Wednesday, April 11, 2012

March 19/ 25 - Present, 2012 - Office Space

We end that journal for a more upbeat one: My Internship.

Allow me to refresh your memory of my history: For two and a half years, I spent my time studying Game Art and Design, with the original goal of becoming a Computer Animation major being shot after being told that the position was not in my favor and I should go to that or Motion Design (Motion Design is basically advertisement and title cards you see in shows and movies), I withdrew in December 2011 after being unable to handle the massive amount of stress the college environment was providing me.

So I joined the program a month later for an internship. There wasn't a CA company looking for an internship, but one video game company was. And only one video game company answered my resume, and it was Sidekick. When I talked to my boss (who in the Skype picture looked like a mix of Tony Soprano and Kelsey Grammar) he said I would be doing (most likely) website design and QA. Eager that I signed up, I confirmed my position as an intern for his company.

March 19, 2012
It wasn't our official day to work but it was the day in the two week orientation to go spend the day (or an hour) at our work place, and to basically navigate through Ricky's poorly done instructions (example being one person tried to find the bus stop they were suppose to take, only to find out it wasn't there). Ricky then explained to each of us what time our meeting with our employers was and how to dress accordingly, seeing as mine was a video game company, casual clothes would be fine.

I tend to over-do things.

So after spending the day figuring out what to wear (only ending up wearing a blue tank top underneath a long sleeve white v-neck shirt, puma sneakers, pocket watch necklace, blue beanie, and my suspender pants) I set my alarm clock for 8:38 am after making a minor bet with my dad regarding how long it takes to get to work. He said an hour, and I thought roughly 40 minutes and my meeting being at 11. The morning of the interview I walked with London to the bus stop to which she continued onward (roughly 15 minutes on foot for her to get to work) and I waited by the Ulpan bus stop (hilariously enough, the same bus I take to Ulpan was the one I needed to take to get to work). All I knew, according to my mom, was that I should ask the bus driver if he could drop me off at either:

A- Sela Building
B- A street name I can't remember at the moment
C- Alayon Mall.

So when I went on the bus, I quickly asked the bus driver if he could drop me off at Sela.

"Sela? You know where that is?"
"Okay... [street name here]?"
"What language are you speaking?"
"...Never heard of the street."

My patience was running a bit thin, I mean, the bus driver doesn't know the street name?! Either he's a moron, or I'm royally messing up the Hebrew language. And something told me the bus driver was being a moron. I sighed with annoyance and asked about the mall, to which he goes "Ahh yes! This I know!" in his obviously broken English. Swiped my card and went to find a spot. As I sat there watch buildings zoom by, I kept wondering exactly how far the place was. I checked my pocket watch and saw that the ten minutes become twenty. Then thirty. And it didn't help that each time the bus reached a city-like area, I was ready to get off, but not once did the announcer call out about Ayalon Mall. I saw the signs on the street kept aiming upwards so I only followed based on the sign. Luckily after five minutes, the announcement went off and I hopped off the bus. To a construction site. And a crapton of Rabbis.

Like a lost lamb (and on an adventure, as both Ricky and my mom said), I went to the nearest shopping plaza and tried to find the street name. I walked into a store and asked the clerk if she spoke English (just to double check for myself), she said barely, so I went with Hebrew. I asked for the street name (still thinking I was butchering the name) and she goes "Oh! Continue straight from here, make a left, and it's right there!"

Yup. Bus driver was an idiot.

I thanked the lady, wished her a good day and made off to her directions. And lo and behold, I found it.

Now, out of respect for the company, I can not and will not show or discuss any pictures of their on going projects. I'll slip every now and again, but they are usually, for the most part, pictures of my cubicle. Sorry in advance.

So anyways, I go into the building and ask which floor Sidekick was on, the guard tells me the first floor, so I hop into the elevator with a pregnant lady, a rabbi, and a mailman. Yes, it does sounds like an opening to a really bad joke. So I go to the first floor, doors open and the first thing I see is a giant clown.

On the floor.

