“We’re looking for someone hip and quirky for this job,” said the woman, Tyler, who interviewed me from San Francisco; she’d mentioned an improbably high salary and a host of benefits and perks. “You seem hip and quirky. But we need someone more integrated into the Web site’s community. I notice you have no reviews, no profile, and no ‘friends.’ We’ll need to see more of a commitment.”I attacked my new assignment with determination. I set myself a quota of ten reviews a day and implored everyone I knew to join my network. In my capacity as manager of the lingerie store where I worked weekends, I commandeered the computer, knocking out reviews of the coffee at the bodega on the corner “too subtle for the common palate”, the new artisanal pizzeria “a horseman of the gentrification apocalypse”, and the local nail salon “The nail technician was slovenly and surly; her coat was soiled; she started cutting my cuticles without asking”.While I placed a premium on quantity, I began to take my task seriously: I was appalled by the cavalier manner in which fellow reviewers dismissed small businesses after a single visit or graded spots where they hadn’t bothered to wait for a table. I took special care in rebutting what I felt to be thoughtless and uninformed reviews. My tone became hectoring.It was pathetically easy to become popular in this Web site’s universe. “You seem to really know what you’re talking about!” one stranger wrote me. “I like your strong opinions!” said another. In two weeks, I’d acquired more than a hundred “friends,” who complimented my every review with the pre-fab tags that indicated things were awesome, useful, or witty. I’d achieved the honorific of “Notable.” On the message boards, I was put on someone’s list of “Hottest Girls on the Site NYC Area”—presumably based on a blurry picture of myself posing with Mr. Met—and had been awarded two “Reviews of the Day,” for critiques of a cheese store and Pretty Nails.
Esta é uma descrição bastante exata de um tempo em que os startups estavam começando a se amontoar e o que a gente chama hoje em dia de bro culture começou a surgir e ser muito irritante.