Inside Facebook

Did you ever wonder where is the corporate heaven?

Well, I have a potential answer – Silicon Valley! And I had the chance to go there. Moreover, I had the chance to go inside a company that is very close to the notion of „The best company to work for” – Facebook! Their HQ is located in Palo Alto, CA, which is around 25 minutes drive from Downtown San Francisco!  I ended up there by meeting a couchsurfing friend in San Francisco! He is a happy Facebook employee…

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First impression?

It doesn’t look like a global headquarters of a multi-billion dollar company, but more as a summer camp, like that:

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It’s a park, surrounded by nice, not-too-intimidating buildings, where 4000 people manage the 1.1 billion Facebook accounts.

Employee Schedule

Employees have no strict schedule, and no direct supervisor. So apparently, they can come whenever they want, and leave in the same fashion. So it’s up to the employee how he deals with the tasks he’s managing. How cool is that?

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Facilities

I was wondering, to they ever leave this place? Because facilities Facebook provides are at least impressive, 5 different cuisine restaurants, one big cafeteria, one ice-cream shop, free bikes, free drinks, free snacks, free umbrella, free toothpaste, free toothbrush, free laundry, free repair service for your gadgets, and any other  free you can invent. Fortunately, me and my friend Jasurbek were able to try some of their free stuff. It was overwhelming, the only hard thing is to choose where to eat, and what to drink

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Mark Zuckerberg

Yes, we also saw Zuckerberg. He was in a meeting though, and we couldn’t say hello. But damn it, he looks impressive, for a guy who you see only on Bloomberg and CNN news reports.

How much Facebook employees earn?

In America, it’s not polite at all to ask someone about their salary, so I didn’t have the guts to my friend, but according to public information, even an intern can earn at least $75,000/year.

What about Google?

Googleplex is about 15 minutes drive from Facebook HQ, and its facilities are (at least) slightly better than what Facebook has to offer. Sadly though, we couldn’t go inside the working process and get some inside information (because we had no friends @ Google), but as people say, if there is a corporate heaven – Google is that one: along all the free facilities that Facebook has, Google also gives their employees, free transportation to/from workplace, free apartments, free hotel rooms, right across the Googleplex, free baby care center and some other free’s – Google them.

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I’ll reach Google too, (not as an employee though), give me some time :)

 

My plans for Spring Break

What a turnover…

I was supposed to go to Mexico City this Spring Break with a friend –  to a friend, Mexican, I already bought the plane tickets, when suddenly, in one morning, Ian (one the folks who’s managing my exchange program here) told me that our trip wasn’t approved by the Department of State, probably due to safety reasons…

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…..

I also said „NO”, I’m going to travel somewhere, so we quickly changed our plans. So now we’re going to:

The West Coast.

So here’s our trip:

  • March 29th

1. Monroe to Dallas (car) – Jennifer will drive us (crazy girl)

2. Dallas ✈ Los Angeles (obviously plane). No Compton.

  • March 31st

3. Los Angeles – Las Vegas (bus). No gambling

  • April 2nd

4. Las Vegas ✈ San Francisco. Climb on the top of Lombard street and visit  Silicon Valley

  • April 5th

5. San Francisco ✈ Dallas. I hope we can stay 1 one in Dallas too.

6. Dallas to Monroe. We’re not sure yet how to arrive back. Riding bike perhaps.

~

And no, we’re not millionaires, we’re using couchsurfing.org. For means on how  to organize a cheap travel experience, refer to this article

Wish us luck.

 

 

 

Americans! Y U No Travelling??

Travelling,

 

A very unknown activity for American students in Louisiana. Reasons? Mainly I’ve heard lack of money. But let me tell you something. I’m from Moldova, which eleven times less wealthier than America (according to GDP/capita) and I can tell you it’s NOT expensive, you just need to know some tricks. So I’ll go ahead:

1. Plane tickets – Priceline.com

priceline

A great website –  the main difference between this one and competitors, like Orbitz and Expedia is that YOU set the price for your flights! And they negotiate it through some algorithms on the website with the airlines, giving you an answer in maximum 15 minutes. I’ve already tried, it works nice. I’ve digged a $150 flight to Los Angeles, when the lowest on the market was $248. A friend from ULM – Prashant, told me that he was able to get a $220 round-trip flight from Monroe to LA.. Nice isn’t it?

