Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

 

The Silicon Valley tech world might have a certain almost sexual allure. 

Well, psychosexual at least.

But, as the recent example of one former Yelp employee shows, not every Millennial adores working in the Bay Area.

It could be because relatively few people there make vast amounts of money and the cost of living isn't sane. It could also be because much of the work in the Valley has all the soul of a discarded monkey-nut shell.

So where do Millennials love working?

I confess to that I found my head spinning like Linda Blair's circa 1973 when I discovered Fortune's List Of 100 Best Workplaces For Millennials.

The list was prepared by Great Place To Work, an organization that's been studying workplaces for 25 years.

I expected to discover the hyped companies -- Google, Facebook, and the other youthful secret powers -- at the top.

The list didn't reflect that at all.

And I promise that when you get to No. 41, your jaw may make involuntary jittering actions for hours.

Let's start, though, at No. 1. Yes, it's the Power Home Remodeling Group of Chester, Pennsylvania.

I know little about it, other than it has a far better Better Business Bureau rating than Trump University.

I wandered down the list to see companies based in Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Massachusetts. Only two of the top 10 were in California. Neither was in San Francisco or the Valley.

And there at No. 10 lurked Edward Jones. The financial advice company with a slightly crusty image is apparently a haven for a generation that may care about others but often gives the impression that it does not. The company's managing partner Jim Weddle told Fortune that employees "feel good about their part in helping our clients accomplish... goals."

He believes that offering employees the chance to own at least a little of the company makes them more motivated.

It's not as if Edward Jones's staff are all in one office. There are 12,00 branches.

Yet Weddle explained: "We work really hard on sharing the business plan, the objectives. On a monthly basis we update the entire firm through video, and of course electronic communications."

Perhaps Edward Jones manages to please some Millennials because it offers security to those who might be fearful of the rapidity of technological and social change.

Or perhaps it has enough old-fashioned values that it's easy to see a future for oneself there.

Not everyone does. On Glassdoor, Edward Jones gets only a 3.6 star rating. Weddle, though, gets 90 percent approval.

But look who's at number 11: Chili's Grill and Bar.

Yes, that Chili's. The one whose CEO gets a 79 percent approval rating on Glassdoor. Still, who'd have guessed Chili's would have scored above Google?

The first San Francisco-based company, in fact, is boutique restaurant group Kimpton at No. 17.

Google staggers in at No. 25, just ahead of Quicken Loans. Twitter is No. 31. Salesforce is No. 49.

Many of the other companies on this list aren't necessarily glamorous. Some are healthcare companies, some are retail. Some, astonishingly, are in the marketing business.

Do they all have one common secret?

Great Place To Work offers one simple statement: "We know that trust is the single most important ingredient in making a workplace great."

And you thought it was money.

It's now time for you to guess which company is at No. 41.

I'll order a three-course meal with dessert and port while you keep guessing.

(Pauses for three hours.)

I'm back.

No, it's none of your guesses.

At No. 41 is Yelp.

The very same Yelp so heavily criticized by a Millennial employee on Medium. Yet more proof you shouldn't believe everything you read online?

Published on: Mar 5, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.