Friday, September 17, 2010

Microsoft Annual Review 2010

Just a quick post: some of you enjoy posting information relevant to your review, both looking at numbers and a critical view of the message given to you. It has started to happen a bit in the last post (I'm going through the comments now) so I'm just going to capitulate (again) and put this small post up for the 2010 Annual Review share and compare. Yes, this is a bit late.

Oh, and obviously grab yourself a few grains of salt. Folks seem to like this format:

  • L# (promo'd?)
  • (Exceeded|Achieved|Underperformed) / (20|70|10)
  • Bonus $K
  • Stock $K
  • Merit % (/Promo %)
  • Optional comments about Division / Group, discipline, impression of review

Administrivia: yeah, that was another long pause moderating and posting and all that. I was on an extended vacation that continued as an extended vacation of the mind. My apologies. I've got at least one short post in mind before our Company Meeting 2010.

383 comments:

1 – 200 of 383   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

You're still with the co. I thought you'd gotten the axe! Glad to know you're still around.
Is it true that you should not tell your group you're leaving for another team (or planning to) before caliberation 'cause no matter how good you are you will get screwed?

Anonymous said...

Hearing rumors of a October layoff, anyone with more info?

Anonymous said...

Level: 65 (in a Product Dev. Group)
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 26%
Stock: 72%
Merit %: 2.66%

The bonus and merit increases were what I expected. The 72% stock award is troubling because it is below range and leads me to believe I just missed being an E/10.

I'm glad you are back Mini -- I was worried you had "mini-mized" yourself.

Anonymous said...

Everyone also update http://payscale.com and http://glassdoor.com so that when we look for other jobs they don't think we were making low cash. :-)

Promo: 62
Exceeded/20
13K bonus
36K Stock
4%/10%

Anonymous said...

L63
E/70
Bonus 11%
Stock 70%
Merit 4%

What really pissed me off was the difference in bonus. Last few years I was getting 10% in bonus as Achieved, now that my workload grew trifold and I'm working to the bone, my bonus increase as Exceed was only 1%, almost doesn't pay for a nice dinner with the family. It looks like I don't worth a lot in this company.

Anonymous said...

Level: 60
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 8%
Stock: 6k
Merit: 3%

A completely middle of the road set of numbers underneath an absolutely glowing set of words. Disappointing, having worked so far outside level and above and beyond commitments all year. I thought I was completely justified in expecting something very, very different.

Anonymous said...

Level: 62
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 10%
Stock: 111%
Merit: 2%

Better review than last per 'written' review but lower reward. Struggling to keep positive and not be grumpy. Most striking is the lack of a clear link between achievement and reward. Others have echoed this. It's never been perfect but in 8 years it's worked that way for me. Something smells.

Anonymous said...

Level 61
Rating A/10
Bonus 20%
Stock 0
Merit% 2

Disappointing, having worked so far outside level and above and beyond commitments while taking over an extra role when the PM left the company working an average of 80 hours a week. I was told everything was looking good for a promotion and and E/20. So how can you go from a promotion and E/20 to A/10 seemingly in 2 weeks. Don't know who I pissed off. The review write up was glowing and didn't justify the numbers at all.

Anonymous said...

Whiners. At least you have a job.

Anonymous said...

It's the second time I've made the same mistake with different managers: I was honest about my career plans. (discussed before the review and after the mid-year) The first time I was naive. This time, because I like my manager and trust(ed) him, I thought the outcome would be different and it was worser than the first time where I got a mediocre review under a bad manager. Now I got an A/10 for the very first time.

Level: 63
Rating: A/10 (for the first time in almost 12 years)
Bonus: 5% (never got anything close)
Stocks: 0 (could never imagine that! No stock awards.)
Merit %: 1%

Note: Manager was very clear the A/10 was not based on performance (formalized in my review) but on the fact I want to move to another team. (not formalized in my review)

Note 2: Because my score was not based on performance the 1:1s were always good with no indication I was being targeted. So I couldn't have antecipated my score and make some defensive move.

Now I need to get out of my team as soon as possible.

Lessons learned:
- A bad manager can give you a mediocre review with no justification, a good manager can give you a bad review with no justification.
- Your manager needs to choose people to give the 10%, it's a forced curve, so don't be honest about your career plans before the review. Play the politics or you can give him enough reason to be the target if you're open and honest about your career plans.

Anonymous said...

Looks like all the PERM application Microsoft filed in 2008 got denied. They can't even do the newspaper job ads properly...

Anonymous said...

It's the second time I've made the same mistake with different managers: I was honest about my career plans. (discussed before the review and after the mid-year) The first time I was naive. This time, because I like my manager and trust(ed) him, I thought the outcome would be different and it was worser than the first time where I got a mediocre review under a bad manager. Now I got an A/10 for the very first time.

Level: 63
Rating: A/10 (for the first time in almost 12 years)
Bonus: 5% (never got anything close)
Stocks: 0 (could never imagine that! No stock awards.)
Merit %: 1%

Note: Manager was very clear the A/10 was not based on performance (formalized in my review) but on the fact I want to move to another team. (not formalized in my review)

Note 2: Because my score was not based on performance the 1:1s were always good with no indication I was being targeted. So I couldn't have antecipated my score and make some defensive move.

Now I need to get out of my team as soon as possible.

Lessons learned:
- A bad manager can give you a mediocre review with no justification, a good manager can give you a bad review with no justification.
- Your manager needs to choose people to give the 10%, it's a forced curve, so don't be honest about your career plans before the review. Play the politics or you can give him enough reason to be the target if you're open and honest about your career plans.

Anonymous said...

Level: 60
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 13%
Stock: 120%
Merit : 2+%
Was expecting a promo, told there was no budget, and too many people in the queue and should wait till MYCD. Was previously told to wait till Annual in MYCD'10. Feel like having overstayed my welcome...

Anonymous said...

SDE II
Level: 61
Rating: A/70 (after E/20, A/70, A/10)
Bonus: 6%
Stock: 100%
Merit: 1%

Anonymous said...

Level: 61 (promoted)
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 16%
Stock: $13k
Merit: 9.5%

Anonymous said...

Level: 61 (no promo this time)
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 10%
Stock: 165%
Merit: 2.5%

Anonymous said...

Level: 64
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 4% (~ $5k)
Stock: 75% (~ $19k)
Merit: 1% (~ $1k)

Written review was great and could not have been more positive. My numbers seem low for an A/70, but I'm still happy with my total compensation.

Anonymous said...

For an outsider.. is the stock % based on your gross annual income?

Anonymous said...

Level: 63 (promo)
Rating: E/20
Bonus: 15%
Stock: 250%
Merit/Promo: 5%/8%

Anonymous said...

Level: 64
Rating: E/20%
Bonus: 29%
Stock: 291% of the Stock Target for Level 64
Merit: 4%

Not a bad year

Anonymous said...

Level: 65
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 17%
Stock: 100%
Merit%: 2%

bonus and stock were disappointing.

merit is an insult.

feel totally screwed

Anonymous said...

Yes, could someone explain how the whole thing works to an outsider?

Anonymous said...

For an outsider.. is the stock % based on your gross annual income?

Yes, on pre-merit-increase figure.

Anonymous said...

Level: 60
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 13%
Stock: 115%
Merit: 2%

Anonymous said...

lots of backroom plotting seems to be going on for more layoffs in the comiung months.

disguised under the guide of blueprint updates

Anonymous said...

>> For an outsider.. is the stock % based on your gross annual income?

Yes, on pre-merit-increase figure.


No, you're thinking of the bonus. The stock % is based off of an arbitrary number of dollars that is indexed to your post-promotion (if applicable) level and is (theoretically) independent of your actual salary.

Anonymous said...

Stock % is the % of the target for your level. Not a % of your net or gross.


Each Level has a target amount of stock and the review will give you the % of that target you are receiving.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to have a better understanding of the range for bonus and stock. Is the number provided by HRweb "recommended" so a manager can get around, or it's a hard range?

L63
E/70
Bonus 11%
Stock 70%
Merit 4%
...
Level: 61 (no promo this time)
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 10%
Stock: 165%
Merit: 2.5%

----
I thought stock for 70% would start from 75%, how could it be 70% or 165%?


