As the corporate shuttle backlash turns from protest to street theater to actual violence, Google has apparently sent out an extra set of eyes to watch over employees as they catch their buses down to Mountain View.
Reuters reports on the new development, which they witnessed on two days this week at Google's shuttles in at least one Mission District loading spot:
On two successive days this week, a pair of young men stood on a San Francisco street waiting for the special "Gbus" that ferries Google staffers to the Internet company's Mountain View headquarters 34 miles to the South.
Dressed casually in jeans and wearing black ski hats or hoods, the two men did not stand out from the dozens of other young tech workers waiting for the Google bus. On close inspection, each sported the curly wire of an earpiece, and one occasionally jotted notes down on a yellow stick-it pad.
Instead of boarding the bus with everyone else, the two remained in the same spot, watching intently as a succession of Google's white corporate shuttles arrived for the morning pick-ups. In one instance, the bus driver waved to one of the men, who waved back.
When asked by Reuters reporters if the guards were in face there to provide security for the Google buses, one of the men simply asked to see an ID badge. The other denied being employed by Google.
While the whole thing sounds a little creepy (aside, it's been super warm lately, what's up with the hats?), take solace knowing the alleged security guards aren't some gun-toting Google secret service. As one executive in the local private security told the news service, the security guards are "probably only eyes and ears," and will simply, "act as liaison to the police, and probably not to take any action."