Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spoons.

Three days in, and I'm not fired yet! Ha ha! I have fooled them!

After one day of utter bewilderment (Monday), followed by another day of slightly-less utter bewilderment (Tuesday), today felt like almost kinda/sorta a real day of work. Not that I did anything per se. But on the other hand, I didn't do nothing, either. That is to say, while I couldn't stand in front of a court of law and cite a specific bullet-pointed list of acccomplishments, I did in fact shake off at least part of my newbie haze and dig into some of the things around me. I attended a few meetings, and if my contributions weren't exactly brilliant or earth shattering, I think, at least, they weren't totally nonsensical and embarrassing. For example, when someone asked for an opinion of a certain Flash game we were looking at, I did not reply something like, "I like to wear ladies' girdles!"

As a place to work, EA continues to be pretty amazing. Especially coming from a place that had so little money, they actually sent out an email at one point telling us they were no longer providing plastic forks and spoons for us, so would we please bring our own. Here there are a lot of spoons. I could probably take three or four at once if I wanted to, and no one would blink. In fact, I do kind of still have a Depression-era hoarding instinct going on here, due to the trauma of the previous job. Like, when we used to go out to eat, if we saw a bin with plastic spoons, one of us would whisper urgently "THEY HAVE SPOONS HERE---GRAB SOME", and we'd furtively sneak as many out as we could. Anyone who has parents or grandparents who lived through economic hardship knows that people don't get over such hardship right away.

All of which is to explain why I ended up sitting in the cold, sterile EA Security room late this afternoon, with white plastic spoons bulging out of all my pockets, under each arm, and full to the brim in my backpack. Apparently I had been spotted by some nosey do-gooder, and a phone call was made. When I tried to explain myself, I muttered, between tears, something about liking soup, and what if there's an earthquake, and I'm sorry, and I thought I heard someone speaking German. Or maybe none of that happened at all. It's really hard to say. It's still so surreal that I'm even here, working on games, not writing about games, that my whole sense of reality has been twisted out of shape.

But if that's so, then what is this Hefty bag full of forks doing in my cube?

My first week continues apace.

77 comments:

KyleJ said...

Dang do-gooders! It was probably those pesky kids, and their dog! They always spoil my fake-haunted-amusement-park plan.

scyllz said...

Jeff, thanks for continuing to update. I was afraid you'd forget us after the first day. :)

Dartastic said...

Word to the wise - steal the ketchup. They always seem to run out of that, the bums.

Nate said...

What is this secret flash game that is discussed in your super-special EA meetings?

Alex Wait said...

Sounds like you're having fun at EA.

Keep up the good work! :D

Hubris said...

Hmmm. Your description of the conditions at Ziff Davis are pretty grim. I knew it had been bad...

Also, curious: what has your work to Peggle ratio been so far?

Dtrescott said...

Will you become the spoon dealer for your old job.

"Heh...Garnett...I can get you a sweet deal on a gross of spoons..."

nailerr said...

Oh Jeff, must you remind us so soon why we loved to hear you ramble on the podcast? I'm laughing here between the drips of snot, on a cold night shift.

Don't stop the weblog!

Scott said...

Send me some spoons! My work dont have crap!

hope things are going well sounds like a cool place to work.

Violet Son said...

What's an onion tart?

Alice L. said...

From spoons to forks...might they have really been sporks?

Or maybe it was a bag of plastic knives and that's why you were in the security room. No one trusts a shifty-eyed knife-wielder. Especially not one named Jeff.

:)

Also, where do I place an order for EA branded utensils? My stash is running low...

Oddjob said...

like dtrescott said, you can sell, or just smuggle in, plastic utensils to those poor kids at 1up. jk, I still love 'em.

Carrie said...

LOL--I had totally forgotten about ZD's lack of plastic-ware. Enjoy the bounty of utensils. My current employer has actual china and flatware. Just sayin.

Jorge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grubber said...

wow, so you've gone insane?

you couldn't have held out for a week? now i owe somebody money.