Level: 64
Rating: E/20%
Bonus: 29%
Stock: 291% of the Stock Target for Level 64
Merit: 4%
...
Level: 65
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 17%
Stock: 100%
Merit%: 2%

----
Is the bonus for L50-64 E capped at 20%, for A capped at 11%?

Anonymous said...

"could someone explain how the whole thing works to an outsider?"

At the end of the Fiscal year we have Career Discussions. In Feb they have Mid Year Career Discussions. At Career Discussion you get Bonus (Cash money), Stock Awards (you get 20% at the end of each year for 5 years), 50% of our promotions and merit (base pay) increases. At Mid year there is 25% of promotions. I don't know anyone that got a promotion outside of Mid or Full year that wasn't because of a reorg.

For determining how well you do they pretty much rank you in level bands.
59
60-62
63-64
...
They call this stack ranking. If your lead and manager like you this will help. Also if you remind them a day or so before the stack ranking of some of the great things you did it will also help because they will be able to fight for you to be in a higher position. It is also very good to have other leads in sibling teams to believe you did great as well since this is who your boss is trying to explain your value to.

In each of the bands they have to have top 20%, middle 70% and bottom 10%. At some level they actually have to have that actual percentage. The Exceeded / Achieved / Underachieved does not have any limit on how many they can give and is not based on the stack ranking it is instead against your commitments.

Some teams use Career Stage Profiles but other teams do not.

I believe the 20/70/10 dictates your Stock and the E/A/U dictates your Bonus (or vise versa).

Then if you are an E/20 and at the top of the band and you have been in your position for some time period (higher level might take longer) they give you a promotion.

On top of all this there are things call Gold Stars (Cash or Stock or ???).

Anonymous said...

There is a target of stock for a level say... and I'm going to make up numbers.. say $20k worth of stock for a lvel 64.

So 291% of that $20k
or 70% of that $20k

would be the awared amount of $$ that is converted to stock based on the price of the stock on the award date.

Again that is not the tru target for a 64 .. I just made that up..

Anonymous said...

A L59 guy in Windows got 2nd U and left. A PM2 and SDE2 here were gone after the review, the speculation was bad performance. On the other hand, two mediocre SDET2 in the same team got promoted to senior. So it seems it's not entirely impossible to reach senior for testers as long as your manager is willing to support you.

Anonymous said...

is there any Layoff??

Anonymous said...

L64, U/10, spiteful douchebag manager who's new to Microsoft.

I could debate performance until the cows come home, but the fact that I never received a single piece of negative feedback until review day and have a trail of positive feedback in email isn't even the issue.

I mean, it IS the issue, but Microsoft doesn't care about truth and never has, so it's not worth arguing about. The machine always wins in these cases. My Partner manager is unassailable.

What's relavant is that on a scale of 1-10, let's say you need to go to a 6 in order to CYA and convey the appropriate message to your employee while still maintaining a sense of decorum and respect. My review was a 10, where in a few paragraphs of feedback the words "failed" and "failure" were used a staggering 27 times with not a single neutral sentence.

Reading the review, you'd think I was developmentally disabled and attempting to do research in particle physics. And again, only positive messages prior to the review.

Horrifying, and it's obvious my manager (who I had a falling out with earlier in the year) wants me to quit, but there's no way... he can grow a pair and fire me, but the gold star I received earlier this year for outstanding contribution probably makes that more difficult.

Anonymous said...

No stock for any 10% this year - regardless of Achieve or Underperformed. Another nail in the coffin of the HR Posted policy, that there are indeed two types of 10%, the Underperformers, and the Achieving Professionals in place. How else is MS supposed to make up the $5M+ spent -just in relocation costs- to move Elop to Redmond to work 2+ years, and pay to move a new leader in.
I expect LisaB to address some of the review mis information during the Company meeting later this month... or not.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mini - not to be political, but anyone out there humored by Mr. Gates' Sr.'s attempt to leverage his name, to institute a new Income Tax on the "rich" of WA State - those that make a fraction of 1% of what Billg makes? Sure it only hits you at $200K, but why doesn't Bill Jr. just move 500 jobs back from MSLI in RENO, NV to WA State? - Problem solved. The WA State Tax that MS would pay on that revenue, diverted today to Nevada (simply to avoid WA State taxes), would make up the deficit we're seeing here in WA state. From what I understand, speaking to insiders, MSLI was set up to avert WA State business and operations (revenue) tax, and yet here's the MS Founder's Dad asking the middle class (albeit well to do middle class) to make up that deficit. Who is benefited by having that revenue go to Reno? The stockholders of which a major chunk of that is held by WA state residents such as Bill Jr., STeveB, etc. Come on guys, if you're so worried about shools and healthcare here, write a check! You don't even have to pay income taxes on that donated MS stock you can use to help WA state or fund your foundations.

Anonymous said...

>> Looks like all the PERM application Microsoft filed in 2008 got denied. They can't even do the newspaper job ads properly...

How do you know about ALL applications? Was your application denied and what was the PD?

Anonymous said...

level 64 MCS
4% merit
27% CBI
23% UBI
224% stock
E20
Mid-year promotion
Great year team, great year individual

Anonymous said...

Level: 63 (in MCS)
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 23% (CBI), 20% (UBI)
Stock: 130%
Merit: 3.5%

I was very pleased...especially since I was hired when the hiring bar was lower (3 yrs ago), and feel that I'm now at the top(ish) of my group.

(I know...my day will come. Lemme have today, though)

Anonymous said...

Bonus: Percentage of Base Pay from previous year
Level | E | A | U
50-64 | 11%-20% | 3%-11% | 0
65-66 | 22%-40% | 6%-22% | 0
67 | 33%-60% | 9%-33% | 0

Stock Awards:
Get a rank for your band which dictates how much
for your level

Bands
50-59
60-62
63-64
65-67

Rank
20 130%-Max
70 75%-130%
10 0%-50%

Lv |Min| Target | Max
59 | 0 | 4,500 | 9,000 200%
60 | 0 | 6,000 | 60,000 1000%
61 | 0 | 9,800 | 98,000 1000%
62 | 0 | 18,000 | 108,000 600%
63 | 0 | 21,000 | 126,000 600%
64 | 0 | 25,500 | 153,000 600%
65 | 0 | 39,000 | 234,000 600%
66 | 0 | 82,500 | 228,750 277%
67 | 0 | 177,000 | 354,000 200%

Anonymous said...

L63, no promo.
A 70
7k
20k stock
Merit 0.4%

Worst f'n review ever. Bigger bonus when a fresh college grad.

STB-ish

Anonymous said...

L: 62 (STB)
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 9K (100%)
Stock: 70%
Merit: 1.75%

Fine with me...the whole system is capricious and arbitrary.

Meh, I'm not expecting to retire from MS nor do I let this "eval" dtermine my self worth.

Yup...happy to have a job.

Glad to see you back, Mini; I've missed you...sniff, sniff.

Anonymous said...

Level:60
Rating: E/20
Bonus: 14%
Stock: 200%
Merit: 4%

Anonymous said...

One in seven people in the U.S. are now living at or below the poverty level.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft is really going to be sued for this. Apparently they started firing people who stayed at level too long at annual review now, with no notice and no severance.

Anonymous said...

Level: 61, no promo
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 3% ~ $3k
Stock: 90% ~ $8.8k
Merit: <1% ~ <$1k

Great review, loads of praise, followed by a severe kick in the teeth with stinking numbers.

Especially when I came to realize, through this thread, than I got the lowest bonus award possible.

Running out of answers to my kids who ask why Daddy works so many late nights and weekends.

Sick of this.

Anonymous said...

Level: 61
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 14%
Stock: 130%
Merit %: 2%

Anonymous said...

Running out of answers to my kids who ask why Daddy works so many late nights and weekends.

Sick of this.

I bet you are a recent hire to MS .From the numbers it shows you just missed the U/10.

Time to save yourself and move out of the group/manager

Anonymous said...

