So that you’re shifting to San Jose. Congratulations, you’re shifting to San… | by Meg Furey
Image courtesy Steve Shook (FCC)
C.Congratulations, you are moving to San Jose. By the time you’re reading this, you likely have a letter of offer from a tech company in your hand and are probably looking for information about the city of your future home, the city that you will uproot your family for after convincing your husband or wife that “this one.” Step could change everything. “
During your first few weeks in San Jose, PeopThey will ask you where you live and whether or not you bought your house. This question is going to seem invasive – it is – but you will soon find that this is the kind of question people of San Jose regularly ask.
As you work in the tech industry, you will find that very few or your employees unlike you live within the San Jose city limits. Instead, they live in neighboring suburbs like Campbell, or other places like Boulder Creek, Menlo Park, or even San Francisco. This means that they just don’t care if they are campaigning for affordable housing in the city they do business in because they have nothing to invest. There are no families of six or more sharing a two-bedroom apartment in their neighborhood for $ 3,600.
Of course, it’s assumed you work for one of the big three companies – Google, Apple, or Facebook – or a start-up that produces a new app whose logo and web address someone spotted on someone else’s t-shirt.
If people ask why you moved here they will tell them it was for a job and everyone will “naturally” nod their heads. You will reach out to your husband for more information about his new position, but he will smile and explain that it is not him. It is his wife who found the opportunity. He will rub your back in the spot that tensions every time you have this conversation.
According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only 20 percent of executives, officers and management positions are held by women in the US high-tech industry. The reasons? Inhospitable work cultures, sexual harassment, long working hours and little to no career opportunities.
Of course, it’s assumed you work for one of the big three companies – Google, Apple, or Facebook – or a start-up that produces a new app whose logo and web address someone spotted on someone else’s t-shirt. Tech folks like to represent their company t-shirts, and you’ll think it’s just as cool as wearing the tour t-shirt of the band whose concert you’re watching. You will likely be irritated by coworkers who carry corporate loot every day.
As a woman who works in the technical field in Silicon Valley, please heed this warning. According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only 20 percent of executives, officers and management positions are held by women in the US high-tech industry. The reasons? Inhospitable work cultures, sexual harassment and little to no opportunities for advancement.
With very few women in positions of power, you are sometimes criticized for being too open or too direct. You might be asked to smile more or rename yourself as someone more pleasant, less feminist, someone with a better sense of humor. If you don’t do it, you will be frozen out of meetings and isolated.
If this happens to you, don’t let the bastards get you down. Take this opportunity to learn what can and will happen when your voice is not heard.
Tired after a long day of standing up for yourself, you will be tempted to rely on apps to deliver groceries that you can easily pick up yourself. Keep in mind, however, that certain things were not made for delivery – a hot meal is one of them.
Make a point to leave your office before dark. Yes, if your commuting home from a job outside of San Jose the walk will be long, but if you make sure you leave before the sun goes down, you won’t miss its purples and pinks over the golden foothills, and you Let your mind slide to a place beyond the screens and standing desks that will take away your attention and your ability to wonder. We don’t lose the feeling of amazement in our childhood. We’re free to give it up – a seemingly unfair deal if you give yourself the time to really think about it.
Tired after a long day of standing up for yourself, you will be tempted to rely on apps to deliver groceries that you can easily pick up yourself. Keep in mind, however, that certain things were not made for delivery – a hot meal is one of them. You will find that many people here don’t mind if they are limp or lukewarm. In fact, most restaurants only serve as pick up points for takeout orders. Their tables and chairs are mostly empty, even under huge television screens that do not entice guests to eat. Find a small Indian restaurant or a hole in the wall Thai Joint – they are everywhere – and eat there with your partner. They need mutual support more than ever.
Although San Jose is the tenth largest city in the United States, it rarely looks like this, as the streets are almost always empty, making many areas feel like a place forgotten and strangely preserved by time.
You should remember that the people who live in San Jose are not the companies that rent space in San Jose. Not everyone here is consumed by capitalist aspirations. Although San Jose is the tenth largest city in the United States, it rarely looks like this, as the streets are almost always empty, making many areas feel like a place forgotten and strangely preserved by time. Huge, lonely malls with the same combinations of TJ Maxx / HomeGoods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Buybuy Baby, and Buffalo Wild Wings; empty cinemas in abandoned shopping malls; cloudy vape shops; and old looking Chinese food stalls.
In San Jose, you’ll find glass blowers, hairdressers, future grandfathers, grocery store clerks, security guards, and local activists, many of whom would leave this town if they could but are bound by the duty of aging parents or parents to custody, live paycheck to paycheck and hoping to make ends meet. You will learn about their lives as you step away from your phone and chat with the other people who are driving in your Uber or Lyft.
Contrary to what you see here, you don’t need phones to ride the elevator, stand in line, or use a zebra crossing. You certainly don’t need them if you are using a public or office toilet.
Most likely, San Jose isn’t your forever home. You have planned to use it as a step up or to a bigger opportunity in a city that better suits your desires. You can even tire of the tech-dependent kind and walk on your own. Most do. But for the people who actually live here and call this place home, try your best to obey the camping rule: get out of town the way you found it, or maybe just a little better. Because it’s not San Jose’s fault that San Jose can’t have beautiful things.