I have spent a lot of time in my head lately.
Unsurprisingly, I’ve run into many who just cannot comprehend this: I don’t have internet in my apartment. Willingly.
Despite this, I still spend a disgusting amount of time online doing nothing that feels productive for the number of hours logged. I have 24/7 access to internet in my apartment complex’s business center. And if I don’t want to be there, I can go to the library or work.
I have been very happy with my newly regular podcasts: The Rachel Maddow Show, various NPR feeds (Talk of the Nation, Fresh Air, education, story of the day), ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (and the guys that sub for her on a seemingly regular basis…I’m curious where she’s at during all those times), and This Week. I’m slowly accepting the label of liberal, but still trying to do it with a grain of salt. People aren’t Republicans or conservatives for no reason.
On the note of news, I do need to inject some source (preferably podcast) that gets me info about outside the US. During my first couple days at Microsoft, I had a convo in which I was the only person from the US (so cool!) where it was commented that they are less aware of what is going on in the world now that they live in the US. She said it is due to how localized the news is here compared to what is considered regular types of news to receive back home: think of your local newspaper.
There is a striking lack of African Americans at work. Just throwing that one out there.
On the other hand, I am surrounded by folks from other countries. Easy and quick example, each member of my team is from a different country: Brazil, India, the US, Egypt/Canada. (He spent his childhood in Egypt, then moved to Canada.)
Still of ton of white males. Just go up that leadership chain and senior independent contributors. Those are two topics that I attended sessions on at GHC and have notes that I’ll eventually get into blog posts. Interesting issues.
People keep asking me, and I haven’t been spouting it cause I guess I’m taking the stance that no news is good news, but I am really enjoying working for Microsoft. I am finding it fascinating figuring out how the seemingly endless moving parts have to work together to achieve one goal. I work in Office, and from the consumer’s perspective, you would never guess the effort behind the end product. There’s something like 4000 people working on Office. Crazy.
Needless to say, it was a hell of a lot easier to grasp everyone’s roles at the 30 employee company than at the 90,000 employee company.
Since it’s easier to work on such smaller terms, here’s my attempt at a translated example:
Imagine my team as a small company attempting to ship a product. We rely on products from other companies to successfully complete our job. However, since the other companies have separate end goals from us, we both have to work to compromise and convince one another why certain elements are needed.
Except at work, we’re all one company. With separate companies, profit can be used as leverage, but between teams at the same company, that isn’t an option. (Though, due to the sheer size at Microsoft, you do have the the option to work with other teams similar to the option of choosing a different company.) Challengingly, since on the outside you are viewed as this single company you are expected to be on the same page, but realistically that is not easy. It’s an interesting problem.
Things are just a bit jumbled up in my head. I have received a massive amount of information in my seven weeks of work. The never-ending firehouse as they describe it. Combine that with the hello adulthood. (Which I am totally okay with.) And put that all on top of everything my family life has gone through in the last five years.
It’s a lot to think about.