How did Spicy Hot V-8 vegetable juice get added to the complimentary beverages in Microsoft kitchens?


Today is Election Day in the United States. Don't forget to vote. (Void where prohibited.) In honor of Election Day, I figured I'd tell a story about voting.

One of the complimentary beverages available in Microsoft kitchens is Spicy Hot V-8. (Sure it's tasty, but watch out for the sodium content!)

I remember well when Spicy Hot V-8 was added to the refrigerators. At the 1992 Company Meeting, Bill Gates and then-head of HR Mike Murray appeared on stage to read questions submitted by employees ahead of time. One of the questions was "Can we carry Spicy Hot V-8 in the kitchens?"

Mike Murray decided to put the matter to a voice vote.

The measure "passed" overwhelmingly.

Spicy Hot V-8 appeared in the kitchens the next morning.

Comments (15)
  1. ton says:

    "One of the complimentary beverages available in Microsoft kitchens is Spicy Hot V-8. (Sure it’s tasty, but watch out for the sodium content!)"

    Not only the sodium content but the gas content! I used to occasionally drink v-8 juice in college and one morning the pressure became too great and I was forced to release my "nuclear bomb" the whole class heard it, I never lived it down and I never drank any V-8 juice ever again. I just eat regular ole veggies now a days…

  2. Todd S. says:

    Great story! ;-) I had no idea Gates was so down to earth.

  3. Joe says:

    Hey!  I was there and I don’t remember it this way.  My recollection is that Mike Murray asked us "what you would rather have, Spicy V-8 or Low Sodium V-8?" and then "all for Spicy V-8, cheer now!" and then "all for Low Sodium, cheer now".  We then voted by volume.

    Spicy wins! ;)

    I voted for Spicy myself!

  4. @Joe,, your accoutn doesn’t seem to conflict with Raymond’s, it just augments it…

  5. James Schend says:

    The problem is that now I’d much rather have low-sodium, and we don’t got it. :(

  6. johnnyl says:

    The memory of that vote is etched into my brain – Spicy or Low-Sodium. 99% of the people who voiced their opinion that fateful day never drank V-8 from the MS kitchens. You could tell a mile away. Those who cared about the decision got drowned out by a bunch of loud, rowdy douchebags who could care less about what’s in that section of the refreshment cooler. It’s not in the same section as the Coke/Diet Coke so they probably never even knew the kitchen had V-8 (not the Google Javascript VM). I rue that vote, that day, that month, that year. That was my last company meeting.

    [It had nothing to do with the fact that I caught on to the ‘pattern’ of the meeting and could predict what would happen – except for the product demos]

    Everytime I walked into an MS kitchen for a drink, the perennial almost-full section of Spicy V-8 cans taunted me, made me burn up inside. I don’t think they ever refilled the Spicy V-8 section unless it was due to all the cans expiring.

    Mike Murray sucks. Microsoft management sucks.

    Low-sodium FOREVER!!!

    Signed,

    Grumpy old developer who never forgets.

  7. Wow Grumpy, you really are grumpy.  I thought that was a cool story about making things happen even in a large company (which I’m sure it was even in 92).

  8. Mike says:

    I didn’t know Spicy Hot V-8, so naturally I googled it. First hit was this blog entry…figures…

  9. b says:

    Sweet story. Unfortunately when I sent my request for Coke Zero to msdining, they kind of blew me off.

  10. Anonymous says:

    … this website is now RaymondChan

  11. KristofU says:

    The more I get to know Bill Gates – well I don’t really know him, but you know -, the more I appreciate him. Heck, I also liked the commercials he did with Seinfeld. They were different, and in this day and age of formats, that alone is enough for me.

  12. bcthanks says:

    "99% of the people who voiced their opinion that fateful day never drank V-8 from the MS kitchens. You could tell a mile away. Those who cared about the decision got drowned out by a bunch of loud, rowdy douchebags who could care less …"

    That is the flaw of a pure democracy: mob rule.

    I still prefer that over Mob rule, though.

  13. Steve says:

    Sodium isn’t usually an issue unless you’re someone sensitive to it. For most people the actual reasonable limit is ~10,000mg/day.

  14. anonymous [MSFT] says:

    Strange, in our building it looks like we have regural V-8 not the hot & spicy.

  15. anonymous [MSFT] says:

    Never seen the "spicy hot" one in 34, 9, 10, or 40 – always the regular one. It’s better than the other cans fruity sugar though!

    Pour two cans into a cup and microwave – makes a decent snack of soup in the afternoon. Tobasco and pepper are optional.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content