Friday, April 06, 2007

It's Nice to Be Wanted, I Suppose...

I'm being pursued by a headhunter for Microsoft.

I haven't actually spoken with him yet -- it's been importunate emails, invitations to connect on LinkedIn (that is not a way to win points with me) and, this morning, a voice-mail message that I have no intention of returning.

The idea of packing up the family at this point in our lives -- kids just about to enter high school, with Betty set to attend a very good private school we've just found out she's been accepted at -- is utterly laughable. Seattle. As if! And leave Jingo Acres...! Sorry, Chuck. Not gonna happen.

And us as Macintoshed-up a family as exists. If Apple called, I might have some trouble living with myself. But not Microsoft.

I suppose I should take it as a sign that things are looking up in my profession (user-interface design)....
Viva Seattle-Tacoma,
Viva-viva Sea-Tac!
Viva-viva-viva-viva-viva Sea-Tac!
They've got the best computers and coffee and smack!

12 comments:

tamiki said...

Seattle is also rated as the healthiest city in America, so I suppose you wouldn't find any Lands' End models there anyway... :D

www.tamiki.com

Bobby Lightfoot said...

Good on yer.

I told 'em to piss off too when they approached me with a driving job.

mikeinseattle said...

I've lived here for 18 years and I love it. I love the water, the islands of Puget Sound and the Canadian Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, the trees, the mountains, the Olympic peninsula and the Pacific Coast. I don't mind how cloudy and rainy it can be for long stretches. Seattle and Vancouver have as good a vibe as any big city outside Europe. I can't see living anywhere else.

...And...

I've contracted at Microsoft on and off for 15 years and it has gone from a place that was fun, where people could get rich and retire, where people felt passionate about their work, to one of the most dysfunctional large corporations out there. Where employees are treated like shit, contractors worse, where there are so many rules for the sake of rules, where there is unbelievable politics and managers interested only in maintaining their own little dynasties. You can feel how tangible the discontent is when you read blogs like this. Lots of talented people are leaving for companies like Google or small startups.

Now, personally, I would be very unhappy in Virginia, its one big swamp to me. But if I were you, with Jingo Acres and your kids the ages they are, I wouldn't leave either.

One of the most destructive things my aunt and uncle did when I was growing up in Michigan was to pull my cousins out of there at the worst age, adolescence, and move them to Denver.

All the best...hope the healing is going well.

Neddie said...

You can feel how tangible the discontent is when you read blogs like this.

The place I work (come on, work it out -- Washington suburbs, employs UI designers, former huge ISP whose name is never mentioned in the press unaccompanied by the entirely merited phrases "hemorrhaging members" and "disastrous merger" -- oh, all right: this place) shares oh, so many of the qualities listed at that Microsoftie blog. Ohhhh so many...

I can see why Microsoft is recruiting on the East Coast, too, if that's the kind of morale they're dealing with.

But I'll retire from this job in twenty years if I can hang on that long. I don't give a rat's ass about office politics, doomed products, or moronic reorgs. I've seen more than my fair share of each of these. My take is, I still collect a paycheck whether they kill my project or not. (I'm the lead UI designer on that page linked to above -- wait a couple weeks and you'll actually see quite a few of my fingerprints on a massive redesign.)

I actually really enjoy the job, politics and turf wars notwithstanding. And the fact that that page is seen by considerably more people per day than see, say, Newsweek in a month, is not a minor factor.

I think by nature we all tend to love the places we live. Virginia isn't a swamp at all! Two miles west of I-95, I'd put its beauty up against any tourist spot in the world: The Shenandoah Valley (which I live at the north end of) is as beautiful a place as you could possibly imagine. Sure, there's a little KKK problem further south, but we deal with that.

I ponder what I'd do if Apple were to call: I'd have to balance working in the world's best user-interface-design environment versus living somewhere near fuckin' San Jose, CA. From where I'm sitting, it ain't even a contest. I've seen San Jose.

I've always thought that my next job isn't even going to be in computers at all. Now I've discovered that the fella who lent me that Rick 360-12 from a few posts ago is a certified blacksmith who's thinking of setting up a forge in his barn. I may ask him if he's considering hiring an apprentice...

mikeinseattle said...

See, I went and did something. I generalized. I've been in the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge in Autumn. Beautiful.

I guess I was overwhelmed by the time I spent in Washington, DC in August. Kicked my ass. New York City, too. Swamps.

This coming from someone who grew up in a swamp, southern Michigan.

I guess I've gotten used to more temperate climes. Not many extremes in summer and winter.

David Harmon said...

Heh... I'm waiting on an apartment in Charlottesville, VA, having belatedly realized that NYC has been chewing on my soul.

My biggest beef with AOL is pretty moldy these days: I've been on the 'Net long enough to remember when hordes of ".net newbies" from AOL.com descended on our semi-private club. Of course, we'd already weathered similar invasions from Compuserve and Prodigy... but AOL was an bigger order of magnitude! Worse, for years they always seemed to have a new crop of ignoramuses, asking entire mailing lists how to delete their last post, or telling European users to "learn proper English or go home!"

Now of course, they've just dissolved into the general mayhem. ;-)

robotslave said...

I didn't know anyone outside of this town had heard that particular Robyn Hitchcock number.

The man is prolific.

Neddie said...

I guess I was overwhelmed by the time I spent in Washington, DC in August. Kicked my ass. New York City, too. Swamps.

Oh, I'll give you that, in spades. Wonder Woman and I did our New York City penance back in Them Eighties, in a third-floor Brooklyn walkup without air-conditioning.

There's a reason we live in a clearing in a forest on the side of a mountain.

I've been on the 'Net long enough to remember when hordes of ".net newbies" from AOL.com descended on our semi-private club.

USENET was never the same, was it... I was around, too, what, '93, '94 or so. Fun place.

My posts to rec.music.beatles still survive, I notice, in Google's long, long memory...

Enjoy that C'ville hiatus, Dave. Nice town. You'll never realize how much you miss things like trees and silence until you start noticing them again.

John B. said...

I'm further down I-81 at the other end of the Great Valley in that other college town of Virginia Higher Learning. Beautiful spot too with Nature in Abundance; acres of National Forest nearby to play and hike in, the great AT is 8 miles away as is the New River, which is fun for tubing rafting canoeing and fishing.
Virginia in spite of it's non-progressive politics is not to bad IMO.

Tom said...

I've never been a major AOL hater; even though I'm pre-Eternal September, I was poor enough at that time that I appreciated occasionally taking advantage of the trial month, even with the legendary difficulty in cancelling it, not to mention the free floppy discs (before they started using CDs). This was at a time in my life when my food budget factored in free food nights at various bars.

And I don't blame you for not wanting to leave the Shenandoah Valley. My desktop background is a picture of the Blue Ridge Mountains that I took about a year-and-a-half ago; it's the best picture that I've ever taken.

cleek said...

it's from a lesser Hitchcock song, but a well-chosen quote :)

tell MS to piss on a gradient toolbar.

cleek said...

My posts to rec.music.beatles still survive, I notice, in Google's long, long memory...

oh shit... i was bummed when i found out that DejaNews, then Google, had archived the whole friggin thing. i wasn't always well-behaved on-line back in the day. i've even had job interviewers bring up things i wrote on Slashdot years ago.

it's one of the reasons i'm pseudo these days.