Monday, January 22, 2007

First day at Microsoft

Remember your first day at school or college or university. Well! I don't remember anything about the school but I certainly have many pleasant memories of my first days in university. With same hopes, I entered Microsoft Campus today but could not find any parking in the visitors area. It took me around 10 minutes to find the way to the other parking and guess what ... there was no parking as well. I started thinking would it be as memorable a day as the first day in university. Anyways, I found a parking spot and hurried towards the orientation hall. I had my NEO (New Employee Orientation) in building 43. As I entered the building, I was asked to fill out a form regarding my car so that they can issue a parking pass. "What is my car's registration number", I thought for moment and then rushed to the parking to find the answer. At this point, I was pretty sure that I would forget this day as soon as it ends.

The next 6 hours were probably one of the best time I had. "Microsoft is a BIG company" a known fact to me since childhood; and here this fact was a reality in front of my eyes. My previous employer had 125 employees in the company and here around 200 people were attending NEO and joining Microsoft in a single day. We were given description about the company, the people, the products. I made new friends, one from Canada and one from Mississippi, had my first lunch in Microsoft's Campus and then got a congratulations card which had Bill Gates signatures. That card was enough for making my day. But it wasn't the end, we were given a long list of benefits we would get as a Microsoft Employee.

That was my first day at Microsoft, had a rough start but proved to be a memorable day.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Journey to Seattle

15th January 2007 is the date when everything in my life changed (except my wife, offcourse). I left my house for the flight at about 11 along with my family, my in-laws and half a dozen of friends. The emotional link I had with my home was forcing me not to go.. but I had to.

So, I left for Bangkok airport through Thai Air. The flight was OK but had no personal TV screens and therefore, no video-on-demand. Finally, we reached the Bangkok Airport, where, the journey took a wild turn.

People going to Thailand are highly recommended to take a Thai Language course 'coz people there couldnt understand what you try to say. One man even start running on the opposite side when I asked him where can I get a hotel for stay. Anyways, the airport is as long as Einstein's telescope and you have to rent a bike to have a full round of it. After a 9-hour long killing stay there, we boarder our next flight to Tokyo, Japan.

Northwest Airline proved to be much more better than Thai Air. But this doesn't mean that things got better for us. The plane did not have any Muslim/Vegetarian meal so we had to pass the long 6.5 hours only with Juices. The plane had personal screens so we enjoyed a couple of desi movies, and it was fun.

2 hour stay at Tokyo Airport was no fun as well. We had to rush for the other terminal to catch our next flight. On our way, I exchanged $20 for Japanese Yen and believe me, I got around 1100 Yens and ... the most amazing part is that all of them were coins.

9 hour flight to seattle was very comfotable with all the Muslim/Vegetarian Meals, Personal TV Screens, a spare seat to keep my legs for relaxation and hence proving to be the most comfortable flight of the entire long journey.

After a total of 30 hours of travelling, we finally reached seattle. All of the tiredness was gone when I saw snow falling outside through one of the very large windows that the Seattle Airport has all around. After all of the Customs and Immigration Process, I got out at about 9 in the morning to see a 2 feet layer of snow all around with cold breez blowing. It was a scene worth watching.

In a nutshell, although the trip started not as expected but in the end proved to be a fascinating one. With all the memories of my past, my family and my friends with me, I entered into a new realm of my life that seems to be more charming, more fascinating and more challenging.