“I’m just some guy at Google,” he said.
Mr. Tan is a 37-year-old engineer at Google, and his initial chutzpah, his quirky workplace and a steady stream of distinguished visitors have turned him into the company’s in-house Zelig.
At first, Mr. Tan had to work for his pictures. One day in 2003 he saw several police cars at the Google campus and muscular men in dark suits and sunglasses patrolling the hallways.
His interest piqued, Mr. Tan hustled down to the lobby and “waited for someone famous to come by,” he said. It turned out to be Jimmy Carter. The resulting photo and another of Mr. Tan with Al Gore went up on the wall outside his office.
Soon, no celebrity could visit Google without a “Meng” photo op — as in “Where’s Meng? You’ve got to get your picture taken with Meng.”
Mr. Tan, his photo gallery and the company’s endorsement of his little side project, said Eric Schmidt, the company’s chief executive, are “representative of much of what is right and fun about Google.”