Most of the time, I accept that I have a pretty good job. It pays the bills and the work is interesting.
.... this was clearly going to be an upsetting tour.
Nick and I also felt strangely out of place walking through this office in our suits and ties. This was a laid back office of t-shirt and jeans and we were clearly squaring up the joint with our lameness.
There's a reason Google is consistently voted as one of the best employers in the world. It's because they treat their staff VERY well.
Unfortunately I couldn't take any photos inside (fair enough), but what my eyes beheld was astounding.
The first thing we saw was the kitchenettes that were peppered everywhere in the building. Full of food and drink, there was no expense spared. Even the coffee machines provided were no run of the mill mass coffee dispenser, but the quality espresso machines that have the large handles to allow the control of water pressure.
Next, we were shown into the games room were a Googler was entranced in his game of Guitar Hero. A pool table, foosball table and a tennis table lay un-used, surrounded by musical instruments for anyone who felt like unwinding in a more cultured manner.
We then wandered upstairs and were shown the library. I had to be careful where I stepped as to not upset the model trains on the ground that someone was working on.
The presence in the office of hammocks and sleeping pods made me particularly upset.
"Yeah, naps are acceptable. There's an attitude of do whatever you want, so long as you get the work done well."
This seemed to be a great attitude! It was definitely an attitude that fit in with the creative approach being sought be this fine organisation. Somehow I'm not so sure it would work as well in the world of law and finance that I find myself in. Still, the ability to power nap after lunch for even half an hour would improve my productivity.... if only it were to be so!
Andy and the girls then took us to look at the myriad of themed meeting rooms. Yes, that's correct, all of the meeting rooms are themed. The most eye catching one was easily the room that used the theme of bath time and rubber duckies.
With the main tour essentially complete, it was time for dinner.
We were escorted into the cafeteria, where the Googlers are provided with buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Each day had a different theme, and we had been fortunate enough to arrive for Indian food. Again, there were no short cuts taken with the food provided. It was good quality food and, even though mass produced cafeteria style fare, it was still better than what I had been used to in my boarding school days. What's more, the free flow of drinks, desserts and ice creams showed that cost cutting wasn't going to be sought in this benefit.
Talking to the Googlers, their admiration and love of the company was evident. And why shouldn't it be? This company cared for them and went out of their way to ensure that they were comfortable in both work and life. These employees genuinely believed in the vision that their company was trying to establish.
As I sat listening to them, slowly eating the paddle pop ice cream that I had taken out of the fridge, my hatred for this company began to grow. It wasn't a hatred because of a dislike. No, this was very much the type of hatred that stems from being an outsider wanting to get in!
We all finished up dinner and began to head off.
Before I left though, there was some unfinished business.
I needed to jump on the tyre swing at least ONCE before I left the premises!!!!