Inside Sun IEC

In my visits to various Sun campuses, I enjoy comparing and contrasting Sun lifestyles worldwide.

Sun’s India Engineering Center (IEC) occupies most of the Divya Shree Chambers building off Langford Road in Bangalore. Lunch (always a major preoccupation with me) is provided at the 5th-floor canteen, which gets very crowded around 12:45. There’s a buffet of Indian food for Rs. 25 (about 60 cents US)…

or you can order a wide selection of vegetarian sandwiches and fresh fruit, including a fruit chaat plate – diced seasonal fruit lightly seasoned with spices (so lightly, in fact, that I couldn’t really detect the spices over the amazing flavors of the fruit itself).

This is mango season, so I’ve been eating mangoes every chance I get. The poor, pale things we get in the US and Europe are only very distant reminders of what a really good mango can be. Makes coming to India in the hot season worthwhile!

To give you an idea, this is a selection of three different types of mangoes that I bought in Delhi, including the famous Alfonsos (yellow, in front). The large yellow thing on the right is a papaya, the stripey things are melons.

The Sun break rooms have a great selection of teas, including elaichi (cardamom), masala (what Americans call chai spice), and ginger. Plus a selection of other hot drinks – cocoa, instant coffee, and flavored mixes that I haven’t quite understood yet.

There’s a machine dispensing hot water and hot milk to mix these with. There is also brewed coffee, brewed south Indian style. Umm… Sorry, I’m not a coffee snob, but i just can’t get used to this stuff. I’ll make do with instant.

As with most establishments of any sort in India, Sun’s offices have a lot of support staff – labor is cheap here, and people need jobs. There are men in the break rooms to brew the coffee, ensure constant supplies of everything, and wash the cups (a much more eco-friendly practice than the disposable ones used at US offices). They also come around periodically to collect cups that people have carried back to their desks. All the work areas get thoroughly dusted every morning before people arrive (I know because I arrived early yesterday). This is in sharp contrast to Broomfield, where I have to dust my desk every time I go back there.

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