My first week in CA (Part 2)

My First Day at Yahoo!
Yahoo Building DMy first day of work at Yahoo – of course I want to arrive early, right? Well, so did the other 100 people starting that day (yes, really, 100). Why were so many people starting that day? New Hire Orientation also includes interns and June 18th was the first day for many of them – otherwise the orientation would came in around 40. Why does it matter? Because my paperwork got lost in the tons of interns – that’s why! I had to go through some hassle and didn’t my ID (which lets you get around at Yahoo) that day and I was pretty bummed. Thankfully, my boss met me for lunch and took me to see my cube (BTW, it is pretty freakin’ nice!) and see the team again. Other than that, orientation was fine. I met some cool people in the different depts that I still see and talk to around campus. There were lots of handouts and lots to remember – I’m still sifting through it all.

Terry Semel steps down
As you probably heard on the news, Terry Semel, (former) CEO of Yahoo stepped down to be replaced by Jerry Yang and Susan Decker. The announcement was made on June 18th, which I mentioned above was my first day at Yahoo. During our orientation the SVP of HR actually came in and gave us the news *before* it was public. I really found this a pretty sincere gesture on their part – they considered us “new folks”. That made up for some of the misery I experienced the first day.

My Mac!Orientation continued on day two of my first week and was specifically geared toward technical folks. We got an overview about how things are done at Yahoo and were to find more information. We also received our laptops. All the misery I experienced on day one was erased when I received my MacBook Pro. We had a choice between a Mac and a PC and I’m so glad I went with the Mac. In short, it is awesome. Highlights include “just works” wireless, a glossy screen (which I read some bad reviews on, but I like it so far) and the backlit keyboard. Trust me – get one.

My First Week at Yahoo!
The remainder of the week was filled with meetings, training (alot of training classes at Yahoo, some of which you are required to take), geek stuff and fun. Yahoo emphasizes working in teams therefore you end up working with people quite often – you’re really not at your desk very much at all. My group participates in a technique called “Swarming” in which a bunch of developers are in a room (conference rooms at Yahoo are scarce given the philosophy of the company to have people work in teams) with a predefined list of tasks and they work together on that list until it is done. It’s actually a fun way to program as it is very relaxed yet very focused. Look out for new changes to the News Property very soon.

This past weekend
orchard_glen_kitchen.jpgThis past weekend was filled with apt hunting for me. We found a nice place in Santa Clara which is in a happenin’ area and is a reasonable commute to work. Elissa and I decided that we wanted to live someplace “nice” right off the bat given the last few years of living through renovations in our house. All new appliances, granite countertops, two bathrooms and two balconies, all overlooking the courtyard. The back of the complex backs up against a park so I’m sure we’ll be taking Evan their often. Plus, it is 10-15 minutes away from downtown San Jose so we’ve the children’s museum and plenty to do there, too.

Jack in the BoxMy other highlight of the weekend included a trip to Jack-in-the-Box. These used to be on Long Island up until the early 80’s. Like Carl’s Jr., I never had it before so I thought it was a good opporunity to try. I had the Sirloin Burger, with cheddar and grilled onions (JITB’s gimmick it to let you pick your cheese and the type of onionis that you would like on your burger) with Fries. Not bad at all! I think I like JITB better than Carl’s Jr., although the Carl’s Jr. restaurant was definitely cleaner.

I also had an incident with my rental car in which I thought the woman in rental returns was going to kill me, but I’ll save that story for another day.

A few days before I left NY…
I got poison ivy. I went to the doctor before I left NY and had been taking prescription medicine for it, but I’ve since ran out and it still itches. Don’t worry, it’s not contagious, but damn, it itches.

All told, it has been a fun week. I miss my family and really can’t wait until they get here. At the same time, it is probably a good think that they’re not here right now as it as let me become adjusted to my new job and get to know my coworkers. What? Want to be my coworker or even work with me? We’re hiring. Tell ’em Tom sent ya.

My first week in CA (Part 1)

It has been an interesting first week here in CA. There’s alot to adjust to: new area, new job, new computer (Mac, baby!), new life (temporarily, my family isnt here with me and I miss them dearly) plus the time difference. This is part one of two of my first week here in CA:

My First Weekend in CA

First Night
The flight was great – 6pm EST, Jet Blue, second row, aisle seat. There was a quiet guy sitting in the window seat with no one in between us. I didn’t even mind that we left JFK an hour late. I guess people realize that leaving from JFK is a hassle because the schedule seemed to have this delay built-in as I arrived in San Jose “on schedule”. I just took the time to relax, watch some TV (Fox 5 NY – the Simpson at 6:30 right through Seinfeld at 11 EST, with some channel surfing during the Primetime stuff) and did some light computer work. I got off of the plane about 11:45pm EST.

Got my luggage and rental car with no problem. Now, here’s where the fun begins. I’m staying at the Availon Silicon Valley and needed to pick up my keys. Since the office at the complex was closed I am instructed to find my keys in a “secret” location. Well, they did a great job of hiding these keys because I spent almost two hours looking for them and turned up empty handed. After a discussion with my relocation agent, the security team at the complex and the corporate housing folks, not to mention locking my car inside the gate of the complex, it was decided that I should just get hotel for the night and pick up my keys the following day. Fine, except for two things:

  1. It is now about 11pm PST, so to me, it is 2am
  2. I really don’t know where I am – where am I going to find a hotel?

OK, not to worry, I know how to get back to the airport and actually feel confident that I can get myself back to the hotel I stayed at in San Jose back in April. So, I get myself back there and the parking lot is packed – this doesn’t look good for me. Sure enough – no availability. It is now 12am PST and I’m not feeling well. The person at the desk sends me around the corner to a dumpy, but decent place and I wake the woman at the front desk and she gives me their last room. Luckily, I had no where to be on Friday morning so I could sleep in and hang out.

Man, what a night!

Apt Living
The weekend was uneventful. I unpacked, did some food shopping and drove around a whole bunch. I may have looked at a few apartments but nothing too seriously. The place I’m staying is really nice now that I can see it in the daytime. To this day I still haven’t gone in the pool but I am using the fitness center. Got to make up for all of that White Castle I was eating before I left.

Carl’s Jr. and Deluxe Burger
Deluxe BurgerThe highlight of the weekend was definitely going to the Carl’s Jr. across the street and believe me, it wasn’t too exciting. I would compare the food to Wendy’s quality. Oh, and I also went to a townie burger joint on Saturday in San Jose. The burger at Carl’s Jr. was better than Deluxe Burger’s but I can’t say the same for fries.

Tune in next time kids for details about my orientation and all of the hijinks that ensued….