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Tough Google Support Jobs?  (View post)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

Saturday, March 10, 2007
12 years ago12,370 views

Another interesting comment from the same page (aaronsw.com/weblog/googlife#c1 ...):

<<I did an internship at Google and it was a very strange experience. When I finished, I didn't miss anything. Not the people, not the environment, not the work itself... I left with the feeling that it had been too much trouble (months of interviews and ass licking) for so little satisfaction. The only benefit I can find for working at Google is the reputation you obtain, because of the image it projects.

I suppose one of the issues is that you need a certain mindset to fit into their "culture". To me, Google looked too often like a cult of self-indulgent people that had been abused so much to get the job that lost all type of self-respect afterwards. To see people with PhD from top-rank universities working as code monkeys 12h per day, or MBAs doing payroll... I don't know, I never got to understand it.

Another interesting fact that people from the outside don't realize is that, internally, many departments in Google are bordering disaster. Travel takes months to pay trip expenses. Payroll make constant mistakes. Security was taking two months to issue a badge. HR 'lost' my documents several times and took months (literally) to issue an invalid contract (start date set on a Sunday).>>

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yeah, but in this choas, there is innovations in occurrence ...correct ??

Many companies have the same issues.with employees... its not new..!!

Support Staff are always know to work their butts off and never get paid for the job.. thats why google sucks at support services..!!

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Support is always thank-less :-(

Google is special / different. I don't think it's "the thing" for everyone. If it were that bad in all departments, wouldn't the turnover in employees be much higher? Or why do people stay that long at Google?

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

every company always looks different from the inside.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Someone said one day : "Google is not a company, it's 100 DotComs." So all depends on which on these companies you work ;-)

Nevertheless, if Google offers me an internship, I WILL SAY **YESSSS**! :) Google, if you're listening to me, I need an internship from April to June :-P

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I don't know many people who would say this about their jobs, but it's what I heard from a Google-Employee:

>I just want to let you know how amazing I think it is
>to work here. My coworkers are brilliant people that
>I truly admire, and I feel like I have the best job in
>the world. I love that I am able to go from an actual
>need that I see (...) to a working solution in such
>a short amount of time. I love being here and
>couldn't imagine being happier anywhere else.

Once you have a certain number of employees it's almost impossible to not have a few that are unhappy with their job. Just because Google has a "100% fun" image doesn't make it any different – it just makes the public cases more interesting to dissect.

Did anyone else read all of xooglers? I wish it would continue :-). Can someone quit from Google and take over? Thanks.

GoogleEmployee [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I work in the New York office and this isn't true, at least in NYC. The size of our office does pale in comparison to Mountain View, but the support people in the New York office aren't separated from microkitchens or at all mistreated. Everyone always makes time for a little ping pong. The reason there are so many smart people working in almost menial roles is because of the environment Google likes to create, one where people are able to move horizontally within the company if they are interested in something else. This way, very qualified people aren't stuck doing one thing forever.

That's just my humble opinion though. :)

stefan2904 [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I´ve wondered what so many engineers and programmers do. i mean, ok, there are many google projects, but for ~10.000+ engineers and programmers???

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Did anyone bother to read Adam's comment there? I think he like it :-)

How would you like your employees to talk like this about your company:

>Plus my job is just so damn fun and keeps
>me so damn busy that I have zero time during
>the day to slurp on the feeds.
>
>Btw, did I mention that when we ship we’re
>going to, ahem, rock your world in a “how on
>earth did I live without that” kinda way?

I wish mine would.

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

True? I can not believe it.

By the way, in China, common works time is 12hours *7days, when busy season comes, it is 18hours*7days. When the deadline coming, we should worked as a cat. Work, sleep a while, then work. My highest record is working for 96 hours with only 4 hours sleep. 96hours, day and night.

So works for 50hours/Week is not so bad.

Also I think Google's work is for a dreamer, not for real money and relax work.

Both we hate hard work, hate low salary. But do you notice, someday, when power down, have to go the street for drinking, and get easy money to happy, finally we feel big headache. And so tired too.

Hard work will make us really happy, after you settled or find a new way or get a new theory.

I love work.

