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Fourteen Days in the Valley

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

I can see the mountains, but I suppose that's only to be expected. I am in Mountain View, after all.

As of today, I'm in Silicon Valley for my "noogler training," something which most companies would just refer to as an induction. At Google, though, there's a bit more to it than that. There are a lot of tools and technologies to learn, because so much of what we use is built in house, and there is a lot of culture to adapt to, because most companies don't function the way Google functions. Hence, all new hires get shipped over to the mothership, partly to centralise all of this learning, and partly (I suspect) because the Googleplex is really, really cool. I've been told I must try all of the cafes and slides.

The flight over was truly awful. It felt like crossing the Atlantic in the jet plane equivalent of a council tower block. My entertainment system was broken, so I had to relay on what I had with me. Fortunately, I had prepared for this eventuality and loaded my iPad up with some films and TV shows, and the iPad has a much nicer screen, anyway. What I wasn't prepared for, though, was how shit the cabin crew were going to be. I must have pushed the call button thirty times during the flight and they did not respond once. I always had to flag someone down or walk to the galley. Before you ask: it did occur to me that maybe my call button was malfunctioning, but no: the crew confirmed that it was working. Perhaps, then, they were busy? Some of the time yes, I'm sure, but I also watched them standing around chatting as I pushed the button. Not cool, British Airways, not cool.

Speaking of happier things, I arrived in San Francisco and proceeded to the hire car stand to be greeted with a huge queue. I don't want to oversell how long the queue was, but some of these people had tents. After moment realisation dawned, though: since I work for Google I automatically have Hertz #1 Gold status, so I walked straight past that queue to the garage... and proceeded to wait in a shorter queue. Still, I call that a win.

As of right now I'm sitting in my very pleasant hotel room trying to decide what to do for a couple of hours before I can legitimately go to sleep. Aside from getting dinner, of course. That's the next problem. I'm probably a little strung out right now, so if this post reads a little incoherent, let's just go ahead and assume that's the reason why, m'kay?

Tomorrow I'm going to go for a bit of an explore. I'll let you know if I find anything exciting. Stay classy.

Nick Johnson
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Nick Johnson

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