I remember this day well. But maybe a little background before we get to that day. I was a little over a year out of college having graduated from Washington State University ( Go Cougs!!) in May of 1990. In April of 1991 I had started temping for at Microsoft. My first job was manning the phones to take orders for the Windows 3.0 resource kit. From the get go it was very busy. The queue light on the phone was lit up all day. This was in the early days if tech so as temps we did not get a computer. We got a terminal for our email, which was Xenix Mail and all orders were put into a hand written form – only “blue badges” had computers. The resource kits were funny in themselves all the details about how to get certified on Windows 3.0 – all contained in a 3 ring binder. But what I remember best were the people I worked with and the fun we had together in our tiny little cubicles. There was a group of six of us that worked and played together – Steve, Erin, Jovanna, Andrea and Glen. We went hiking, went to parties, went drinking – some of us got hired by Microsoft eventually. I know Steve went back home to Minnesota, but the others are in the “where are they now category”. I hope they are all doing well as the year we hung out together was a memorable period in my life and one I am thankful for. Back to the job. I eventually got promoted in my temp job. You see all those orders we were taking for Resource Kits had to be taken over to Ridgewood F (remember Ridgewood F it plays an important role in my Microsoft journey). I guess I was the most qualified to walk across the parking lot. So I took them over to Audrey Bennet a Customer Service Manager and Jeff Corwin her admin. When I got the courage to apply for a customer service job Audrey had Jeff put my resume on each hiring managers desk. It also helped that Audrey was a die-hard Crimson and Grey fan. To prep for the interview my temp agency, Remedy, let me come into the office and play around with this thing called Windows 3.0. It did not seem to me it did a lot, somehow OS’ never change. At the time I was living on Eastlake in Seattle with a few roommates (Mike Dahlin was one, we went through a few other roommates so I am not sure who the others were at the time). I got the call and the offer, which I accepted since I had no other prospects. Which leads us to my first day at Microsoft….
When you have a lot of time I guess it is a good time to start writing your first blog. My name is Hans Hoffmann and I was recently laid off from Microsoft after 18 years. Interestingly I was given the ill fated notice on Nov 4th at 9am – I started on that day in 1991. I thought that day I should start a blog. I can talk about a lot of things but the purpose of this blog shall not be about my bitterness at being let go but more a reflection of 18 years at a sometimes great company and an exciting industry. There will be honest assessments of how I saw things. My hope is this journey will be about self improvment and I hope to keep people entertained as we march through 18 years. A lot happenned along the way – Microsoft Office became the desktop standard for business productivity, Windows 95 was launched, the internet took center stage, the DOJ, Billg stepped down as CEO, Billg left the company, Google, — that is just a sampling. I guess in short those who read this blog will get a chance to participate in some form of online therapy. Thank you and enjoy.
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