Peter [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

i did a 3 month contract at google in a type of support role – removing porn from orkut. so, it was actually 'mechanical turking' – brain-dead stuff. it was often humiliating and boring and all the rest, but it was also often like heaven.

there is much wrong with google and working at google – of course – it's a for-profit (read: anti-human) corporation (read: near-perfect authoritarian structure) – so don't expect to walk around with your dignity intact. expecting that of any 9-to-5 corporate job is just asinine.

that said, as a contractor, you work 9 to 6. you play foos. you go to lunch and eat everything in site. you enjoy the special mid-day desserts that the chefs surprise you with by just leaving them in the small kitchen areas. you help yourself to coffee and breakfast and healthy snacks and lunch and steak dinners and every beautiful damn chicken plate you've ever had in your life and not and if you love Indian food you can eat it every damn day. you get free t-shirts. you get to workout at lunch using one of the gyms or after work or go for a jog around campus or play at a nearby pick-up soccer game or just go for a lovely stroll to one of the cafes that is furthest from your building. enjoying a lunchtime stroll across the mountain view campus during the fall was about as close to heaven as i've ever come during _any_ life experience, much less while I was at a damn corporate job.

yeah – google worked with our employer (Nelson/Workforcelogic) – to make sure we weren't covered by health care until after 3 months of employment – so we were going to be covered starting at the last day of our work – which would have at least made us eligible for COBRA coverage, but then they shortened the contract by a couple of days to prevent that nonsense. pretty gangsta, even for a corporation, but end of the day, probably good for the shareholders.

google pitted each contractor in my group against each other to make all of us produce more during the day – that's pretty anti-human, anti-team, anti-etc., but a good test of potential employees' willingness to submit to authority. i heard that a lot of the full-timers worked a lot of hours, but saw nothing i ever experienced as a programmer at my jobs all across the country for the past ten years. i'd hang out late playing foosball occasionally and when we were done there might be a few people hanging around, but nothing crazy. these kids didn't even roll-in until 9 or 10 in the morning. and the google full-timers were without the stress – e.g. who cares if someone died and some relative wants to cancel an orkut account? there's a process – a procedure – they do it many times a day – these things take time. you sit in your chair and respond to emails. you say things like, "pl3ase visit our help site" and move on to the next case. you bust out your few hundred cases a day and you live your glorious google life.

i saw a _lot_ of full-timer smiling faces – and also a lot of smiling contractor faces, but they were always tinged with worry about impressing enough to get a full-time job. and google seems to hire fresh white faces instead of black faces who've been busting their butt for months as contractors. probably just instututionalized racism of a sort – what do you expect when you hire kids whose parents were all well-to-do multi-degreed doctors and lawyers and professors?

there was only one full-timer i met during my three months there that seemed to be burdened by the work, and i had a feeling she was the type to want to be burdened by the work – the "oh, I have to work _so_ much" type. if the full-time support people are suffering, it was hard to tell. many drive new hybrid cars, paid-for, in part, by google. many live close to work. it's a nice, cheerful office. very quiet, i would say, compared to most other places i've worked, but that's because those kids do, in fact, work. and they all took advantage of the perks, just like i did. foos. lounging chairs. xboxes. kitches. gyms. ping pong. holiday parties, big and small. jukebox. etc.

there are a bazillion other youngish people working there. you have an instant social life built up with literally hundreds of cool people. there are hundreds of pretty boys and girls to flirt with in your spare time. there are dozens/hundreds of other couples to do coupley things with. yes, most of the people are from the uppermost strata of our society, so they're not all cool, but many of them are – surprisingly cool, even.

at the end of my 3-month tenure i and a couple other folks got canned, so to speak, and a slightly-larger group of others got extended. i spent a good amout of time 'testing google reader' instead of checking out the latest in brazilian fetish porn, but others on the team were able to follow orders a bit better.

did i miss leaving? yep.

would i do anything to get back there? nope. but i would do a lot. (well, now i have a new special circumstance – i got a new job that is the best i've ever had, probably in large part because it's in customer service. so, i actually would not even do a lot anymore – probably nothing at this point. but before my new job, i'd have done a lot.)

my interview process was super-cake. met two folks – talked to them – done. the hiring was reminiscent of how i used to get hired as a java coder during the heyday of Internets I. this had a lot to do with it being a contract job. full-time employees really had to slob a lot of knob to get hired – there's no doubt about that. it was worse than most other places i'd seen, but it was also google – mad perks, mad rep, mad future, mad fun, mad everything.