Salaryn's Sword said...

Tell them you were taking the spoons home to play the card game with your kids:

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42784.asp

When Spoons gets Ugly:

http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=15648530

Slapshot said...

I hate those first few days of a new job. You just get the feeling that everyone is thinking, "Man, he's just sitting in his office doing nothing while I bust my ass."

Good bosses won't throw you to the wolves in your first week but it doesn't take long...before you know it, you'll be making that weeping phone call to your wife. lol

Lobuh said...

shaping up quite nicely

Juan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juan said...

Thanks for the daily posts Jeff! I sincerely admire your dedication to this nebula of fans that appreciate your polished writing style and insights.

Your daily blog posts are specially admirable because your love of writing shows through, not because someone pays you to post or because some junior suit wants more pageviews! "Come on Jeff, I told you we need more traffic, you are behind your stats this month. We´re not happy!" (in Ziff´s worst NY corporate office voice.. better yet, in one of Shawn´s nerdy highbrow renditions).

So yeah, I thank you Sir for this, for your time and for your motivation. I wish I had the Brodeo to hear your travails "live", but hey, I'll settle any day for your Greenspeak.

I have one question for you. Back on your very first 20 min podcast you had Kristen Salvatore on. Just one time and then Shawn came in on the next one. Did you ever confront her later on at the obvious ripoff of CGW´s structure and style at PC Gamer? I'm curious about it because three months after GFW stopped arriving at my door, I got a free 4 month subscription to PC Gamer, obviously from a Ziff-Davis prostituted subscriber list, and noticed the sad? lame? uninspired? copies of your magazine´s lingering voice.

Anyway, best of luck to you at EA! May your spoon-filled EA-honeymoon last a very long time, until either your inbox finally comes bursting through with the daily SimOffice grind or until those nice tacos catch up with your stomach.

Gracias from your fans, Señor Green! Best Regards from Mexico.

PS. Seems like you maintain a nice healthy diet of fish and pasta! Just so you know, today I had home made quesadillas, filled with rajas con crema lovingly prepared by my wife here in my humble Mexico City house -which yes, it is your house!

Gabe said...

Just wondering, but has anyone at EA brought up the live-blog that you did during the E3 EA conference? I always assumed that in the weeks before you officially started at EA someone at EA would google "Jeff Green Blog EA" and find it and immediately call the hiring department to tell them.

Mark said...

There's no shame in being poor. It just makes you more humble about your origins.


Then again, it's a shitload of spoons.

EA has money and they can invest more spoons.

shyguysamurai said...

You tell great stories, Unc'a Green! Tell us another one! How'sa 'bout the time you fought off two bobcats in the Ziff parking lot to save a box full of ador'ble lil' puppies?

I love when momma tells that one...

Shadou said...

But the real question is do they have sporks?

Casey said...

One of these days, I would like one of the many ex-Ziff Davis guys to spill the beans about what the situation really is like over there financially. Could it be you?

Oh, and keep up the great posts!

Tom Quinn said...

I must echo everyone else, Jeff, and beg that you keep updating us. I know you're probably under an NDA about most of the interesting stuff, but we wanna hear how you're doin'!

Laez said...

Did you at least say in your head that you were wearing ladies girdles?

Mongo said...

Lol, comedy as usual Jeff. Thank you much for keeping up with the blogs!

Justin said...

Thank you Jeff for still updating :D You always make me laugh :D

Michael Adamek said...

Well I envy you, sir. My work cut back by supplying us with SPORKS. It's a spoon AND a fork!

Charlie said...

goldmine sir, gold -m i n e -

Don't take the spoons wait till they bust out the sporks. 2 for 1.

Anonymous said...

You know what I find so amazing about this spoon story - it's that I actually believe he isn't joking.

This memo that he received while working at Ziff Davis, to bring his own spoons to work, is exactly the type of thing that you can't make up.

