Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Lunch at Microsoft

My physical therapy appointments are on one end of Redmond, Washington and my office is on the other end of Redmond.  Between the two is just about every one of the hundred-plus buildings that make up the Microsoft Redmond campus.

And because my physical therapy appointments tend to take place around noon, I pretty much have my choice where to stop and eat lunch on my way back to the office.

If I get back to the office! Much of the time I decide to just stay at the cafeteria and work there for the afternoon.  It’s peaceful, the wireless connection is lightning fast (and the wired connection is even faster), the free drinks flow endlessly (and the food too -- though it’s not quite free), and I can power through my work and usually be very productive.

Today I went to the cafeteria at Microsoft’s West Campus.  They call this one the “ski chalet.”


Guess why?


This cafeteria is, in my opinion, the nicest of all Redmond Microsoft cafeterias. 



Yes, that is, in fact, a beach.  Sand, pebbles, the whole bit!

Funny story: In the late 90’s, shortly after the West Campus complex was built, I did a contract job for Microsoft Kids (which, unfortunately, no longer exists – although it SHOULDand I should head it up!).  My initial interview was in one of the West Campus buildings and to get there I walked along these beautiful waterfalls and lush grounds, thinking ‘Wow, I would love to work in such a beautiful, serene setting!’ 



A few hour later, after I’d secured the job, I left the building, annoyed at how long it took me to get to my car, oblivious to the beautiful surroundings, thinking only of the sudden and intense pressure I was under to deliver.

Microsoft tends to do that to one’s psyche. 

So anyway…


It was hot in Seattle today.  Not just warm, but hot. Definitely not ski chalet weather.

But I hunkered down for a few hours here and got a ton of work done.


Yes, that’s a beta version of Windows 7.  And no, don’t ask me just yet if I like it…

IMG_3289 But the atmosphere and the sandwich were great (and obviously subsidized – it cost me all of $3.00)!

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AstroYoga said...

Microsoft reminds me of grad school! I miss those beautiful campuses and subsidized food. If I had loved academia more, I would love spending the rest of my life at a University. Working at MS wouldn't be such a bad move either!

Goofball said...

wow, it does look like a beautiful place. And all the rewards you once talked about...

...too bad about the probably waaaaay too high work pressure as well for the employees.

Tonya said...

What a great work environment that cafe would be! Nice to be able to get away from the hub-bub now and then and feel truly productive. (Mmm, that sandwich looks good...)

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