I have my own Microsoft M&M calculation

peanut_left_nav There’s a tradition at Microsoft to bring X number of pounds of M&Ms for everyone on your X year anniversary of working here.  Today was Marty’s anniversary date (Congrats, Marty!) and we got to enjoy 3 lbs of M&Ms – even in individual packages "to improve usability" 🙂

Most people consider their start date as a Microsoft FTE (full time employee) as their anniversary date and they do not count any time spent as a vendor or contingent staff (CSG) towards their "years at Microsoft".  While that may be all well and good for the sake of HR and when you get your stock, anniversary awards, and general seniority, to me it overlooks real time spent in this crazy place so I have my own M&M calculation.  I spent 6 months as a CSG before I went FTE and I consider my start date to be 1/4/00 and not 6/4/00 so I brought 7 lbs of M&Ms back in January.  And yes, 7 lbs is a lot and it took weeks for them to be eaten!

Denise’s case is interesting so I will demonstrate my thinking using her dates:

  • Jan 1995 joined MSNBC (I think that counts as Microsoft even though Microsoft doesn’t think so)
  • Left Microsoft for 2 years and worked at Drugstore.com in the late 90’s
  • Came back to Microsoft as an FTE in Jan of 2005 and has been here ever since

So technically she only has two and a half years here but I think that’s bogus! 

My calculation:

Where X=first start date, Y=today, A=any time away from MS

Y – X – A = time at Microsoft


Today (July 2007) – First start date (Jan 1995) – Two years at Drugstore = 10.5 years here

060929_mandm And I count Jan 1995 as her anniversary date – it is like a birthday – the day you first walked into this crazy place.

That is the Ann M&M Calculation equation! (TM)  I think it captures the spirit of the tradition.

(And those are dark chocolate M&Ms – the kind I brought in and Denise’s favorite.  She doesn’t like peanut M&M’s which I think is blasphemy)


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