<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
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

so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
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
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Seattle and the demons of ambition. OpenStax CNX. Oct 26, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10504/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Seattle and the demons of ambition' conversation and receive update notifications?