One of my friends was asking me about Microsoft over the weekend and wanted to know what it was "really like" working here. I suggested he read my blog since that is ostensibly the purpose behind it: to show what life is like as a tester here. He did not want to read it, and started asking questions instead (and to be fair, it's hard to read a blog while standing in a parking lot talking). One of the questions he asked me was how many meetings do I go to in a week. That's a question which always seems answerable with "About three more than I need to attend," but this week I decided to look it up and actually see. Here's a snapshot of my schedule:
I got this listing from Outlook 2007. If you right click your calendar in the folder list, you will see a menu item for "Send via email…" Choose it and you get a simple dialog which lets you insert your calendar in an email and show just free/busy status (like this), and lets you add details if you want.
By my count, I have 23 hours and 45 minutes per week free. That means as I enter my office on Monday morning, about 40% of my week is already booked for meetings, and if experience is any indication, I can expect one or two more to arrive in my inbox as the week progresses.
And looking through the details, this seems about right a lead on a team. The 60/40 split also seems to reflect my anecdotal and informal guess at my week.
On the plus side, some of these meetings get cut short, and very few go over. We have a dearth of meeting rooms in our building, which means if you book a room for an hour long meeting, about 1 minute before it is scheduled to be over the next attendees will start to gather outside the door. This serves as a forcing function to conclude the meeting. And on a personal level, I'm not afraid to walk out of non-productive meetings - there is always "the next highest priority task" on my plate which needs to be done.
Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,