shoot, there are dumpy little companies out there like HotorNot.com that require two face-to-face interviews, on separate days, before hiring. so, it shouldn't be totally unexpected that Google wants you to submit to a few rounds of interviews before they hire you. working for a corporation is, after all, about your submissiveness. will you submit yourself to the authority of the corporation. showing that you're willing to show up for a few rounds of interviews in your fresh threads and play the proper role is what is expected. it's your choice, though.

now, i have found another really cool job – almost unbelievably cool, and i switched to doing full-time customer support from being a programmer – and it was the best decision i ever made. i should have done it eight years ago. it's a cake job, incredibly rewarding, and if you are actually somewhat competent you get treated like a damn hero. so, all you support people, stop pissin and moanin – you have no idea how good you got it.

i believe there are people that exist that have left google on their own terms for reasons related to their unhappiness and that are actually happier now, elsewhere, and don't miss google, but there are a _lot_ of caveats there. many people who leave do startups. many people are extraordinarily talented and should never have joined google in the first place – they only wanted a taste of what it was like. many people have an ahole boss – which doesn't necessarily say anything about the work culture in general – tyrant bosses live everywhere.

as for the original quoted post from the customer service google employee – not. credible.

:)

Anonymous Byneed [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #


Google support is atrocious. I say this with intimate knowledge of having to navigate their support all the time especially from an enterprise context (Google Enterprise).

It is simply unreasonable and insane to charge and provide enterprise support through only email (they only recently reluctantly added phone support) and it's almost impossible to get a live person on the phone to troubleshoot a production issue. They have ZERO concept what good customer support is and as far as I can tell think of customer support when they are done drinking the lattes, playing games etc. Customer support is NOT an afterthought and email support certainly is not acceptable.

That said, the sheer amount of arrogance exhibited is staggering. That said, Google really needs to improve their support. Work smart not work more.

Jon Henshaw [PersonRank 4]

12 years ago #

It's my impression (not fact, just a perception) that it's the engineers who rule the land at Google. Everyone else is a commodity and cog in the giant machine.

AnotherGoogler [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I'm an engineer in mountain view, and haven't found it to be like the support person described it. Yes, engineers are first-class citizens, but this doesn't mean everyone else is treated like trash. Part of the reason the commenter may have had this perception is because of expansion. Google's campus is encompassing more and more buildings, and it's quicker to set up the offices than it is to set up the cafes, so the cafes are more toward the center of campus (where the engineers are). This is changing, though, as new cafes open. I don't know the specifics of what non-engineers are offered, but I know a large proportion of them have all the same on-campus benefits I do... buildings with few to no engineers have their own cafes, for example.

Peter's comment (above) sounds pretty balanced and accurate to me, though I can't say for sure since I don't work that type of job.

Dark paladin [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Every company start experiencing employee discontent once they reach a certain size. It's a part of life, if it's bad then leave whenever you can i'm sure there's alot of others who'd love to go and work for Google.

I've never seen what it's like to work in Google so i'm not going to say if the workstyle sucks or not but it's fair to say that Google IS still THE dream place to work for many people...

Alex Ksikes [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I love this guy! :)

YetAnotherGoogler [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I'm a non-engineer Googler in the Mtv View office and can say we're certainly not treated poorly, nor are we all support folks. I've been there five years and it's hands down the best work environment in the Bay Area due to the people mainly, but also the perks and interesting projects. Probably our biggest fault is having a too-stringent hiring process and losing out on some great talent, but we're working on ways of fixing that. It saddens me to hear some people may have not had the same experience as me and most of the people I know, but as someone pointed out with a company 10,000+ employees strong, it's going to happen. My $0.02.

ogletree [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Don't apply to Google if you have ever said anything on a forum that goes against their guidlines. I just went through 2 interviews with Google and my second interview was a trial of everything I ever said on webmasterworld. I did not get the job. No matter how qualified you are they won't hire you if you have ever enterained the thought of doing something against what they say not to do. Google hires people to read all the forums and find out what people are saying. I had stuff I said 3 years ago thrown in my face.

