Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Microsoftie Reality Check

A recent comment about the front-page worthy political bunglings as of

How many employees who would consider leaving Microsoft
because we pulled support for the bill? Now how many would have considered
leaving if we had supported it and the bill had passed? Which number do you
think is greater? I'm just guessing, but I'd wager that pulling support for
the bill tipped more employees toward leaving. If not convincing them to
quit on its own, maybe coupled with whatever other reasons they might have
(oooh - the towels!) they'll leave. I thought that was what you wanted.

First: less people working for Microsoft?
Bing-bing-bing! Yes. That's exactly what I think is in the best
interest for a healthy Microsoft and is key to Microsoft building an
efficient product-creating whiz-bang future.

Next: I don't know how many people would be up to leaving based just on
this issue in and of itself. However, I agree it's one of those tipping
point events as each employee gets to do a reality check:

  • Do I
    still have faith in this company, its leadership, and my position
  • Do I want to stay here?
  • Could I get a great position
    elsewhere more inline with my beliefs and values?
  • Damn, why isn't
    anyone excited about Longhorn?

Alright, I had to slip that last one in there. An interesting snippet
from this AP story, href="">Microso
ft Criticized for Gay Rights Stancee:

The Boeing Co., Nike, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Molson Coors
Brewing Co., and Levi Strauss & Co., are among businesses that supported
the Washington state bill, which would have banned discrimination against
homosexuals in housing, employment and insurance.

Asked why
Hewlett-Packard supported it, John Hassell, the computer maker's director of
federal and state governmental affairs said: "One word:

HP started offering domestic partner benefits
to gay employees in 1996 -- three years after Microsoft did -- and, like
Microsoft, has an anti-discrimination policy that protects

"It's not just a nice-to-do thing. It's a requirement to
be successful in the private sector," Hassell said.

So it's an employee recruitment and retention business focused decision.
It is very unlikely that someone is going to pass on your Microsoft job
offer because you provide such benefits and support legislation like HB 1515
- it's just not relevant to their day-to-day need, irregardless if it
totally violates their own personal code of ethics and politics. It is very
likely that they will come work for Microsoft if those publicly defended
benefits are directly relevant to them and is something that is relevant to
their day-to-day needs.

If you're a Microsoftie, do your own reality check-check-check and decide
if this is the company for you. If you're at Microsoft, there's a good
chance that you're talented, smart, and motivated and can find a rewarding
career elsewhere (and if you're a Microsoftie and not talented, smart, or
motivated: oooo, your time is coming, Spanky
). You can fill out all the
SharePoint protest lists and send email directly to Bill and Steve, but it's
not going to truly be heard by them and affect them in a relevant manner
until people start leaving, noting this bungling as a defining moment in
their decision.

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