Office Decorations

One of the long standing traditions here at Microsoft is decorating other employee’s offices.

Over the years, people have come up with some extraordinarily creative ways to trash others offices.  It’s truly awe inspiring how people use their imagination when they want to make mischief.

One of my all-time favorites was done to one of the Xenix developers for his birthday.

This particular developer had recently taken up golf.  So the members of his team came in one night, removed all the furniture from the office, and brought in sod to cover the office floor.

They then cut a hole in the sod for the golf cup, mounted a golf pole (stolen from a nearby golf course, I believe), and put all the office furniture back in the office, making him his own in-office putting green.

You could smell the sod from one side of the building to the other, it was that strong.

I don’t want to think of how they ended cleaning it up.


Comments (17)

  1. Stephen says:

    This is an great reminder of the underside of MS culture 🙂

    I actually did the exact same thing to one of my previous boss’ offices about 5 years ago – without any prior knowledge of the XENIX incident. Wacky coincidence…

    The cleaning crew gave me some extremely nasty looks when they saw me wheeling carts of dirt and grass into and out of the elevator and spilling [grinding] it into the hallway carpets 🙂

    As you mention, the smell of the ‘golf course’ wafted across the entire floor for at least a week.

    Just the other month, I did another ‘natural turf’ redecoration – this time with a beach island motif – replete with a floor full of real sand, palm trees, beach chair, and cocktails 😉

  2. Neil says:

    The Smartphone/Mobile Devices team has done their fair share of office pranks over the years. Just recently Amy’s birthday was celebrated with heaping amounts of adoration.( Several years ago Peter’s birthday was decorated with Peeps ( I recall others, including a disco complete with black walls and a hardwood dance floor; Hello Kitty themed office complete with a gigantic painted Hello Kitty face; an office converted to an igloo, including the little crawl-through door; commando office with cammo netting and MREs; etc. etc. etc.

    Not that I was in any way involved in any of these. Just passing on some that I remember!

  3. I have a bunch more of these (including a couple done to me) 🙂

    Sometime I’ll write the others up.

  4. Uwe says:

    Any photos of that golf-course? 🙂

  5. Phaeron says:

    If these are the pranks you pull on friends one shudders to think what creative Microsoft employees could do to enemies.

  6. Sorry Uwe. I don’t have pictures of most of them 🙁

  7. When a colleague proposed to his girlfriend in Taiwan we <a href="">filled his office with fortune cookies</a> 🙂

  8. runtime says:

    When I worked at Microsoft, a PM got married. I don’t remember her first name or maiden name, but her new name was S. Kittle. Her email became When she returned from her honeymoon vacation, her office had been FILLED with Skittles! 🙂

  9. Valorie says:

    Hmmm, some of the offices I remember include:

    * putting in a false wall to make the office seem 6" shorter than it used to be

    * Poor Steve and the office filled with bouncy balls. The smell of new bouncy balls was way too strong.

    * 1000 balloons filling the office, including one decorated to look like the occupant and set up on his chair

    * built a platform and raised the office up by 3′

    * switched two adjoining offices, including dirt on the carpet and scratches on the wall

    * painted the office a subtly different color

    * moved someone’s office into the atrium. Made the office fully functional but stuff kept falling off the desk.

    * Didn’t someone do an upside down office?

    Hmmm, any ideas on what will happen to Larry’s office on his 20th anniversary at MS this August?

    <insert wife’s evil laugh here>

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