Googlers Reveal How They Lived at California HQ for Months

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Credit: Kristina Alexanderson via Flickr

A number of former Google employees have taken to an online forum to compete over who has lived the longest at the internet giant's HQ.

A user on the Quora website asked: "Which Googler holds the record for living at Google HQ?" before going on to receive several replies.

The forthcoming ex-Googlers outlined how they managed to live at the Google Campus in Mountain View, California, often for months on end, without being kicked off.

Google's onsite gyms, showers, restaurants (with free food) and laundry facilities all made it possible, the former employees said.

It's understood that Google doesn't technically permit staff to stay on its campus for more than 72 hours but it seems that a large number of staff get around this by staying in cars or campervans.

"I lived in a Volvo station wagon for about three months," wrote Brandon Oxendine, who helped design the way Google Profiles work.

Oxendine said he lived in one of Google's underground car parks between June and September 2012.

"I set up a twin mattress from IKEA and put up black curtains (on the 90 percent blacked out windows) and slept there mostly every night until I moved in with my buddy (an ex Googler) in the Mission in San Francisco."

California is renowned as being the birthplace of the hippie movement, with several self-sufficient communities existing across the state.

"I've always enjoyed having very little possessions and have always had dreams of living out of a car ever since my first car (an old station wagon)," said Oxendine. "I was in a unique situation working at Google where I had showers and food that were very convenient to me. I really enjoyed it and would do it again."

But Oxendine's stint of three months is dwarfed in comparison to former Google programmer Ben Discoe, who claims to have lived on site longer than anyone else at 13 months.

Discoe said he purchased a van for $1,800 and lived in it between October 2011 and November 2012. He said he lived in the van because he couldn't afford the infamous house prices in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Meanwhile, long-time staff site ecologist Matthew Weaver also claims to have lived at Google HQ for 13 months, between July 2005 and August 2006.

"I did it on a dare," he wrote.

"We would hold regular parties at the RV on Thursdays when the weather didn't suck. I had an astroturf lawn and white picket fence for a while.

"We didn't have wireless out that far, those days, so I used a cellular card (it was like 128kbps, iirc)."

Techworld had a tour of the Google HQ earlier this year but did not see any signs of people living there.

A number of other technology companies have also tried to make their offices as appealing as possible to employees. For example, Huawei, in China, allows workers to sleep in pull out beds under their desks during their one and a half hour lunch break.

Google had not responded to Techworld by the time of publication.

This story, "Googlers Reveal How They Lived at California HQ for Months" was originally published by Techworld.com.

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