Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Zurich Expat Bloggers Meetup - PART 2 : Google Zurich Tour!



That's right! Here is Part 2 of the First Swiss Expat Blogger Meet-up that took place in Zurich on Sunday (Part 1 here). I love this shot above, because we are all high after our tour of the Google offices. YES! You read that right! We had our own private tour (thank you again, Marie for giving up your sunny Sunday afternoon!). Kannan, a Swisstory reader and Googler, as they call themselves, invited us to have our first meet-up in the Google library and repay the favor for all the helpful information available on our expat blogs... and we jumped at the offer! Numbers were limited, so invites went out to those who RSVPed for the meet-up early on. See - it pays to RSVP early for our events. ;)

We were not allowed to take pictures inside, but I found these photos online and am hoping the photographer does not mind me 'borrowing' them to describe our tour.
After we got our name tags, Marie started our tour with the library. It is really posh and has hundreds of games and books that Googlers can borrow. That fireplace is a video on loop by the way! In the library was one of the many kitchens at the Google offices with free drinks and snacks on offer, too. Jace just told me that was his favorite part - the free coke. I wish I could say he was kidding, but he is probably not. He loves his diet coke. ;) We dropped our bags in the library faster than you could say "Tell me the algorithm or I will shoot" and we were on to the tour!


Each floor has a theme... there is a sports floor and a nature floor. And everywhere they have cute little meeting rooms or conference rooms - places where you can just lock yourself away and have a chat in an atmosphere that casually reminds you that you work at the coolest place on the planet. Must be nice...

Nature floor

I sat in one of these love capsules and imagined myself conf calling with Sergey while resting my feet on a cow hide pillow... I might have even heard birds chirping. So good was the day dream... or was that a recording?

For a minute... I was a Googler, I was in love... then someone said "Fireman's pole time" and I woke myself up and prepared for an even better, renowned Zurich Google office experience that until then I had only dreamed about (ok, yes, sometimes I dream REAL BIG). ;)

THE FIREMAN's POLE IN THE GOOGLE ZURICH OFFICE!!!

Google has not one... but TWO fireman's poles. I told a coworker about this today and he said... "What! A pole? What kind of pole? What do they do with those poles?" Obviously my German needs improvement... and it turns out, so does my pole sliding! Many of us jumped right on and slid down to the next floor, having a chuckle at the note on the door leading to the pole that says "No laptops on the pole" (poor sucker that learned that the hard way!), but some of us scooted down, and others just could not overcome the fear and took the stairs...no names will be mentioned... Juanita! (But she did go down the other pole and she ROCKED IT!) ;)

As I mentioned, there are like a dozen micro-kitchens in cool designs and with cool entertainment features throughout the office (fussball, air hockey, and about 4 million bean bag chairs)... and food and drink are all free...! That means three meals a day and all the Ben and Jerry's you can eat, baby.

Some of the coolest pods around the office are the refurbished, reused Swiss gondolas or chair lifts. If I ever get an interview at Google... pipe dream... I think my first question will have to be,
'Um, so what kind of pod are you sitting in now?'... 'Oh yeah...the Swiss chalet, eh?... That's a nice one...'
'Uh, can you see the deer on the wall? ....Oh... no? How about the Matterhorn... can you see that?.... '
'Oh... ok, cool... Sorry I just had to ask. So about that job cleaning the gym...' ;)
(want more?... to be continued tomorrow!...)
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4 comments:

juanitatortilla said...

I know, I was excited to have found the Zurich Google Office photo album on Picasa!
Did my "drawings" of that fall-to-me-near-death... Coming soon to the next blog entry!

P.S. I hope you/Kerrin won't mind, I've saved that Google group shot. It's a good thing we didn't do that touristy thing of same group photo x12 different cameras!

Kerrin - MyKugelhopf said...

I love it ! I was there with you all, and still, I can not wait for your blog post, part 3. So cool that you found those pictures online. Trying to explain the place to friends and family just got a whole lot easier! My favorite was by far the old Swiss gondolas. Or no wait, playing ping pong. Or no, I got it - the massage room, yes that's it !! :)

And Juanita, the photo's all yours!

Habebi said...

Omg!! I want to live in that place! How neat you got to see it!

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Okay, with an office like that I might consider going back to corporate life!!
Also I think you Swiss Bloggers have more fun than anyone else!! I'm jealous!!! I want to be an honorary swiss!!

 

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