L63 (promo)
E/70
Bonus : 15%
Stock Award : 130%
Merit : 2.5

Anonymous said...

Wow I see you are also a Gold Star winner - or maybe not - maybe we are Gold Star lossers. I too, was a Gold Star recepient for contribution, and two other awards throughout the year. A/10 and no stocks. Oh and yes I had a falling out with my manager earlier in the year. Fantasticly glowing words in the review though and had no indication until 2 days before review that there was an a/10 coming.

Now the manager is kissing my behind cause he is relieved that he doen't have to lie for another year.

The manager is always shoving the Core Values at everyone and insists that he eats, sleeps and breaths them.

Anonymous said...

I left MS a month ago, but still qualified for my bonus (You qualify if leave after the end of June). When I got sent my review, etc. from HR last week, I figured they just reduced all of my figures since I had left, but given all of these numbers, probably not.

My review had about 10 very positive sentences and only 1 thing I can improve. Plus my manager told me I was up for a promotion if there was budget.

I was
L 61
A/70
Bonus 8%
Stock 75%
Merit 1%

I'm making about 35% more total compensation at my new job and am working with smarter people (about 75% have a PhD vs about 5% in my MS group), so I definitely don't regret leaving...

Anonymous said...

Level: 64 (MCS)
Rating: U/10

Our group was re-orged so they stopped selling our solution for 6+ months which led to a lack in project to be billable. Basically told that the only reason for the Underperformed was based on utilization (87% of my target). PDRM and Sr. Director of the region filed for an exception but got shot down.

Now I have to deal with bs performance improvement plans with HR/PDRM every 2 weeks.

Do I bother trying to get out of this hole or should I just go look for another job? There are 6 open reqs in our group so I'm not sure if that puts me on the safe side or not if there are layoffs...

Anonymous said...

Level: 63 (2 years in the level)
Rating: A/10
Bonus: 6.5%
Stock: 40% of the target
Merit %: 5.5%
Location: India Development Center

Anonymous said...

I was very pleased...especially since I was hired when the hiring bar was lower (3 yrs ago), and feel that I'm now at the top(ish) of my group.

(I know...my day will come. Lemme have today, though)


Just as it's nice to have people to commiserate with when things go badly, it's nice to have people to celebrate when they go well.. So congratulations!

/trying inject some humanity into a sometimes sterile medium

Anonymous said...

/trying inject some humanity into a sometimes sterile medium

and I am trying to inject some sterility into a sometimes human medium.

U/10 inhuman manager with unreal expectation what will my family do? What? Help.

Anonymous said...

Level: 64 (MCS)
Rating: U/10

Our group was re-orged so they stopped selling our solution for 6+ months which led to a lack in project to be billable. Basically told that the only reason for the Underperformed was based on utilization (87% of my target). PDRM and Sr. Director of the region filed for an exception but got shot down.
........

Do I bother trying to get out of this hole or should I just go look for another job? There are 6 open reqs in our group so I'm not sure if that puts me on the safe side or not if there are layoffs...

Understand in MCS UBI runs everything. Fact of life and waivers just don't happen (surprised they even bothered). You can stay if you're sure you will hit UBI. Your problem is it's hard to transfer with an E10. Hiring manager has to stick his neck out and unless you are real special (TS SSBI, FIM, SP2010) it's not worth the risk. You definetly need to track your UBI weekly and make sure you don't drop below 100%.

Anonymous said...

Level: 61
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 10%
Stock: 120%
Merit %: 2%

Decent review given the large number of changes in the org, but I'm nonetheless on my way out

Anonymous said...

Same problem as another commenter. Was/am actively seeking a new role and was denied a "promised" promotion to 62, given an A/10 rating even though I achieved all commitments and went above and beyond enough to be recognized twice in FY10. A/10 = no stock awards.

Sucks but something will change in FY11, new role, new company, not sure.....

Anonymous said...

How many groups are seeing an "up or out" policy. I'm at 40 months in level and am feeling very exposed despite three straight E/70 years. My group in STB has a policy not to hire level 64 people who have been in level longer than 36 months.

Anonymous said...

I got a fairly decent review, low merit overall, okay bonus and stock, no promotion (no exact numbers as it may be too obvious for HR). One thing that did irk me is I didn't get a promo due to (probably accurate) observations on skills I need to improve on, but a fellow teammate who is just this side of mentally retarded DID get a promo to the level I would have been at had I gotten a promo, even though he has never exhibited ANY of the characteristics of that level and more than likely got a U/10 last review. But with this promotion his manager did a great job 'turning him around'...yeah, something like that. This is why reviews (at least promotions) should ALWAYS be posted and publicly visible, so management at least has to know when they engage in hacky political douchery that they have to stand behind it in full view of the rest of the team. Then again most are sociopaths or dipshits, or both, so they probably wouldn't care. Time is DEFINITELY nearing an end, self imposed end but an end none the less. If I actually disliked my co-workers I would bail tomorrow just to spite my incompetent management chain, but since I actually like them (my co-workers) I will stick around until I have wound down my commitments, then tell management to have fun re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, idiots.

Anonymous said...

L:62 (unchanged)
R: A/70
Bonus: 6%
Stock: 125%
Merit: 2%

Windows. Base now just north of $100K

Anonymous said...

Level 64
Rating A/70
Bonus: 10%
Stock: 90% target
Merit: 2%

Anonymous said...

The numbers seem a bit low overall - certainly looks like disproportionate weighting favoring the stocks rather than the bonus and salary increase? Smells of the old handcuffs with a promise of future benefit at the expense of cash in hand.

To the previous poster who questioned about notifying your manager about a move before review time - NEVER ever do it! I blitzed all my commitments, generated double the revenue than anyone else in my team and exceeded my target by three times, the rest was all good too. But I was given a A/10 because "you're moving to a new organization and I need to give the numbers to those who are staying" - bitch. That certainly got rid of my naivety in a hurry, so much for being open and honest and doing things for the good of the company. Left a year later and I can tell you that I don't miss the crappy politics one tiny little bit.

Anonymous said...

Had a stellar year: removed underperformers, built team that delivers, HiPo, new role and responsibilities (from lead to manager) – textbook perfect year. Couldn’t commit another year with the org for personal reasons, and back in May hinted i may be leaving, hoping to ensure finding replacement and smooth transition...bad move. Ended up A/70 and was told to be happy i didn't end up A/10. HR confirmed that LisaB did make a statement that at least people leaving MSFT should be automatic 10. Individual managers may be interpreting that broadly to include people leaving their group as well. I very much disagree with such statement/policy as it’s bad for our business, shareholders and people. But, in this case, it did help me with the decision to leave not just the org but the company:)

Anonymous said...

Given how stressed and grumpy folks are it's amazing no one has gone postal at MSFT yet.

Anonymous said...

It's a wonder nobody's gone postal at MSFT yet

Indeed. The rules against firearms on campus wouldn't stop somebody who feels they've been pushed so far, they've nothing left to lose, and whose brain has been chemically unbalanced by long term chronic stress. It's unlikely that my husband was/is the only one being jerked around, gaslighted and generally psychologically bludgeoned for 2 years before they "let him go", I'll bet there's plenty of people on campus, or recently gone from it, who feel they've nothing left to lose. I for one am grateful, very grateful, that so far so good. I pray it continues that way. Families are hurting. Lots of them, by the sound of this blog. It would just hurt more families, far more deeply and permanently, if someone goes off like that.

You know the two biggest ironies?
When somebody has the kind of day that could culminate in a Postal Situation (or a jump-off-the-roof situation, for those more inclined to internalization of pain than externalization), they have a form letter they send out: "So, you've had a bad day." Oh, that and when they let you go, you get a packet that proclaims "Microsoft Cares".

Anonymous said...

Level: 61 (promo)
Rating: E/20
Bonus: 15%
Stock: 175%
Merit/Promo: 3% / 8%

I was honest with my manager prior to reviews regarding my intention to move groups after reviews. And I didn't get screwed over. So to those of you who are soured by bad experiences this year and in the past -- it's not always like that. Keep the hope alive!

