Silicon Valley Girl -- Stories to Read on the Shuttle: The Techie's Guide

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Silicon Valley Girl -- Stories to Read on the Shuttle

The Techie's Guide to Quelling the Wrath of Native Residents and Achieving Oneness with the Universe

Michelle Sindha Thomas

Wake up. Water the windowsill plant that's been contributing to your personal mountain of modern guilt. Wear something that presents you and your individual credo to the world. This ensemble should not include a free t-shirt from last year's employee picnic. No, not even as an undershirt. 

Step outside and greet your neighbor. If you are genuine and interested and take that 30 seconds, that neighbor will be the one to keep an eye on the lemon tree, let you know when it needs trimming and maybe even offer to hold your Amazon packages until you can collect them. He will contribute to your sense of oneness with the universe and may even become your drinking buddy.

Look up from your phone and enjoy your walk to the shuttle. Take in the sunrise. Make eye contact and acknowledge those you encounter with a small smile. Buy a latte from a cafe near the shuttle stop instead of waiting for the free espresso at work. The $3.50 is well worth its value in building your sense of oneness with the community/universe. Perhaps, over time, you'll network with other regulars at your cafe. Win win. Put a tip in the karma jar, daily. Remember the name of your barista and mute your con call while engaging her in a little conversation. Hold the door for the bike courier entering the shop as you exit. You're in a rush, but so is he.

At the shuttle stop, nod hello to your fellow employees. Greet your bus driver with a good morning, every day, without fail. That bus driver adds hours of productivity to your day while sparing you loads of money in commuting costs and years of life in road rage. Say thanks when you disembark, every day, without fail.

Speak kindly to your support staff. If they feel your warmth and respect, they will lovingly spoon feed you, move mountains for you, and contribute to your sense of oneness with the universe. Go out to lunch at restaurants near your office when time allows. Be present, be polite -- you are a goodwill ambassador for your company. Tip well.

In the evening, when you get off that shuttle, wish your driver a good night. No matter how late you will reach home, she still has to drive her bus to the depot and take herself back home.

On the weekend, put on some real pants. Respect your Uber driver's property. Don't ask him personal questions unless you are prepared to offer answers to those same questions yourself. $5 Uberpool fare does not buy you mastery over the universe. Perhaps your driver is from Kathmandu, but honey, you're from Indianapolis. Lower your volume. You're not the only one with a hangover. Avoid the word "brunch" at all costs. Refrain from profanity in public. You are an educated, Slate-informed cosmopolitan. Use your words. 

Act your age. Brush your hair. Groom your beard. Unsubscribe from dating apps and talk to girls and boys you have the luxury to observe in real life, in the gorgeous golden light of San Francisco (sans filters, dog snouts, fairy wreaths). Walk up to the beautiful one, the smart one, the humanitarian one -- because you, you civic-minded, polite, mild-mannered and neighborly good Millennial, you deserve so much better for yourself than the easy one.