larry and sergey sure know how to throw a party!
they started off the day with a financials presentation, then the products team gave presentations reviewing product performance in 2004.
the coolest part of the sales conference came next: a city-wide adventure race. the group of 1500+ people split off into 250 teams of 4 or 5 and were given packets with detailed course instructions. the event was so big, they actually had to coordinate with the san francisco police department since there were all these crazy teams of people running around the city. my team decided to take it easy and we went through the course at a leisurely pace - quite fitting as our team name was "turtle" (and needless to say, we definitely didn't win). along the course, we walked up this huge hill and ended up at coit tower. although i had been in san francisco many times, i had never gone to this place and i must say, there are some amazing views from that vantage point.
after the adventure race, they had a fancy dinner and a party with an open bar. i must say, 1500+ sales people getting drunk at a company sponsored party feels remarkably like a frat party. i'd had my fill of frat parties sometime around freshman year of college, so i had a drink and left promptly.
that was the end of the sales conference; but the very next day, a new and exciting activity started: the google annual ski trip! they bused everyone to squaw valley and we skied all day. then they had a huge party set up for us that night. apparently, last year they fit everyone at the resort hotel but this year, there are twice as many people so the party was out in the squaw parking lot. they actually set up five outdoor event tents, four medium sized ones and one huge one. each medium sized tent had a theme with coordinating food and music; there was a caribbean theme, texas theme, pop theme and a jazz theme. then, in the main tent was food from all the different themes, a few sushi platters and desert trays.
while walking around, i tried to meet new people at each tent i visited. eventually, i met a bunch of people who work in the product management group - basically, the people i'll be working with. it was kind of a strange setting to meet co-workers who you'll be on projects with, but everyone was cool and we had a good time chatting over the loud music. everyone i met seemed to be pretty young and energetic... i think i'm going to have a fun time working on the team :).
around 10 o'clock, larry and sergey got up and introduced the band for the evening: tainted love. they played some of their classic hits and also covered a lot of other 80s tunes. there was a huge dance floor and people were really getting down (the stiff drinks and high altitude probably greased the wheels on that one). i was feeling kinda sick and i'm a terrible dancer, so i just turned in early.
this morning, i got up and was feeling a bit better so i hit the slopes again. i'm not exactly sure why, but i got really tired while snowboarding these past few days. uh oh, maybe i'm getting old. i'll just blame it on the high altitude and blazing sun. around 3, i finally got off the mountain and headed for the buses back to san francisco.
well, that just about covers my first week at google. now i'll have to spend the weekend looking for a new bed and other matching bedroom furniture. oh boy, lucky me :/