"Can you connect me with someone at Microsoft?"

I'm getting more and more mail from folks that want to be connected with someone at Microsoft to talk about sponsorship deals, business opportunities, employee rewards (at least 5 phone calls on this one)...the list goes on. They are trying to sell something. I know in the past I've said I answer every piece of mail I get and I'm sticking with that (not including spam of course), however, unfortunately, the answer to these requests is going to be "no". I hate saying no to people but I'm in Staffing. If someone is asking about something Staffing related ("can you forward our info to the person that handles your recruitment advertising?"), then, sure, I'll do that. I know who that person is.

But we are a 65,000 person company. I've *maybe* met 500 of those people. Also, I am not really the person to evaluate whether these presented opportunities are worth the intended recipient's time so they (the recipients) could be considering my mail spam (which is why I don't share other peoples' contact info). I'm not comfortable acting as the middle-person when I don't know the requester and it;s not staffing related.

I get that we are a big company and people want to do deals with us. I'm just not the appropriate conduit for those deals. My recommendation to people tempted to contact me and ask me to get them in touch with someone at Microsoft is that they go online and do some research on the people that might be responsible for fielding their request and call the receptionist and ask for that person. Or try to leverage their personal networks (people they know and trust) to get an introduction. If they call me, I can't call them back. If they e-mail me, they'll receive a polite decline (sorry,there's only so much time in a day...gotta focus on my actual job).

If it's staffing related, definitely feel free to contact me (e-mail is preferred). But unfortunately, I can't field other "deal" requests as a representative of Microsoft at large. That's a different job than the one I have. Anything job or resume or staffing or career related, get in touch!

Just posting this in the hopes that the number of deal introduction requests goes down.

Comments (16)

  1. Martin says:

    Funny enough, our biggest struggle as MS Partners here in South Africa has been getting in touch with the right people within Microsoft – and because roles change so often, keeping up to date… I think we’re only really getting there after about 3 years now!

    Just discovered your blog via gapingvoid, consider me subscribed 🙂

  2. tod says:

    Hehe, I’m not important enough to get any of those.  In this case, I’m quite happy to go unnoticed. 😉

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    I must have commented on something on GapingVoid because I can’t imagine that Hugh linked to me ; ) So I hear your pain about figuring out who the contact is when things change as the do a lot around here (which I like, but I’m kind of weird that way). Maybe get the home phone number  of the person that’s your point of contact..haha. I’m kidding ; )

    Glad you found my blog Martin!

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    That’s OK tod, I’m happy to refer the ones I get over to you ; )

  5. David.Wang says:

    hehe, face it, you are a cyber-celebrity. 😉 It’s only going to increase and you’ll have to auto-reply to them with a link to this blog entry.

    What I blog about (general Q&A and digested information transfer) pretty much assures me that I’ll be saying no most of the time. I wish I can answer them all. I just get way more requests than I have time to investigate/respond, so I have to pick through the ones I am interested in. I try to preface it all by linking that I respond on best effort and that I don’t do private communications because problems rarely affect only one user… seems to be working.


  6. DennisK says:

    I recall a similar experience as a (long ago) graduate of my undergraduate program.   “You went to Purdue, do you know Bob?”   Now, given an average undergraduate population of 35,000+ it’s pretty unlikely (even with a fairly strict time window) that I knew Bob, but it doesn’t stop everyone from asking.   “No, unfortunately Bob studied agriculture and I was an engineering geek – we never crossed cow paths.”

    I now work for a rather large ‘blue’ company with 300,000+ plus employees and everyone still asks, “Oh my aunt worked for blue, do you know Halya?”   It’s a fortunate and simultaneously unfortunate repercussion of being with a large organization of any kind.

    You get extra credit for blogging and identifying yourself as a current employee of Microsoft (aren’t you lucky?).   I think you go a great job here as demonstrated by your previous post about blogging to recruit vs. being a recruiter that blogs.   There’s always a switchboard and a website that should take most of these requests.   I always send people where they are best served.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Davis-that sounds like a good policy. The thought of being a cyber-celebrity! Hah!

    Dennis-I have a friend that went to Purdue and was in the engineering program (OK, that is actualy true but I’m just joking and it was in the late 80s). You know sometimes I don’t even know where to send people. It’s kind of weird but I often tell them to see if the group has a blogger they can connect with.

  8. they prob jus think ur in marketing /shrug

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    then they have a bit or reading to do before they shoot off a mail. If you are going to "ask" for something, I think it’s reasonable to expect that they would at least want to know who they are asking.

  10. Frank Byer says:

    Heather, so many roles get reversed these days that sometimes hr people end up on the bottom of things. This is just the way things are.

  11. Jim Durbin says:

    So I’m guessing that e-mail asking for a casual sitdown dinner with Bill is going to go unanswered.


  12. HeatherLeigh says:

    Frank-I’m not sure I understand your point. I don’t feel "on the bottom of things" and I don’t see that as the reason why people ask me to connect them. I think it’s because they want to connect with a real person and here I am. I don’t think it’s an HR thing

    Jim- Yeah, probably. He’s got a team of people that handle the random e-mails. Sometimes they trickle their way over to recruiting. I’m not sure where your dinner invitation would trickle but I could guess ; )

  13. scott says:

    how come when i got to down load winks on msn messenger i get the security certiaicate has expired or not valid. my email is scott_lillian@hotmail.com can u please help me

  14. I’m someone who likes to toy around with toys and came up with one you guys would like. Id like to send the format for review. If interested please e-mail me.

    Vinnie G.

  15. Don Richards says:

    I have been using Portfolio Mananger for a long time.  Now you people decided to retire it and are now running a different version of Portfolio Mananger.

    This new version stinks in my opion.  It does not hold a candle with the older version.  It also hangs up and crashes all the time.  It is so slow I can shave and shower while it changes frames.  The graphs seem to be messed up.  Mine seem to show a percentage all the time and can’t seem to find a means of correcting it.  Also all of my trading history is gone.  You did not bother bringing that forward.

    It seems to me we can’t talk to anyone involved with this mess.  It might help but that is questionable!  Looks like this is going to be like Vista, junk it after we struggle with it for a few years.

    Don Richards

    12264 210th Pl. S.E.

    Issaquah, Wash


    Phone: 425-255-0593

  16. HeatherLeigh says:

    Well, I think that I covered that this is the wrong place to post that kind of inquiry. But I can tell you are frustrated. I’ve got nothing for ya, but let’s see if anyone from the right group sees this and can jump in.

    Oh, interwebz, please do not let this become the open thread from hell.

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