It is difficult to explain what a day at Google is like. One must experience it.
The place is huge, the pace hurried but not frenetic, the brain power palpable.
Chris invited me to parent’s day. It was a chance to sit and listen, to eat and meet, to learn and like, to get a feel for where he works and the people with whom he works. And it was marvelous.
We started our day at Philz for coffee. Philz is not a Google place. Rather, it is a California icon for custom brewed coffee and all that goes with it. I had a specialty coffee but could never remember the name. I said regular, the young woman smiled, and soon I had my cup of something delicious.
From there we went to Google where I passed security as a guest academic. I liked that. Not a parent; rather an academic. I waited in Chris’ office as he had a meeting and, in that hour, I did not hear one phone ring in the outer spaces. Everyone texts, works, looks up when you pass, smiles and says hello.
Off to Crave for breakfast. Crave is one of the many restaurants at Google that serve free meals to their employees; meals well prepared and very good.
From Crave we went to hear the latest news about Google photos and videos … how they were stored and organized for free and how from them one can easily make a photo book. I was in class. I was learning. I was one of the older ones, but at that moment, I did not feel so.
Then lunch. It seems as if we ate all day, but not so. We ate a little. I had a panzanella salad at yet another eating emporium on the campus. Never thought I might get a homemade panzanella in and among the 24,000 employees.
Then to the expo area at the colosseum. (Did I say we rode Google bikes that are gratis at almost every corner.) Yes, it was a theater venue where Google had many things to see and do for the thousands there.
In the amphitheater, we heard updates from Google employees introduced by Sergey Brin, Google co-founder and Sundar Pichai, CEO. Their approach signified Google’s culture of learning, caring, innovating and teaching (my list). They took questions from parents in the audience of nearly 8,000.
What a day. I have a Google pennant, a tee shirt, sun glasses, a knapsack full of memories and a bucket full of information.
Thanks, Google. Thanks Chris.