A Singaporean doing the most Singaporean thing to do! :D :D
and note: the article is written by Steve Lorrr!! :D :D ROFL
Who's with Gwyneth? The Google Guy
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The gallery of photos lining a hallway at Google’s headquarters here is filled with the faces of luminaries who have visited the company: Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Muhammad Ali and Jane Fonda.
And in each of the more than 100 pictures, there is someone else: Tan Chade-Meng, a geeky fellow with a big smile who is a household name only in his own household.
Mr. Tan is a 37-year-old engineer at Google, and his initial chutzpah, his quirky workplace and a steady stream of distinguished visitors have turned him into the company’s in-house Zelig.
The visitors are often there to get a glimpse of the future in progress, and perhaps something to drop into conversation that suggests an advanced I.Q.: “When I was out at Google the other day...”
They end up getting a moment with Mr. Tan as well, and Mr. Tan gets another photo for his growing gallery.
At first, Mr. Tan had to work for his pictures. One day in 2003 he saw several police cars at the Google campus and muscular men in dark suits and sunglasses patrolling the hallways.
His interest piqued, Mr. Tan hustled down to the lobby and “waited for someone famous to come by,” he said. It turned out to be Jimmy Carter. The resulting photo and another of Mr. Tan with Al Gore went up on the wall outside his office.
Soon, no celebrity could visit Google without a “Meng” photo op — as in “Where’s Meng? You’ve got to get your picture taken with Meng.”
Mr. Tan, his photo gallery and the company’s endorsement of his little side project, said Eric Schmidt, the company’s chief executive, are “representative of much of what is right and fun about Google.”
At Google, Mr. Tan has a reputation as a top-flight engineer. But he is also known for his fondness for one-liners and for being a regular contributor to the company’s online humor groups. The job title on his business card reads: “Jolly Good Fellow (which nobody can deny).”
“In my free time, I do engineering,” he said.
Mr. Tan gets tips by e-mail or phone a few days before a famous person arrives. No one has turned him down yet.
It is an eclectic group. Colin Powell, the hippie activist Wavy Gravy, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robin Williams, Jane Goodall, Tom Brokaw, George Soros and James D. Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, have all posed with Mr. Tan.
Mostly the guests appear to be good sports about it. A few, including Mr. Clinton and Chris Rock, the comedian, have even come to his small office for their moment in the spotlight.
Some drape an arm around Mr. Tan. He and Ken Thompson, a creator of the Unix operating system, hold plastic pink flamingoes. (The photos are online at picasaweb.google.com/chademeng.)
Mr. Tan is not a stickler for photographic technique. He uses an inexpensive digital camera, and the photos, he said, are shot by “random people who walk by.” Larry Page, the multibillionaire co-founder of Google, has snapped a few.
Mr. Tan, typically dressed in a sweatshirt or Google T-shirt, beams at the camera with a toothy, ear-to-ear grin that some colleagues good-naturedly call his Bugs Bunny smile. His regular brushes with fame have apparently not gone to his head.
“I’m just some guy at Google,” he said.
Aside to family, doesn't he look like Uncle Freddy??!