Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Happy trails

My across-the-hall neighbor moved out yesterday.

This is only notable on the grounds that said neighbor was one of my former co-workers at Microsoft. He was deeply cynical, increasingly openly bitter about the job, and before the reorg trying to overthrow management via open mutiny. And then I discovered I lived across the hall from him; he's an interesting man to talk to, take deeply hateful and cynical advice from, then observe from a safe distance, but I was never totally comfortable living next to him. So be it; it became kind of a running gag, especially after the remarkably passive-aggressive note left clipped by his door one morning, made more entertaining by my knowing that the gentleman I worked with was both Canadian and entirely likely to have earned every accusation.

Still, it's a somber thing. He was loading his boxes into a co-worker's truck, and everything that didn't fit, he threw away. Here lies a man's life, in a dumpster: an old table, chairs that got taken away by some unknown new owner between yesterday and today, a lamp, a Bose audio calibration DVD, a tour guide book to Minnesota, a bed. None of this was especially good stuff, but I have the feeling he dumped it not just because it was more expensive to take it than to replace it, but because he wanted to leave, and leave Microsoft behind him. Stuff I recognized from his office was in that dumpster, in a box labeled "CORPORATE MOVING SYSTEMS", the company Microsoft uses to pack out your office and send you the contents if they boot you out of it.

Not that I know for sure that's what happened. A lot of MSFTies have CMS boxes sitting around because they use the same company for office moves, a rather frequent event. It's just that office moves ordinarily use reusable plastic bins, and only use cardboard boxes if one person is moving instead of an entire department, so the most common reason people have those boxes at home is because they left their office for good on very short notice.

I had two weeks to pack out my office. At the same time I left, CMS boxes were flattened or ripped up in the majority of recycling bins in my apartment complex.

I talked them, he and the man helping him pack and move (one of my friends within Microsoft, actually). I didn't ask for details, as it wasn't my place. But I think there's been a lot of turnover since I left, even more than management planned on. And, from what I could tell, not everybody has been so lucky in finding new employment. They were genuinely happy for me that I had a new job I am content in- if not tainted with more than a little regret of their own.

I think this highlighted to me both how screwed I was and how not-screwed I was. I knew this man well. If he could not keep his job, there was absolutely no way I could have kept mine. But, with his higher job title, long experience, and more impressive resume, he seems not to have gotten a new one, yet. I have no idea how long he's been looking, though, although it's obvious he's left Microsoft. I can only wonder if he's going back to Canada, or if he has another job somewhere else. And I wonder how he left- the preponderance of CMS boxes suggested that he was not allowed to quit, or if he did, it was required to be same-day.

There's nothing left to do but to wish him the best, and wonder who my next neighbor will be. And wonder what will happen to the Windows Tools Test Team, since it is clearly disintegrating. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, knowing that the ending has not yet been written.

Happy trails, sir, and I wish you best of luck. May not-Microsoft bring you more peace and sanity than Microsoft ever did.

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Tags: epilogue, microsoft

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