Thread regarding Microsoft Corp. layoffs

Here is what happened to me at Microsoft and why I am not at all surprised about the email that was going around internally...

Here is what happened to me at Microsoft and why I am not at all surprised about the email that was going around internally...

I left my engineering role at IBM to take a technical evangelist role in the developer experience org in 2016 working primarily with azure & additional cloud services. I had quotas on speaking I had to hit which were like 2-3 times a month I don’t remember exactly

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Which I always hit. I had to participate in repping at hackathons to help students at mostly Ivy leagues, some of the students I helped ended up winning.

So I was making demos, writing talks, constantly traveling, but getting sh-- done. It felt good. Now let me tell you about my manager... he was an extremely alpha type man whose background was sales. Not an engineer.

We did not get along, no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough and every single quarterly review I had from him was bad. You want to talk about ~ meritocracy ~?? I was hitting ALL my quotas. Yet he turned it into something terrible.

He’d show up at a hackathon for an hour and see me at the table working on a demo I’d have to be giving that week and say I wasn’t participating enough, when I’m there 12+ hours a day

It was so bad the CTO had a talk with me and used Meyers Briggs types to explain “why we clashed” because we were complete opposites. He tried to show me “ better ways to communicate with him.

Didn’t work. Other managers in other regions knew of the problems with this guy too. Still, every quarterly review was bad. Which no one told me meant I was essentially on a PIP almost my entire time there, which makes a big difference in a little bit.

Then he got promoted so he wasn’t our manager anymore! I was pumped. But then they reorged us and I wasn’t an evangelist anymore but a sales engineer? Told us to stop speaking at conferences and like, this was not the job I signed up for

New manager comes in, meanwhile as most people know, speaking at conferences takes a lot of lead time to book and plan so I still have like 2ー3 months of speaking lined up.

Now it’s end of year time which I was excited about because of the huge bonuses in terms of % of base and stock grants, plus wage increases Microsoft is known to have.

I thought I was finally going to be able to pay off my student loans with this role. I got nothing. Other people in the org who had been there much less time than me got their full bonuses. I know because they told me.

As a now sales engineer i was expected to seek out businesses to partner with or find ones that Microsoft had provided to make projects for them specifically that they could use, and I did a few of those and it s---ed.

I desperately was trying to get moved to another team, I tried so hard, other people supposedly tried to help me too, but nothing happened. Because when you have a bad quarterly review you apparently can’t move teams. Which no one told me about and I didn’t find out till the end

Then I got told I absolutely couldn’t speak anymore, no more traveling, and they put me on a sales engineering project for C# which I do not know, and I had to brush up and learn in a month

Myself and another younger woman colleague got sent to Florida to work with some older men who had been in Microsoft for years in Tampa, Florida. The project went well, the client was happy. I paired and wrote some C# and made implementation suggestions I thought were better

It was actually pretty fun and I had a good time, one of the men was a big fan of @jessfraz and saw that we followed each other on twitter and wanted to talk about how cool she is (which she is!) and he tried to add me on linked in.

When it was done everyone said good job, said it was a success and we went home. When I got back my manager put me on a react project that had a ton of bugs, and I was told to work on fixing that and collaborating with another colleague who was great.

Then two weeks after getting back I got an email from my manager that was clearly coached by legal talking about how “Microsoft values diversity and inclusivity” and about how there were multiple complaints about me from the Florida group

They said I didn’t code, which was a lie since I had to pair the whole time bc I had a month to learn C#. They lied and said I left early “to get my nails done”. I have the swarm check in for 6:30 at the nail place. We were done at 5:30.

They said “I made people uncomfortable” because me and the other woman were talking about Valentine’s Day dinner reservations. I felt sick to my stomach. First because my mind was racing trying to think of if I had done ANYTHING inappropriate.

I didn’t. It took me a while to realize I was being managed out. Why would men who I supposedly made uncomfortable try and connect with me on LinkedIn? Why would they lie about this sh--? I honestly didn’t know what gaslighting truly felt like until I was at Microsoft:

Here is a conversation I’m posting with permission from a friend who also worked there a few days after this happened

So I’m dealing with this and working on the react project and simultaneously starting to look for a new job. The guy I’m working with on the project rules and knows what’s going on and was giving our manager good feedback on me.

We found a case study inside the project that could be turned into a new project to improve processes. I pitched it, my manager said it was good, told me to come in to talk about it. Guess what happens next!

I was fired, with cause. Told I was a sh--ty evangelist, and a sh--ty engineer. Direct feedback on the latter from when I was fired “while Rachel fixed some very intense bugs she ultimately didn’t write enough lines of code” No severance.

as I’m walking out the building I send a tweet saying I’m looking for new opportunities and had multiple people from Microsoft say “join our team” and it felt like I was being kicked when I was down

I will say I do not think every team at Microsoft is bad. Everyone at Microsoft isn’t bad, but there are some intense sh--ty things happening and they have extremely broken systems and no way for people to get out of bad situations.

