Vincent Cheung

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Google benefits not so beneficial

Google is infamous for its employee benefits. It seems to me that most benefits are oriented around making it so that employees don't have to go off campus to run errands and allow employees to work late if they so choose, i.e. they don't have to go home to eat or feed the dog. There does however, come a point where these things become too much of a distraction. With all these benefits, you can easily spend the whole day at work not doing work.
  • Food
    • 7 cafeterias, 4 of which are off the main campus, which leads to nice afternoon strolls. Not to mention that it's very tempting to just sit and chill with friends out on the patio all day.

  • T-shirt cabinet
    • There's a "t-shirt cabinet" in one of the buildings. Several times a week, the cabinet is just magically stocked with Google t-shirts. No announcements are made, but the t-shirts are gone within like 10 min. This is a big time killer. People constantly go out of their way to check the cabinet. There is a web cam monitoring it, but it no longer works. Once t-shirts have been spotted, cell phones start ringing, instant messages starting flying, and e-mails are shot off. People can be seen sprinting down hallways through tech talk meetings towards teh cabinet, only to stand in line of like more than 20 people. The biggest problem is that there seems to be a uniform distribution of t-shirts among the sizes, while the demographics of Google employees is far from a uniform distribution. Always what's left is like XXXXXXXXXXL and women's XXXXXXXXXS. How about stocking more "regular" sizes?

  • Events
    • Health benefits fair (it was like Halloween! But with toothbrushes, floss, contact solution, stuffed animals, stress balls, pens, frisbees, popsicles, carabiners, and more), Santa Cruz engineering off-site, free movies in the middle of the day (watched an avanced screening of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" at 11:30 am at the nearby cinema), SF Giants baseball game, Ben & Jerry ice cream socials, and more. These are tons of fun and all, but also means you're not working.

  • Doctor
    • I went to the doctor's office this week to get my second Hepatitis A vaccine shot. She was really, really impressed at how smooth it was. That is, how sharp and smooth the needle was (it came in the box with the vaccine that I brought from Canada). Way to go Canadian pharmaceuticals! She was so impressed that she considered switching brands!

  • Google product launches
    • Google releases new products all the time and "beta testing" them can take a lot of time.

  • Tech talks
    • If you go to all of them, you won't have time to do any work.

  • Internal instant messaging
    • Major distraction at the desk.

  • Interns
    • Wandering around to other peoples' cubicles.

  • Pool
    • Mark and Jon used to play like every day. In the middle of the day.

  • Ball pit
    • Sitting in the ball pit is fun. Sorting the balls in the pit is even more fun!

  • Volleyball
    • Evening games aren't too bad, but the full-timers like to play in the middle of the day, which is retarded b/c you don't want to sit in your cube all sweaty and sandy the rest of the day, so then you shower, so the whole thing lasts like 2 hours.

  • Ultimate frisbee

  • Gym

  • Hanging out in the micro-kitchens (more free drinks and food!)

  • Playing with dogs, which are allowed in buildings

  • Massages (both professional and the massage chairs)

  • Hair cuts on campus in the middle of the work day

Family had way too much fun when they visited me at Google. Show Chinese people free stuff and they go crazy. My Mom said it best that she wish she could just stay there for the rest of the day at the gym and eating free food. You can seriously just go to work and have fun. The challenge now becomes ignoring all of these distractions so that you can actually get some work done.


Anonymous said...

wow... there are massages? it's like you work at willy wonka's chocolate factory.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's like my dream job. I wanna work there when I grow up!

Anonymous said...

tht is so awesome i so want to work their when i get older..

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