Perks of Google

by Samm Bennett
Okay, so I'll finally try to do it. I've been asked so many times, I'll try to answer the un-answerable question of "What's it like at Google." Mind you, I should be playing Gears of War right now, so you better be really happy about this post!

So at this point its kind of hard to pick out the most interesting bits, but I'll give it a whirl. First, I don't mind going to work. At all (well, okay, at least when I'm not hyped on Gears of War). Yes the food is amazing (although breakfast could have a bit more variety), and is provided throughout the day - as in breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have to say a lot of the food is completely foreign to me, but only once have I disliked whatever I randomly picked to eat. Usually, the food is amazing, the desserts even more so.

There are also the micro-kitchens, one every 100 feet, stocked with mostly healthy snacks, tons of cereal, and various beverages. I'm talking all kinds of soda, organic juices, high quality tea/coffee, and energy drinks. Latte machines. Oh yeah, there's mango/strawberry lassi at one cafeteria all the time. Most importantly, that same cafe has the holy grail of energy drink, Bawls (both sugar and sugar-free versions).

Moving on from food, another awesome perk at Google isn't one too uncommon in the tech industry - games. Every building has at least one pool table and one foosball table. Video game cabinets are scattered about (including Mrs. Pac-Mac and Robotron). I've seen two abandoned Dreamcasts. Oh, and pinball machines. These things are great when stuck at a problem or motivation is hard to find.

Of course Google has an exercise room. What's interesting is there are a bunch of classes taught as well, such as yoga, kickboxing (aerobic), and such. Unfortunately, no real martial arts :( There's a sauna and a pool of sorts as well.

On site massages, hair-cuts, laundry rooms, etc. With all of these things, there's not much of a reason to leave. And I don't. If the free shuttles ran a bit later, I would probably stay at work for more than the 11 hours a day that I do already.