Someone asked me the other day why I left Microsoft

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15 years is a long place to be anywhere (other than the 15 well now 20 plus years I’ve been with my wife). Someone asked me the other day why I left Microsoft and I paused. There are the reasons I’ve given to various people over the past months. The first being the change in the bonus system and the fact that I ended up with no bonus – “what I earned” according to my old manager. I feel bad for him. He is simply a cog in a machine that strives ever to remake itself – and is failing.

Sure it hurt that MS choose not to give me a bonus. But based on the writing I had seen on the wall – I knew as a long time senior person there my time was done. They were looking for younger blood. An organization that is trying to remake itself eventually has to forgot what it knew. You can’t carry people that were there for a long time when you are remaking yourself.

But the thing that bothers me the most wasn’t the bonus. That was simply stupid on MS’s part. The thing that hurt me the most was the fact that I won an award last summer. The only person in the company to win that award three times in one calendar year. It really meant something to me (although nothing to Microsoft).  You see the last time I won that award I never even got the trophy or the letter. In the end they lost it three times. They finally sent me a memory stick and called it a day. 3 times to win a big team award and get nothing? In the end I have to say my time at Microsoft was good (for the most part) but the decay and fall has begun.

We who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

And it isn’t that I didn’t get the stupid little trophy. It’s the fact that no one (including my former boss) did the math and realized I had won the award three times. It must have meant that I was good and helping teams succeed at high levels.  It makes me feel sorry for the people I left behind at Microsoft. Sad enough to write this blog now nearly 5 months after leaving.

I heard the other day a really dear friend of mine was leaving MS as well (he has since left). I realized that MS was a place for sharks now. I don’t want to be a shark. I want to be someone that people say “he was a good person.”

It brings me to my last and final thought about Microsoft. You can forget who you knew. You can forget what you were. But if you forgot those who helped drive success – then all is lost.

The Big Team award (3rd time) meant something to me. I guess in the end it didn’t mean anything to my boss or my former company.


Another year in paradise…

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Last night was our 21st Halloween together and the first one in those 21 where neither one of us had to take the kids out trick or treating. Our first Halloween as a couple was actually a year after we started dating. Barb and I took Becca to a fall festival the weekend after Halloween but I was doing something at School for Halloween and Barb took Becca out.

We’ve been together 21 Halloweens since. The thing that amazes me is that in all those years, last night was the first time we worked together and passed out candy. Sometimes it is strange the things you think about or for that matter notice.

Barb was wearing a Halloween shirt, over the years she has always enjoyed Halloween. She spent a lot of time in her youth as an actress and performer so she enjoys dressing up for Halloween. One year she went as a computer geek although she swears it wasn’t going as me.

The boys passed out candy for the first time last night after they finished the dishes and the kitchen. Barb and I relaxed and watched Jeopardy together. The Bean had to work last night.

All was well.

Another year passed…


First trip from Dulles…

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A simpler time when my knees didn’t hurt. I realized yesterday walking in the rain that I miss running. Not that I was ever a world class runner, it just miss the feeling of running. I tried a few years ago to run and managed to do so for about 3 years but my knees just won’t take the punishment anymore so I have to be content with walking.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy walking, its just that I love running.

Tomorrow is my first official Dulles first trip. I have flown through Dulles a number of times over the years, and terminated from somewhere else to Dulles a couple of times (coming to DC for business) but this is my first trip that starts and ends in DC at Dulles. My experiences with Dulles over the years hasn’t been the greatest so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I have had the airline lose my bags three times, twice at Dulles and once in Miami. One time (Dulles) the bag was never found and I got everything replaces. So as I said…plus other than Newark and Chicago, I’ve been delayed more at Dulles by percentage than anywhere else.

Still it is the first trip and I am excited.



Random Thoughts :-)

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A few random thoughts:

  • It feels like we are on vacation – I keep thinking we are going home to Indiana. Moving is such a hard thing to handle.
  • Moneyball is about a team without money trying to play baseball, but it is also a slice in time movie about how human beings deal with expectations and failure.
  • I am missing one charger from the move. How is that possible?
  • Moving is painful.
  • Unpacking is more painful.
  • Oh yeah, I hate unpacking.
  • Its fun to live in a place where people are outdoors more than where we were before.
  • I can’t wait to go to Mt. Vernon again, it was a highlight trip for me as  a child.
  • Sometimes I wonder –
  • Found my ZuneHD av doc – now I can play my music at work!

Sundays are fun days. I measure the fun by how many quarters of football is get to watch. Yesterday, 2 minutes of the 3rd quarter of one game so I suspect I was either busy, or it was a good day.