Taking up the entire said floor.

I carefully walked around and made my way to a sign written in hebrew. It read Sidekick and no indication of an arrow, but it doesn't take one to piece two and two together when the only sign is on the left side leading to a hallway with one clear door.

Made my way in and was greeted by one of the people who worked there, Guy (my employer) was expecting me and had the door open. Walked in and everything clicked perfectly. And after showing me the tour of the area (the guy who greeted me was called Tal, the producer) and noticed something interesting about my work place. There was not a single girl working. All males, and I was the only girl there. Weird, but for some reason I felt like this could work, and speaking of it, I went straight into work, doing QA.

Little did I know that QA was not what I thought it was. When I asked Guy if I was going to be doing anything publicly, he smiled and said no, but I was doing QA for sure. For most people, QA is "Questions and Answers", so I was a bit shocked that I was going to be doing that. When Guy lead me to my cubicle, I looked at the laptop they handed me to browse around their website to get to know them more, I was met with another person working there, Elad. He's in charge of QA. So obviously I asked what in all that is holy is QA. 

"Quality Assistance."
"...Come again?"
"Basically, you'll be trying all of our games and such, and help us see if there are any problems like bugs-"
"Yeah, in games. Basically you're a play tester."

So I wasn't doing any public relations work. I'm going to intern by playing games. All day. As well as fix the website, but that was briefly covered on my first day. I left my work at around 4:30 leaving a nice impression on the guys by showing them that I actually do play games and know how to respond accordingly (and occasionally throwing a gamer joke here and there) as well as feeling horribly sore. But I had a huge smile knowing that for five months this was my "job".

And I was a-okay with this.

Fast Forward To Present
So it has been roughly three weeks since my first day. And so far they were right, I've been playing two games over and over and over and over again finding bugs, timing the length of time it takes the game to load, throwing fits of rage when the game does some really stupid bug (and believe me, there were PLENTY). Most of the people on the team are nice, some are interesting characters in and of themselves, and others I'm still trying to understand how their minds work. One moment they are nice, and other moments they are getting really angry that it's impossible to get through to them. I also learned that in order to make a point with some, you HAVE to be angry and yell. It's aggravating to say the least, but it gets the work done.

I didn't just play games, I'm also in the midst of fixing up the website with a guy named Dan. He knows more of the technical aspects while I know more of the artistic parts, and both Guy and he left me the responsibility of handling both the website and Facebook. So when I'm not jumping around like a headless chicken, I'm on the internet. Not too shabby. I also wowed them over with a powerpoint presentation basically explaining why and how the website can be a million times better with using mostly pictures over words (showing them that using just pictures isn't out of the realm of possibilities) and completely impressed the two of them (Guy, CEO and Dan, Web Designer) that they complimented me. And for the first time since I left my college, I honestly did feel like I was on cloud 9, like I made someone proud, but mainly I made myself proud knowing that I was good at something.

Sure, some days I'm so tired I don't want to get out of bed, the hassle of bus aggravates me (which I will write a whole journal entry about) and I just want to veg out, but at the end of it all, I'm happy. I'm always smiling when I'm working there, and the people make it fun. I had never experienced a whole floor of people yelling "THIS IS SPARTA", the boss blasting "Ride of the Valkyries" right behind me while mindlessly playing with his phone, and swords. Swords EVERYWHERE.

Oh yes, and I did meet one girl. Just. One. And she is in charge of complaints. I met her briefly and she spoke crazy fast that I looked like a deer in headlights in regards to what she had to say. But I think she caught on shortly afterwards, shook my hand, and left. So... that makes two girls in an office filled with about fifteen guys. Could be worse I imagine?

So basically, so far it's been an amazing experience. The idea that the company trusts me with handling their websites, listening to my input, and having a serious yet fun atmosphere is grand. These next few months will be an adventure, that much I know for sure.

1 comment:

  1. WTG Michali!!You sure put a smile on my face and I'm sure your mom is in 7th heaven,lol Knowing that her daughter is HAPPY .
    big bear hugs,