Oct 122011

A brief rant about what it is like being here in Palo Alto at the Ansca offices.
I arrived Tuesday morning around 10AM, still somewhat jet-lagged but very happy to be here.

The first things I noticed were;

1) The office is bigger than I thought

2) Walter is totally not a jerk

The first point is fairly self explanatory, I believed the office would be much smaller after seeing photographs in the past but it is actually very open and a has a nice feel to it. (No one is boxed in.)

The second point sounds like a joke, but it’s not. You don’t see a lot of Walter online and when you do, his posts are normally very serious. (Insightful, incredibly smart but serious.)

So, if I am totally honest, simply because I had not seen a “lighter” side to him – when I arrived I assumed Walter would be a jerk.

Luckily, Walter was in fact surprisingly funny. He also has some kind of unhealthy obsession with brown rice, but that’s a whole other thing.

A few people weren’t in the office, but the ones I did meet I’ll give you a little description of;

Sean – He likes to eat crackers out of a cup. I saw him eat some not from a cup at all and questioned him about it. He seems sneaky. He also has large hands. Not freak-large, just regular large. He’s friendly when he isn’t too busy with his precious crackers and multiple plastic cups.

Josh – Josh likes peanut butter cupcakes and spicy Thai food. Also talking about toad saliva (or something) while people are eating. Besides that he isn’t too bad. He has normal sized hands as far as I can tell, although it’s hard to look at them without seeming weird.

Reiko – Reiko is quiet but lovely. She likes Hello Kitty and uses a cell phone that is not Android or iOS. It doesn’t have apps. It is some kind of older LG. She has a lot of patience for me telling her she has to cook various complicated meals for me, so she’s all good in my books.

Hetal – Energetic, impeccably groomed and confident. Three things I am not, but most enjoyable qualities in others. He seemed very switched on.

Eric – The first day I got here, I pulled a Coke Zero out of the fridge. Nice, but it’s not Pepsi Max. Luckily, Eric popped up with a can for me. Then another later in the day when I needed it. This morning, he gave me some more. This may seem trivial to those of you without addiction, but I love Pepsi Max and it is hard to find here, so it meant a lot to me. That, and he shared his food with me at lunch yesterday. (We had Thai which I hadn’t had before and it meant I got to try a few different things :))

Tom – We have a love hate relationship. Really though, he’s quite a nice guy when he’s being helpful and not trying to trick me into calling people the wrong names or attempting to question my dominance.

Salman* - I met him very briefly, had a good people-person vibe about him. The fact he knew who I was and I didn’t have to show my extremely socially awkward side by trying to explain that helped ;) (*I should clarify, Salman is an investor and not an employee.)

Walter – Not a jerk. He’s actually quite witty. Like me he has the habit of lifting his little finger when he drinking. Unnatural fondness for brown rice.

Carlos – Warm. Funny. Nice hair. He reminds me a bit of a huggable bear. (The 99.9% of you who are male wont understand that, I’m guessing. Ladies will.) I have to resist the urge to pat him sometimes. (I am trying not to scare anyone here.)

At the end of the day I had a very enjoyable dinner with Carlos at The Cheesecake Factory. I thought I’d order something fitting for my visit, so I picked the California omelet. (It was great.)

It was really a good day for me; I met an office full of wonderful people, learned that Walter is as smart in person as online but totally not a jerk and got to have dinner with Carlos, who I have admired from 7,500 miles away for the past year. (To finally get to speak to, hug, etc. someone you have been in contact with nearly every day for so long is surreal, honestly.)

(Although I was kind of surprised Carlos was up to it – he’d just gotten in from a business trip around midday, came straight here and didn’t leave until around 7. If it were me I’d have gone home to sleep XD He leaves again in a couple days but I hope sometime before then I can drag him out for more unhealthily-large servings of American food ;))

That’s it for now. If Walter suddenly turns into a jerk I’ll tell you, but I think I’m pretty safe. (Unless he’s like, a werejerk? You know, like a werewolf? …. I’ll watch for that too.)

