Friday, August 10, 2007

intern antics 2007 (and 1997)

Tonight I attended the Google Intern Talent Show. It was held in the main cafe, with an audience of 200. Ten performances ranged from singing to piano to rapping to short films.

I sat on one of the benches along the middle of the dining area, behind a table, and bopped along to the music while typing code into a ssh window. If only I could work along to this live entertainment every evening!

The judges gave one of the awards to a performer for "clearly having passion".

"What the hell?" I said to my friend next to me. "This is Google. It's about the results. What does passion matter without results? This is a talent show."

His response is too snarky to print.


"Look at these interns, living their carefree lives," I said.

Then I suddenly remembered a mortifying story from my own intern days. I'd forgotten this for years.

When I was 17, I interned at Microsoft in the Bill Payment group. At the company picnic, I stood in line behind a fellow engineering intern from my building, Redwest-A. We chatted while waiting to get admittance to the picnic. He was nice, and cute, though I had no designs on him since I was in a relationship at the time.

After that, occasionally we would run into each other in the cafeteria, or he would come chat with me at intern events.

A month later, this young man came to my office one night at 9pm. I was playing Age of Empires over the network with a friend in a different Microsoft building. I glanced quickly to see who it was, said hello, and turned back to my game.

He looked pretty nervous.

"My internship ended today," he said, standing in the doorway. "I'm flying out tomorrow. I came to find you to say goodbye, since we might never see each other again."

In hindsight, I realize this probably took some guts.

At that moment, my Age of Empires opponent sent a rush of archers, so I wordlessly ignored the boy in my doorway, to focus on repelling the attack.

Now you know why I identify with all the jokes about geeky engineers being completely oblivious to other people's feelings.

He waited for fifteen minutes, in silence, for me to finish my game. Eventually he left without getting a proper goodbye.


I don't remember his name, or any identifying facts. For all I know, he could work at Google now. But perhaps into the mists of time, I can still apologize for acting like such a dork. Sorry.


Speaking of this generation of young'uns and their internet patterns, last week I was talking to a longtime friend about the fad nature of social networks.

Me: ""Facebook is getting a lot more use than Friendster ever did. That's certainly true for me."

Friend: "We're the last to know anything, right? So by the time you and I think something is exciting, it's probably already over."


Anonymous said...

Too snarky to print??? There is no such thing!!

John K. Lin said...

It's just not being a geeky engineer being oblivious to other people's feelings - you were also only 17 years old. You might be a regular Doogie Howser academically with a gifted IQ, but with a low Emotional Quotient (EQ).

Even when I look back at my college days and think about how clueless I was (and to some extent, how I still am!), I would do things differently too.

All we can do is try to learn from our mistakes.

As for your comments on being the last to know. An Apple VP I met back in the summer of 1998 who graduated from Harvard Business School warned me - where there are MBAs rushing to, watch out, that is where the next crash is. Very prophetic words for 1998!

Anonymous said...

Lemme guess. . you turned him down because he was Asian.

Niniane said...

No, he was not Asian! In fact, the guy I was dating at the time was Asian.

Man, write a humorous article and get labelled for life...

I think this guy was from Israel. That's only with 40% certainty.

Anonymous said...

He didn't have good abs...

ArC said...

You left out the most important part!

Did you win that AoE game?

Anonymous said...

This is the most stupid f**king post I have ever seen in my life (citing BillG's most famous curse). WTF do you want to show off here, Niniane? The young boy wants to express his true emotion but he didn't realize that you are the cold bloodest woman in this planet. It is striking after so many years you hadn't improved at all except posting this stupid blog to laugh at this person. How pathetic you are!

John K. Lin said...

Some of these anonymous comments are just really rude and you should delete them.

Anonymous said...

This is her blog. She is free to post anything she pleased. If you think it is a stupid [insert expletive here] post, feel free not to read it.
I really don't think you have the right to judge her. She is honest, open and willing to reflect and admit her mistakes.

She is willing to put her name on her thought, not posting anonymously pathetically like you and I.


Anonymous said...

wow ur brother is handsome can i date him

does he date asian chicks

Anonymous said...


我看了你的文章“why i dont date aisan men"你的言语让我的大学的人绝的恶心。。。google不算个屁。。中国人才多的是只是你生在美国没法来中国发展。。。你好自为知吧。。。我也是上海人。。我很同情你因为你在我国也出了明的种族败坏者。。别来中国了。。那天被人认出来就别怪人骂你。。你个大傻比

Niniane said...

Dear anonymous,

1。 我是北京人, 不是上海人。
2。 我不是美国出生的。
3。 那篇文章是搞笑的。

1. I am from Beijing, not Shanghai.
2. I was not born in the US.
3. That article was written for humor value.

Someone should write an article, "Why I Don't Bother with Shanghai Commenters who Jump to Conclusions and Can't Take a Joke".

Anonymous said...

This post just reinforces the fact that you and nearly all females under the age of about 50 are mega-bitches, filled with entitlement, holding out for the top 3% of the good-looking, high earning males in the correct age range while simultaneously bemoaning your lack of a mate-4-lyfe and shitting on the bottom 97%.

Well fucking done.

ArC said...

Now, the previous anonymous poster is obviously well-adjusted to be handing out advice. *cough*

Anonymous said...

Even if her focusing on a computer game could be interpreted as a rejection, Niniane didn't turn ignored-boy down because he was Asian, lacked abs, or didn't reach some lofty ideal. She wasn't interested in him because she wasn't single at the time.

That's a good thing!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, anonymous. There are plenty of girls out there, and I'm sure there's one somewhere who will love you. But if you keep thinking like you did when you wrote your misogynistic post, you'll scare her away. Wouldn't that be a shame?

Biao said...

look. pigs.

Anonymous said...

add me la .....

Lady in waiting said...

Oddly the "boy in the doorway" never developed an Asian Fetish like the others.

This gives hope to the neglected and abandon women of other races.

White women everywhere rejoice!!!

ISO D&D&D Free Female . said...

In Search Of:

Disease & Dungeon and Dragons free

Anonymous said...


I guess if the boy is a great person, even he may have a better IQ than yours.

Anonymous said...

I work for Microsoft. I'm suddenly less worried about the competition from Google.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I work at Amazon. Would you date me? thank you