Agilent Week One….Done!

TGIF never sounded so good. While the week has been good, my brain is fried. So many things to learn, things to see, names to remember. I’m sure that the inside of my skull roughly resembles mush.  Here’s a low down on how my week went…..
There are roughly 450 Agilent employees here and the buildings are shared between Agilent, Avago, Verigy and 3M totaling some 1500 employees in total.  Everyone takes the elevator all the time, even if only going up or down one floor and in some cases stairs aren’t even an option….this is very curious to me where we are advised never to use the elevator in Santa Rosa.  Tuesday I went down what I thought was the flight of stairs only to be led through a crazy maze of passages doors and I ended up outside I think via what was a fire escape and definitely not where I wanted to be….oops, oh well.  I found my way eventually.
The noise level is super low and this is in comparison to building 1 upper in Santa Rosa, which I thought was very low. I haven’t had my first telecon at work, but my coworkers here are in for a surprise when I do given the volume I normally use when on the phone.  They’ll get use to me and I’ll get used to them I am sure. 
They have ping pong tables here, as expected, but they are given coveted real estate unlike the ping pong tables in Santa Rosa Agilent (outside under an eve).  Here, they even have little walls specifically designed to stop the ball from rolling too far away on the floor.  I watched 4 guys play for a little while and the ball moved so fast it was hard for me to even determine who hit it much less who returned it!  It was amazing, but I know I could never join a pick up game.
For lunch, various coworkers have been taking me out to various local places.  I’m trying to do my best to remember the name of the dishes I get and how to properly pronounce them, both of which are rather challenging, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.  Lunch is cheap: $3 for the meal $1.20 for a drink.  Charles and I at the end of a day will quiz each other on what the other had for lunch and if it was good or not.  We’ve found that on average his meals are twice as expensive as mine as I’m in the local hinterlands up on the north side of the island, and he’s downtown in the financial district.  At least $3 vs. $6 isn’t going to break the bank in any case!    

The weather is nice here and while it is considered cold for the locals it is a lovely temperature by my definition and a great temp to slowly adjust myself into living on the equator.  My hair on the other hand does not love the climate and the humidity makes me look like Tina Turner in the 80s!  Whoa Nelly, I have not big, but HUGE hair!  Until my shipment arrives which contains multiple means to contain it with, I’m rocking a ponytail daily!  Don’t ask for photos—I refuse to send any.  I’m am seriously considering doing what the locals do, which is have it chemically treated and thus never needs anything but washing….get out of the shower, towel dry and go!  Sounds like heaven if you ask me, but I have to look into how much it costs.
I’ve been commuting to/from work via public transportation—a big change from being in a car for an hour, however it still takes me an hour!  Three modes of transportation are used which I’ve analyzed to be the issue in my long commute: public bus, subway  then private Agilent bus (free to employees) which takes you from the subway to our facility.  Each node (I know I’m a nerd) I have to wait at for the next bus/train/shuttle to come along and each one takes time.  While I enjoy all of this immensely (because it is so different than my prior commute), it feels so very inefficient as I’m only going 10 miles or so door to door.  55 miles from Santa Rosa to San Francisco at least feels like I have something to show for my 1 hour.  We’ll hopefully be moving into more permanent housing at the end of the month and my commute will get easier as we’ll be located on the subway line and closer to the office.
I’ve been dialing into teleconferences from home in the mornings so I can meet with US counterparts during their working hours. This actually is really wonderful as it breaks my day up into nice chunks: before going into the office, at the office but before lunch, and after lunch.  I’ve been leaving the office somewhere between 5 and 6 which means even with my hour commute home, I beat Charles.  My mushy brain thus far likes the schedule. 


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