In my current group, I've had the good fortune of being able to work with managers who play politics with peers above their level, but "keep it real" with their direct and skip reports (yeah, sorry for the cheesy idiom).

Anonymous said...

I know quite a few people in my former teams that I swear is on the edge of going postal. I would not be surprised if I see 10+ casualty in a few Microsoft buildings in the future when they finally snaps.

I'm so glad I'm no longer in that building.

Anonymous said...

Level: 61
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 14%
Stock: 100%
Merit: 2.5%

I toil for "Corp"

I can feel the pressure that I'm simply tolerated (even with the good review). Just like the garbage man, dog catcher or guy who scoops the horse sh*t after the parade goes through.

GO TEAM MS (Mostly "S"ynical)!

Anonymous said...

Last year:

Level: Promo to 64
Ranking: E20
Merit increase: 0
Promo increase: 2.75% (~3.5K)
Bonus: 17% (~20K)
Stock: 200% (~50K over 5 years)
New base: ~128K
Stress level: High

This year:

Level: 64
Ranking: A70
Merit increase: 2% (~2.5K)
Bonus: 8% (~10K)
Stock: 130% (~32K over 5 years)
New base: ~130K
Stress level: Low

I am happy with what I got. It showed me that it’s not really worth it to kill yourself and make enemies for an extra 10K when you are already bringing 100K after taxes. And for people bitching that they did not get this little extra – be happy with what you have and the life you have. I leave you with a line from my favorite movie “Rounders”:

“You little punk! I’m not playing for the thrill of a fucken victory here. I owe rent, alimony, child support. I play for money! My kids eat!”

Anonymous said...

Level: 62 (bing)
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 8%
Stock: 110%
Merit: one frigging percent

been in the level for a while, new to the group. merit increase was really disappointing.

Anonymous said...

I know quite a few people in my former teams that I swear is on the edge of going postal. I would not be surprised if I see 10+ casualty in a few Microsoft buildings in the future when they finally snaps.

It's only a matter of time before someone goes postal or causes irrepairable damage. I work in building 27, and the stress levels are getting worse.

Anonymous said...

Level: 60
Rating: A/10
Bonus: 5%
Stock: 0%
Merit: 1%
Hours:60+

Was previously E/70, only change is the fact that Microsoft has become a white collar sweat shop.

Anonymous said...

L:64 (promo)
Bonus: 11%
Stock: 180% (50k)
Merit: 4.5%, 5% promo

I am not complaining really. I didn't work a lot, had a great job that was a lot fun and rewarding, met some of the coolest people I have met professionally and will likely stay in touch with for a long time.

Anonymous said...

L63 A/70 B:9%/S:110%/M:1%

Anonymous said...

My review was a 10, where in a few paragraphs of feedback the words "failed" and "failure" were used a staggering 27 times with not a single neutral sentence
This happened to me too. I think it must be HR guidance that when giving them a 10% to use at least one negative word per sentence and no neutral or positive words. The goal is to belittle and break the spirit of the person. Well, don't break. You are better than that crap.

Anonymous said...

"feel totally screwed"

For a 17% bonus on an A/70?

Get real. The average is around 8%.

Anonymous said...

L:63
A/70
B: 8%
S: 85%
M: 2%

Could have been worse. I just survived a series of poorly conceived and executed re-orgs.

Anonymous said...

L62 (months in level: 36)
A/70
Bonus: 6%
Stock:85%
Merit: 1%

Dev @ Windows

It could be A/10 or be fired too.

Anonymous said...

RE: stress and going postal.

It's hard to keep working when the same retarded decisions keep getting made and clueless management, who should be working at Best Buy, can't even understand what you're talking about. The wrong but easy path is always chosen over the hard but right path.

So many folks just on edge.

Nobody, other than the young newbs who don't know better and the ass-kissing yes men are motivated.

Wait 'till folks get a load of the uninspired dreck coming out of Windows UEX and the cool products that got killed to staff it.

I've recently learned that in order to be considered an effective sdet lead you need to have lots of brown bags and "study groups." Apparently running a team that builds bullet proof automation and finds assloads of bugs is no longer desired or valued.

Anonymous said...

Overall MS become a shit company...I do not see anybody happy around...not even people with E/20 ratings.

So I can imagine the pain of those who got a forced rating.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people are disclosing the review numbers here.

better talk about ratings you got and what is your feel about the whole system, how to correct it etc etc...

Anonymous said...

L:64 (promo)
R: A/70
B: 4%
S: 110%
M: 2%

Anonymous said...

Level: 62(Promoted during mid term review)
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 12%
Stock: 130%
Merit %: 3%

Anonymous said...

Last year:

Level 62
E/70, promo to 63
2.5% promo increase
13.5% bonus
125% stock target

This year:

Level 63
A/10
1.1% merit
8% bonus
50% stock target

In the new band I'm an IC competing with my manager's manager's peers. Am I screwed at this point? In over 10 years I've had 4.0's, 3.5's, E/20's, and A/70's.

First 10%.

Anonymous said...

The merit target is 2%, for those wondering why their increase was so small.

Anonymous said...

Overall MS become a shit company...I do not see anybody happy around

Well, at least you guys have a job.

One question though: If you have such shitty jobs, why is Windows still better than most of the competition? You guys should look at these blogs:

Penguin Day

Pie-Star

They slam Linux pretty good.

Anonymous said...

>I don't understand why people are disclosing the review numbers here.

Because sunlight is a disinfectant and this kind of stuff is double-super secret inside product groups so that no one can know if they are getting screwed or not (unless it is blatantly obvious). Management goes into calibration meetings and engages in all kinds of horse trading that really results in them getting their best friends good reviews, most people getting mediocre reviews and a few people getting the shaft. You can tell yourself that it is all based objectively on merit (and you will probably believe it if you got a good review, people can convince themselves of anything) but that just implies either you haven't been around long enough to see the travesties of justice that occur every year or you are on an isolated, awesome team that actually lives the principals Microsoft is so busy proclaiming (internally) that it believes in. If it is the former, well, give it some time, if it is the latter...don't ever leave and hope for no re-orgs or an influx of the cadre of retarded managers that infect the rest of this once great company. Personally I am done, I am finishing up this ship cycle and leaving, unvested shares be damned. My sanity and happiness are worth FAR more than any under-performing stock they could ever heap upon me. Haven't yet decided if it will be for another big tech company or one of the innumerable local start ups, I just know I can't sit by and pour my heart and soul into a job just to be shit on by arrogant, ignorant managers who think themselves about 500% more clever than they really are. When I started here I loved my job. Through the course of a team being merged into another and then numerous re-orgs within that team (apparently assuming they will hit just the right structure via a random walk) I have come to despise my management chain as they prove day in and day out how massively incompetent they are. Even most of my awesome teammates have left and I am left with average or way below average co-workers, which just means I have to exert MORE energy fixing their bullshit or trying to convince them that their proposed design is terrible (in more political words of course).

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure no one has reached the point of going postal in my group. That said, morale is in the pits. We've got people openly asking how they can get RIFed so that they can get a severence package.

It would be nice if we took volunteers for layoffs rather than having colleagues with bad attitudes linger.

Anonymous said...

Level: 60
Rating: A/10
Bonus: 4%
Stock: 0%
Merit: 1%

ASM (MSIT)
Moved out of this s**t 3 weeks ago .
MSIT **** .
Full of incompetent principals with > 300 Gold Stars distributed without any achivements.

Anonymous said...

If you are in 70, your target % of stock option indicate where you are in the 70 range.

Your bonus indicate whether you team treat "Exceeded" seriously. Exceeded and bonus is small. It mean everyone in your team "Exceeded" their commitment.. what a great team!!!

Anonymous said...

I overheard my manager and a teammate talking about HiPo. Any idea what that is? What do you get from it?

Anonymous said...

Having tested the water recently, I have to say that the current job market for developers are rather good right now, despite the economy being what it is, it is very surprising.

Anonymous said...

L64
smsp
e/20
bonus - 50% - 60k (rbi)
stock 200% - 60k

no promo despite e/20 3 yrs in a row :(

Anonymous said...

