Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind

Friday, October 20, 2006

Microstiff – We’re Just Messin’ with Yah, Darwin!

Survival of the Fittest. Natural Selection. The Strong will Survive. All different ways of saying there’s a natural thing in nature that insures the preservation of the species and…the demise of the weaker.

However, when you walk by Charles Darwin’s grave at Westminster Abbey, you may just hear the faint sound of elbows bouncing off the inside of his crypt. Why? The dude’s rolling over…in his grave! Why? Bill Gates!

Yah see (Bushesque), Charley just can’t understand the duality of Bill’s adherence to the most inviolate principle in the world: Natural Selection. Mr. Darwin rests peacefully when Bill ruthlessly eats his weaker competitors, eliminates outside security companies from his OS, or steals the ideas of small companies only to have to pay them triple, five years hence. Darwin at its best! Huzzah!

What drives dear old Charles absolutely bonkers is Mr. Gates codependent (“the dependence of two people, groups, or organisms on each other, especially when this reinforces mutually harmful behavior patterns”) behavior towards employees. Examples:

  1. It’s been known for years that you can leave Microsoft to pursue your dreams and should they fall through, be welcomed back into the fold, usually with more money and position.
  2. There is a system in place that minimizes your pay increases should you be too long in grade without good reviews. In other words, no raise, however, no firing; “keep up the mediocre work, we love you, Microsoftie.”
  3. There’s an entire level of employee at Microsoft known as a “Partner” who are essentially rewarded handsomely for having reached that level but are known to produce little of significant contribution to the corporate profits.
  4. People are seldom fired, just “reassigned”. One Microsoftie, on the popular Mini- Microsoft Blog says, “Until the price for failure is that you're gone not merely reassigned or demoted, then by and large it's just ineffectual business as usual.”

Yah see, you can’t have this schizophrenia with Natural Selection. The law is immutable. In other words, you can spit into the wind, for just a tad, but then, you get all wet. And, if your chewin’ tobacco, smelly. Yah see?

What keeps Microsoft from getting all wet and smelly? Deep pockets. The kind that are filled continually off the backs of unsuspecting Windows users – 850 million strong – who, time and time again purchase a monopolistic, mediocre operating system.

Bottom line: The schizophrenic application of an immutable theory which leads to nice paychecks in a company that won’t fire me. Don’t know about you but, if I came through the front door with high expectations and great talent, there’s a strong possibility I will be rewarded only for my mediocrity which will be passively promoted by the four (4) corporate policies noted above. In other words, the system is rigged and, because it goes against a law that’s proven, it cannot help but fail. So, why continue it?

Why indeed. Why does anyone continue what they are doing? Because there’s no immediate consequences for the behavior. With $35 billion in the bank, who gives a dead rat’s ass. Only the dead rat. Microsoft, how long before you see that, “you are that dead rat”.

Try this in the morning. When you get up to shave or put on your lipstick (hopefully not both) humbly picture yourself in the mirror…on your back. Four little feet pointing up in the air. Dopey little teeth sticking out. Eyes closed. Whiskers becalmed. S-shaped tail untwitching. That could be you. If Ray Ozzie doesn’t pull it off or SteveB doesn’t go to Live Services School or "how to purchase something without guilt because you've got more money than God..school" or Bill doesn’t stop the corporate codependent schizophrenia, then, when the billions get burned, you’ll be gone. And, based on the schizophrenia, that’ll be the only time…you’ll be gone.

Do you want to sit in your enforced mediocrity until then? If not, then speak up! Or, leave! You know why? Because, you can’t pull the mask off of old Lone Ranger and…you can’t mess around with Chuck Darwin.

Mini-Microsoft: Random October Bits

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