August 07, 2006

Ben Haskell is Gone!

Yesterday night, a very good ex-colleague of mine at Google was leaving us to go to Carnegie Mellon University for a Master degree. Yes, that guy is Ben Haskell. I met him a few months ago when I was still working for Google AdSense. He just moved from Princeton, NJ to start the job as an AdSense coordinator. When I first met this guy, I thought how nerdy and dorky he was. He was sitting right next to me, taking over Christina's space. I was not happy at all that the space was replaced by a guy!

However, I got to know him when I became his buddy for bin approvals and email training. I was shocked by how smart that little guy was. He could basically memorize everything in the split of a second. Not only did I feel very old but I also felt very stupid sitting next to him. Ben is way smarter than many people I have encountered at Stanford.

The funny thing is that you can't really tell how sharp he is until you actually work with him. He is very humble and rarely tries to impress people by showing off his computer and programming skills. I was basically asking him 20 times a day whether I should buy a THINKPAD or Mac Book. Ben, as you may have known, I ended up getting a THINKPAD. Maybe you can think about buying me a Linux laptop for Christmas.

To say farewell to Ben, Steven and Chris held a party for him on Friday night. It was too bad that I was in a bad mood and forgot to take a picture of him covered in red duct tape! I am sure one of us must have the pictures in our cameras.

To have our "final" dinner with Ben, Steve, Chris, Kento, and I took him to a Thai restaurant on Castro Street in Mountain View. I was planning to take him to a nice restaurant on Santana Row in San Jose but Mr. Ben ran out of time packing his belongings. So, we settled for something in Mountain View. Ben ordered Pad Thai. Yes, we will all remember that he likes Pad Thai a lot. The food was decent but Kento and Steve thought that the green curry was too spicy. Anyway, we finished at around 8:10p.m. and drove Ben back to his place. It was hard saying goodbye to a great friend. I know for sure that he has a better future ahead of him in CMU. Here are the pictures we took during the dinner. Enjoy!

Ben, we'll miss you! Have a safe trip home!

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