My first few days in Chicago
I’m staying at Chicago Marriott O’Hare hotel, which is 15 miles from downtown Chicago. And that’s about 24km. The person here can’t find any hotel that is in downtown area, which closer to the office that is available for the period of 2 weeks. So that simply means that I have to do a bit of travel everyday to and from work.
Being a public transport user myself in Malaysia, I guess it’s in my blood already to quickly adapting to the new transport system at a new place. What I did was to get the train system map from the hotel, and just plan my journey a day before, getting familiar with the name of the station, and which lines that I have to use. The system here is less complex compared to London’s underground system. In Chicago, they call it elevated train, for just simply ‘L’.
As last time, Google Map has help me a lot during my planning. It seems that I have to stop at Clinton station on the blue line to get to the office.
Luckily, the train station is just a walking distance to my hotel, and it’s a blue line. Meaning I just hop on the train, and I’ll reach Clinton station without the need to change train. Here’s the photo of the hotel that I take from the Cumberland train station. Pretty close huh.
My first day here, Bob, the manager that organize my visit here show me around the office. Wow. I got to say this place is awesome. Just look at the programmer workstation here. They are getting 2 wide LCD monitors, to increase productivity when doing programming. The furniture is very Ikea try, and very comfortable.
This is the employee longue area (Malaysia office call it pantry). The area is huge, with microwave ovens, free flow of coffee, tea, sugar, ice maker, big fridge and vending machine.
That’s not the best part yet about the employee longue. Apart from the table to sit for eating, there is also several couches with LCD tv connection to cable. How cool is that. And this longue got the best view. Really a good place to relax during break time.
As always when people from different countries gathered together, we started to exchange stories. Here, office hour is just from 9am to 5pm, with 1/2 hour lunch break. People do lunch pretty quick here. Get down, get sandwich, bring back to office, eat and continue work. Back in Malaysia, folks at my office always having 1 1/2 hour lunch (LOL).
The salary here is paid every 2 weeks. They quite shock to know that we are paid once a month. I guess it’s true too. How often this thing happen to us, after we receive the salary, during the third week, we broke already and counting the day for the next pay day. Here, you get 1/2 salary first, spend it for 2 weeks, then you get another 1/2 of the salary on third week.
Well, many other new things that I get to know. I glad I’m here, seeing my self how American people way of living. There are good things, and also there are bad things that they are practicing. It’s such an eye opener to see the many personalities that American people have.