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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

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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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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