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Tuning in to the Greek Children's Chorus.

My fixation on them notwithstanding, exhaustion and despair were by no means the norm at Microsoft . It was only at the end of their careers that employees there would give in to them, overwhelmed at last not so much by Gates ’s demands as by their ceaselessness. The more you strived at Microsoft, and the greater your success, the more Gates demanded of you.

This had two effects that I found strange. One was that employees were energized rather than demoralized by the company’s voraciousness. They got high from it, coming to work under the most stressful of conditions visibly alive with a fierce joy, and leaving late at night feeling, at worst, blissfully tired. The other was that I was just as energized as they were. You could feel electric life in the air. Something in the atmosphere of that place took away my need for sleep, rest, television, and purposelessness. I turned into an aging juggernaut, a knowledge worker without portfolio. For more than a year, I would rise at 4:00 a.m. every weekday and catch a 4:45 bus that got me to the ferry terminal in time for the 5:35 sailing, the first one of the day. At 6:10, the ferry would land in Seattle and I would join the parade of longshoremen, Boeing workers, attorneys and stockbrokers walking off the boat. I would walk six blocks to the corner of Fourth and Union, and board an express bus full of food-service workers, hotel maids and software engineers that would deposit me on the Microsoft campus a few minutes before 7:00. There I would transcribe tapes, read e-mail and watch the team members I was following arrive one by one, all of them well before 9:00. Then I would begin a day of attending meetings, doing interviews, and typing transcriptions, notes, impressions and e-mail. I would leave at 5:30, make my way by bus, ferry and bus back home, arriving at 7:15. I spent all my commuting time in both directions reading company documents just like all the attorneys and technologists around me—real adults with real jobs, deadlines, obligations and ambitions.

Life outside of Microsoft was barely noticeable, so wrapped up was I in the struggles and lives of the people I was stalking and in the problems posed by Sendak ’s development. Seattle, the city I would pass through from my home in the Sound to my work on the other side of the lake, was a barely noticeable blur. My family faded into the background. I took on the preoccupation—and the preoccupied air—of the people around me at Microsoft. It was as if I had been sucked into a parallel universe. I was aware that there was another, more real universe around me, one that evoked fond and distracting memories, but I could not bring myself to turn my attention to it for as long as I was v-fredm@microsoft.com , a card-carrying citizen of the Microsoft Empire.

Most of my days were spent in the office I shared with Kevin Gammill , a 25-year-old programmer who had been working at Microsoft first as a contractor, then as a fulltime employee, for seven years. Gammill had grown up in Gig Harbor , a small town southwest of Seattle, worked as a counterman at Kentucky Fried Chicken , delivered pizza and worked as night manager for a Gig Harbor Pietro’s Pizza outlet, worked one summer for United Parcel Service , been a student assistant in the University of Washington computer lab, and signed on at age 18 as a software developer for Microsoft. He worked as much as 120 hours per week while carrying a full academic load, majoring in computer science. He was shifted from contractor to employee when he was 21, during an IRS crackdown on Microsoft’s use of temporary workers. He married another Microsoft employee, Nicole Mitskog , that year, and the two bought a home in Kirkland , ten minutes by car from work. Within a year, their daughter, Cassidy, was born, and they settled into life as an upwardly mobile Microsoft couple.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Seattle and the demons of ambition. OpenStax CNX. Oct 26, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10504/1.4
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