Dreams come true! Finally I’m start working for Google, the internet giant, the dream company to work for many people. Oops, save your imagination first, because my story this time is far from what you might imagine when someone works for Google. This story was about my 6-months experience in Google Sydney, not from the office, but from from the kitchen, where we, The Google Food Team preparing all food and beverages for all Googlers. Here’s My Google Story!
Originally written in Bahasa Indonesia
A Brief History of Google
Google name comes from the word “Googol” which means that in mathematical terms is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, which emphasizes Google’s mission on that time as a source of unlimited information on the internet. However, Google’s investors on that time apparently misspelled the name Googol became Google, until already written in the check. The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996 when they were still a Ph.D. student at Stanford University, California. Two years later, Google officially became a company on September 4, 1998. Until now there are so many Google products that we’ve used everyday, such as Android, YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Maps, and then Google search engine itself.
From Information Technology to Kitchen
I’m starting Working Holiday in Australia with all the uncertainty, what kind of job that I would get here. With my experience in information technology, I found that it was difficult to find a job that related my background in Sydney. And it feels so weird, when my resume was sent to various unrelated jobs such as housekeeping, kitchen hand, cafe attendant, waiter, cashier, and so on. Some interviews that I’ve done with some prospective employers, one offers housekeeping jobs with 5 days trial but only 2 paid days, and in other place as Kitchen Hand, but I am advised to move to Melbourne because the restaurant has just opened a branch there, with free accomodation while staying there, as they said.
But God’s plan is much better than what I’ve ever imagined, which occurred through the help of my cousin. Through his help I was introduced to his best friend (fellow Pontianak, Borneo people), Chef Andry Khouw, who is a Sous Chef at Google Sydney. In short time, I was introduced to Executive Chef Google Sydney and immediately asked for an interview. Chef seemed quite surprised with my resume that I gave, and how lucky I am, without experience in kitchen I was finally accepted to work as Kitchen Hand in Google Sydney. From a person with IT background to Kitchen, that was the beginning of my experience living in Australia.
Interview Day at Google, November 16, 2016
Fear of Don’t Know the Name of Kitchen Utensils
Honestly, this is the feeling I fear the most when I start my first day of work as Kitchen Hand. I am really ‘blind‘ to the names of kitchen utensils, especially in English. I even took the time to play video games to learn a foreign language, Influent, and also ‘googling’ the names of kitchen utensils in English. I regret that back in Indonesia, I rarely help my mom in the kitchen (I’m sorry, Mom! T_T).
But again, All is Well, God is Good, the first week I work, the fear is gone, not because I suddenly memorized all the kitchen utensils, but because the Chef and other co-workers here always be kind to help me when I don’t know the name of kitchen utensils that they ask for.
First Week in Google Sydney
As unwritten rules, there is a rule that forbids us to use the phone while working, but I feel that Google Sydney office is too cool for me. I also took the time to take photos especially when I’ve finished my working shifts, or during breaks.
Ini yang selalu membuat saya betah selama bekerja di sini
Back Pain in Second Week
Again, hard test for me in this job, i feel Back Pain hit my waist. It was not anyone’s fault, it was pure my own fault, I was so ‘naive‘ when I think that i’m able to lift all the loads by myself. And as a result when I tried to lift alone some heavy loads like big fruits (Watermelon, Melon, etc.) in a large black tube, accompanied by the wrong lifting method, my waist feels the back pain. Friday, December 2, 2016, I also asked permission to Head Chef to leave early because the pain is getting worse. From this, I learned to ask for help from colleagues when the loads exceeds my capacity. Similar with this life, we also need the help of others when we have such a heavy burden, isn’t it? 🙂
Moved from ODI to Esky Cafe
ODI (until now I’ve forgotten to find out what it means) is one of three Google Sydney office buildings, with two Cafe(s), Parklane and Laneway, where I first worked for about two weeks. My Executive Chef and Head Chef on there, Chef Adrian and Chef Matt, agreed to move me from ODI to Esky Cafe (Workplace 6), with hope that I was better prepared to work in this new place. Feeling sad and happy mixed together, sad because this meant I had to leave my close colleagues for two weeks, Javad (Iran), who always guided me in my early days as Kitchen Hand, then there was Chef Andry, Chef Matt , Chef Hendry, Chef Kevin, Chef Ananda, Mary, Rory, Yun, Alex, Cooper, Matteo, Lily, Shisena, Eric, and many more. Happy, because this is my chance trying to do my best in new workplace after what i’ve learned from ODI.
Meet with so many new co-workers at Esky Cafe, I really feel the different atmosphere here. Here I was mentored by Abshishek (India), as a senior and experienced Kitchen Hand. There’s one thing that’s different here, every time we finish breakfast and finish lunch time, we always have a short briefing time to discuss any menu prepared today for Googlers with additional information such as collections for those who have just been blessed with a child, birthday, farewell, etc, and also the complaints of the crew if any of them want to talk about it. From a small thing, like this briefing, I really feel the meaning of a kinship and togetherness during work at this workplace.
