Time for an office move…


Office moves at Microsoft may qualify as the corporate version of urban legends. Kind of like the free soda, and the weird stuff we do to people on their anniversary. When I started at Microsoft, I was told to expect an office move about once a year. I know someone who claimed to be in the same office for the longest period of time (I think it was 5 or 7 years…and it’s possible that record has been broken since).

We add new buildings to our campus (some through construction, some we acquire, some we rent), group structures change, teams are joined, etc., etc. Lots of reasons for office moves.

My history of office moves at Microsoft has been pretty typical. When I started in the sumer of 99, I was in building 18 (not a recruiting building), sitting with my clients. Within about 6 months, a window office became available and it was my choice to move (I like to see the sun both months that it’s out…OK just kidding…it was actually out today…no joke). Then our team moved downstairs in the same building. Must have been there about 9 months.

Then we moved to building 22 (also not a recruiting building). Slightly off campus. Had just one office over there. Then I was asked to cover for someone’s maternity leave and moved to building 19 (the recruiting building), downstairs. Then when we created our central sourcing organization, I moved upstairs to the largest office I’ve had so far….with really big windows (just lucky I guess). Now I am moving again, to building 100.

Yes folks, that’s 7 offices in 5.5 years. That’s just kind of how it is. I actually like to purge files, get organized and make a fresh start. We have movers who do the physical part of the move (you have to pack your boxes, they move boxes and all your computer equipment, set it up, etc…they will even move your refrigerator). I actually painted a few of my offices (those would be offices number 3 and 4). Now I think I am over it. Although I am cursing myself for accumulating so much stuff (I’ve packed 11 boxes so far).

It’s kind of nice to get a change of scenery now and then anyway. My new office is smaller but I’ll be sitting with my team and the building is right off the freeway. I’m looking forward to settling in….again.

Comments (14)

  1. Have you seen "Office Space"? đŸ™‚

  2. Heather says:

    Funny that you ask…it’s in my DVD player. I tried to watch it while I was sick and fell asleep. I was just telling my co-worker Maria that I am learning to cut my losses with movies that are bad after the first ten minutes (I mean, have you seen Moulin Rouge?).

    Are you telling me that it is actually good? Let me just say that I appreciate Spinal Tap humor over CaddyShack (irony beats slapstick in my book). I know it’s a delicate distinction.

    Tell me now Chris….Office Space is about to go back in the Netflix envelope tonight! ; )

  3. It’s a great movie. It’s a classic. you must watch it. DO NOT MAIL IT BACK. KEEP IT! heh. All my friends have seen it at one time or another since it came out in ’99.

    You’ll be quoting this movie for life.

  4. mmmkay. it’s 8pm. i’m guna go ahead and head home right now … mmkaay.

  5. Darrell says:

    We had great fun during moves at a previous, large employer. We sealed an entire box full of trash and had it delivered to a coworkers cube. What fun!

    We also went and relabeled a bunch of boxes of coworkers who went home early before the move. Hehehe, that will teach them! It took them a couple hours and a few priceless conversations to get it sorted out.

  6. Darrell says:

    I’d like to second the nomination for Office Space. There are parts of that movie that I couldn’t stop laughing.

    "I don’t think I’m gonna go to work anymore." "Don’t you have bills?" "Yeah, I don’t like paying those either…"

    That and the beginning of Joe vs. the Volcano was good since my previous employer had those iron gates to get in. And the building manager was like the sign on the pipe "Don’t turn this!" Classic.

  7. Heather says:

    chris…I’m going to watch it this weekend but just because you said so. It better be good! ; )

  8. EBP says:

    I like your blog (first time/first time).

    My company is only about five years old and growing rapidly, and we’ve also had many, many moves. We’ve just completed our seventh office move in four years. We keep expanding the same facility, so it’s not as drastic as your situation of going to an entirely new building all the time, but dealing with the time and trouble of packing up everything and hoping it make it to its new location is still a big pain. On the bright side, it’s nice to know our respective employers are willing to make those kinds of changes when they’re needed. I doubt most companies do.

  9. Patblue says:

    I certainly hope that you took Office Space out of the envelope and pushed through the first 10 minutes. This movie is the exact replica of corporate America in most cases. Jennifer Aniston and many pieces of ‘flair’. What is ‘flair’ I hear you asking? You will have to watch to see. "Irregardless" of your impression during the commute scene at the beginning of the show, if you stick with it, it will become dear to your heart.

    As for the office moves, I have had 6 moves in 6 1/2 years at Microsoft, so you are right on track it appears!

    THIS, my dear Heather is my first comment to you in the world of weblogging. I have been a passive observer for months as I have read your blogs on marketing, recruiting etc. I now have the power and confidence through my own blog to grow my blogging experience — with you – again, as my grammatical and verbose mentor and friend.

  10. gretchen says:

    Office Space is definitely in my top 5 movies. I watch it often and love every minute.

    I am currently on office #8 and have been in this same one for almost full year. I can’t believe it! Of course, it is quite sad that office #8 is the same as office #3. I guess it’s just the circle of life. If you combine my two stops in this good ol’ office, I’m closing in on 1 1/2 years. that has to be some sort of record.

  11. Pradeep says:

    office space soo rocks.

    Infact going with the marketing nature of this blog-space this is one of the classsic lines from the movie

    "I deal with the god-damned customers so the engineers don’t have to! I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people! Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?"

    –Richard Riehle, Office Space

    lol

  12. Heather says:

    Oh, yay…my buddy PatBlu is commenting on my blog! I miss you Pat…."irregardless" of the fact that I saw you recently.

    So I didn’t actually watch office Space yet. But I will this week for sure. If PatBlu says it’s good, it must be good!

  13. OK, don’t laugh. I actually asked for it this time. For those of you that asked if we move offices as…

  14. Hank says:

    Help! This is my first blog of any kind so hopefully I’m following protocol….

    I am trying to find an old acquaintance at Microsoft named Mark Brown. I’ve been told by a mutual acquaintance that Mark works as a recruiter in something like the Home Entertainment group (?) and I can’t recall the building complex, but would know it when I hear it. Can you help?

    hheath@onsitefinancial.com