L# Promo to 61
E / 20
Bonus $12,850
Stock $19,990
Merit % 4.5 / Promo % 8.5
Was long overdue for a promo but it took two years to recover from a previous A / 10%

Anonymous said...

Level: 59
Rating: E/20
Bonus: 10%
Stock: 25%
Merit %: 1%

No Promotion

Went above and beyond the call this year, got a glowing review, but unfortunately the queuing system got me. Another distinctly average person was comming up on 3 years on the team, and AFAIK, HR start asking why someone is not moving if they are stagnant too long, so managment in their infinite wisdom simply move up the average person and avoid rewarding the folks who do the extra hours, extra work and break their backs for the company. Maby il start just doing 8 hour days and wait for my turn to come.

Anonymous said...

The numbers tell the story.

Forget upper management with their Lake Washington mansions and aircraft carriers - the pay gap between rank and file employees and even middle management has grown wider than ever.

Families everywhere are struggling and all up and down the chain managers FY11 commitments read - throw the little guy under the bus and earn yourself a big fat bonus.

Anonymous said...

>Full of incompetent principals with > 300 Gold Stars distributed without any achivements.

Not to mention all the bullshit, crapware they make me install and the 200 updates a day that cause forced reboots, because you know you don't build up any sort of context on your desktop with open files and windows and such, and if you are stopped in a debugger and left for the day nothing is more fun than a forced reboot at night to install some f*cking security patch for a worm you will never be succepitble to anyways (due to not being a complete retard who clicks on every single thing they see online or in an e-mail). I can't even run my computer for a day without some IT forced software being installed (requiring a reboot) or some update being forced (also requiring a reboot). If their commitments are to make every developer 200% less productive they are E/20% for sure.

Anonymous said...

I've recently learned that in order to be considered an effective sdet lead you need to have lots of brown bags and "study groups." Apparently running a team that builds bullet proof automation and finds assloads of bugs is no longer desired or valued.

This is not new. Microsoft has been playing the "you need more visibiity" game for many years. I think it's a real problem at the company that employees are pushed into so many non-essential/distract-you-from-what-really-matters tasks. I think the innovation and quality of Microsoft products reflects this.

Anonymous said...

I could debate performance until the cows come home, but the fact that I never received a single piece of negative feedback until review day.

---------------

Thinking you are landing at Dulles but instead crash landed in a corn field? This crap has got to end here and now.

A good manager should be giving you regular, actionable, candid, feedback on your landing trajectory, and if their is a problem - you should be given a reasonable opportunity to correct before you fly astray.

They are the flight controllers, we are the pilots. As much as management wishes everyone was - we aren't computers down here; we are all human here and sometimes make mistakes.

Here is my piece. When are these seniors, principles, and partners eventually going to take responsibility comensurate with their positions?

It seems like when things go well the leads are front and center to claim success and big bonuses on behalf of their team - yet when things don't go well then its all about their directs.

Anonymous said...

The comments lead me to believe that some of these performance reviews are really a white-wash.

They are intentionally on the prowl looking for issues, or manufacturing them then finding the verbatim with help from LCA; so in case they decide to later downsize they can save money.

I guess 49 billion in cash reserves isn't enough. If short term profits prevail than they want my unemployment benefits and severance too..

Anonymous said...

I am just glad I am a developer. I wouldn't want to be in test right now.

I write like 10 lines of code and they get to write like 10,000 for half the pay - and that is on top of all the other roles they have to play.

Anonymous said...

Re: HiPo - interesting that you can accurately spell an acronym that you overheard. Stop baiting.

Everything else is just as Sinofsky says, don't try and play the system. Incompetent people will get the praise, gold club, chairman award and you'll scratch your head wondering why. You just gotta keep abiding by those msvalues, make your manager look good, and do your best. We're just like any other major corp in that respect and will never change. Personally I worked harder, demonstrated more breadth and contribution yet got same 100% stock as last year and bottom of exceeded bonus % range. Others that shipped bug ridden features late got promos and enjoying updating their sigs with 'Senior'. I've learned now to keep my mouth shut, nod, and leave the office at the office (hey, you want great WHI don't cha?)

Anonymous said...

Level: 60
A/70
Bonus: 10% = 9K
Stock = 100% = 6K
M: 2%

This team only values the ones with high "visibility", not the hard working one who do best for the product quality.

Anonymous said...

I've recently learned that in order to be considered an effective sdet lead you need to have lots of brown bags and "study groups." Apparently running a team that builds bullet proof automation and finds assloads of bugs is no longer desired or valued.

This "visibility" encourages politics and infighting inside the company and is the real cause of MSFT's decline.

The stupid HR and high management cannot understand this.

Anonymous said...

Level: L64 (IC in CSS)
Rating: Exceeded/20
Bonus: ~$25,000 (20% base bay)
Stock: $76,500
Merit: 2%

Comments:
Manager seemed to distance himself from the review; almost begrudgingly ("Microsoft thinks this of you, Microsoft expects that of you..."). Felt like the review was tweaked at the skip-level of higher. Third E/20 in a row.

Anonymous said...

[i]Having tested the water recently, I have to say that the current job market for developers are rather good right now, despite the economy being what it is, it is very surprising.[/i]

The glass is half full. Their are some great external opportunities if you open your eyes. Yes your software is not used by a billion people- but who cares?

Leave MS- get a healthy pay raise, a normal work schedule, leave the traffic and rain behind. If you are young and still want to do 65 hour weeks somewhere - it mine as well be somewhere that will actually appreciate it.

In 2000 flat bed trucks were dropping new hire cars off several times a day. I predict that in 2011 forward they will be back here picking them up.

Stephen Elop had an exit strategy. Why don't you?

Anonymous said...

I was an industry hire and here 4 months before they gave me an A/10, whatever that is, because I'm a n00b I guess.

My boss brought me in 'coz he wants me to clean house.

I didn't expect a pay bump for another year. Thanks for the money and stock! But this sort of shit just makes me mad.

Only one thing for a White Man to do here -- walk over the bodies of his skip level and his skip level's boss, I guess. I shall do so with impunity now. No quarter.

Anonymous said...

I am just glad I am a developer. I wouldn't want to be in test right now.

I write like 10 lines of code and they get to write like 10,000 for half the pay - and that is on top of all the other roles they have to play.


Unless you're talking about vendors or you're not working at Microsoft, you've got the wrong idea about how much testers make.

Anonymous said...

>Here is my piece. When are these seniors, principles, and partners eventually going to take responsibility comensurate with their positions?

To expect this is to implicitly assume that their titles are deserved. I have met FAR too many incompetent principals/partners to have any respect for titles. It would be nice if the alleged leaders would actually, you know, show leadership instead of just flunkyism, but I don't hold it against them, they aren't competent so to except competent actions from them is like expecting your child to be Mozart, it just won't happen.

Anonymous said...

Re: HiPo - interesting that you can accurately spell an acronym that you overheard. Stop baiting.

Baiting? You have excellence defense mechanisms :) If you read the comments prior to mine the "HiPo" term was already being used. So are you going to answer the question or troll because life isn't always fair?

I've been in your shoes too. I have seen people get promoted who I felt didn't deserve it but at the end of the day you don't always know the whole story....

Anonymous said...

[i]Running out of answers to my kids who ask why Daddy works so many late nights and weekends.

Sick of this.
[/i]

Some great posts on here.

Curious - is anyone else afraid to take earned vacation?

I've been going non-stop for two product cycles. While I earn five weeks I am afraid to even ask to take any time off. My lead bolts-out the door at 5PM but acts like being available all hours is just to be expected.

I am worried that at my age I just can't cut it here anymore. My work load is not sustainable. I am worried about my health. I feel burnt out. I am having problems concentrating and have developed headaches from looking at specs and code. I am either at or connected to work all the time it seems.

I am growing depressed because of increasing financial stresses and most of all knowing that I have traded seeing my baby grow up for a 1% merit increase.

When my time comes, I think I am going to finally breath a lot easier if you know what I mean...

- Burned out in Redmond

Anonymous said...

The "visibility" encourages politics and infighting inside the company and is the real cause of MSFT's decline

The system is what it is. Someone has got to get these ten percents and my attitude has always been better them then me.

