Saturday, October 16, 2010

Office Oddities

I've been in the office two weeks now and have yet to comment on it. Overall, the Google London office is really beautiful. It takes up three floors in a glass-front building that sits on Buckingham Palace Road.  To me, it feels more adult than some of the other offices which have a 'kindergarten for adults' thing going on.  You'll find all the usual perks (massages, millions of snacks and drinks, exercise classes)  and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've yet to experience dinner (thankfully) but breakfast is my favorite.....made-to-order omelets, five varieties of smoothies and I just love feeding oranges into the big juicer to get fresh squeezed OJ.  There's a nice outdoor eating area with picnic tables which I've enjoyed a couple times. I also think the London-style phone booths which can be used to make personal calls are pretty cute.

Of course, there are some strange things too. I thought it would be fun to comment on the office oddities because before long I'm sure I'll be so used to these things that they'll no longer seem so odd. I have no idea if these are exclusive to the Google London office or if they're more widespread, but they're strange nonetheless.

1. Trash Cans - Nobody has a trash can at their desk. Instead, we share bins that have been intermittently placed throughout the office.  This means that cups, napkins, old papers, used tissues, sugar packet wrappers and whatever else you might need to toss ends up sitting around on your desk all day until you decide to get up and throw it out. Of course, in European good citizen fashion, you then need to separate your rubbish and place it in the correct receptacle depending on whether it's "paper", "glass" or, my personal favorite, "landfill".

2. Mailboxes - We also don't have mailboxes. No, we have a small tray which gets piled high with the incoming mail for all of the people who sit in the area. I'm living in temporary housing. I don't have a permanent address.  I've been using Google as my address for necessities like the bank, corporate credit card, insurance card and everything else.  Whenever it hits me that I haven't yet received something important like my debit card or its accompanying pin number, I walk over to the heaping pile of mail and rummage through the collection of 50 people's worth of magazines, cards, letters and junk mail to pull out my pieces. Wouldn't it be better to give us each a small mailbox?

3. Cereal Bowls - Are the size of a sauce/dip bowl, as in 'I'll have a side of ranch please'. They're just tiny. Luckily, after you add the semi-skimmed milk, which is still much thicker than 2%, you're full anyway.  Oh, and the milk comes in what must be a quarter-gallon jug. Also tiny.

4. Bathroom Doors - They slam. Loudly. The doors are big heavy wooden doors and while they do provide a good amount of privacy, there is just no graceful way to maneuver them so there's constant headache-inducing slamming every time I visit the ladies room, aka the loo. There has to be a way to fix this.

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