192: Working for Google

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Working for Google
I hear once you've worked there for 256 days they teach you the secret of levitation.
Title text: I hear once you've worked there for 256 days they teach you the secret of levitation.


Many look up to Google as the ultimate workplace in the IT industry. Therefore, they have lots of applicants but can afford to be very selective, and only the best and brightest succeed.

Cueball's friend starts out by dismissing Google as a "corporate idea factory", but from the rest of his speech, we can infer that these are not his true feelings. He is exhibiting the attitude known as "sour grapes", where you criticize something that is out of your reach, or which has been denied you.

In the last panel, it is revealed the friend has been trying very hard to get a job at Google, even resorting to bribing the interview panel by baking them a cake "in the shape of the internet". Since the internet does not have a defined shape, it is difficult to visualize exactly what he baked. This misguided action is a sign of how much he wanted a position.

The title text says that if you work for Google for 256 (28) days you get to learn how to levitate. This displays some of the mystique with which Google is commonly viewed. However, Astro Tell, the director of Google X labs, a Google division that researches "moonshot" projects, has mentioned in an interview [1] that they contemplated starting a levitation project.


Cueball: Have you read about Google HQ? It sounds like an incredible place to work.
Friend: Man, I ain't going to be chained down in no corporate idea factory! They think just 'cause they've got a nice building and laid back culture, I'm gonna want to come in all day long and work on fascinating problems with the smartest people in the world.
[Cueball stares at his friend.]
Cueball: So, what, they turned you down?
Friend: I don't understand it! I even baked them a cake shaped like the internet!

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I honestly can't see anything incomplete about it. But then, I may be naive about it. Anonymous 04:57, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Neither can I, however there is a bit of irrelevant information such as, how not to pad your resume and having original ideas -- the explanation probably should be edited down to be more consisce and to the proint of what the comic is about i.e. "sour grapes" Spongebog (talk)

Perhaps the cake was foreshadowing http://xkcd.com/195/, the Map of The Internet. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

A cake that has the shape of the Internet might actually be one shaped of Internet Explorer. Greyson (talk) 18:00, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

No, it may not. 19:25, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

There are some true stories of people showing up at Google interviews with gifts for the interviewers. In case if you wonder, they don't get hired. 02:17, 29 January 2014

The cake should be created with a series of tubes.00:14, 23 September 2014 (UTC)~

There is a community portal discussion of what to call Cueball and what to do in case with more than one Cueball. I have added this comic to the new Category:Multiple Cueballs. In this case there is no reason to call one Cueball and the other friend. It could easily be the other way. So I have changed to remove Cueball. --Kynde (talk) 14:33, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

By saying he baked a "cake in the shape of the Internet," he inadvertently revealed that he has no clue what is the Internet, and that he exhibited said cluelessness openly to his interviewers -- explaining his rejection. Mountain Hikes (talk) 02:54, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Google {Search} is a monopoly that violates US Antitrust Law. Google pays couple of billions of USD each year to The Congress so The Congress lets it slip. The rest of the Google (including Google re-branding) is a theater of absurd where people with pedigrees think that they are important, but mostly getting paid for non competing with Google. 18:24, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

What if the cake he made was shaped like internet explorer, proving to the interviewer he was incompetent. 9:10, 11 April 2019 (UTC)~