Best of Silicon Valley 2001 - Readers' Picks

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[whitespace] mployment Development Department line
Back At Ya: The Employment Development Department has replaced Buck's Restaurant as the hot new In place.

Readers' Choice:
Misery Loves Company

Best Place to See and be Seen

The Unemployment Line

ONCE UPON A faraway overfunded time, dotcom recruitment parties were the best place to see and be seen. These lavish events were rife with free food, scantily clad raver geeks, and--most rife of all--empty promises. With the demise of such parties, where have all those single geeks gone? Where else, but the unemployment line! There, surrounded by the State of California's Committee of Bad Taste decorating scheme (Beige? Mauve? Mmm--taupe!), friends of technology and assembly-line workers alike rub fraying elbows, united in their desire to take back some of the money made while empty promises were worth enough to buy a house and the horse it rode in on. Unemployment Office employee Cheryl (who didn't want to give her last name) can't quite imagine romance blossoming under her watch: "There are more people here in the waiting room these days, that's for sure," she says. "But I don't know if you'd want to meet anyone here. Everybody's just in a bad mood, mostly." It is Metro's opinion that moodiness is what truly makes the unemployment line the romantic meet 'n' greet du jour, however. Why? Because poverty, paperwork and relentless Muzak bring people together. What could be a better pickup line than, "Don't you just hate it when they chain the pens to the table?" or, "Hey, baby, what's your number?"

Everyone loves to bitch about life's inadequacies, and there's a lot of time to do it in while awaiting your state-dictated service. That, and a waiting room full of captive applicants with a common enemy, can only mean one thing: conversation, comaraderie. And maybe even wedding bells. TB

Best of Silicon Valley 2001 Table of Contents

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From the October 18-24, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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