Happy StacyLike all self-respecting geeks, I subscribe to, or ‘like’, a variety of geeky things: gadgets, software, blogs, sci-fi, etc and so on.  Of course, I ‘like’ Microsoft, duh!  So, when there was an entry on my Facebook activity stream about “Be the next Microsoft employee”, I clicked on it. 

You see, waaaay back in 2004, I was sent, along with three developers, to the Microsoft lab in NC.  (We needed a little help troubleshooting a memory leak in our application.)  Working alongside these wickedly brilliant people, some of whom had ponytails, wore cutoffs and flip-flops, put me in awe.  Being exposed to the chaotic, laid-back atmosphere, made me realize I have to work here.  I submitted my resume enumerable times over the years and finally landed a contract position as a SQL Server Support Engineer!  My hope was that during that year a perm position would become available and my dream would become a reality.  Nothing opened up.  With the end of my one year contract looming, I was desperate.  I figured the odds weren’t in my favor, but one can’t win the lottery if they never buy a ticket, right? 

My entry was enough to get me a phone screen. So, standing in the stairwell at work, sweat pouring, I answered technical questions asked by a gentleman with a British accent (I later learned he is the manager for the internal Microsoft IT dept. OMG!)  When I received an email two days later that said “Congratulations on being selected to be part of Microsoft’s first web-based reality show, Be the next Microsoft Employee!” I couldn’t believe it.  I wrote back, “Am I understanding you correctly?  I am one of the contestants?” I told everybody:  husband, kids, parents, brother, friends, neighbors, colleagues, former colleagues, my kid’s friends, the clerk at the grocery store, the kid working the fast food drive-thru, and now, you.  My nephew’s (ages 14 & 15) were most impressed.  “Wow.  Aunt Stacy’s going to Microsoft.”  Thank you, Microsoft, I am now “cool.”

I am excited, scared, confident, intimidated, elated and worried, my mind going a thousand miles an hour:  packing my bags, the world’s surreal…I get to go to my own personal mecca.