^^ A quiet moment in the West Village following one of this winter’s rare snow days. ^^
A little Google storytime.
My first day on the job, I was shown to my desk on the 5th floor and introduced to my desk mate — a tech savvy gentlemen with an affinity for collared shirts and short conversations. He was the incarnation of what I’d always imagined east coast born and educated gentlemen would be like, heightened by his 4+ years at Google. Those first couple of months, I swore we had nothing in common. He’d travel often so when he would be in the office, we’d politely avoid eye contact despite our desks directly facing one another.I found him arrogant, interested only in pleasing the higher ups, and the world’s loudest yogurt eater.
He. Ate. Yogurt. So. Loud.
It became a joke in my family as I’d blame the yogurt smacker for random thing that would go wrong in my life. “It’s the yogurt smackers fault that my laundry got stained!” “I bet the yogurt smacker got here first and took my reservation!” “Having a hard day mum, blame the yogurt smacker.”
Then in a twisted act of fate, the yogurt smacker and I got put on the same project for six months and suddenly there was no avoiding eye contact. I prepared to be constantly annoyed but it never. The more we worked together, the more I began to see how wrong I’d been labeling this guy as “just a east coast bro.” His arrogance I realized stemmed from insecurities and a bit of social anxiety. As a new member of his team, he’d supply our group brainstorms with bagels, valued each opinion, and kept everyone invited and included in every step of the project’s process. He’d dive into our conversations about Ashley Madison and started sending links to outrageous YouTube videos he’d find. When I was in LA for a month, he made sure he snatched me some of the project’s props to keep as reminders of my hard work.
Last week he told me he was leaving Google for another startup and I was surprised at how sorry I was to see him go. Somewhere along the way, the loud yogurt smacker had become a friend.
I know that change is natural and needed, but it’s also so bittersweet. In becoming more rooted in my position, I forgot that it isn’t permanent. People will take other jobs, they’ll move, I’ll move, projects will be cancelled. And while I can’t stop the big wheels of change from turning, I can appreciate all the little moments in-between and not judge a person by their original yogurt consumption.
^^ Because everyone deserves to love something this much.^^