The best review I ever earned was because I played soccer with my boss. It didn't have anything to do with hard work or earning it.

I don't think I have had a single manager that has ever looked at a single line of code I've written, nor cared to.

My advice- you want to get that corner office? Forget the tech skills and working crazy hours. Good work, bad work - P4.

The only engineering skills you need to survive in the current environment are the social kind.

Anonymous said...

My first review
Level: 60
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 2%
Stock: 70%
Merit %: 2%
Don't know good or bad

Questions on Bands
50-59
60-62
63-64
65-67
What they correspond to?
50-59
60-62 manager
63-64 Sr. Mgr.
65-67 Director, Sr. Dir?
How about GM VP, what they up to, level 70? Do they make millions every year.
65-67

Anonymous said...

L61 (MBD)
A/10
Bonus: 5%
Stock: none
Merit: none

I'm pissed. My old manager left MS this summer. Feedback before leaving (early August) was E/20 and promo. My new manager gave me a glowing review and the A/10, and has no explanation for the delta. Talking to the rest of my team, all of us had bad reviews that weren't supported by prior feedback.

I killed myself this year, got stellar feedback all along, got a Gold Star in March, and have nothing to show for it other than a manager who is trying to set himself up as the savior of my team after the old manager left. Bad news for him: we're all actively looking and sharing leads with each other.

Anonymous said...

Saturday, September 18, 2010 8:31:00 AM

I do agree we have good products. The concern was the org culture, politics and people's morale.

Anonymous said...

> Achieved all commitments and beyond
> Got promo during FY10 MidYEAR
> Got IT pro also.

FINALLY -

> A/10 rating.

CONFUSED. I think no monitoring in place at MICROSOFT.

Anonymous said...

you've got the wrong idea about how much testers make.

Testers are paid at market rate.
L59-60 SDET makes around 80 grand which if they are putting in the time works out to like $25-$30 per hour before tax.

So they are making a little more then the bus driver that drove them to work.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012834601_metrodriver08m.html

Anonymous said...

To the L59 who didn't get promoted: don't delude yourself. If your manager gives you some sob story about how someone else was stuck at 59 for 3 years, assume he is lying to you, because that's probably not why you didn't get it. My guess is next year you'll find people who got hired the same time as you hitting L61, and you will feel pretty stupid for rationalizing your previous failure to get promoted that way. If you're a college hire it's in your interest to leave the L59 bucket as quickly as you can.

Anonymous said...

Level: 61
Bonus: 11%
Stock: N/A
Rating: N/A

Had a great team and manager but left MSFT a couple months for a different challenge. Just checked my mailbox this week and what do you know! - a check from MSFT for my annual bonus. Not sure what my rating was but it was looking decent right before I left. Lucky I didn't get shoved to A/10% according to the number of folks above who talked about switching teams/companies during review time.

Anonymous said...

6:54pm, headaches from code and specs? Two suggestions:

1. Push your VS font to Consolas 18pt (or 24pt if you're really feeling the pain

2. Dump Outlook and use OWA, especially if you're using a high resolution notebook. You can scale your browser to something like 150% and email is much easier to handle.

I can't wait for the eye damage complaints to start hitting Outlook for its squinty little fonts.

Anonymous said...

This review system indicates an ailing company and ailing HR and ailing management at MSFT. Look what's coming next...

Best Buy CEO claims iPad has killed 50 percent of laptop sales

http://news.yahoo.com/s/digitaltrends/20100916/tc_digitaltrends/bestbuysceoclaimstheipadhaskilled50percentoflaptopsales

Anonymous said...

60-62 manager/SDE/SDET/PFE/EE...
63-64 Sr. Mgr./ Sr SDE/Sr SDET/Sr EE/ Sr PFE
65-67 Director, Sr. Dir/Principle SDE, Principle SDET/Principle PFE/Principle EE

Note: For CSS, which includes PFE/EE the top level is 66, for SDE/SDET is 67 if I´m not mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Level: 60 (in SMSG)
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 26%
Stock: 100%
Merit %: 12%
Whatever that means

Anonymous said...

I am worried that at my age I just can't cut it here anymore. My work load is not sustainable. I am worried about my health. I feel burnt out. I am having problems concentrating and have developed headaches from looking at specs and code. I am either at or connected to work all the time it seems.

You're amongst friends.


I now refuse to work weekends or more than 40+ hours. The incentive to do so is not there.

Anonymous said...

The real problem here is that the ranking mechanism is a net negative for Microsoft.

The small bonus budget makes forced ranking a nightmare for managers. Your top performers will feel undercompensated regardless of how much you pushed to get them, your perfectly-good-middle-of-the-road folks correctly feel that struggling isn't worth it given the ratio between bonus and base and your underperformers are glad they're getting such a high base.

Maybe if the average bonus was at least 100% salary, we'd get somewhere with this.

Anonymous said...

@The best review I ever earned was because I played soccer with my boss. It didn't have anything to do with hard work or earning it.


NO MORE EXPLANATION REQUIRED about what is going on in MICROSOFT.

Anonymous said...

>Look what's coming next...

>Best Buy CEO claims iPad has killed 50 percent of laptop sales
Quit trolling

http://www.bby.com/2010/09/17/statement-reports-of-notebook-netbook-sales-declines-grossly-exaggerated-2/

If anything the decline is in netbook sales not laptops. There is a difference, you know that right? While we really should look at and understand the draw for iPad to say 'ohhh noez no one will buy laptops anymore!! We's are outsa business!!' is retarded.

Anonymous said...

Looking at this blog I can say that I am not the only one who is suffering.
:)

Anonymous said...

To the person posting about Best Buy claiming ipad sales have cut laptop sales by half, please do more research (also wish the press would do more research)

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369290,00.asp

WSJ mischaracterized his statements. He said, ipad sales have cut NETBOOK sales by half.

Which make total sense if you think about it.

Anonymous said...

Level: 60 > 61 (promo)
Rating: E/20
Bonus: $14,000 (18%)
Stock: $24,500 (250%)
Merit/Promo: 4.3% / 4.7%

Anonymous said...

Level: 63 (promo from L62)
Rating: E/20
Bonus: 15%
Stock: 166%
Merit: 16%

Anonymous said...

The real problem here is that the ranking mechanism is a net negative for Microsoft.

The small bonus budget makes forced ranking a nightmare for managers. Your top performers will feel undercompensated regardless of how much you pushed to get them, your perfectly-good-middle-of-the-road folks correctly feel that struggling isn't worth it given the ratio between bonus and base and your underperformers are glad they're getting such a high base.

Maybe if the average bonus was at least 100% salary, we'd get somewhere with this.


I completely agree with this conclusion. I too decided on my own to go form the top to the middle tier.

Anonymous said...

@ - Burned out in Redmond
Don't trade your life and especaily seeing the life of your family grow up for this company. It is more than obvious they don't give a care for the majority of us. It is just a job now and nothing more. I mean really a 2% merit for what I'm capable of and have delivered. The bonus was slightly better but the stock at my level is a joke. My level in fact is a joke and the amount of time required to progress is a joke. Don't waste your time, it is just a job and enjoy your life as we have it a lot better then a lot of other folks.

Anonymous said...

I got A/10 for 2 years in a row now.. What am I supposed to do?

Anonymous said...

If your manager gives you some sob story about how someone else was stuck at 59 for 3 years, assume he is lying to you, because that's probably not why you didn't get it.

I was told the same thing during one of my review cycles.

The argument that was made was that in order for you to be promoted their needs to be promotion budget. Basically they played the broke card at the same time our CEO (the 2nd richest person on the planet) was ready to piss away 47B on yahoo.

Then they turn around next cycle and fault you for not having stellar promotion velocity?

It all seems like a bunch of BS to me. The bottom line here is they have just been stringing people out for years on end.

If you know how Enron played out then you know how this game is played.

Anonymous said...

After a pretty bad review I am thinking about leaving the company. I am looking for any recommendations of good places to work for in the area? There is obviously Google, Amazon, and now Facebook. But what are the other good companies and startups to look for? Who should be avoided?