2. Housing, hotels – Couchsurfing.org

couchsurfing

Wonderful tool! Price? Free. You can also meet new friends. And it’s safe, believe me. Don’t be ridiculous, no one is going to rape you. Anyway, if you’re obsessed with the fear of being raped, you can try servas.org, you pay a small fee, but you get with a big database of host families. It’s much more complicated that Couchsurfing though.

3. Bus – Megabus.com 

megabus

Ridiculously cheap and comfortable fares, just make sure to book it earlier. You can get even a $1 ticket from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Unfortunately is not available in smaller cities like Monroe. And forget about Greyhound. I’ve had horrible experiences with that skinny dog… NEVER USE GREYHOUND.

 

Everything else, it goes by experience.

~

You’re welcome…. :)

Why students are so quiet here?

I’ve observed a pretty paradoxical phenomena in ULM’s classes – most students are quiet, I mean, really quiet. The students, who should make noise, ask ridiculous questions, engage and challenge the topic are acting like in a church. And sometimes I have this strange feeling that I’m the only student in the class – I fee like I speak too much, but professors need and ask for feedback, so here I am. And it seems they are ok with it, when someone is monopolizing . But in a world where competition for job and opportunities  is more intense than never, students should have the guts to speak out, to ask questions, even the stupid ones (well I make sure mine aren’t). There is one saying that is proper for this particular case:

„Ask a question now, and you’ll look stupid for 5 minutes, don’t ask a question, and you’ll be stupid for your entire life”

I’m wondering, is this only Louisiana? I suspect yes, because I’ve been in Northern US, particularly in  an UN conference in Boston, and American students there are different, much more curious.  What’s the cause?

They’re too conservative? Too shy? To scared? And I know, they are different outside the class. So I really don’t know the answer at this question! Anyone, help me?

Places I’ve been – featuring Absolut Vodka…

DISCLAIMER: This post has no purpose of promoting vodka consumption in anyway, anyhow and nowhere! seriously…nowhere! At least not in excess :)

One of my friends, – Alex, I like to  refer to him as butterfly # 27 (thanks buddy) posted some photos with different locations around the world that he visited, featuring Absolut Vodka! Inspired me to do the same thing. So here we go, from east to west (as available):

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Absolut Moldova source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

absolut donetsk

 

 

 

 

 

 

ab30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

athens

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

berlin-wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

brussles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

paris (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

loire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

boston-basketball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

newyork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ab34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ab59

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ab37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

absolut toronto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ab54

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

neworleans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

texas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not mentioned: Belarus, Poznan (Ukraina), Bucharest, Bulgaria, Vienna, Sarajevo (the place where WWI started) and… Detroit :).

STILL TO COME: [surprise] follow the blog.

 

PS – I prefer beer!

Kinder Paradox

US common law system proved to be efficient and is widely recognized as the fairest justice system in the world. Sometimes though, laws don’t makes sense. I’m not pleased to present you this particular example of legal paradox

Kinder Surprise was never allowed to enter the US market, even though it is available in Canada, due to a 1938 FDA Act  that bans “the sale of any candy that has imbedded in it a toy or trinket.” The following picture is very suggestive:

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If we were to start banning every product that could be swallowed by a child, there would be very few toys left in the market. Fortunately, MASS ASSAULT weapons are allowed, apparently they are „safe”! Even though they can be available to any sociopath that can kill 20 little children in a sunny afternoon. Still, according to the US regulators, Kinder Surprise is more dangerous.. Nothing else to say…

PS – to end this post in a funny note, a men sued the producers of the „Young and the Restless”  Soap Opera 10 years ago. His reason was that he’ll die, but we won’t be able to see the show’s finale. For further clarifications, the TV had already run more than 10,000 episodes, and still counting!

US measuring system

Welcome to this new Cateogry. I’ll talk about why America is cool and why America is not cool..

First topic? Metric system!

Below, you’ll find a map of countries who adopted the metric system (in green).




Really? USA? Really????????

It is somehow a personality treat for the country stuck between Pacific Atlantic, but it doesn’t mean that US should screw up the entire world. I’ve tried to find the reasons why US isolated itself into this weird roller coaster  and the most „relevant” response I found on Yahoo Answers was:

We don’t use it because they tried putting it into schools and most children didn’t comprehend it and most TEACHERS didn’t comprehend it and scores went down so they went back to the English system.

How on Earth? Understanding why there are 12 inches in a foot, 5280 feet in a mile is EASIER than understanding that 1 kilometer has 1000 meters, and 1 meter has 100 centimeters?? How?


So please, I need an answer. Till then, enjoy this graph:

 

 

Makes sense?



Image source: 9GAG