By the way, has Jeff ever said what his 'responsibilities' at EA actually are? - THAT'S what I'm interested in hearing about. I mean, it's The Sims 3 that he's working on isn't it? He's being awfully cryptic about this, isn't he? Am I the only person who's curious about this?

Jeff, if you're reading this, then I have to admit I envy you about the spoon situation (spoon envy?). It sounds like you've landed a really great gig there.

That said, this week, while you were busy winning free games, and eating free tacos, and stealing spoons, I was playing Sid's new game, Colonization.

So there.

Wabe.

Rune Lockhart said...

OMG! that made my day!!! you made an other wiase shitty day,turn right!

Anonymous said...

Jeff, do you wear a suit to work?

Tristessa said...

Try cutting it down to three or four spoons at a time. There will be more to take by the time you need them!

I always liked the first few days on a job. It's all weird and I never quite know if what I'm doing is correct or not. Then I like to act a little on the passive side and note who the ones are who'll try to take advantage of someone =P

Tydigame said...

Working my way through all the old GFW Podcasts, I have come across a question that people should have asked you when you were leaving but didn't: What was the "infamous white wolf incident"?

kyle said...

Until you're alt-tab'ing your way out of Peggle Nights to make it look like you're working, you truly haven't worked there yet.

Good Luck to you Jeff.

Kropotkin said...

You know I'm surprised no one has made a Matrix reference with all this talk of spoons. Oh wait, there it is :P

Keep it up Mr Green, the Blog certainly breaks up my day rather well.

Wy said...

Oh Jeff, your story telling makes me smile.

b said...

Wow, I don't understand how you can supply all this humor on a daily basis. I absolutely love it. You should really add Google Adwords to your blog. I don't mind you making a little "something something" on the side for entertaining all of us almost every day.

SPOONS CONFIRMED!

F16Freek said...

You're still the Jeff I've always wanted.

John said...

Break a leg, Jeffrey!

Sikki said...

damn Jeff, instead of doing the candy swap on GFW radio, you guys should have asked for utensils.

Spod said...

Peggle is crack, and I BLAME YOU!

Never heard of it till you evangelised it, and now i'm lost in the bouncing dick abyss of peggleland...

FUCK YOU, MAN!

Crunch said...

As a guy who's worked at the same place for 18 years, I'm enjoying living vicariously through your Blog. Keep the funny stories coming Jeff.

Ben said...

Oooh, do they have those little honey packets? They never have those at my work.

Anna said...

a spoon and pear pie collector....

eviltwinii said...

There is no spoon.

NamNam said...

your posts remain humorous, and now if only we could find shawn elliot's blog too ... and / or sean malloy's ...

Ryan said...

Hey Jeff!

We met in the cafeteria in building 250! I'm glad to hear that you're settling in just fine at EA. If you probably heard someone speaking German, you're probably not hallucinating. This weird surreal college like campus at EA is very multi-cultural. Anyways, hope to see you around again!

Alex said...

As a college student, I know well the furtive joy in replenishing your dwindling reserves with the plentiful plastic bounty of an unsuspecting dining establishment.

Also, I hate to be a grammar nazi but you forgot the apostrophe in "co'bread." Just a heads-up.

MSUSteve said...

Good to hear you're persevering in the face of spoon-theft persecution Jeff. Has there been any tearful phone call to your wife, or have you managed to stave that off?

zeldahoolin said...

hehehe. sounds like your week is going pretty good :-D hope it continues at that pace ^_^ keep us updated!

Thor Jarle said...

There is no spoon...

Gabe said...

the spoon is a lie

tydas said...

Jeff, we know you have free time on weekends! How bout you and Elliot doing a non-gaming podcast! (as to not offend your new masters)...

AwakeRevolution said...

Wow, your third day and you had a meeting. Was the meeting anything like a podcast? Could you record your next "meeting" and put it up on RSS?

Jordan said...

what's your work space like? Offce with door? quad?

Angel said...

