The Mothership – Working at the main office


Intro: I recently was relocated from our satellite office to the mothership in Santa Clara.

I was expecting it to be different. Of course I had visited before, so I wasn’t a babe in the woods, but it is a culture shock to go from a small ~ 100 employee satellite office to a site with a few thousand employees. 5 buildings, lots of hallways, and a lot of long timers.


  • Coffee: We have awful coffee here. There are multiple coffee stations with big brewers, and they buy decent coffee (Seattle’s Best), but it seems to never be fresh. Also, being large brewers, you use multiple satchels of coffee grounds, and inevitably some sadist used 4 or 5 instead of the recommended 2. So it is too strong. Yes, there is a cafe where you can buy a good cup of coffee, but it is a 15 minute walk, and it costs money. In Chandler we had a simple single serving machine, that while it wasn’t great coffee, it was decent.
  • Work hours: I am an unapologetic morning person. From my current temporary housing, I can get to the office in about 10 minutes, and I get here by 7:15 or so. Our hallway is empty at that hour. People start rolling in around 8:45 and are at work at 9:00. I guess that is good, as I can get an hour or more distraction free work done. But by 5:00 the office is pretty empty. I guess it is really a 9 – 5 job…
  • Fat pipe: Working in the Chandler office, we were remote to the file servers. A lot of files I needed to access were in our Santa Clara or Colorado Springs data centers, and accessed via a thin connection. Opening an excel file from the server could take a couple minutes or more. No longer. It is almost faster than opening from the SSD on my laptop. Wow. Love it, this is a huge benefit.
  • Cubicle Life: I used to sit about 8 feet from my boss, but I had a partially enclosed cubicle. I could lower my head and get things done, and see distractions coming. Now my back is to the aisle, and when I put on my headphones, I don’t hear people walking up besides me. Yikes, getting surprised that way sucks. I will need to buy a little mirror so I can monitor the traffic. On the positive side, I have slightly more space in this cube, so I don’t have to feel as cramped.

All in all it is what I expected.

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By geoffand

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June 2014

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