Work for Facebook, Inc.


Like Google, Facebook offers posh benefits for its talented workforce. I am particularly keen on having the free gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner made by Chef Josef. His ability to concoct and fuse Western with Asian cuisine is quite renowned. But my day at Facebook's headquarters in California didn’t start there, it started in the reception area. 

I felt awkward knowing that it was my first day not only in Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters, but most importantly inside the United States of America. 

Anyway, the whole affair started with a simple phone call. I was at home in the Philippines, working on my writing gigs, when suddenly the phone rang. I didn’t bother to answer it since I was busy writing. My wife answered it, but suddenly, I heard a loud crash - Apparently, she knocked over a flower vase and then went inside my office. 

In a harried manner, she motioned for me to get the phone quickly – as in the 'President of the sovereign Republic of the Philippines is calling me' type of quickly. My heart jumped at her behavior and wondered what emergency could have happened.  She handed me the cellphone, and I said,

“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Mr. Daniel Andrei R. Garcia - I’m sorry did I pronounce that right?” 

“Yes, Ma’am, this is Danny Garcia. Ummm, may I know who’s on the line?” 

.....Shock, disbelief, incredulity – these words were not enough to describe what I felt back then. When I finished speaking, I asked my wife if she wanted to live in Texas. She gave me an inquisitive look and she couldn’t seem to find the words to answer. 

After a moment or two, “Texas?! Sa Pampanga!?” (Texas, in Pampanga, Philippines?)

“Austin, Texas, sa America. Weng, may interview ako sa Facebook sa Los Angeles, baka makuha ako at ma-assign sa Texas.” (Austin, Texas, in America. Weng, I have a job interview with Facebook in Los Angeles, if I am successful, I might be assigned in Texas.)

She didn’t believe me for an hour, but kept asking me about it anyway. I couldn’t really blame her, if I was her, I wouldn’t believe me either.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

It all began with an online application for an “Analyst, Online Operations in Austin” I’ll put some details here, since the posting is still live:

“The Online Operations teams include Risk, Payments, Platform and User Operations among a number of teams. Our Risk team works with teams across the company to enable new features, help our users stay safe online, fight fraud, and protect our company's assets. The Payments group ensures, monitors, and reports on all money moving into the company. Platform supports the developer community, enforces our policies and ensures an excellent user experience. User Operations is responsible for maintaining user safety, engagement, and site understanding and identifying patterns of user behavior. Besides reacting to existing incidents, we also like to play offense. We use our knowledge and insight to analyze future product launches and identify scalable solutions that help support our users, advertisers, and developers. Successful candidates for this job enjoy verbal and written communication, solving puzzles, making quick decisions and working collaboratively. We are looking for a wide range of analytical, data-driven people with a diversity of backgrounds who love Facebook. If this sounds like you, please apply! These positions are located in our new Austin, Texas office.”

Like most fools on the Internet, I just kept on clicking. I was a curious animal to say the least.

After all, I thought that I wouldn’t lose anything if I clicked on the silly button.

Curiosity killed the monkey, (or was it the cat?)

Anyway, so I clicked the “Apply for this position” button because it was blue and I felt like clicking it out of boredom.

The next page that appeared was equally as simple. Out of fun, I typed this in:

“Dear Sir/Madam, 

I would like to formally submit my application for the position of Analyst in your Texas Office. I am currently residing in the Philippines as a freelance writer but have extensive experience in a law firm as an administrative assistant and also have experience in a business process outsourcing center here. I am open to employment in the United States if such a position is not available here in the Philippines. 

However, may I point out that Filipinos are the 5th most avid users of Facebook in the world. Setting up shop in the Philippines is highly viable for your Southeast Asian operations.

You would be ignoring a vital segment of your market if you do not set a physical marketing presence here. 
 
With that said, I am attaching my curriculum vitae for your perusal. 

Thank you for your time. 

Regards,

Daniel Andrei R. Garcia”


I attached my CV and pressed the “Submit Application” button.

I thought it ended there too. I was expecting an automated reply to the tune of,


“Dear Mr. Daniel Andrei R. Garcia,

We regret to inform you that your application was declined. 

Facebook is committed to providing the richest user experience in social media. Unfortunately, your qualifications may be suited for other endeavors. 

We wish you the best of luck in finding other employment opportunities. 

Thank you for sending your intention to apply in Facebook.

Regards,” 


But I didn’t get such a reply.

What I got was ‘the phone call’.

This later on, led to an invitation which bought me a ticket to Los Angeles, plus a free stay at the Stanford Terrace Inn.

Job Interview 

I didn’t know my way around California, but Leah, the person who personally assisted me, was very helpful. She was the one who helped me with, well, practically everything! That night, I spent the evening watching television inside my hotel room. I didn’t take off my socks and I didn’t even take off my travel clothes, I just turned on the TV and sat down, until I fell asleep.
The morning was a harried one.

Though I woke up at 5 AM, my phone rang at 6 while I was taking a shower. It was Leah, and she told me that a cab was on its way, and that I had to be ready by 7.

I felt like I would slip on the bathroom floor. But I still managed to say,


“Ok, thank you.”

I looked at my job application attire and wondered whether they would bring me luck here in the US. Unlike most other applicants, I didn’t bother buying new long sleeves, I simply used what I had.

Call me superstitious but they got me past 2 job interviews in the Philippines, one in BPI and the other in a call center. I thought that if I wore something old but lucky, I’d feel more confident.


As I struggled to wear my tie, my cellphone rang again.

“Is this Mr. Garcia?” 

“Yes,” half affirming and half inquisitive.

It was the cab service.

“I’m on my way down. Thanks!” I said.

I fumbled with my clear book which has all of my documents and managed to put them all in my black laptop bag.

I wore my watch and ring, put on some cologne and rushed down the hotel lobby with the speed of a panther.

A man in black was standing near the entrance, he wore a casual suit and sort of reminded me of Steve Jobs with his spectacles. The only difference was he wasn’t wearing blue jeans. I must have looked unique in the hotel lobby because he immediately approached me.

“Hi, are you Danny?“ he said in friendly tone.

I just nodded and smiled, all caught up in the moment.

He then extended his hands and said, “I am Hans, I’ll be taking you to the office.” 

Somebody told me once that I should grip very tight whenever somebody extends a handshake. So I did and managed to breathe a sigh of relief when he finally released it.

I somehow expected that the vehicle would be a black SUV, but was disappointed to see that it was a blue 2011 Chevy Volt.

You can say anything you like about this provincial bumpkin, but hey, I’m absolutely impressed. The car was as silent as “nothingness” and its movement was like silk.

I sat down and felt really, really cold. I felt my stomach turning at the sheer tension. As a kid, I had this condition which always made me feel nauseated before an important event.

Ho boy, this event was definitely one of them. One thing that I didn’t appreciate in the US was that cigarettes were very, very expensive and the only way I could feel at ease was if I smoked and then popped in some Mentos to make my breath smell fresh.

I didn’t have access to both cigarettes and Mentos, so I felt that I just wanted to disappear and maybe just go back to the Philippines to my comfortable jungle.

Hans said nothing while he drove so I occupied myself by looking at the scenery. The drive was pretty short.


From El Camino, we took a left at Stanford Ave. and then took another left at Amherst St. and finally, South California Avenue. I saw the Maroonish red sign with white letters.

facebook
1601 California Ave.

I thought to myself that the red was darker in real life. It was almost crimson like.

The scenery was just like the suburbs here in the Philippines. It’s like being inside Ayala Alabang, except that there were more trees and more green stuff. Plus, you’d have the feeling that it wasn’t a residential area at all.

Hans went to drop me off the main entrance of the building. My knees were practically buckling. I was desperately in need of a smoke.


I took a deep breath and went inside.

The receptionist looked nice and cute, so I somehow got the courage to semi-inquire awkwardly,


“Hi, I’m here for my 8 AM appointment with HR, 

Then this is the time when I tell you that this is just a work of fiction, a product of my imagination.

I got the idea when my curiosity was aroused and I clicked on the Career link at the bottom of facebook. I wondered how it must be like to work in Facebook.  

Most of the details are real, except for me being in them and the place called Texas, Pampanga...LOL

As for the Philippines being the 5th country with the most Facebook users, I got that from Social Bakers.

As for the driving instructions, I used Google Street View. Actually I couldn't find the facebook sign, in Google's street view. They must have taken it already since they are planning on moving facebook's headquarters.

As for setting up shop here in the Philippines, I think it's a viable idea considering that the Philippines is on equal footing with India as an outsourcing hub. Facebook is setting up shop in London, Ireland and Madrid. I think it does make perfect sense for them to have an South East Asian marketing presence.

Btw, I just invented Leah and Hans, any similarity to actual people is purely coincidental.

Would I like to work for facebook? Gee, I don't really know. I'd be surrounded by geniuses and maybe feel like a fly.