No shuttle buses here: De-Bug, a new collection of true stories from the social justice organization of the same name, shows a side of working in Silicon Valley that you won’t read about in the business section. As tech moguls land the cover of Forbes, the South Bay’s working class is making ends meet as metal scrappers, factory workers, club bouncers, hairstylists, rickshaw drivers, ice cream cart pushers. The stories in De-Bug are poignant, often very funny accounts of bootstrapping in the land of angel investors and thought leaders. A construction worker predicts which of his customers are about to strike it rich and which are on the edge of bankruptcy based on the states of their swimming pools. A “secondhand hustler” travels the garage sale–flea market circuit in search of treasures to resell online. A temp worker at a medical device manufacturer sells his blood, at the company’s request, to test the equipment. These storytellers are frank when discussing their own flaws, but are equally up-front about the rigged system in which they operate.
Disruptive in the truest sense of the word, De-Bug offers valuable insight into California’s latest boomtown.