Wow! I had no idea when being invited to Mountain View California by my son and his wife that I would be a guest at Google’s first “Bring your parents to work day”, (the first in its history), honoring parents of all employees. My son flew in from Miami where he was holding a Google conference to be at the airport to greet me on Wednesday afternoon. Whisked off to Google Headquarters at 9 am Thursday, 2000 parents were greeted by Mr. Laszlo Bock, Vice President, People Operations of Google Inc. We were then led into the huge amphitheater where charismatic Omid Kordestani gave a moving speech about why “Google is considered the greatest company in the world to work for.”
Statue of Lloyd Bridges in the park
1-We are not a conventional company and don’t intend to become one
2- Our goal is to develop products that service as many people as possible and impact the world
3- We are willing to fund projects that have a 10% chance of success if in the long run it may generate billions
4- Don’t be evil
5- Our employees who name themselves googlers matter to us – we encourage their passion for innovation. We make their world colorful and fun. It’s all about our employees.
I totally agreed with his statement since everywhere looked, I observed an atmosphere of fun, freedom and a fabulous future. Google believes in serving its employees. Receiving 75,000 applications a week, it takes dozens of employees to sift through résumés and only a few hundred a year to be interviewed. My own son had thirteen interviews during a nine month period. He has never been happier for the Google atmosphere is amazing – intimate buildings surrounded by parks, lounge chairs for those who do not like to sit at desks, nineteen gourmet cafeterias, free of charge all day long, exercise and game rooms,A bowling alley massage therapists, huge and complete medical facilities, free chartered bustransportation for employees, free laundry and errand service and a host of other perks (like Japanese toilets) you would have to see to believe.
The Google philosophy allows employees in group teams to share their creative visions, ask for input, and develop great ideas. The “voice” is echoed throughout the vast facility for all are encouraged to “dream big” and follow through with ideas (backed financially by Google even if it’s in large sums. Their new “Sci-fi eyeglasses” promise to be revolutionary!
Also at Google there are self-driven cars (perfect for the headless knight) and free use of colorful bicycles. Dogs are allowed to accompany their masters and of course romp in Google’s Dog Park. There is even a small lake for beach front respite. Employees receive tickets to fabulous weekend concerts, musicals rock star performances at their vast amphitheater (Cirque du Soleil was there recently), and hobbies such as bee keeping and gardening are also encouraged and allowed on the grounds. Employees join in sports teams and even dance (I went wild in the gorgeous dance studio).
After this tour, and the royal treatment of nightly gourmet restaurants, we visited the Stanford University Track and field Invitational, where we watched Joe’s alumna friend from U.S. Military Academy at West Point place first in the hammer throw. Evenings, my son spent many hours of assistance with my new Artsyanecdote blog, I also listened to him singing songs from musicals I had choreographed. So many memories - so much fun! I told my son that I was thinking of staying forever. My Google hat is now worn with pride and a reminder of one of the most awesome weekends of my life.