If you live anywhere around Redmond, Washington you’ve been followed by one of these before:
As it pulls up next to you, you turn green with envy because, if you were a Microsoftie blue-badge (FTE… full-time employee) instead of an orange-badge (CSG, otherwise known as Contingent Services Group, otherwise known as a-dash or v-dash, otherwise known as contractor), you could be sitting on that free bus with cushy seats and full wireless access, heading to work (and working, of course, on the way).
Look very carefully into those tinted windows. You know who’s in there? These guys:
Lots and lots of them, living all over the Puget Sound, heading to work.
(OK, actually, it’s more like these guys…)
You consider opening your laptop on the passenger seat and stealing a little of that wireless access, but before you know it, you’ve been left in the dust.
Of course, these touring busses are not the only Microsoft-mobiles on the roads of Puget Sound. In the next few minutes, as you head to campus, you see a variety of other greenies. A smaller shuttle that zips to smaller, more rural communities…
…a family-sized mini-van that shuttles workers from campus to campus (because Microsoft buildings are scattered all over Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah, Seattle, and other communities)
…and finally, as you get closer to campus, you see lots and lots of these little fuel efficient whippersnappers, carting people from meeting to meeting around campus:
Just because I can’t ride those free, cushy, wireless-equipped busses doesn’t mean there are any sour grapes on my part. A few sour raisins, perhaps, but really I think it’s pretty cool that in just a few months the average Microsoftie (FTE only, mind you) can save hundreds of dollars on gas and thousands of pounds of CO2 from their carbon footprint.
Can you imagine the impact if they’d open this up to all Microsoft workers, FTE and CSG alike? I can only dream…