My first day at Microsoft. It was just nice to have a full-time job with benefits. I had had a few run ins with paying my own health care so I knew a bit about the risks of not having health care. I had been playing a lot of soccer post college on Men’s teams and Co-Ed teams – so naturally a few injuries came with the territory. I digress and as a “blogger” I intend to do that many more times. We had to do the normal things – back then unlike today at Microsoft there was no MS 101. The Customer Service new hires went to Ridgewood F and we were met by Cindy Tu (ironic that I just ran into her a few months ago in Bldg 92). I cannot remember all in my class but I shall try – Kari, Melissa, Bob, Tyler, David and Tom. There were more but it was 18 years ago so cut me some slack. Cindy welcomed us led us to a small room where we got a box lunch. I was young and new to the business world, but this idea of getting a “free” lunch?!?! This must be the greatest company on the planet and the boxes were nicely wrapped too. Remember at this point in life I was poor. My expectations were low, my ideas were big. When we get to my 456th box lunch I will be singing a different tune. The thing I remember about Cindy was she really loved Microsoft. She talked about all the fun events, contests, benefits – she was a happy person. I find people like that engaging. We then went to a class room to do our Microsoft studies. Our key system we had to learn in Customer Service were a system know as “Buck” and “Darla” – these were essentially two DEC VAX systems housed in bldg 11. You were assigned one of the two . I was assigned “Buck”. What these systems did was track user software registration, because in those days it was prudent to register your software. If you needed to order a replacement disk you would call CS and do that through “Buck” or “Darla”. We also learned about the different products and how to handle certain calls – if it was a call regarding Lan Manager or SQL 4.2 –> Transfer. What were the basics? Excel 3.0, Word for Windows 1.0, Microsoft Office, Works, Basic 7.0, COBOL, FORTRAN, C 6.0…Windows 3.0, DOS 5.0 etc.. In those days we certainly did not have the scope or breadth of software products that Microsoft has today, which made it a great way to learn and grow with the company. It was at the end of the first day we had to go over to corporate (Ridgewood was located in Bellevue) and get our badge. We went to bldg 8 (Billg’s building for those who do not know) to get our picture and then our badge, Security was in the basement it was like a dungeon. I walked out with my blue badge. I was now a fulltime Microsoft employee.