Work notes

I'm now commuting to San Francisco three days a week. It's not as bad as I'd expected, but I still pretty much hate it.

Some observations (not necessarily negative) about my new workplace:

  • You can tell who works on Flash (or at least I like to pretend you can): they're the ones with the multicolored hair, hip glasses, stylish clothing. The ones with the jazz beards and the piercings. The ones who look like stereotypical cool artists instead of stereotypical programmers. (Though most of the other programmers don't look like stereotypical programmers either.)
  • Overheard at a welcome-to-SF party shortly after we moved up there (approximate quote): "Yeah, the single people have been checking out all the fresh meat."
  • There's almost no cell phone reception (for my carrier, anyway) in the office, which is more or less in the basement of an office building. Also no natural light. To get either, I have to leave my desk and walk for a couple minutes past rows of cubes, then up the stairs and out the locked glass doors to the street, being sure to take my badge so I can get back in.
  • The company covers up to $100/month of non-car transportation costs. I've been taking the train to and from work, except on the rare days when I'm supposed to be there at 8:30 (to get there by train by that time would require me to leave home by 6:30, a time when I'm usually not even awake yet). A monthly train pass (from my home zone to San Francisco) costs about $115, and a parking pass for the train station parking lot costs about another $15, so I'm only paying about $30/month (in addition to minimal gas and wear and tear on the car, driving to and from the station) for transportation. Much more than I used to pay, but not too bad. I try not to think about that being $360/year.
  • Two of the top executives decided that the full-height cube walls that some cubes in the new space have needed to be reduced to three-quarter height. I was rather distressed, having chosen a cube with full-height walls specifically for the walls; I wanted reduced sound, and I feel more secure with high walls behind me (I hate the feeling of people looking over my shoulder). Eventually they relented enough to allow some of us to replace the top quarter of the full-height walls with glass walls that block a certain amount of sound; seems like a workable compromise so far. The place is significantly noisier than my old office in general, though.
  • There's a laundry room, where employees can wash and dry their clothing (for free, I think) if they're so inclined. It would be silly of me to bring my laundry to work, especially now that I have my own washer and dryer at home, but still a nice touch.

4 Responses to “Work notes”

  1. Kathleen

    Will the new baby bullet service that Caltrain is offering this week help your commute at all? They don’t run all that many of them, but they’re certainly much faster if they work with your schedule. I wish they’d had them when I was taking the train into the city.

    (Also, now that I am a woman of leisure and you are in SF several days a week, would you like to have lunch sometime?)

  2. Jed

    Alas, the Baby Bullet per se runs too early for me—I’m not willing to leave home an hour and a quarter earlier to save half an hour on travel time—but there’s a new express train that will reduce my travel time by 15 minutes and that leaves 20 minutes earlier than the one I’ve been taking, so I’ll get to work about half an hour earlier. So my plan is to take that one.

    And yes, lunch would be great!

  3. Heather Shaw

    Where in the City do you work, Jed? Anywhere near the Mission district?

    If it makes you feel any better, my company only reimburses $35 a month for non-car transportation, leaving my yearly commute costs at approximately $984.

    Gah. I think I was better off not calculating that! 🙂

  4. Colin


    At least you get a nice walk to work. I would suggest avoiding the hipster doofuses at The Brickhouse (actually just the opposite direction of the trainstation on Brannan) for coffee but, if you’re up for a bit of a hike at 3rd and Brannan theres a sports bar called Zekes that serves decent Cheeseburgers and Bratwurst. You’ve also got an Amici’s on King now across from the stadium as well as a faux Cold Stone Creamery.

    Plus, if you want some good solace, head to the top of your building. The parking structure has some decent views and actual fresh air. (our colocation facility is on the same floor as your office and I’ve been there a few times to help install/fix the pizza box servers we use.)



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