I arrived at EA Canada bright and early this morning for my 8:30am orientation. I decided to drive and it took me less than 20 minutes to get there from Port Moody. It was a far cry compared to the one hour plus commute I had before. It was my first indication that perhaps it wouldn’t be that bad to work in Burnaby.

I did orientation six years ago and they’ve streamlined some parts and added other things to the process. For starters, orientation is an all day affair now. That may see too long for some people but I actually think it’s a good thing and they do present some relevant material to get you started on the right path.

They keep things lively by mixing in presentations with filling out forms and going on a studio tour of the facilities. I was given a tour earlier when I interviewed but they were still able to show me things I hadn’t seen before. For example, the cafeteria has it’s own designated person to explain the many, many different choices available to EA employees. I also found out that the new fitness facility is offering a dodgeball league. I love dodgeball! I would be so there if I was working at EAC.

It was during the tour that I believe I spotted Cam, a frequent reader of this blog. I think he was going up the main staircase in Phase II while our group was going down the stairs. I also spotted many people that I had worked with when I was a tester. It was kinda weird seeing them again.

The orientation group was given a lunch voucher so we could sample the culinary delights at noon. During the tour, we were told one of the features offered today was roast turkey. I decided on that. It also came with mashed potatoes, salad, broccoli, stuffing, and strangely, a piece of bok choy. The meal itself was alright. The turkey had a bit too much gristle for my liking and there wasn’t enough gravy. Had there been a generous helping of gravy, the entire meal would have been elevated to a higher status. I then saw what the stir fry station was offering and that looked like it was an awesome meal. Somewhat like Mongolian BBQ, it had me thinking I would have that next time around.

We also had our pictures taken for our ID badges. My picture turned out horrible but oh well. After lunch we had two more presentations and our ID badges arrived for us to take. I was thankful for mine since walking around the facility without a badge is nearly impossible since most areas are access controlled.

The day ended around 4:30pm but instead of going home right away, I used my newly minted access card to go talk to my former co-worker Tim. After chatting with him, I headed over to see Garrett. I told him I wanted to go back downstairs to visit my old stomping grounds, the QA department where we both used to work. He said he’d go with me. I hadn’t been in there since early 2002. The place was the same but different. There’s a lot more people in there now. I recognized three or four faces only. One guy I saw, I interviewed him for a tester position in 2002. I made the recommendation that EA hire the guy. He’s still there. I really wanted to talk to him but I forgot his name and I didn’t want to look like an idiot. Garrett and I finished our quick tour and left.

I’ll actually be at EAC for another several days since tomorrow I start some training specific to my job role. I’m looking forward to it and it means I’ll be able to see my friends for another week or so.

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