Monday, July 03, 2006

Working for a big company

Every company has their own culture. Here they seem to be trying to change theirs. They are known for being stuffy. At the orientation they kept conveyed messages like- you could dress real casual, but make sure it is still nice. It's OK to cut through the bureaucracy - but don't forget to do your paper work. A perfect example is they had a party for all the interns from the 3-4 buildings in the area to mix. It was a BBQ, but we got meal tickets and could only choose one type of meat and two sides, and company policy-no alcohol on site. (Since I don't drink, not having drunk people around was nice though.) But what happened was everyone would come, eat, and then leave since there was no real reason to linger. No one mixed.
The building I work in is purely a research building. This is the place where they invented the hard drive. The prototype is on display in one of the halls. (It's about 6 feet by 5 feet tall and deep with the platters about 3 feet across.)Our office is next door to the particle accelerator so all the lead cuts down on the cell phone reception. There is an atom smasher just down the hall for creating new compounds. We all had to go through extra training for different types of chemical spills that might happen, and they have an entire library devoted to the MSDS books. There is liquid nitrogen on tap and the halls are filled with dewars of helium and other gasses.(a dewar is like a regular tank only 9 times bigger.) They have regular teaching sessions about what they are researching for the other people there and we can go to them too. (Most of what they say is over my head though.) It was funny that I knew I recognized one guy working here and finally placed it that he had written the book for my database class and I recognized his picture from the back of it.
The site I work at is on the top of its own hill and the first time I saw it I thought it looked like a compound. Apparently they bought 6 ranches for 160 acres. There is a guard shack at the bottom and a private road on both sides of the hill. I got to say this makes for the best commute on a motorcycle with the twisty road first thing in the morning and coming home at night. The only thing I have to worry about is deer, since they are everywhere. I usually see them about every other day. Since we are isolated they have their own cafeteria with subsidized food that is restaurant quality so I make sure to get dessert every day.

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