Saturday, January 29, 2011

How I Got My Job (Part II)

{In which I give a virtual tour of my workplace}

This is Part II of the post. To read Part I, see How I Got My Job (Part I).

I woke up the morning after the interview feeling much better, and applied to a few more jobs, vowing to take any future interviews more seriously.  Then my phone rang again. It was the HR manager calling to ask when I could start working at the earliest, because she was processing my offer letter! I was in a cloud of disbelief. That was when I realized that I maybe should have taken better notes during the interview.

Lots of other stuff happened after that — long discussions with parents and other people, interviews with other companies (some for openings I didn't even apply to — I got calls all the time and even had three interviews in one day!), a sort-of reverse interview where I went back and asked many questions about the company and took notes furiously, various negotiations, and attempts to cram in as much fun as possible before starting work. Plus, now that I think about it, moving across the world to live and work in a foreign country is kind of a major life decision. It was hard to believe that everything was happening so quickly, and that I might actually get to stay in Taiwan.

Long story short, I accepted the job in the end. And it turned out to be way better than I'd expected! (Ok, so I'm not known for having high expectation in general, but still.) My coworkers are so much fun to hang out with. There's always a lot of laughter and funny incidents in lab that make the time go by quickly. We do lots of random/hilarious/weird things. One of these days I will get around to introducing you to my coworkers and describing some of our conversations, and then you'll know what I mean.

As for the actual working part, it wasn't too difficult to learn, and everyone's really helpful. It's nice to feel productive, and I'm fortunate that I can share my opinion and contribute, despite my meager amount of experience. Plus, I like that the company is small and new.

Did I mention I get to play with lots and lots of microcentrifuge tubes?

On Fridays we lab people sit around and chat and eat snacks in this room: Large Conference Room

Well ok, it's actually called a lab meeting. But that's really what we do - sit and chat and eat. And have fun, because in addition to scientific jargon, there are also lots of jokes in our conversations.

And aren't the paintings pretty? I found out why they're there. Two weeks ago at a sales meeting, the sales rep said she loved the decor of our office — very unlike the usual sterility of biotech companies in Taiwan, apparently. And Dr. H (VP of the company, aka my boss — not to be confused with THE BOSS, who visits every couple of months from the States) said that the office was designed by a famous interior designer. "The designer usually does mansions and such, but our boss (aka THE BOSS) probably wanted to make the office more homelike," Dr. H said. And that's how I learned something new about our company! Pretty cool.

And it all made sense, because that totally explained the awesome yellow chairs in the lobby:
  Yellow Chairs

Those chairs are so cool! Oh, and the lighting doesn't usually look like that. I took that picture during a blackout last week. It meant we didn't have to turn off the lights when we lit candles when celebrating two birthdays that Friday. But yeah, those are the prettier parts of the office.

Oh, alright, I suppose I could give you a sneak peek at the lab:

Lab Door

Basically the sign says something like "authorized personnel only," so you have to be special to go inside, kind of. And through the window you can see my chair! Yup, I'm totally authorized to enter. I even have the key card to prove it! (Left is the key card, right is the MRT card. Yes, I covered both cards with stickers featuring a girl with long blue hair. It makes the cards prettier!)

Key and MRT Cards

This concludes the story and the virtual tour! Don't be too disappointed about the lack of people in the photos, I assure you that I have been diligently taking photos at work every day and there are lots of great photos of my coworkers to share with you — once I sort through and organize them, that is. But that means you have something to look forward to! :D

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