I was going to blog this yesterday but other stuff came up. So, sorry, it's not the most timely entry ever.
Wednesday we had our quarterly Board of Trustees' Meeting at Google HQ in Mountain View. All I did was sit at the registration table and greet people, then pull trustees aside to take headshots before they went upstairs to their meetings.
Oh yeah, and nosh on the free snacks. And talk to curious Google employees (they actually call themselves Googlers in conversation) who wanted to know about our new campus. And learn about what a freakin' sweet place it would be to work.
If I didn't have a husband tied to campus in Merced, I would so be applying for one of Google's open PR or tech writing jobs right now. I want the free snacks, the gourmet lunch, the on-site gym, the dodgeball in the hall, the kid-and-dog friendly office with the green and orange carpet. I want the $5000 adoption benefit and 12 week full-pay maternity leave. TWELVE WEEKS, HOLY HANNAH! And two weeks for the partner who is not the primary caregiver! I want the pool table and funky chairs and dry cleaning service. I want the energy and unity that seemed to pervade the place. I want it all.
Husband says, "But then you'd have to live in Silicon Valley." Yeah, and that's bad? It's getting to where housing there isn't THAT much more expensive than housing in Merced. We couldn't afford to buy a home there, but guess what? We can't afford to buy here, either. I have a lot of "if only" feelings about that, but it's all water under the bridge now.
Anyway I do wonder, why don't more companies work this way? The only thing I couldn't see at Google that I would wish for in a job was an on-site childcare facility. Do that, Googlers, and you will be perfect.
On the bright side, I think in the long term many of the most important things I saw there will happen at UC Merced. We already have remarkable unity and purpose. We'll have that youthful energy as soon as our students arrive this fall. Campus dining will be fresh and delicious although not free. The buildings are going to be innovative and gorgeous. Someday, when the kinks are ironed out, there will be childcare on campus.
I really don't have anything to complain about. I could probably even pop over to Target and find a bright green rug to perk up my gray, gray office.