I hope this is the kind of thing you guys want to hear about – I’m trying to think of what I would be interested in hearing from Ansca visitors and the more personal/human side of it is something I would enjoy reading. There will be plenty of time to talk about fancy gadgets and 30 inch monitors (they’re HUGE) later.

Peach :)

PS – As an amusing tidbit, when I first came in there were 4 people here. Reiko, Josh, Sean and Walter. I introduced myself, shook hands with everyone, etc. and we exchanged the normal “pleased to meet you” greetings. I sit down and start using my iPad. 5 minutes later Walter comes over and is like “OHHHH, I just realized who you are! You’re the Peach!”

When I was done wondering how many people named “Peach” he knew (it’s normally a stripper name) I realized that he let a total stranger come into his office, say hi and make themselves at home without having any idea who they were.

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  15 Responses to “Visiting Ansca – Day 2”

  1. Hey Joanne,

    I’ve been having a wonderful time, it’s great fun, very productive too though – everyone here seems to fit so much work into one day. It’s great :)

    The brown rice thing is Walter being a little bit insane. Or “certifiable”, to use his own words.

    I have also observed the fact Carlos is much more of a morning person than I am – he’s awake and ready to go really early whereas I arrive at the office and take an hour to wake up >.< ‘ Peach :)

  2. Wow, how interesting. The hand size thing was a little worrying and using the crackers as an excuse….hmmm….Peach….you need to shake yourself a few times.!
    So glad you have enjoyed yourself there, it sounds like a barrel of laughs.
    What is with the brown rice then? Another amazing observation.
    Peach observes rice habits, facial hair and Hand size.

  3. It actually came from talking to Sean about what a “handful” of crackers was, quantity wise – nothing sinister ^-^;

  4. I was totally gonna mention the hand size thing too. Odd, but very entertaining! Hope you continue to enjoy your time there.

  5. What about this thing with analyzing hand sizes? Or are you analyzing something else :)

  6. @Carlos – I’ve resisted the urge to pat you or rawr at you and as of yet I haven’t bitten a single member of your staff, so I’m pretty sure at this stage you should be thanking God and not asking for even more help.

    @Hetal – YOUR FACIAL HAIR WAS THE NEATEST I HAVE EVER SEEN. (Sorry but the caps were necessary. It was ridiculously neat.)

    @Tom – There is a love/hate relationship because you refuse to accept the fact that you cannot just automatically be my hero without working for it. It takes work and effort. Or at least breaking things on purpose then fixing them at just the right time.

    …. Man, I love Ansca ^-^;

  7. I was actually a little disheveled that day! :-P

  8. Nice post but there is still a love/hate relationship between us. I’m sure you will grow to love me :)
    You do know that I’m not really Tom?

  9. You are funny, Peach! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences in the USA. :)

  10. Nice one Peach.
    Great to get the inside scoop on all those guys, sounds like your having a great time.
    Keep up the corrspondence and have fun!

  11. Hey Jay,

    I think “jerk” was more my own fears and concerns, but certainly, one wouldn’t picture him as being warm and friendly from what info they can gather without meeting him. (You know what I mean?)
    In any case, he is a nice guy :)

    I would agree he seems like the bigger “nerd” (I think nerd is complimentary and I think he’d take it that way too) and yes, perhaps Carlos is more the “Jobs” – although it is hard to say not having been here more than 2 days ;)

    Glad you liked the write up :)


  12. I never got the impression that Walter was a jerk, but it’s good to have that spelled out. You know, just for future reference.

    I do have the impression that Walter is the bigger nerd between he and Carlos. Kind of like he’s the Wozniak and Carlos is the Jobs of the pair. Yes? No?

    Thanks for the great write up!


    PS – And I mean nerd in the good sense of the word, of course! :)

  13. Ha Ha! Very Funny! :D :D

  14. HAHA made me laugh SEVERAL times!!

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