Thursday, April 30, 2009

Zurich Expat Bloggers Meetup - PART 3 : Google Zurich Tour (continued)

(Continued from Part 2...)

During our tour of the Zurich Google offices, we were lead all over from floor to floor, down two poles, over the bridge (outside connecting the two buildings with an awesome view of the Alps in the distance) and through the woods (nature floor)... and eventually we were led to the sea. By that, I mean the quiet room. There are about 3 or 4 massage chairs in this totally dark space and about 6 different fish tanks. More than one of us (Kerrin especially!) got a bit comfortable here. I was happy to plop myself into this tub. If I had had a magic marker with me, I might have been tempted to write "Jessica was here" European graffiti style on the bottom of the tub.

Speaking of relaxation, Googlers also get free massages in house.

Can we get more jealous than this? NO.

My favorite quote of the day was when someone asked Marie what kind of massage she gets - Swedish or whatever. She said, "I don't care... just milk me." I loved it... and no doubt so do the rest of the Googlers. Everything in the office is designed so that the Googlers are taken care of and are able to do what they do best - organize the world's information (according to the Google mission). And if that takes a couple of massages a week, I am down with that... have an extra Cherry Garcia while you're at it. We appreciate what you do and understand it's all part of the job. ;)

After checking out all the floors and meeting spaces, the gym, large conference rooms, games room and more, it was time for the big finale... and well, it's Google, so why wouldn't you expect an in house slide that leads straight into the on-site cafeteria. We all had a bit more luck with this than the pole. Nik, one of the Googlers that joined us for the tour and had all kinds of interesting stories and anecdotes on hand (love the story about the coffee machine rack!), said that from time to time the table in front of the slide is staffed with Googlers at the ready with score cards. I am sure my slide performance was a perfect 10... I so nailed that landing. I am so in. ;)

After the tour we met up again for drinks in the library, and Kannan, our host, also came in on his Sunday after a long week of traveling to meet up with the group. It was awesome to hear about his experiences at Google, and he mentioned an article coming out soon in Wired Magazine about a recent uber fascinating trip he took. I will link to that at a future date. Stay tuned.

All in all, I think we all know that Google is an amazing company to work for and that they take care of their employees almost as well as they they take care to keep their search algorithms secret... (I threatened one passerby for the secret formula but he said no and offered me some free gummy bears and a game of guitar hero and I was soon distracted... )

But what I really learned from this awesome opportunity is how generous Google is when it comes to giving back to the blogger community. The Google office was a great place to kick-off our Swiss Expat Blogger Meet-ups, and I think everyone was well impressed and invigorated by the opportunity to tour the amazing Google Zurich offices - I know I was!

Thank you again to Kannan and Marie for this awesome opportunity to get a close up view of the company that creates many of the cool online tools we use to connect with friends, family and expats while living in Switzerland. If you ever need someone to clean all those whiteboards full of Google secrets, you know who to call...

The bloggers that went on the Google tour - Juanita, Carla, me (and my hot stuff... I was taking those glasses off, I swear...), Kerrin, Kylie, Isaiah, Amanda, Jace, Rob and Tina. Thank you, Kerrin, for sending the photos through and to Marie for taking them!

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Kathy said...

Very nice. I'm sending these posts to my husband, who works at Google.

Jessica said...

Thanks, Kathy. I am sure you reap the rewards as well! Have you been down the pole? ;)

Kerrin - MyKugelhopf said...

You betcha I was a fan of that crazy massage chair ! ...and tub filled with sponge balls. Who wouldn't be?!

When you mentioned the massages and Marie's comment, I had actually heard her say, "...just melt me." (instead of milk me ?!) Either way, twice a week, she's a lucky lady!

Meanwhile, I am kinda hoping there with be a Part 4 to this series...

Romy said...

I just cannot believe a workplace this awesome even exists - Ben & Jerry's? Slides?! And massage chairs...oh'd have to drag me off it kicking and screaming!

krystal said...

i am so jealous of your connection to the google office...i recently watched a youtube video on working for google and about lost my mind with jealousy. zurich was mentioned as the most fancy - do they just randomly give tours if i show up and say please?? :)


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