My workspace environment

Just in time to watch a damn funny "Conan O' Brien visits Intel!" clip in YouTube before it was taken down due to copyright issues with NBC. In the video, the US comedian Conan paid a visit/ poked fun at Intel's HQ at Santa Clara.

Conan: "Look at how they number their cubicles! I thought this was only found in parking garages...?"
Conan: "(Waves to guy...) Hi A2, meet B2! I think you both should have dinner at C2!"

Yes, in Intel, and I think in many other technology design companies too, we do work in these little spaces called cubicles (Yes I know it sounds like we're working in the toilet) with high walls with numbered poles to mark the divisions of our seats, like parking garages. High walls because I think they wanna protect the designers' Intellectual Property from other colleagues' prying eyes?

Conan saw a bunch of school children on a trip to Intel too.
Conan: "Children, was this your first choice to go on a field trip?"
All: "Noooooooooooooooooooooooo..."

Still poking fun at the cubicles:
Conan: "Children, can you say 'cubicle'?"
All (in a high-pitched voice): "Cubicle..."
Conan: "Can you say 'confined space'?"
All: "Confined space..."
Conan: "Can you say 'lifeless environment'?"
All: "Lifeless environment!!!"

But it seems less confined and more open-space here at my workplace than it seemed in Santa Clara. From the video, the cubicle walls in Santa Clara are higher. I guess the cubicles are built according to height - Asians are shorter, hence lower cubicles. So I guess it's not at all that bad.

Talking about IP protection, we're also supposed to lock our screens whenever we leave our workstations unattended. That day I was in a hurry to get to the toilet, and in my rush, forgot to lock the screen. When I came back, someone had opened an untitled notepad on my desktop and typed "I will remember to ctrl+alt+del" 100 times in it.

Thinking back to when I first joined Intel, I thought it was pretty cool walking into work, with everybody dressed they're going to college in their logo-tees and jeans and colourful backpacks. However in less than a few weeks, I suddenly realised that everyone was just trudging to work like robots in a movie, going thru the scan gate (think Minority Report, think airport security), and blindlessly bonded to company safety rules and regulations like driving like in driving school, buckling on seatbelts inside the company van (backseat!) and holding on for dear life onto railings as you walk down the stairs. I mean, seriously, even as a prefect in high school I had not seen myself follow the rules so religiously then. During orientation, we even had the company CEO extend his welcome message via video. It felt so Robocop.

The first thing that got me damn confused in my first few months of learning was the many thousands of acronyms used here. Seriously they are able to think up an acronym for everything. So much that they even have an Intel acronyms library to store all those acronyms.

In my job, we basically use UNIX a lot to execute our stuff. When I ask my boyfriend, "How's your run this morning?", I mean his project run. Not his morning-jog. And he says we're always using violent language everyday "killing our jobs".

There's also this command in UNIX where you can "finger someone" to get the info about that co-worker. Fingering a guy is not too bad, the layman will just think you're giving him the universal sign language. But what about "fingering" a girl? Hmm... now that's a different context.

Back to Conan, at the last part of his video he asked one kid to pretend he was an Intel employee calling home to tell his wife he'll be back late from work.

"Honey, I'll be home late from work."
"Intel is making me work, work and work!!!!!"
"I wanna get my boss and throw him outta the window..."
*Conan hurriedly stifles the boy with a hand...*


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