Microsoft Throws in the Towel

“Ummm yeaaaaahhhhhhh, did you get the memo?“

In a move that is certain to save every MSFT shareholder $.0001, increase sales of the Office Space DVD in the greater Seattle area, temporarily raise the blood pressure of one in fifteen MSFT employees (and amuse eighteen), diminish the health of Microsoft's workforce incrementally, increase the number of automobile trips between Microsoft and gyms in the area, and deter many Microsoft commuters from considering bicycles and walking/running as viable transportation alternatives, some beancounter decided to discontinue towel service at all Microsoft facilities. For the sake of all that is good and fair smelling in this world, I hope we do something really, really creative with the $0.63/employee that we “save” each year.

Comments (28)

  1. Darrell says:

    Maybe you should meet with the Bobs about this? 🙂

  2. I saw this, and was really annoyed.

    I don’t use the showers for after working out mostly, but they’re pretty nice when the power’s been out at home for the 3rd day in a row (that’s happens about once a year).

  3. mharr says:

    Sorry guys, but I can’t feel sorry for you. You are sounding like a couple of whiny slackers complaining your perks aren’t perfect, while the majority of us "non-MS" folk have to deal with buying our own coffee, water, pop; will never see a company shower (sounds too SF-like for My liking anyways), and have to fight our company budget process to get your software. Stop whining and PRODUCE something!!!

  4. mharr: a little too harsh, I think. MS employees are entitled to job satisfaction, too. Once abaseline of benefits and perks has been established, it’s irritating to see them go.

  5. Michael Darweesh

    This is a little more interesting if you also know that Microsoft has many, many sports fields/courts/etc. on campus. Some of which were just fully revamped. (Their turf soccer fields are the nicest outdoor faciliities in the area).

    But, I’m sure the coworkers won’t mind the lunchtime soccer crowd comming back alittle smelly. After all, it’ll save a couple cents. And they were used to it with the smelly interns anyhow.

  6. I’m proud to work at a company that offers sensible and innovative "perks" that benefit individual employees as well as investors and the community at large. Some perks are nice-to-have (good for morale) and some perks are nicer-to-haves (good for morale _and_ the bottom line). IMHO, towel-equipped showers fall into the second category, at least in Redmond.

    If there weren’t 3 showers in my bldg (for ~800-1000 employees), I would not ride my bicycle to work, ever. As a bicycle commuter (2 days/week on average) I save Microsoft and its shareholders approximately 1/2 of a parking space per year. Parking spaces, as well as the roads that lead to them, are costly, politically and economically.

    By staying in better shape than I might otherwise be, I will probably be able to delay the heart attack that I will almost certainly have until after I retire. By my rough calculations, that alone could save Microsoft’s employees and shareholders more than $1000/year over the length of my employment.

  7. Fufd Rain B says:

    Huh, Korby, be happy that Microsoft just canned your towels to save a few bucks rather than your version control system 😉

  8. Kiliman says:

    BTW: Can’t you just bring in your own towel? After all, you may never know when you might encounter the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.


  9. Apparently that saved $250,000 a year!

  10. Really? That’s impressive. And it must look like low-hanging fruit to investors. Nonetheless, by my calculations, $250,000 would buy between 4 and 10 Tranfer of Development Rights (TDRs) that Microsoft could then use to build 20-50 additional parking spaces across campus, which we will need to accomodate erstwhile bicycle commuters.

  11. Paul says:

    A friend of mine has a well thought out take on the towel situation:

    <a href=""></a&gt;

    Feel free to forward it around to MSFT coworkers.

  12. Randy says:

    Wait. We had towels here?!

  13. Just bring your own towel from home, or buy a compact gym towel, or air dry. Heck go over to the proclub which is just a mile away on 148 ave NE.

  14. Anonymous Kank says:

    I only wish these changes were being rolled out in a sensible and predictable way. As it is, it feels as though evey day we come in to an announcement of something else, and it’s begun to feel a bit like a Three Stooges in a hot air balloon skit, where they’re throwing everything over the side to stay aloft, without any rhyme or reason to it.

    Feeling as though every day you come in you have to worry about what’s changing now is demoralizing. Having management running around cutting everything that occurs to them as it crosses their mind is demoralizing – particularly when the focus is inevitably on the short term rather than the long term.

    Msoft remains a great job with competitive benefits. But anytime people have something removed that they’ve gotten used to, they’re going to complain. And many of those perks were designed to get people working as hard as they could – grabbing a soda out of the cooler rather than going down to the cafeteria and wasting time there, for example, or the towels, so everything you needed was at work. There are a -lot- better places to be looking at saving money than trimming the perks that keep people motivated.

  15. Been there, Done that says:

    Weenies vs shrimp

    Towels vs options.

    Bummer…. you should cry all the way to your early retirement.

    "You are they"

  16. Nick L. Andhyme says:

    You could always quit and go work for Google. I’ve heard they keep towels in stock there. Towers of stock there.

  17. Attracting top software engineering talent is a competitive game, and to have an edge these days, you’ve…

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