settling into msr


When I accepted the position here, I spent a lot of time trying to find information on what day-to-day life at Microsoft was like--and didn't find much. So I'm going to chronicle a bit of it here for other people curious about the mundane details.

Yesterday I was issued my magical keycard, which gets waved in front of doors to allow me access into buildings (far superior to the "swipe and then enter a complicated code" version at RIT). I also picked up my parking tag and a FlexPass from the receptionist--the FlexPass gives me free travel on city and county buses, which is a great perk.

Today I spent the morning configuring my computer and my office so that I can work comfortably. I need to figure out an efficient way to move my enormous (legal!) music collection from my Powerbook to my PC, so I can listen to music in the office. An external hard drive might be the solution, but the ones I have are all formatted for Macs, and I hate to reformat them and risk my backups. Perhaps an Ethernet cable between the two machines? Would that work?

At lunchtime I headed over to Bank of America to set up a checking account, so that I can set up my direct deposit here this afternoon. Then I came down here to the Building 112 cafeteria (next door to my building, 113) to have my first cafeteria meal.

The selection is pretty good--various stations, much like RIT. Pizza, pasta, grill, salads, stir-fry, sandwiches. The big difference is quality. The grill, for example, features a glass case with fresh meats arrayed--garlic rosemary chicken, cajun salmon, and even buffalo burgers (buffalo meat, that is, not buffalo chicken wing seasoning), which is what I opted for. Drinks are free (makes sense, since why would they give them to you free upstairs, but charge in the cafeteria?) The prices just went up, apparently, so my burger was a little over $4, my fries were a little over $1, and I tossed in a 90-cent cookie. Total cost for lunch: $6.35, which was covered by the lunch voucher I received at yesterday's orientation.

In a week or so I'll be able to start doing direct deposit of money onto my keycard, which can be used for payment in the cafeteria--a convenience I've grown accustomed to at RIT and am glad to have here.

The cafeteria itself is pleasant, though not particularly fancy. Tables and chairs, booths along the windows, a few areas with comfy chairs.

Up on our floor, there are a number of little seating areas and lounges, which look as though they'd be conducive to ad-hoc meetings--though I've not seen any taking place just yet.

This afternoon I'm headed over to the MSN search offices, where they're having a goodbye party for someone on the team I really like, and will be sad to see leave. Sounds like between the pizza and ice cream cake, I won't be needing any dinner when I get home.

So, that's the Thursday update from the belly of beast. Stay tuned for more riveting episodes as my sabbatical progresses.


If you have a Firewire cable handy, you might be able to copy the music by holding down T during start up to boot the Powerbook into Firewire drive mode (details here). I says "for another Macintosh," but it might work.

I just found out about this trick the other day when I was talking to Jym - he might know more about it.

I am enjoying reading about your experiences, Liz. Good luck with the assimilation. =)

Hmmm... I'm sold on the lunch selection menu. You can't work on an empty stomach (well, I can't anyway, and the other GAs from this past year can certainly vouch for that as they made fun of me for it... lol), and they seem to provide you with some very tasty food - garlic rosemary chicken, yum! And free drinks to boot.

I'm glad everything seems to be going smoothly, please keep us updated!

I'm enjoying the narrative, too, Liz. I'm especially looking forward to the part where you become evil :)

hrm... I don't think *I* got a free lunch coupon.

Amanda, you have to pretend that you're going to the optional breakout sessions in the afternoon in order to get one.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on July 7, 2005 1:40 PM.

first impressions of microsoft was the previous entry in this blog.

upcoming uk trip is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Category Archives