for the building they work in. They also are not given backpacks, mobile devices, thumb drives, or any chance for social interaction with any other Google employees. Most Google employees don’t know about the yellow badge class.
A week later I approached a few of them to see if they would be willing to have a conversation in the near future about their jobs. The first girl mostly ignored me and started talking to someone on her cell phone. Two other young men said they’d be happy to talk about their work and accepted business cards with my email address. Another young man I approached was also willing to discuss his work. About the job, he briefly said that “it’s not what I want to be doing but it pays the bills.” Before I could give him my email address, a very agitated chubby white male with a red badge wedged himself between us and demanded that I show him my badge and tell him who my manager was. He told me the yellow-badged workers were “extremely confidential people” doing “extremely confidential work”, and I was standing in an “extremely confidential area”. He then reprimanded the yellow-badge worker for talking to me.
En uiteindelijk wordt Wilson onder druk van Google ontslagen door Transvideo Studios.
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