What the hell? …

This is the subject line of an e-mail I got from my manager last week.

He somehow came across the numbers of certified professionals page, which happens to list a new certification, MCITP: US History Major, which happens to not exist. You do one little thing, one little thing that you and your friend Suzy kind of think is funny, and you think your blog-frequenter Larry ("Certified Since 1857") might enjoy it, and you think no one else will notice anyway so what's the big whoop even if it is on microsoft.com and suddenly you find yourself with a what-the-hell e-mail looking you in the face.

Start at the bottom:


From: Trika's Boss
To: Trika Harms zum Spreckel
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:54 AM
Subject: RE: what the hell? ...


From: Trika Harms zum Spreckel
To: Trika's Boss
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:54 AM
Subject: RE: what the hell? ...

Oh, my god. if you weren’t so funny I’d fire you.

From: Trika's boss
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:54 AM
To: Trika Harms zum Spreckel
Cc: Tons of people
Subject: RE: what the hell? ...

It is just Trika’s desperate attempt to draw attention to herself.

From: Trika Harms zum Spreckel
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:52 AM
To: Tons of people
Cc: Tons of people
Subject: RE: what the hell? ...

Just to be clear: nothing is wrong. I manage that page. That cert is listed there on purpose. Thank you for checking and sorry for the spam. trika

From: Someone in operations
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:33 AM
To: Tons of people
Cc: Other people
Subject: RE: what the hell? ...

I just checked production and I am only getting the following specialties in MCITP

1. Enterprise Project Management with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007

2. Server Administrator

3. Enterprise Administrator

4. Operations Manager

5. Database Developer

6. Database Administrator

7. Business Intelligence Developer

8. Enterprise Messaging Administrator

9. Enterprise Support Technician

10. Consumer Support Technician

I don’t know who updates this page


From: Trika Harms zum Spreckel
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:25 AM
To: All the people
Subject: RE: what the hell? ...

NO!!! don’t check it out. I did it to tease some of my blog readers (I manage that page) No one freak out…

From: Someone
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:20 AM
To: Operations and tons of people
Subject: RE: what the hell? ...

Guessing this might be a test account of some kind. can you check this out?

From: Someone
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:18 AM
To: The other people
Subject: RE: what the hell? ...

Just as long as I’m one of the two…

From: Trika's boss
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:16 AM
To: Some people, including me
Subject: what the hell? ...

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/certified.mspx under Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) why does it list “United States History Major      2”

Comments (20)

  1. This is, BY FAR, my favorite post EVER. You are awesome.

  2. Robert Williams says:

    You need to add to the list of certified professionals:

    MCITP: Comedian

  3. Liza says:

    Whee!  I love that it’s really there, on microsoft.com, and I was able to go see for myself!  (I took a screenshot in case it gets pulled down.)

    I’d love to have an MCITP: Latin Major, but that would be taking the joke a little too far, I think.  (I love telling people about my Latin major when they ask where I went to school for computers.)

  4. Since it wasn’t on my MCP transcript nor was there a welcome kit unclaimed, I figured it was "The two other IT pros who majored in US history" (see the link posted) who earned it.

    I did enjoy it though, especially looking at some German blogs trying to figure it out.

  5. Kent says:

    Who says Microsoft Certification just wants your funny and gives nothing in return?  I now have a soda covered monitor and a new certification goal thanks to Microsoft.  Keep up the great work!

    Did you ever get your 70-620 cert?

  6. Lee... says:

    You’re naughty. 😉

    This made me laugh, nearly as much as seeing the IT Probot video over on the Technet Edge site.


  7. v-almyer says:


    I can’t believe you did that!

  8. As a History major (with a concentration in US history), I approve this message and this certification.


  9. Like Liza, most people assume I have my B.S. in CS or Computer Technology… You should see the reaction when I reveal that my parents paid for a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology degree…  Most people either think I’m fibbing or putting them on.

    On a sub-quasi nearly interesting almost side-note, I was downloading the "organic" search keywords list for my company’s website to ivestigate which new popular phrases are brining in the views and I found the following:

    “i need a picture a madagascar fern and how to care for it” – referred from Ask.com

    “hoe to touch a women” – referred from Live Search

    “promoting crescent aviation wrenches” – referred from Google Search

    “the train has already gone, would like to hire a bicycle” – referred from Yahoo

    There are more, but these were my top favorites. I’m sorry you spend 30 seconds of your life you’ll never get back reading that too.



  10. Thomas says:

    Trika, is that your real full name? Sind Sie adelig?

    BTW, the email thread is ace! Reminds me a lot of my last job at a Microsoft vendor. We had quite a few similar threads. 🙂

  11. ruisu says:

    So that was you?! I actually took a screenshot when I saw it, because I didn’t think anyone would believe me.

  12. BEACHDBA says:

    I had already lost the respect of my colleagues and peers when I admitted that my favorite blog was a certification-team member’s blog on msdn.  Now that they’ve heard me laughing out loud when reading it, I’m being bluntly shunned.

    Thanks for that.


    Guy gearing up to celebrate one-week-anniversary of having finished MCITP: DBA… alone

  13. Andy Helsby says:

    Very funny – and thanks for still leaving it up rather than pulling it. As a newly qualified MCSE 2003 I’m glad to see that I’m one in 120,000 people.

  14. Kevin says:

    I thought it was hilarious.  Having just completed my MCITP:Enterprise Administrator certification, I was point out to my boss that there were only about 800 of us worldwide when we saw the US History Major cert listed.  We also had a "What the hell" moment, especially since I majored in European History and felt left out.

  15. Thomas Lee says:

    I think it’s funny – and a good giggle. But it’s hardly very professional. Now that all of us have had our laugh, how about reverting the page to be correct?

  16. Trika says:

    Hi, Thomas.

  17. Now we need to ask ourselves: What would Chuck Norris do?

  18. MCITP says:

    1. There is absolutely nothing funny about it. Of course I admit that different people have different sense of humor. And I agree with Thomas that there should be a more professional approach to that page, which has kinda worldwide audience.

    2. I know HUNDREDS of people who came to IT and became experts and certified professionals after having graduated with completely non-related majors. This number includes folks with BS, MS and even PhD in History, Psychology, Literature, not even mentioning much better related majors as Math or Physics. Should you count them all, too? 🙂

  19. Trika says:


    Chuck Norris, I’m sure, would split the Halibut.


  20. Alvaro Dias says:

    so where has this page gone now? it seems to redirect to some other page

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