Slightly less than four months into my stint at the summit of 21st century workplaces, Google has yet to disappoint. Ample food at every corner is enough to make some never consider another place of employment, but it isn’t the constant nourishment that I am most enthralled by. Nor is it the litany of perfectly good excuses to not be working currently—happy hours, massages, and nap rooms among the first that come to mind. I’m not concerned with any of these things. What is important to me is the freedom I am granted to do my work when, where, and how I see fit.
Insofar as I get the work done with the quality expected and in a timely manner, I am given just about absolute autonomy to work. The magnitude of this cannot be overstated in my estimation.
I cannot speak to much of what Google is as I am still so new. Nevertheless, I think it is fair to say the company pays more than lip service when it espouses it’s core value of taking care of its employees. Professionally and personally, myriad opportunities exist to learn and grow if one cares to search for them—and if one is so undisposed to look, someone will bring them to your attention soon enough. You see, the best of these opportunities are in the form of the very people that grace these halls. I work daily to take advantage of the company I find myself in, not solely in my office but across Google, engaging with folks from all walks of life. It is similar to the melting pot one would expect to find upon starting university—I expect this to be even more of an informing experience for me.
Work will always be work; Monday looms large over the best of us, and the Monday morning blues aren’t foreign here. I can honestly say, however, that there has not been a Monday that I have dreaded to date. I genuinely look forward to the next chance to rub shoulders with people with whom I otherwise might not have had the occasion to. In fact, nearly every Friday since I’ve started I have found myself taken aback at how fast the week has flown, especially since I can vividly recall my walk in Monday morning.
It is generally understood that all the pomp and frill at these tech companies is simply a not so clever ploy to keep people working. Makes sense. Further, I know I will soon become aware of the politics involved in working at a large corporation that Google, sitting at well over 60,000 employees globally, is unlikely to be exempted from. The issues surrounding diversity in tech are well-documented. Not as evident, is the apparent internal favoritism shown towards engineers and derision towards anyone who isn’t, contempt that is reflected widely and insidiously.
Nevertheless, the lengths some would go to be here is telling; despite the very potent Kool-Aid served daily that completes the feeling of being at summer camp, I genuinely believe in the singularity of this place. I wasn’t born to work here (or anywhere for that matter); I won’t be here forever, but while I am, this is a pretty damn good place to explore.