I was on a recruiting trip to Texas last week with some other Microsoft employees. We got to work out of the Microsoft Texas buildings in Las Colinas (in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for those of you not familiar with Texas). Microsoft has a bunch of PSS in those buildings. PSS, of course, is our Product Support Specialist team, and they answer the phone calls for technical support. This was how I got started at Microsoft. I worked in tech support for Windows 95 for a year.
I jokingly think everyone in the computer world should be forced to work in tech support for about a year before getting to design, test, code or sell software. This way, if anyone ever says something like “But no one will ever try to do that!” you can calmly reply, “Oh, yes, they will. And I can even give you the names of the first three people that will try that, since I spoke with them just last week when they were trying to do exactly that.”
I liked MS Texas as well. It was similar enough to Redmond that I knew I was at Microsoft, but different enough that I knew I was not at home.
I’ll spare everyone the saga of the most memorable phone calls (except this one: I asked a fellow how big his hard drive was and he answered “About the size of my hand.”) and point out that all the funny stories you hear are true. Working there gives you a new perspective on computers and users. And even with that new outlook, you cannot make up stories any stranger than what actually occurs.
Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,