I’ll also never forget when I told a colleague about some conference that invited me and their response was “why you? Why didn’t they ask XXXXXXX who is way more known than you are”

Microsoft is why I stepped down as co chair and why I had to stop participating in node. Microsoft is why I’m not speaking this year. Microsoft is why I constantly question whether or not I’m good enough or belong in tech.

Anyway. This was only known in backchannels and by friends but I wanted to say it publicly. i didn’t want to write a medium post about it. I just want people to know my story and to stop asking me why I left Microsoft. It’s because I was forced to.

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Post ID: @OP+YwhQ5Jg

10 replies (most recent on top)

Sorry OP, what you have experienced is the corruption and ineffectiveness of big corporations and multiple layers of bureaucracy. In reality, what all those managers (especially the top level most greedy and incompetent ones and the most evil top CEO) are doing are only playing politics all day: lying, deceiving, obfuscating full of empty promises; but the only real followup action they will shady wage-thieving and blame-games backstabs (see performance reviews) against its subordinates and provide nothing of actual value to the company nor society,
No matter how much you complain and try to address actual workplace problems, like the mismatch in your skills vs sudden job functions, you get shafted and they reward you with wage-theft and layoffs instead.

You are far from the only one who have experienced this heartlessness and ineffectiveness from big international corporations: thousands and thousands have experienced similar tragedies. which is why society must burn all big corporations to the ground, and replace them with smaller companies that provides better value for its employees and society in general.

Post ID: @5drdu+YwhQ5Jg

Been at Microsoft for 11 months, been looking for a new job since month 5. Will be over quota, but mgr is stuck on process vs. revenue success. Always contentious conversations with mgr. Here less than 1 year and already 100 % turnover on team. Do not understand why company keeps mgr with so much turnover. 4 other employees who left specifically stated it was due to conflict with mgr.

Post ID: @4Gsys+YwhQ5Jg

I had a similar experience at Microsoft. I was in a sales role. The manager who hired me was great. We got along well for the first five or six months I was at Microsoft. My first review was glowing. She left and they bring in a new manager. This guy was the worst manager I have ever had or heard about. My next review comes along and this guy has been my manager for about a month or two of the review period. We had met each other exactly once as he didn't live in the same city. My review is just awful. I hit my quota and he just minimized it because most of my quota achievement came from one large deal, which is not uncommon. Generally, if you hit your quota, you are golden in reviews... but he made it seem as though I had done something wrong. He wrote that everyone I work with, literally everyone, said I "made their job more difficult." I was astonished and asked him if it would be possible to have conversations with my peers and management to resolve these issues (issues which apparently didn't exist three months earlier). He then told me that he didn't speak with my peers (the other sales people). He spoke with people in operations... which makes no sense. I am operations internal customer, so they should really be concerned about pleasing me. I have never been asked to provide a review of my external customers as it is my job to please them and not vice versa. Anyway, he gave me a bad review. The first of my career. I immediately started looking for a new job and got out of there. I worked at Microsoft for a grand total of 9 miserable months.... This manager was eventually pushed out himself about a year after he started.

Microsoft just has no checks in place to prevent bad managers from going rogue and beating the hell out of an employee. They seem to encourage brutality towards employees... or, when in doubt, error on the side of brutality. I think that stack rank system makes people crazily nasty... as you are always trying to undermine everyone else to make yourself look good. It is amazing that a company that prints money chooses to treat their employees that poorly. It could have just been bad luck, but there seems to be a lot of bad luck at Microsoft.

Post ID: @4xltp+YwhQ5Jg

This is why I stopped considering Microsoft interview long long time ago. I knew it even before reading this article. Cheers to OP.

Post ID: @1Hlbu+YwhQ5Jg

I'm so sorry to read this. What a terrible roller coaster ride you've been on. Hopefully you'll find a new job soon where your skills are evaluated period.

Post ID: @1ztwn+YwhQ5Jg

Work and life is unfair others have had similar experiences in working at chaotic companies. It only takes a handful of people to make work miserable.

Post ID: @Sgfd+YwhQ5Jg

I guess you were based in the US. It wouldn't have been so easy to get lay you off you were based in Europe.

Post ID: @9ygs+YwhQ5Jg

Sorry for your bad experience. That sounds horrible and completely unfair. I was forced out as well, but essentially had all of my responsibilities handed out piecemeal over time to new and cheaper contractors. Fun times, but it’s all part of being a cog in a massive machine.

I hope you have better experiences in the future.

Post ID: @5thd+YwhQ5Jg

Say I am sorry and change the font on the HR manual

Post ID: @4hmt+YwhQ5Jg

Post ID: @dxq+YwhQ5Jg

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