Dua rekan kerja baru yang menyenangkan, seorang laki-laki Jepang dan perempuan Taiwan , menggambarkan Australia yang multi cultural. . . Ketika gw membuat lelucon tentang 'nge-DJ' di wastafel, ternyata laki-laki Jepang ini benar-benar berkarir sbg DJ (beneran) saat masih di Jepang dulu. . . #multiculture #Australia #Japanese #Taiwanese #Indonesian #DJ #KitchenHand #FoodAndBeverage
My first time working “double shift” at Esky Cafe, starting from 07.00 AM until 09.30 PM. Imagine, working more than 14 hours.
Beautiful view from 6th floor of Esky Cafe
360-degrees photo, check here.
Attending GDG DevFest Sydney 2016
Personally, GDG DevFest Sydney 2016 (GDG DevFest = Google Developer Group, Developer Festival) became an event to fulfill my “thirsty” for the world of Information Technology. The experience of working as a Kitchen Hand only expands me in terms of thoughts, perspectives, and challenges in different ways. I believe with this event, I can expand my network in the field of Information Technology in Sydney, with my hope in the future, I can get a job related to this field that I love.
I got a lot of good insight from the speakers, and also from the people that I just met here. And it was not a coincidence that I was reunited with one of the my favourite speaker at DevFest, Samantha Connelly, when she started working for Google shortly after DevFest event. She is a Quality Activist and one of the Sydney Tester organizer.
One of the creation at GDG DevFest Sydney, created by Samantha Connelly
Kitchen Hand at Workplace, Software Developer at Home
Ko @josuaiwanwahyudi one of the best mentor in my life. Terima kasih ko untuk sharing semangatnya! Hidup ini berat, tapi semua akan indah pada waktunya. 🙂 . . @Regrann_App from @josuaiwanwahyudi – Katanya, Roma tidak dibangun dalam sehari. Jangankan roma, dunia aja butuh 6 hari. Semua pencapaian besar dibangun atas konsistensi, ketekunan, & keteguhan untuk terus bergerak maju & tetap produktif walau di tengah kesukaran. Have a great Tuesday! Keep moving forward & stay strong! #josuaiwanwahyudi – #regrann
“Great things take time”, a motivated message for me on that time, from Josua Iwan Wahyudi
Yum Cha Time with Esky Cafe’s Colleagues
Our last working day before Christmas and New Year holidays, better known as Summer Holiday in Australia, we agreed to do Yum Cha together on lunch time. This is the first moment for me to enjoy the atmosphere outside the workingplace with colleagues. In addition, i can getting know some colleagues that I rarely meet, such as Rachael and Britanny (Google Barista). And also I can getting know their personal characters outside the workplace. Although ‘the cost’ is not cheap, about 40 AUD per person, but this is a priceless moment, which I can not measure with money. I’m sure of a phrase that “free is not always the best option” (quotes from Roy Suwandi, KPA Sydney).
Encounter with Google Sydney HR Lead
One day in December 2016 at Esky Cafe, there were two beautiful women distributing Google Interns t-shirts, and spontaneously I greet them, just say hello. One of them turns out to be a Google HR Lead who has more than 10 years of experience working for Google in New York, Singapore and Sydney. This encounter became the starting point where I could see “a glimmer of hope” to become a Googler in the future. (Mission Possible!)
I also keep in contact via email with her for 6 months working here, until finally i’ve sent a farewell email on my last day of work. The reply message really makes me cheerful, because again there is a great opportunity somewhere else that definitely needed an extraordinary effort again. Thanks Google!
Reading The Google Story Book by David A. Vise
My passion using Google’s products has been so long, but my desire to know more about Google’s history as a company is getting stronger especially after I’ve been working here. By economize reasons (the price of the book in Sydney is ‘quite expensive‘ bro T_T), I went to Hurstville City Library, the closest library for me, looking for books related to the history of Google. In the end, I choose The Google Story book, written by David A. Vise, which I rent for free in this library.
Trying Shower Room at Google
Google office was famous for some of the great facilities, one of which is the ‘Shower Room‘. The sensation? Feeling freshh again ..
Bowling in Weekend
Busy working day, we hardly have a time to do something together in the weekend. With my personal initiative, I’m preparing this bowling moment. I contacted my colleagues one by one, and finally it can be done also on Saturday, March 25, 2017.
