On April 26, 1977, a high end discotheque and nightclub opened in Midtown Manhattan called Studio 54. The facility was state of the art and featured the best lighting and sound equipment imaginable. It was the hottest ticket in town but was almost impossible to get into. Unless you were a celebrity, wore the right clothes, were physically attractive, or in remarkable shape, you would never enter through its doors.
The entrance of the club featured bouncers behind a velvet rope who would vet each potential customer to determine if they were worthy of joining the party inside. If you passed the test, you were escorted past the velvet robe and into the venue.
If you were lucky enough to be selected, you would have the time of your life. You would be rubbing shoulders with hundreds of A-listers and celebrities like Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and John Travolta. It would be a once in a lifetime experience like no other.
At some point during the evening while drinking and dancing the night away, someone taps you on the shoulder and asks you to leave the club. You are politely escorted to the back door and told to drive safely. The experience you thought would last forever is abruptly over.
As you begin the long walk to your car you are consumed with bitterness and anger but then surprisingly become overwhelmed with gratitude. As you stop and take it in, you realize that you got selected to participate in something extraordinary and generated a memory that you will probably never forget.
On March 3, 2014, I got selected for a contract job at Google. For me, this was my Studio 54 experience. While I was not a full-time employee of the company, I was able to partake in many perks and attend some company events. I worked with amazing people, got to do amazing stuff, and made some friends along the way. In short, it was kind of like working at Disneyland.
On November 9, 2018, I was escorted to the back door. The party ended. I was angry and bitter but over time, have become grateful for the experience. I got selected to participate in something special. I busted through the velvet rope and did something I may never get to experience again in my lifetime.
As I get older, I have learned that life and success boils down to choices. You can choose to be consumed with bitterness or you can choose to be grateful. The choice is yours. Today, I choose to be grateful.
I look forward to what’s ahead for me and my career. Thank you Google for the experience of a lifetime.