Day 5. 1700 hrs.
Tech Team Lead, conducts a formal 15min presentation to familiarize us about the review and promotion process for Software Engineers at Google. During the course of the presentation, we are informed about a performance star rating awarded to employees by their manager, which cumulatively determines if you would be eligible for promotion. 1 at any point during your career is an indication for you to start looking for a new job. He adds that us being Nooglers, will be star rated on the basis of a test, that will happen right now! We are looking at each other. Impromptu test? Really? What is this, college?
6 competitive programming questions (harder than the Google interviews) in 30 mins. Start! The invigilator leaves and we are being video-invigilated. 15mins into the test, invigilator walks in asks a Noogler to follow him immediately, snatches his paper, asks him to collect his laptop and hand over his badge. In a state of doubt and shock, we are asked to continue the test. Time is up, our papers are collected and corrected within 5mins. I already knew I had performed pathetically. A guy walks in with a very stern look and asks me and another Noogler if we had been appropriately informed that this test would affect our entire careers. He notifies us that there is an urgent need to talk to our manager right away. We are escorted to another room where our manager is waiting and are instructed to enter it. With shaky legs and spiked up heartbeat, we enter into the room. Boom!
30 people inside the room – including the guy who was taken away initially laughing their asses off. It takes us half minute to come to terms with the fact that we have been exquisitely moulded into a “Bakra”! We can’t help feeling embarrassed. We join in the laughter and watch the remaining Nooglers becoming nervous and contemplating our fates. 😀 The cake arrives; it says “The Google Bakra”! We realized that the entire floor had been decorated for us! Needless to say, the cake was used to smear everyone who was involved in the plan. Obviously, when cake fights begin, you stop caring whether the face you are trying to ruin belongs to your manager or your Tech lead.
Google. Remember, how they say never judge a book by its cover and how everyone wants to be at Google, and how those surveys keep on screaming Hey, Google is the best place to work at! Well, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I would like to inform you that those surveys are immaculately accurate and I encourage you to go ahead and judge Google by it’s cover :p . It is exceptional. Period.
I mean really? At least 50 different dishes, 5 desserts, exotic cuisine from the world around in a single day. Fully stacked refrigerators and micro kitchen at every floor. “Desperate Housewives” – That won’t raise eyes here, because wait! – Did someone say that was a name of a meeting room? Oh! and then there is Pink Floyd and Metallica and U2 and Batman and Spiderman. Need to relax? Head to the Games room on any floor – Have a game of Fußball, pool, table tennis or maybe XboX? Still need a break? Go get a massage. Need to work while on a break? :p Ok, occupy that massage chair. Still need to loosen up? Head to the bunkers have a nap on the full size beds.
The thing that totally blew me away was the people. The kind of diversity you will find yourself surrounded with is so enticing. Meet the geeks, the outspoken, the soft-spoken and the-ones who-are-always-inviting-you-for-a-coffee (in the company Cafe full of free Donuts, Lattes, Mocha, Cappuccino, croissants, muffins and cakes….I deviated a lil bit) and the one who are always smiling and the one to whom everything is “Awesome” and the bubbly ones who will bubble-pop happiness into your entire day with their energy. And the there is this lady, who is organizing all the orientation sessions and she turns out to be the one-who-punches-you-hard you tell her that all the sessions during the orientation were so boring (which obviously were not).
MacBook? Check. Fully sponsored trip to Thailand next month? Umm… Check.
TL; DR – Heaven on Earth.