Here’s the thing you need to understand: I spent the most recent ten years of my professional life working in the non-profit sector.
I spent two of those years working in a HALF of a cube. That’s right, the space of one cubicle, split down the middle with a wall. Accountant on one half, me on the other. Every day. The accountant’s side of this half of a cubicle also housed a small refrigerator with a tiny microwave resting atop it. Our “office kitchen.” I’m not making that up.
I had a slow PC hooked to one of those old monitors. You know, not the nice flat ones. The boxy ones with the glare on the screen so you could see your reflection as you squinted really hard to make out on screen whatever badass things you were creating with Microsoft Publisher. I know.
And once the offices were moved to a much larger space where I graduated to my own big office with a door, I still spent a whole year having to use pliers to turn on the old microwave, a microwave so small that a bag of popcorn couldn’t rotate properly and instead would hang up on the edge of the microwave wall and before you knew it, the entire office reeked of burnt popcorn and I don’t need to tell you that in terms of how bad things can smell, the list goes 1. rotting flesh 2. my dog’s breath and 3. burnt popcorn. You think I’m joking about my dog’s breath, but just you wait until my family hits the comments section of this post.
Back to my office. My chair gave me backaches, my space heater blew fuses, and we had to take turns defrosting the freezer of the mini fridge every other month as it iced so badly you couldn’t close the door properly.
And that’s fine. It was a nonprofit. That’s what nonprofits do. Spend wisely. Pinch pennies. Wait until the microwave explodes before shelling out for a new one. It was rewarding work.
Bearing all that in mind, you can easily understand why I wanted to show Google my boobs after my recent tour and lunch at their Pittsburgh offices.
Okay, first, the wall behind the receptionist desk is an ever-moving projection display that gives the impression that you’re flying through space like Buzz Lightyear. Signing in means entering your name into a computer which then spits you out a name tag while the receptionist calls your host, in this case Christina Schulman.
Christina gave me a Google Pittsburgh shirt and then took me and my butler Mike on a tour of MIND BLOWING AWESOMENESS.
Here’s a quick rundown:
- Every single computer monitor is the size of a television and most desks had two monitors.
- There’s a nursing room for mothers.
- A MASSAGE ROOM. No, I didn’t misspell “message.” MAH-SAGE. As in, come in here during certain hours of the day and we’ll have a person in here who is trained to give you a back massage.
- Giant exercise balls in case you want to bounce on one, or maybe pretend you and your fellow employees are giants playing a rousing game of hackeysack.
- Pool table.
- Gaming station with couches and comfy chairs.
- Foosball table.
- Espresso machine.
- Two glass-front fridges stocked with every imaginable beverage, including Starbucks. Free.
- A snack station stocked with canisters filled with all kinds of cereal, bags of chips, beef jerky, candy, candy bars, etc. All free.
- A running Mr. Rogers theme through the entire place, including conference rooms with names like King Friday. I also saw a wall painting of Trolley.
- A treadmill with a computer mounted to it in case you want to walk while you work.
- LOTS OF REALLY REALLY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE! My goodness, Google hires some very adorable people.
One of those adorable people was reader Zach who joined us for lunch in the cafeteria there at Google. Now, cafeteria. That word implies lunch ladies with mustaches and hair nets ladling out some creamed corn and maybe some other random slop to accompany your overcooked chicken breast or your stale french fries or your french bread pizza that if you sat it on a shelf, it would not mold for three years because of preservatives.
Yeah, NOT AT GOOGLE. The cafeteria is free to all employees and is gourmet. Gour-freaking-may! I’m talking a salad bar that included lobster salad. Flank steak. A real live chef decked out in chef’s gear, cooking something scrumptious right there while you watched. A dessert bar with fudge blocks you could hammer at with a tiny chisel so that you could break off a chunk the size of your fist and toss it into your purse. I totally didn’t do that. The cafeteria tables were littered with bowls of Legos, Nerf guns, and games like Connect 4. Which, try me. I’ll connect four your ass into next Tuesday.
I’m telling you all this for several reasons.
1. EFFIN’ A!
2. If you’re an employer, I understand that you probably can’t recreate the Google work environment, but my goodness, if you have the means to create even 1/10th of it, why wouldn’t you do that for your employees? Buy them a foosball table. Decide to start stocking the office fridge with sodas for them. Treat them like you need them there.
3. Google Pittsburgh is hiring! Never in my whole life have I wished I knew more about computers other than Vista sucks, Internet Explorer was created by Satan, commercial printing companies cry when you tell them you created a newsletter in Publisher, and when in doubt, reboot.
Google Pittsburgh completely altered my reality as it concerns what a work environment can be. It can be colorful. It can be fun. It can make you happy to walk into work every morning. It can make you feel valued.
I can’t even begin to imagine what their new offices in Bakery Square will be like once they move, but I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll also want to show it my boobs.