It would be nice if you could include a short description of what they do and what is so good about them. Plus knowing the technology stack would be helpful too (.NET, Java, etc).

I am sure this info would be very useful to other people in the same situation. We can even have a separate thread on this.

Two good links to start with:
http://blog.seattlepi.com/venture/archives/124855.asp
http://seattle.about.com/od/startups/Startups.htm

Anonymous said...

I'm pissed. My old manager left MS this summer. Feedback before leaving (early August) was E/20 and promo. My new manager gave me a glowing review and the A/10, and has no explanation for the delta. Talking to the rest of my team, all of us had bad reviews that weren't supported by prior feedback.

+1

Same story here. E/20 promo -> A/10

Delivery was duplicitous

Anonymous said...

-- If your manager gives you some sob story about how someone else was stuck at 59 for 3 years, assume he is lying to you, because that's probably not why you didn't get it. --

Prince Talleyrand:

"Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to Hell, in a manner which will make them look forward to the trip"

Seems like anything goes in a performance review, but honesty.

Anonymous said...

Everything else is just as Sinofsky says, don't try and play the system. Incompetent people will get the praise, gold club, chairman award and you'll scratch your head wondering why.

I don't wonder why. I know why. The only question is what are we going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

I´m wondering how many of H1Bs that had the PERM audited in 2008 are having the PERM denied in 2010.

Anonymous said...

62 (no promo)
A/70
B: 8%
S: <70% (obfuscated for anonymity)
M: 1%

Worked smarter, harder, longer, gave more of myself, sacrificed my family, etc for #'s substantially below last year. Review didn't sync with #'s, manager's an a**hole, yada, yada ... I'm over it - only working 40 from here on out and am actively looking elsewhere.

My query, though...

A /70 should mean 75-130% of the stock target, yet I was just north of /10 levels.

What gives? Is this supposed to be a message that I just missed a /10 (would be total BS and was not communicated during my review)? Or, my manager just f*ckin me over further so he can play favorites with someone else?

Anonymous said...

For a U/10, HR has to approve the manager's comments. My manager flat out told me that it took a while for the approval since HR didn't want to send a mixed message that I did nothing wrong.

I fell short on utilization by a about 150 hrs. I didn't turn any projets down and my peer/EM/customer feedback was solid so apparently it was tough for my manager to come up with something negative other than the utilization numbers...

Anonymous said...

As a former Microsoft employee (I left for a competitor, am making a ton more money and stock price is through the roof), I want to gloat about this but I can't.

What I'm struck with is the entitlement that is so infused within the majority of these comments. The focus on the money - all of you are making a fairly substantial salary in the midst of what appears to be a depression here in the US.

I think to my current team, how review time for us is an afterthought. We are so excited about the work, about the products, even our CEO. We trust our leadership. The freedom from this kind of pressure is what I want for all of you.

Anonymous said...

I killed myself this year, got stellar feedback all along, got a Gold Star in March, and have nothing to show for it other than a manager who is trying to set himself up as the savior of my team after the old manager left.

The only thing different between your story and mine is the year. "Managerial savior" is another one of those damaging games managers at MS and other big companies play post-reorg.

Anonymous said...

A good manager should be giving you regular, actionable, candid, feedback on your landing trajectory, and if their is a problem - you should be given a reasonable opportunity to correct before you fly astray.

Yeah, that's the company line, but come on. Your manager doesn't know how you'll do on your review until after the stack rank i.e. arbitrary popularity contest, so how is he supposed to tell you?

Anonymous said...

For the comment that stated "For a U/10, HR has to approve the manager's comments. My manager flat out told me that it took a while for the approval since HR didn't want to send a mixed message that I did nothing wrong. "

I am a PDRM in MCS and this entire story sounds fishy. Your review is not based on utilization alone. So, while you may not have made your number in utilization, there were other committments on your review that you were not even close to attaining. Hopefully, you can right the ship this year. But, please do not try to let everyone on this forum think that you just did not hit UBI and got a U/10. It just does NOT happen.

Anonymous said...

First

>As a former Microsoft employee (I left for a competitor, am making a ton more money and stock price is through the roof), I want to gloat about this but I can't.

and then

>What I'm struck with is the entitlement that is so infused within the majority of these comments. The focus on the money - all of you are making a fairly substantial salary in the midst of what appears to be a depression here in the US.

Hahahaha so first you say about how you are making way more MONEY and your stock grants are GOING THROUGH THE ROOF, then you castigate people for 'the entitlement' and 'focus on money'. You're obviously an idiot or a troll. As for entitlement, that would imply people here were saying 'I deserved more money just because I am awesome'. What people are saying is 'I busted my ass, met/exceeded all my commitments, got nothing but glowing mid-year feedback and yet got a shit review at year-end with 0 feedback in between that I was veering off course'. That isn't entitlement, that is people realizing that 90% of what MSFT management says is utter bullshit and if you want to get ahead you either have to play soccer with your boss or become their little lacky and follow them around telling them how awesome they are all the time or taking credit for the entirety of things you had very little if anything to do with (assuming it turned out well, otherwise you disclaim any involvement, or said you tried to to turn it around but it was too far gone).

Anonymous said...

"A good manager should be giving you regular, actionable, candid, feedback on your landing trajectory, and if their is a problem - you should be given a reasonable opportunity to correct before you fly astray."

Yeah, that's the company line, but come on. Your manager doesn't know how you'll do on your review until after the stack rank i.e. arbitrary popularity contest, so how is he supposed to tell you?


It depends on the manager's level. If you report to a GM and the GM likes you, you will do fine. If you report to a line-level lead, the lead has virtually no control over how you'll do in the review -- this is why it's important for junior people to have "visibility" to senior management, because it's the only way to ensure you get a fair shake for doing good work.

And this is why the system is completely broken and why everyone hates it. But it's not going to change any time soon, it's been getting worse and worse every year for the 14 years I've been at the company, and that's that so don't spend any time fretting over what you can't change.

I truly don't care any more, I'm at a high enough level that I'm happy just to coast and collect my pay check doing the minimum required. If they want to can me that's fine, the company sucks and most days I'm just too spoiled and lazy to quit even though I want to, and it's not like I don't deserve it. :)

Anonymous said...

The focus on the money - all of you are making a fairly substantial salary in the midst of what appears to be a depression here in the US.

Seattle is in the top 10 of the most expensive places to live in the country. You could make 70 grand in most other areas of the country and lead a normal middle class life- house, yard, kids, dog. Seattle/Bellevue - not going to happen..

Anonymous said...

Level: 62
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 11%
Stock: 200%
Merit: 2%

Anonymous said...

Disappointing, having worked so far outside level and above and beyond commitments while taking over an extra role when the PM left the company working an average of 80 hours a week.

DUDE WTF?!?

You can achieve all the goals you set with your manager and still get a bad review at this company?

WOW. Don't work at MS but I have to say that's just messed up dude.

Anonymous said...

The focus on the money - all of you are making a fairly substantial salary in the midst of what appears to be a depression here in the US.


Personally I don't care if their is a breadline all the way down 156th st - my skill set is in demand and if MS doesn't want to get their act together I'll go work somewhere that can.

The executives can wire up their own labs and the internet will be around long after Microsoft isn't.

Anonymous said...

The real problem here is that the ranking mechanism is a net negative for Microsoft.

The small bonus budget makes forced ranking a nightmare for managers. Your top performers will feel undercompensated regardless of how much you pushed to get them, your perfectly-good-middle-of-the-road folks correctly feel that struggling isn't worth it given the ratio between bonus and base

So true. If I work 12 hour days I am working for 30% less money. Then if I am really lucky and all the stars align I get my bonus, and it goes from 30% less money to 27% less money.

What's the point? If Microsoft won't make me whole for my overtime someone else will. My wife is out of work and in poor heath so I am doing websites to make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

I got A/10 for 2 years in a row now.. What am I supposed to do?

File a bug and assign is to LisaB?

Crap! Not seeing Annual Review Process listed in the drop-down... probably because they would have to build a new datacenter to host the database.