Your exploits never cease to amuse me. BTW don't fully abandon those hoarding instincts just yet, (I just recently started watching the news) and apparently we are one foot in the door of being a third world country. Stupid Politics. I need to start working more hours or I need to stop watching the news. Great Post. Keep them coming.

John Rivett said...

What you need is a Swiss army knife replete with spoon and waterproof matches, that way you'll never be without cutlery, and should you have to create fire to cook your viddles, you gots the matches to do it..


Plus the blade is useful for dispatching "do gooders".. Just sayin..

Cecil Vortex said...

1. damn funny stuff.
2. where the hell is Booger Patrol?
-Cecil

Anonymous said...

cool beans, jeff. glad it feels like its working out for you.

and thank you for continuing to update everybody! i know i appreciate it.

Mike H said...

, mustard, sugar, vinegar packets, etc. My roommate actually had a few dozen of the vinegar packets and poured them into what ended up being a 32 oz. bottle of apple cider vinegar. Good times all around.

You had lentils too last night, eh? Great minds think alike.

Mochi said...

If they freaked out about the spoons, what happens when you start hording the knives?

TURB0 said...

Any comments on Mr. Thompson's disbarment?

I'm still in disbelief over what an asshole he was.

Yet another Steve said...

A couple of thoughts...

-Are we going to hear of a scandal next year how reviews of EA games were influenced by a sudden influx of sporks, Splenda packets and coffee stirrers?

-As far as a podcast, you can do one on your own. Talk on the phone or on skype (if your 'co-host' isn't hanging out on your couch) and record them locally, mix em up in audacity and post it to a blog. Set up an RSS feed and bam, you're done! Talk about whatever's on your mind: comics, sports, games, life at work, whatever. I'm sure you can get sponsorship from Yamaha or from Tupperware. And you definitely have an audience.

It's just a thought. Rock on dude.

Paul said...

I worked at a place that did the same thing with the plastic silverware. Note to everyone: Your company officially sucks when you get the "no more spoons" email.

The Deviot said...

My late Grandfather used to smuggle out all of the Jelly packets from the table whenever he went to a greasy spoon. It used to piss off my Great Aunt, so one Christmas she went to Costco, and bought two cases worth for his present that year.
Hilarity ensued.

Jennifer said...

I gave Scooter a spoon the other day! I keep a stash...

gary said...

Chipotle on New Montgomery (I think?) was the best place for spoon-jacking! Whenever we'd go there, we would leave with a bag full of plastic utensils.

Dave_S said...

Another fantastic update, keep them coming :D

Jared Miller said...

I am glad to hear everything is going well so far. It is always tough starting a new job because, from my experience, I never feel I am doing everything I can; however, I have to remind myself I am new, and I am most likely expecting a lot more out of myself then the higher ups are for my first few days.

Also, don't let that plastic cutlery go, Jeff. You never know, with the economy how it is, when you may be king because of your horde of eating utensels. ;)

DaveT said...

I know this is off topic but Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is really nice and you dont find it too often here in ireland.

Good luck with the new job and start sewing in bigger pockets so you can steal the more condiments

Dave and Charly. Dublin Ireland

Steve said...

Spoon! Sorry, couldn't resist.

Anyway, I was feeling somewhat melancholy today, when I had a great idea. In your honor, both as an icon of my long PC gaming days(*) and as a new employee of EA
I went out and picked up a copy of Crisis Warhead today.

* I'm 35, so maybe I should just say `computer gaming.'

tomsamson said...

haha, one can never have enough spoons :)
seriously speaking though with all the bank crash hubbub talk going around i hope we don´t get a serious depression going. Anyway, calm down for now mean, there are plenty of spoons at EA and even if there was a nation wide depression i think EA would still have tons of spoons, so yeah, just take one a day and all will be fine :D
Just joking just as you probably were :)

Joril said...

Curious.
In what context did the flash game make it into the EA offices?
Inspiration? Keeping up with the times? Criticism?

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