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The Bay Area-centrism of the software industry is so strong it borders on the absurd. This week, techies marveled at the hypocrisy of a industry that connects millions of people, regardless of physical distance, continuing to insist that its employees move to expensive, overcrowded, feces-strewn San Francisco:
“We run a chat system for distributed and remote teams”
“Must be willing to relocate to San Francisco”
— Wonderwall (@samphippen) March 17, 2016
A certain moneyed segment of the Bay seems to be oblivious to life as an average American, and even an average American in the tech industry. And thus arose the “must be willing to relocate to San Francisco” meme, a lighthearted mockery of our depressing new startup economy reality.
It’s a meme that captures the mood of a certain time. It probably won’t age well as San Francisco fills up with recently graduated trust-fund bros and America’s remote workforce burgeons, but for now, it’s perfect.
1. A robot may not injure humans
2. A robot must obey orders given to it by humans
3. A robot must be willing to relocate to San Francisco
— cole ☄ (@coleseadubs) March 22, 2016
And he can see no reasons cause there are no reasons what reasons do you need to be willing to relocate to San Francisco?
— linuxlibrarian (@linuxlibrarian) March 22, 2016
That which does not kill us makes us willing to relocate to San Francisco.
— Olly Barter (@OllyBarter) March 22, 2016
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
to San Francisco
— mhoye (@mhoye) March 22, 2016
I’m an old woman now, with one foot in the grave and the other willing to relocate to san francisco.
— itaryan (@itaryan) March 22, 2016
Workingmen of all countries, unite!
You have nothing to lose but your chains.
Must be willing to relocate to San Francisco.
— Vlad Tsyrklevich (@vlad902) March 22, 2016
If you wanna be my lover, you gotta be willing to relocate to San Francisco.
— Lex Alexander (@TheLexTimes) March 22, 2016
One particular version of the joke became especially popular:
Confidential to San Francisco employers: You know Slack exists, right?
Photo via Jeffrey Zeldman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.