How exciting playing Bowling together at Manhattan Superbowl, Mascot
Farewell with DJ Motoshi from Japan
March 31 2017, became the farewell day with one of our best Kitchen Hand from Osaka, Japan, Motoshi Hirakawa. Japan is one of the countries that gives me so much inspiration, especially through its pop culture. There was always a “bonding” when I got a new Japanese friend, and it was unique experience for me twice that I had met two Japanese colleagues who were both from Osaka. The funny thing, when I asked him what his profession before in Japan, he answered, “DJ”, and spontaneously remind me of Kitchen Hand’s job, which is also a DJ, playing a dish in the sink.
Motoshi, similar like me, is a Working Holiday Visa maker, with 6-months limitation for us to work in the same employer. I started thinking about what kind of gift that I could give as a farewell present, and it was like “Eureka” in my mind, I will give him a caricature of his character. Luckily, I have a younger brother who has talent in illustration, HensenFM. I immediately asked my brother for help to start drawing caricature picture for Motoshi. And “He has made everything beautiful in its time”, I can finish preparing the farewell gift at the right time.
Farewell in Kitchen
Farewell in Cruise Party
Farewell with Chef Luca from Italia
Chef Luca, who also holds a Working Holiday Visa from Italy, also leave us after spending 6 months working here. He is one of the Chef who cared so much about me, especially in the early days of work. He often asked me for help, who indirectly taught me some skills in the kitchen.
Impressive Drawing on Menu Board
Luckily, Esky Cafe has a Thai Kitchen Hand that works incredibly tenacious and fast worker, with hist talent in illustration, Charlempol “Big” Janrayab. Big (his nickname) is one of my role model to work effectively and smartly in this Kitchen. You can see some of his works below.
Playing Nintendo Switch on Lunch Time Break
Since its release on March 3, 2017, Nintendo Switch became a medium of entertainment for us (me, Big, and Josh) as the people who bought this game console. Starting from the discussion of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, stories, tips and tricks, to funny experiences during our personal playthrough.
After Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released, it was became a great multiplayer game experience at lunch time. We can play up to 6 players because there are three Nintendo Switch consoles available.
How exciting playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe together on lunch time break
4 Lessons I Learned @Google by Trish Khoo
Through the meetup event from Sydney Tester community, I met Trish Khoo, Ex-Google. She told us about 4 lessons that she got while working as a Test Engineer and also Engineering Manager for about 4 years, starting from London to San Francisco. You can see the awesome visual note from Richard Shy, who drawing it during the live event.
Selfie with Crews
A togetherness selfie become an impromptu moment when I meet a co-worker that I have never had a selfie together before. For me, selfie was not simply for narcissism, but as an effort to record our personal moments each others.
Life is Strange, life always every time, who would have thought I would be a Kitchen Hand in Australia, and not many people know that in my college days before, I ever worked as an small internet cafe staff because i’m struggling to pay for my college tuition. Life is Change!
With Abhishek and Chalermpol “Mr. Big”, doing our working time in the morning
My Last Day at Google Sydney
May 19th 2017, became my farewell day with this Google Sydney Kitchen. A month before i leave, i’m thinking about what kind of gift that I can give to each person. First idea, was to make a caricature drawing for each person, but it was too time consuming. Second idea, to make a farewell card with the some characters such as Chef, Kitchen Hand, Catering Assistant, and so on with the cultural background of Indonesia, because I want to promote Indonesia. Again, it’s just an idea, I have not enough time to finish it. And again “Eureka” moment, i just thinking about design a ‘fake’ dollar money with the facial photos of each crews, inspired by a farewell gift for my friend in Jakarta.
Thankfully, I was able to finish the design of the dollar money with some “Google” elements included. Helped by a video tutorial from YouTube, in two days I became a Photoshop master for the design of the ‘fake’ dollar money.
This farewell became a touching moment for me personally because i feel family ‘kinship‘ when working here. Almost everyday, Monday to Friday, we’re greeting each other by simply saying “Good Morning, How Are You?” or in other languages such as Namaste (Hindi), Bonjourno (Italiano), Sawadikaph (Thai), and so on. A multi-cultural work environment with co-workers not only from Australia but also from another countries, which for now I can only discover in Sydney. I will always remember this moment as one of the most important things in my life, to always be grateful, enjoy everything, respect each other, and make me to be more open minded especially when looking at the world from the “low layer“, from a job that might be considered by a lot of people as a ‘trivial’ job.
What’s Next? A question that always asked every time we finish something, graduate from college or school, resign from work, back to home, and so forth. In Australia, I still have about five and a half months left before completing my first Working Holiday, preparing for my next ‘new adventure‘ in Darwin (please pray for me ^^). In addition, some other considerations are also being prepared carefully. This life is really full of choices, choose wisely. And also i don’t forget to ‘live’, because many people ‘dare to die’, but few people ‘dare to live’. At last but not least, please let me quote Google’s motto, that now also be my way of life,“Don’t Be Evil“.
Thanks God, Thanks Google!
God bless you! 🙂