You'd think landing a job with Google would put you on easy street. But in the case of a newly hired software engineer, it put him in the parking lot.
By his own choice, mind. The 23-year-old employee named Brandon (he withheld his last name when speaking with Business Insider) was hired by the company in mid-May, and moved from Massachusetts to San Francisco — notoriously one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S.
After he heard that the least-expensive corporate housing would put him in a two-bedroom setup with three other roommates (for which he'd pay about $2,000 a month), he decided to come up with a better plan.
Or at least a different one. "I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in — and I was almost never home," he told Business Insider. "It's really hard to justify throwing that kind of money away."
Enter a 16-ft. 2006 Ford truck, complete with 157,000 miles on it. It cost him $10,000 and he paid it with his signing bonus. Inside he has a bed, a coat rack, a dresser and his bicycle. His only cost is truck insurance ($121/mo.) and Google handles his phone bill. He showers and eats (and presumably uses the bathroom) at Google, and parks in their parking lot.
"I don't actually own anything that needs to be plugged in," he said on his blog. "I have a small battery pack that I charge up at work every few days, and I use that to charge my headphones and cellphone at night. My work laptop will last the night on a charge, and then I charge it at work."
Security has stopped by the truck from time to time, but a wave of his Google badge has helped them move along. And the location comes with a bonus: He has no commute.
Brandon's goal is to pay off his $22,000 in student loans over the next six months, then seriously save for his future.
Still, despite the amusement factor of this creative solution, there's a dark side: Is this the future for all low-level employees if housing remains continually out of their reach and long hours allow them to only use their homes for sleeping?
For now, Brandon seems content and says the situation is preparing him for his desire to travel the world later. "If I do plan on traveling the world, I'll need to be comfortable with unconventional living situations," he noted on his blog. "Plus, there is never going to be a better time in my life for me to try this. I'm young, flexible, and I don't have to worry about this decision affecting anyone else in my life."