It’s very unlikely for anyone to start working at a new company on a Wednesday, but as unlikely and unexpected as things go, my starting on a Wednesday was just the tip of the iceberg. Newsflash – I no longer work at Microsoft; who would have thought I’d rid myself of those handcuffs? Who would have thought that I would buy a house? Who would have thought that I would choose to stay on in Seattle after all my bickering about the dreary weather? Who would believe that I am actually glad for a cloudy day this summer?
The sad truth is that comparisons to Microsoft are inevitable; I have accepted the fact that other than Google, no other company has the wherewithal to provide its employees with the kind of services that Microsoft does. The things Microsoft employees take for granted but are considered privileges (or pure $$ cost) to others, listed in no particular order, are – bad-ass recruiters, perenially stocked refrigerators, access to the best of breed hardware, the best benefits plan (ask Nishant), and access to a huge library of software released by both Microsoft and 3rd parties. Not one to jump the gun, I am going to let the new environment sink in before I draw parallels or judge. The one thing that this place has going for it is location – the views from the building are plain spectacular. Well, now that Bill Gates is no longer exercising full control over Microsoft, MS buildings might start mushrooming all over the city – who knows!?!
My first day went by without incident. I drove into the city, parents in tow, and reached my destination a little before 9:30 in the morning. I made it to work around the same time today, and I hope that I can keep this going. As I sat in the lobby, waiting to be ushered into a new world, I fingered through the pages of The New Yorker - “The Economy is in Decline”, screamed out from the Front Page. I didn’t get very far with my reading; my new manager whisked me away from my perch a few minutes after I had landed. Within the first hour, I was issued a new badge and a new laptop, I filled out some paperwork, and took my seat in an office with my manager – I had better come in early now, eh? :)
Everything was new to me, right from the fact that I wasn’t an administrator on my “XP” machine (whatever happened to Vista?) to the tasty cafeteria food to the extensive use of wikis to document internal processes and tools. The organization has a very distinct Unix flavor to it, and this transition to Unix is going to make the ride all the more interesting. When I packed up around 5pm, I couldn’t tell myself what I had accomplished in the day but I had a good feeling in the pit of my stomach. I guess a slow but good start to a new journey is better than a false one.