Tuesday, October 20, 2015

LOA Diaries: Edmodo, part two ~ Stranger in a Strange Land

In my two months at  +Edmodo I have tried to make the most of my experience. I am enjoying working with Edmodo Certified Trainers (ECTs) and updating training materials. On the days I come into the office, I commute not quite two hours a day, including a nice walk form the train to the office. But honestly, it has not been all work and no play. I've participated in Paint Nite, complete with wine and Bob Ross wigs. I participated in my first hackathon, even though at first I didn't even know what it was. They have an onsite masseuse one day a week. Edmodo has hot lunch brought in two days a week, usually one of the days I'm there.There are always have packaged salads, sandwiches and entrees that are of gourmet quality. They have unlimited soda and snacks, both healthy and not so much. 

Alberto the Artiste!

This morning I happened to ask the exact right guy to show me how the coffee maker worked. I'm not doing it justice to call it a coffee maker. It's one of those big things with multiple spouts and steam and all. I am a Mr. Coffee kind of gal, so I was slightly intimidated. The Keurig was out of K cups, so I asked the young man (they are all young compared to me ;) making some sort of foamy drink it he wouldn't mind showing me how to use the behemoth. Lucky for me, Brady comes from a family of coffee makers! His dad owns a handful of coffee shops in Louisiana and Brady used to train baristas! He took the time to show me how it worked, explained how lighter beans make stronger coffee and helped me as I made my first latte! I have found the people at Edmodo to be kind, generous with their time and always willing to help. From the CEO on, the company culture seems to be one of kindness. And yes, they have their own keg and wine stocked in a small wine fridge. No wonder I don't mind working late! 

In addition to my lucky day with latte, I was finally at the office on the right day to get a massage! Edmodo has a masseuse that comes to the office and sets up in a conference room one day a week. She does a half hour for $20 or a full hour for $40. The office manager, Nhu Ahn, uses a Google sheet where people can sign up for their own time slot. Talk about #HighTechHighTouch! I decided to not splurge, so I only got a half hour but about midway through I was wishing I'd booked a full hour. But then I reminded myself to stay in the present and enjoy the now. It was a wonderful massage, but it took me about 15 minutes to get my head back into work mode after being so very relaxed. 

Edmodo has an open office concept, with a variety of sizes of windowed conference rooms outfitted with projectors, speaker phones and power cables so you can just carry in your Mac. There are no phones at people's desks and all of the desks adjust for standing or sitting with the push of a button. Despite the open floor plan, the work area is surprisingly quiet, especially compared to my classroom. Edmodo employs a product called Hipchat that allows 1:1, one to some or one to all communications. If you need to talk to someone across the way you just hipchat them! Not for the first time I wonder about the implications and applications of this ability in a school setting.

I document my experiences back in the business world as an anthropological report. Not to make my teaching colleagues jealous, but to give them a peek into the corporate world. Yes, this is what the business world is like. I can drink as much water as is healthy. I use the bathroom when I want. I take the train to the office and I can show up when I show up, as long as I get my work done. I am so grateful for this opportunity, something I never could've done while teaching full time. It really is a different world.
Zach working the support wall.

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