That second I hugged a Googler

This week I hugged a Googler, yes I did. How, why, huh? Let me tell you.

On top of providing the formal lectures, challenges and project work, our bootcamp regularly invites speakers from industry. So last Thursday, we were enlightened on the art of working with data in a scientifically and ethically sound fashion by no less than a super-smart and super-enthusiastic Googler - my apologies for the double tautology.

To get the interaction going, we, mere mortal students, were offered a multiple (6) choice question. The last one of which was, obviously, none of the above.

For a number of reasons, this answer exerted an irresistible attraction on my whole brain, body and being:

  • even in case of total ignorance, it still looks like you gave the matter such deep thought, that none of the above answers could possibly be nuanced and/or precise enough for complete intellectual satisfaction
  • strategically, it’s a safe bet, because the speaker may want to demonstrate his/her proficiency on why all of the above answers are clearly wrong or incomplete, as an introduction to the rest of the talk
  • last but not least, my eldest daughter is a self-certified expert in guessing multiple-choice answers

So when the time came, I shouted ‘F!’

And then it happened.

[Googler]: Who said 'F' over there?
[Humble student]: I did! (hesitantly raising my hand)
[Googler]: Why?
[Humble student]: Because whatever mumble mumble bla bla bla
[Googler]: That's correct! Let me give you a hug
[Humble student]: Sure, why not

As my grey cells wandered off, I thankfully received my proverbial pat on the shoulder. It was over in a second, but no less real.

I hugged a Googler. Or rather, was hugged by one.

In a strike of celestial irony, the remainder of the talk focused on the importance for aspiring data scientists to dumb down reformulate their scientific messages to less scientifically inclined creatures professionals known as MBAs. As I understood it, their main role at Google is to translate Truth into more digestible truths, depending on the VP they’re trying to please.

So by the time the talk was over, the earth had come back into its normal orbit, everyone knew their place, and universal harmony was restored.

But the hug was mine.

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