Drinking from the firehose - my first week at Microsoft

I flew out to Redmond for my new employee orientation at Microsoft last weekend and I haven’t stopped running since.

The orientation is the greatest I have ever experienced.  It’s the first time I’ve ever left an orientation and actually felt that I had gained valuable information.  The 1.5 day experience taught me (and 139 others in the same room) about things like Global citizenship, community involvement, intellectual property security, company history, charitable giving (Microsoft matches charitable contributions dollar-for-dollar and matches time with money), and benefits coverage.

Since I’m working out of the Atlanta field office, I had to cram a few other things in while I was there since I was leaving.  I ducked out for about an hour Monday to pick up my new notebook computer (a blistering fast Toshiba Tecra M3) from our group admin.  I got a chance to meet *the *Pat Beahan, as he is my group leader.  I don’t report directly to him, but my manager does.  I met him at the interview, but that was a different experience.  Here, I got to meet him as my new group leader.  I’m excited about my team and the great things we will help our customers achieve.

Unfortunately, the orientation put me about 2.5 days behind.  When I got back to Atlanta, my inbox had 56 emails, half of which required my attention.  By Friday, however, I was receiving about 65 a day (not counting the internal lists, which can be enormous).  It’s an incredibly awesome experience.  Never before have I seen a company that functions as efficiently and effectively as Microsoft while retaining the emphasis on customer satisfaction.  Everyone that I’ve met is energetic, optimistic, and truly devoted to helping people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.  Awesome.

I’m not sure that I feel overwhelmed so much as I feel empowered.  The scope of how I perform my duties is entirely up to me.  The responsibilities are enormous.  I’ve never carried this much weight in my entire career and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I feel like Atlas holding the world on my shoulders.  This is the most awesome I’ve felt about my contributions to the world for as long as I can remember.  Now that I’m inside, I can see how the system works and I can tell you that Microsoft is truly devoted to helping others realize their full potential.  I’m very proud to be a part of that effort.

Gotta’ go, I’ve got an enormous amount of studying to do…