To give you an idea of what it’s like to work at Intel, here is a blow-by-blow account of my first seven minutes in the office today.
Minute 1:I enter via the building with the café. As I enter, I tap my Intel badge on the reader and the person in uniform behind the desk (most call them “guards”; I think of them as “greeters”) says, “good morning !”.
I turn the corner and walk past an Intel University classroom. It’s empty today, but most days I see some sort of class happening there. We must have about a thousand classes you can sign up for and take right on campus.
Minute 2: I strut into the café with purpose. It’s all about the coffee. And at our Folsom, California campus, coffee is free. I myself go for the Seattle’s Best Coffee 6th Avenue Bistro blend. Others are more Starbuckspeople, which is fine because we have both. A splash of fresh, cold half and half and I’m off. I grab a complimentary organic pink lady apple because that’s how I roll. Deal with it.
Minute 3:In the hallway out of the café, I’m passed by a group of three employees speaking what I believe is Russian. I have to say I really enjoy that about Folsom. On any given walk to the café, I could hear a variety of languages spoken in the hallways. It was unexpected when I started here and, for me, it has become a privilege to have exposure to so many different cultures where I work.
On the wall to the right, I notice there’s a new installation of employee art. Yes, art created by Intel Folsom employees. I don’t know why I like that we do this, but I have to say, I do. This month, there are some very nice watercolors, I think, and I admire them as I pass.
Minute 4: I glance into the game room as I walk by and see a foursome on the foosball table getting pretty wild for just 9:45 am. Now, at this point you may wonder why I am getting into the office at 9:30 am? Is Intel for slackers or something? Heh, right. No, I had a 7 am meeting with a co-worker in Ireland, then took my 8 am meeting just before I left the house. Each job has its own situation but for me, flexibility is key because I could just as easily have a 7 am meeting as a 7 pm meeting. It all works out.
Minute 5:Heading up the stairs I pass a woman wearing knee-high Ugg boots with black and silver fur around the top. They look seriously comfortable. My Doc Martens work for me. Can’t see me in Ugg boots but you know, at Intel it’s about what you bring to the table to help us change the world, not about your footwear. Safety first, of course.
I’m headed down the main hallway now, passing people on cell phones and carrying laptops and food and coffee and notebooks. Everyone is busy and walks with a purpose. I flash on a vision of a crowded street in New York City where everyone is headed somewhere, doing something, with an underlying sense of urgency. Our main hallway is not as crowded, but it feels just as diverse and energetic as a big city.
Minute 6: I pass the PC services center. That’s where our tech-y brethren will help you solve whatever problem you may have with your company-supplied laptop and software. It seems like a quiet morning and they’re talking about Intel’s new solid state hard drives) that they put in the latest laptops. As I cross the breezeway to my building, I look out over the patio between the buildings. Pretty.
I walk on into cubeland. It’s quite a contrast to the airy and green, tree-covered patio. I’m not a huge fan of cubicles, okay? But people have a lot of freedom to make their cube their own. I myself go for sort of stark and neat. Someday, I’ll have to write a blog about people and their cubes. Someday.
Minute 7:I get to my cube, say “hi” to Pat and Chris (my cube neighbors). We spend a couple minutes reporting out on our weekend activities. I pop my laptop down and fire it up. I set my iPod app to Joanna Newsom, don the headphones, and take a sip of coffee – ahhhh. I open Microsoft Word*, start typing, and you just read the first thing I did at work today.