“Which’s been your favorite city so far?” asked Rick.
“Look, no offense, but you’re only here for training. One day, two days tops. Then I can go back to doin’ this myself. I mean, why anyone needs training to drive around’s beyond me,” said Marie as she turned a corner.
The two sat in silence as the Google virtual map car methodically did it’s work. They drove up and down each and every street as cameras captured a panoramic view of the city. Marie wasn’t even sure which city she was in. They all blurred together.
Rick watched as house after house drifted past. “D’ya ever wonder about what we’re doin’? We’re takin’ pictures of all these people’s homes. I mean, what if they don’t wanna have pictures taken like that, like it’s an invasion of privacy?”
Marie turned her head slowly and glared at him over her sunglasses.
“It’s a big deal to some people. That’s all I’m saying,” said Rick.
“This is a job. I do this to pay my bills.”
“Yeah, but don’t you wonder if it’s, like, immoral?”
“Really? Wow,” said Rick.
The gadgetry in the car beeped as Marie turned back onto the main street.
“Waddya mean by ‘Really? Wow’?” snapped Marie.
“It’s just one of the great debates of our time. Does privacy really exist? Is it possible to be truly anonymous anymore? A lot of people think Google oversteps the rights of people by doin’ stuff like this,” said Rick.
“Do they really? And are you one of the ones who thinks that?”
“Me? Well, I haven’t really made up my mind. I can kinda see both sides of the issue. I’ve been taught to do that. I just think it’s interesting, that’s all.”
“Lemme guess, you’re fresh out of college and this is your first job,” said Marie.
“Yeah, how’d you know?”
“Lemme break it down for you. I have a 2-year contract to work for Google to map New York to St. Louis. Know what that means? Job security. I can live for a coupla years an’ all I have to do is drive around. If you wanna speculate on the legal and moral implications of the job then why don’t you go back to school where you can sit around and think?”
“I got student loans to pay,” said Rick.
“Then stop asking questions.”
The two sat in silence as they turned down another side street. The expensive electronic gadgetry beeped and hummed as they drove along. Marie grew increasingly fidgety as time passed slowly.
“What’s your degree in?” she said.
“Twentieth century American literature,” said Rick.
Marie laughed. “You’re so screwed.”