The highlight of my day was being treated to lunch in a Microsoft cafeteria and getting close enough to a couple of Microsoft objets d’art to snap photos, all the while getting tips on how to increase visits to my blog. None of these activities — the lunch, art access or blogging tips — are typical Microsoft services; it just happened that Mark, the husband of my friend JMarie, works there and he invited us to lunch to get an expert’s view (my words, not his) on tweets, tantalizers and transmissions, all in the context of increasing blog readership.
I can’t imagine working at Microsoft, since navigating around all of its facilities involves a great deal of complicated decision-making, for example, which of its dozens of buildings to aim your car toward if you have an appointment, and equally important, which cafeteria to choose for lunch, the ones that serve Indian or Thai food; the soup, salad and sandwich bar; or those that cater to vegetarians or pasta lovers. These are the only options I remember, but there were at least five or six more. Even better, employees pay only a fraction of the cost of the meals and may drink as many bottled waters and soft drinks as they wish at no charge. To get to our cafeteria of choice — salads, etc. — we passed by a bike store, a display of snowboards for sale, and a tiny arcade where an employee could aim a ball toward a basket and earn a free lunch for a successful jump shot. This was located adjacent to the auto salon appointments desk where they could arrange to have their cars serviced in the garage below.
A very different world from the public school system where I spent so many years, but as a retiree, a fascinating and entertaining world, especially since I could enjoy it without having to do any work. My host suggested I aim for 100 visits to my blog each day and he made recommendations for stepping up certain other activities. Actually, the more I think about it, the more it sounds like I will be working, but having to make my own lunch.
I also visited the Microsoft campus last year to lunch with a friend and her daughter, who worked there at the time. Feeling somewhat like Alice must have felt when she tumbled into her Wonderland, I was also confused by the mere numbers of parking garages, and overwhelmed by the choices of eateries and astounded by the amazing art and technology that is a part of their everyday world out there in Redmond. Sadly, I agree with you, that their world is nothing like the public school system world that you and I used to work in. . .but wouldn’t it be great if it were?