Here's the scoop: June 12, 2013
Google the comparisons
I haven’t seen the new movie “The Internship,” but the story apparently revolves around two older fellows who get an internship at Google. If you want to learn more, try Googling this film.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to start reviewing movies in this space. It’s not my job to influence pubic opinion (the exception being sending everyone to Five Guys Burgers and Fries). However, I did read a newspaper article that “fact-checked” some of the job perks depicted in “The Internship.” The movie reveals job benefits that aren’t usually associated with the workplace.
Here are a few facts about Google:
• The company has more than 35 cafes featuring just about any type of food imaginable. No employee works more than 150 feet from a micro-kitchen filled with free (yes, free) snacks.
• The company has club teams for soccer, basketball and Quidditch. I don’t know what Quidditch is, but it’s good to know it’s there, if employees care to play. There are also seven gyms, a beach volleyball court, a bowling alley and plenty of opportunities to brush up on ballroom dancing, among other fun stuff.
• The Google headquarters includes a gigantic slide. For those who like to slide, I guess.
• The workplace also features “space-age nap pods,” bicycles and free shuttles to travel around the Bay Area. Oops, almost forgot, there are laundries, professional massage available and electric cars when errands need to be run. Or driven.
As we chatted about these items in the News office, it was inevitable that some comparisons be drawn.
• While we don’t have any foods that would be considered “exotic,” our resident expert baker often brings in homemade pies and cobblers. And, they’re very fresh. Free, too. Advantage: Google, but only because workers can get Indian food anytime they want.
• We don’t have any real teams, but probably only because our staff is too small to adequately fill a full roster for most sports. However, we do talk about biking and golf and we occasionally sponsor a golf tournament or Little League team. Plus, I don’t think it’s good to get all sweaty at work. Advantage: even.
Take the stairs
• There is no slide at the News office — gigantic or small. A few winters ago, we had a terrible ice problem on the sidewalk out front, so there was a lot of slipping and sliding. Advantage: Google has a softer landing place, I’m sure.
• There are no space-age nap pads at the News office that I’ve ever seen. We do, on the other hand, have a very nice couch and comfortable chair setup downstairs that provides an ideal resting place between breaking news stories. Sure, there’s some occasional drool to clean up, but that goes with the territory. With relatively few breaking stories, I think the News has the advantage in this department.
— Brian Sweeney