Thousands of miles from home, I’ve finally started my first week as a “Noogler”, a new hire at Google!
The Mountain View campus is quite something, comprising of dozens of buildings, and what’s great is that the company provides a free, regular wi-fi enabled shuttle service from San Francisco. I’m currently staying at Hotel Union Square, in a lovely room which overlooks Powell Street, so the shuttle service is a great perk which allows me to get a taste of city life over my next two weeks working out here.
I walked into my orientation building, and the first task was to set up a login name and have a photo taken for my badge. After a brief (free) breakfast in a nearby cafe, I then sat down to a brand new MacBook Pro… it’s lovely and shiny and I’ve started adding Google stickers to it so I don’t accidentally pick up someone else’s! If that wasn’t exciting enough, the loos cater to every girl’s need. With complementary hair straighteners, mouthwash, hair clips and a HEATED toilet seat, a trip to the loo is definitely a step-up from the skanky Patriot Court toilets I was used to in my old office at Slough! *update* as soon as the main orientation was over, the complementary straighteners and hair dryer disappeared so I’m not sure if it was a one-day perk only!
Theres’s dozens of restaurants to choose from across the campus. I’ve eaten Japanese food, Indian food, sushi, Chinese food… and that doesn’t even count the cooked breakfasts, gold-leaf chocolate cupcakes and the snacks I’ve devoured from the micro-kitchen! I’m trying to say no to all of the amazing treats, and it’s not like they don’t offer healthy alternatives, so I guess as long as I make the use of the free dance/fitness classes and one of the gyms at some point it will all balance out. Further to that, there’s also a lovely tradition they have which is “tea time” in a nearby building every afternoon. From lemon and ginger tea to earl grey, the teas from across the world are normally offered in conjunction with a piece of cake or stilton, salami and bread.
I’ve spent most of the week recovering from jetlag so social events have been few and far between, but last night the team lead took us to us house for a lovely barbecue and smores evening. I wish I had a bit more spare time to see the sights of SF (it’s been five years after all!), so for anyone who assumes I’m just sunning myself and strolling around the city are wrong!
Today is my fifth day at Google, which can only mean one thing… my first TGIF experience. This involves sitting in front of hundreds of Googlers in the main restaurant, where Larry and Sergey take questions from employees from the nearby stage. I’ll be wearing my red beanie hat along with my new Google t-shirt, quite a sight I’m sure!
Some photos from my travels around the campus: