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I was perusing our internal Wiki the other day, and came across this post from one of our summer interns. It's often hard to articulate a company culture - why it's actually a great place to work. Of course, there are always the traditional perks of any startup, cool swag, kegs of beer and coffee, and enough snacks to last a lifetime, but there's a piece that feels truly unique to Salsify - and Sophie Martin captured it better in her first 9 days than someone who's been here for years ever could.
My co-worker, Randy Burkes, told me to title this blog post “How to Become a Good Person in Only Nine Days”. Brandishing a plastic fork which speared a piece of chicken he had just proclaimed had “too much cheese on it” (as if such a thing existed), Randy continued to outline the rest of the post for me, explaining that I needed to carefully list the process of achieving such a self-actualized status, starting with:
Get a job at Salsify.
“And then you’re done!” Randy said with a curt laugh, abandoning his unworthy piece of chicken and moving on to his diet coke.
Randy was, of course, kidding, but that doesn’t mean the atmosphere doesn’t change you after nine days. Hell, it changed me after one.
Today is my ninth day at Salsify, the Friday of my second week. My name is Sophie, I’m seventeen, and I’m an engineering intern. Randy sits across from me, and gives me sh** for being an intern, so I give him sh** for being a 28-almost-29-year-old-man who still misspells words like “sheriff”. It’s a mutualistic sh**-giving friendship.
On my first day I walked in the front door, which was plastered with a “CONSTRUCTION: DO NOT ENTER” sign.
Stepping through piles of debris, clouds of construction dust, and my own anxiety surrounding my first ever internship, I went in search of a human who could point me in the right direction. I stumbled blindly into the first room with any people in it that I could find, and intelligently and articulately blurted out, “HiI’mSophieIamaninterntodayismyfirstday”. Instead of staring at me blankly for rudely interrupting their meeting (which seemed important, despite the boxes of stuff occupying every spare square foot of floor space), each person in the room greeted me with huge ear-to-ear smiles and nice-to-meet-yous, welcoming me to their company. I was taken to the engineering section of the office, where I met Matt, my fearless mentor, Charlie, my intern partner-in-crime, my sarcastic, shit-giving co-worker Randy, and the rest of the engineering team. I later found out that the gathering I had walked in on was a board meeting, and they had all laughed at me seconds after I walked out.
Also awesome-- in fact, cue “Everything Is Awesome” from the Lego movie. That seems appropriate.
Despite my fairly awkward and decidedly “intern-esque” introduction to Salsify, I’ve settled in nicely to the daily routines and culture of the engineering team. Strolling into the office sometime before ten, debating whether to take the stairs or the elevator to the fifth floor, seemingly always deciding on the elevator, and resolving to take the stairs both ways when I go out for lunch. Being jostled out of my early morning stupor at 10:00 am by Billy Talent’s “Stand Up and Run” for our daily standup meeting, and gathering in a circle as each team member recounts what they did yesterday, and what they hope to accomplish today. Rushing through the office at lunch time to keep up with the crowd headed for b.good, Pita, the Merchant, Cafe de Boston, Sam LaGrassa’s, Five Guys if it’s Burger Friday, or a new food spot we’ve been meaning to check out. Waiting in line after lunch to get some cold brew coffee from the tap, only to groan in frustration when there’s no ice left, and then, of course, drink it anyway.
I’ll only be at Salsify until the end of the summer, but it’s clear I’ll spend these upcoming weeks surrounded by a team of people who celebrate collaboration, positivity, and progress, and who live to support each other in everything they do. The Salsify family is one full of jokes, traditions, and general tomfoolery, but also intense concentration, dedication, insight, and talent. Being surrounded by such a fantastic group of people actually does start to wear off on you-- so my secret to becoming a good person (in only nine days)? Be the kind of person who would feel right at home at Salsify.
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