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Dear Ogletree:

I do not agree with you. As a good company, can grow up based on the criticism. I think Google did not close this door.

To be honest, and point where the mistakes is, even the Google did. God also have mistakes. The criticism will be welcome at Google.

I also got some interviews from a famous companies(Not google), I also in the same case as you. Cause I am a little famous critic in China. My final answer is "You can do, I can say, but without your permit, I will not open our talking at this interview."

I am little angry. Some days later, a company called me to work, I just feel they are different from me. And refused the offer.

In my another chance, the boss is kind and friendly, I do not care if it is a small company and not rich. But at last, I cared about that his slow and his none ambition. I only like to work with "TOP1 in my brain".

So, a good company is hard to be found. Google is hard to join, how about to try a one, Philipp? In this forum, should have many TOP1s that can work together.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

One person's heaven is another person's hell. What one person might find to be acceptable, fun and the most perfect job in the world, another might think it's unfair, boring and the worst job in the world...

Elias Kai [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I agree with Tony Ruscoe

Panda Mimi [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Agree to Tony Ruscoe.

KJ [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

The power of press... note

"someone who claims to be working at Google"

I love it when no names are named and it’s always anonymous. I understand the need to protect the person’s identity but still, that is not credible enough. If I had a blog, I can spread propaganda about other companies or even countries and put words like “it came from a credible source”.

Example”
“A person who works in Microsoft overheard executives high up claim that Vista was a huge failure”

“A credible source from Yahoo said that the company’s goals from now onwards is to copy Google”

“An insider at Google said that they will be shutting down the search engine pretty soon”

Even if it is credible, that support guy probably has no ambition and is just working a day to day job. Sad to see people like that to work at Google and there are many others that can fill his shoes. I am pretty sure that Google awards outstanding contributions to the company. Not that I work there and have a credible source:).

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

i'd just like to have a couple free t-shirts. XXL please, the XL i bought was too small and our pet rats nibbled on it.

anon [PersonRank 7]

12 years ago #

I'm an ex-googler myself, from Dublin HQ.
I confirm what was said in this article. Reality isn't as sexy as Google wants it to appear. Even if you have an engineering diploma, but work for technical support, forget about the 20% thing.. Online Sales Operations have different rules... and please.. keep smiling! one big happy family.. be fun, be creative, but most of all : be quick.

If someone has access to the numbers, try to get a hold on the turnover rate in Dublin (European HQ). Might be interesting ;)

anon [PersonRank 7]

12 years ago #

google.com/technology/pigeonra ...

this might help to understand how online sales operations work.

Mike Wells [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Wait...this guy doesn't get stock options, but he's waiting until his refresher grant has vested?

GeorgeT [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

..maybe you shouldn't think that to work in a workplace doesn't equal to "only be" in a workplace..
Dude, you have to work, even this part of Europe; Hungary. If you are unsatisfied, you have to realize that they did not hire you to play football in their yard..

George

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Darn you Brinke, I spewed out my coffee reading you comment!! Laugh of the day goes to you!! :)-

Anonymous Googler [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

All of the stuff about lava lamps, bouncy balls, foosball and video games are true, but let's face it--this is a multibillion dollar company, not summer camp. There are indeed projectors in some areas with up-to-the-second stats on email turnaround time (or, for engineers, bug counts). When it comes time for your performance review, your reviewers will look at everything you did--every progress report, every line of code or document checkin, every email response to a user. The company provides meals and shuttle service so that you can work those extra hours instead of driving or cooking. Engineers may be told that the world revolves around them, but it doesn't. Revenue is revenue, and it's tracked down to the tiniest sliver. If the execs don't like your project, it doesn't ship and your team gets "encouraged" to work on stuff that makes money instead. If you aren't producing, you get demoted. It is an extremely competitive environment. Some people thrive in it, but it's definitely not for everyone.

Employment Blog [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Google is probably a great place to work, because despite the bad things that happen, the fact that you worked at Google is likely to get you far in your career. There are a lot of people, including myself, who have worked at jobs they hated because they knew that the name recognition alone would get them far in their careers. Let's face it, Google is Google, and you will probably get far in your career as a result of your experience there. If it sucks, well then just take advantage of the perks-- eat a whole lot of the free food.

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