;)

Anonymous said...

re: "And told that if he took the offered severance package (with COBRA assistance), he could not only never work for Microsoft in any fashion again (full-time or contractor) but could not work for a vendor that works for Microsoft either, for the rest of his life."

What is the story here? Is that legal? What are others hearing during their "offer" meetings before being show the door? I assume that if going the a- or v- route, you may easily end up back at MS. But, to do so means not accepting severance, or signing up for COBRA???

Anonymous said...

To the earlier poster: "isn't there some consequence to pulling the old, "I'm too stressed out and mentally unbalanced by my work situation/life ..." and then stretching out the inevitable w/ some bevy of psychiatrist's notes? Otherwise, wouldn't more people go this route?"

Anyone have an answer here?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here know (and will please explain) the min and max salary corresponding to each level?

Anonymous said...

> ...but anyone out there humored by Mr. Gates' Sr.'s attempt to leverage his name, to institute a new Income Tax on the "rich" of WA State

Even more unfortunate is Gates Sr.'s pushing for increased inheritance tax. The one person in THE WORLD who doesn't need to worry about that tax's effect is, of course, the dad of the richest man in the world (okay, BillG may be #2 or #3 now). If you have a billion dollars, you can afford to take a much bigger hit on your estate than a small business owner who has built up a $2M business, which has to be liquidated to pay for taxes. Either that or the heirs have to take out a huge loan for the taxation... good thing banks make it so easy to get small business loans now

Anonymous said...

Level: 62
Rating: E/20%
Bonus: 16%/$15,643
Stock: 250% of the stock target for lvl 62 - $45k
Merit: 4%

Was hoping for a level bump but didn't get it. Got some feedback on that which seemed wishy washy. Hopefully next year...

Steve Ballmer said...

As always, my door is open to all who have gripes about the way this company is run.

(Don't worry, I have had all my chairs bolted to the floor)

http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I am astounded that so many amazingly smart people allow themselves to be defined by trivial level numbers and reward levels. There is life outside people. These commments are exactly like Junior Varsity and Varsity politics in high school - remember that? Break off and live.

Anonymous said...

Your manager doesn't know how you'll do on your review until after the stack rank i.e. arbitrary popularity contest, so how is he supposed to tell you?

Sadly, that is often true. Unless you are "lucky" enough to be on a team with some obvious screw-ups in your level band, you are at the mercy of your calibration leader's perception of you, your lead's standing with his manager, and your lead's haggling abilities.

Anonymous said...

Level: 58
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 10%
Stock: 85%
Merit: 2.5%

Only here for six months in the last FY, but I will take it.

Anonymous said...

I found that my review was solely based on the perception of my manager - it's the only way they could give it, really. My manager has no job function other than admin responsibilities, has no tech knowledge or even any industry knowledge necessary for their position. Sad, really. Oh, right - delegating responsibilities is also something they do really well. But this inept manager matrix works at MSFT - where the layer of middle management is so thick - you need a hacksaw to cut through it.

How do you have a manager working on a piece of technology that doesn't even know how it works or what it's even supposed to do?

Also I noticed if you engage your manager AT ALL - you get lower reviews. Leave them alone and not engage keeps them happy.

Pathetic. Sorry for this, but I work under a truly awful management chain.

Anonymous said...

"WSJ mischaracterized his statements. He said, ipad sales have cut NETBOOK sales by half.

Which make total sense if you think about it."

Wow, that’s so much better. It's only cutting the biggest source of growth in the overall PC market by 50%. Hardly anything to worry about at all. I mean, what could that be worth in lost Windows and Office revenue anyway? And how's MS's response coming? . Good thing nobody is asleep in Redmond, at least according to Steve “the iPhone won’t gain much share” Ballmer.

Prediction: Apple refreshes the current model and introduces a new smaller and less expensive unit all before MS gets to market with its first credible response. Maybe they’ll even do a couple. This is like déjà vu all over again, only this time it’s tablets and not mobile.

Once again the winners will be Apple and Google, both of whom have the momentum and the apps. And just like in mobile, MS will spend billions unsuccessfully trying to get back in game it should never have lost in the first place. Only this time the revenue loss is at the core of MS’s business. In two years, MS’s effective share of the PC market will go from 90% to 70% or less. Get ready for more layoffs and lower stock prices.

Anonymous said...

I was hired from outside MSFT at L66. This, it turns out, was wrong -- I'm NOT an L66... yet. So I actually got a 10% underperform and a demotion to L64.

This is a very good thing, in my book. I definitely don't have the wide influence in the corp that an L66 should have, and now I have a chance to actually earn it.

The worst thing that can happen at MSFT is to get branded as an underachiever and to continually get negative feedback. Much better to be at the right level and be able to work back up, which is exactly what I plan to do.

Anonymous said...

Analogy: MSFT vs Eminiar VII in Star Trek "A Taste of Armageddon"

Any volunteers for the disintegration booth?

Anonymous said...

"What I'm struck with is the entitlement that is so infused within the majority of these comments. The focus on the money - all of you are making a fairly substantial salary in the midst of what appears to be a depression here in the US."

Can't speak for everyone, but the $$ amount doesn't matter for me as much as the % of the bonus/stock scales. That % speaks a thousand times more than any BS they might give us in the wording of the review.

I do know how I'm fortunate I am to have the privilege not to be too concerned about the money. We have great healthcare etc. That really counts, especially for those of us with families. The wages are a multiple of the national average, even if they could be slightly higher elsewhere. And no one I know here gets their groceries from the foodbank.

So why am I “sick of this”? because I have potentially another 30yrs of career left. If I’m getting kicked in the teeth now then the choice is either;
a) Wait for the eye of Sauron, which still seems to be scanning us all.
b) If I’m ‘lucky’ spend the next 30yrs having a choice of either being some incompetent manager’s ass-suck, whipping boy, or both.
c) Leave

What I really want is
d) the opportunity to really make a difference here, with growth, recognition, and appreciation of a job well done!

In the contracting universe of MSFT that appears to be a increasing challenge

Anonymous said...

Layoffs are inevitable at MSFT. Apple iPad, iPhone and Google Android are selling like crazy. Google's market cap will pass MSFT's in just 1 year. Apple has already passed beyond MSFT this year. MSFT will become the 3rd very soon.

Anonymous said...

L: 60
R: A/70
B: 4.5%
S: 85%
M: 1%/No Promo

My manager screwed every one under him and left the team. He was not able to justify what he wrote on my review as a bargain he scratched few comments but not all. All year I kept asking and he never made a single point until I saw my reviews. Why msft not want to fix this?

Anonymous said...

HiPo

High Potential - This is an exciting new buzzword referring to the company's attempting to identify and retain persons with the potential to take on leadership positions.

My understanding is that the executive team is trying to identify those individuals whose hair is likely to turn silver.

Anonymous said...

As a former Microsoft employee (I left for a competitor, am making a ton more money and stock price is through the roof), I want to gloat about this but I can't.

Can i send you my resume?

Anonymous said...

So we're 3 weeks out from Windows Phone 7 launch and the biggest piece of publicity to date was that embarrassing "pride parade" in Redmond? Tech bloggers are not influential enough to drive buzz on this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Bill G Sr who lives on SS, annuities, and tax free munis and probably has a very, very low tax rate no matter what his income is.

Thanks for helping to kill the dream you S.O.B. Some of us are still on the way up and scraping for everything we have.

I can guarantee you if this was MSFT in 1984 he wouldn't even think of bringing up this stupid income tax idea. Wait- he didn't bring it up then.

Anonymous said...

L: 62
R: A/70
B: 9%
S: 65% (indicates 70 mid or 70 low bucket may be)
M: 1.7%
My Mood: Pissed.

I work on features that customers pay good money for. My manager and immediate team values me much more than "management". The clowns playing around with fleeting features in other parts of the company dont deserve the cash they are getting - stock may be but not cash. This is socialism/bone-headedness.

Anonymous said...

Level: 60 (Finance)
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 12%
Stock: 115%
Merit %: 2.5%

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Here in Washington State is seems it is Gates Snr. versus Steve Ballmer in the issue of a State income tax on high income earners. Gates for, Ballmer against. Ballmer has just contributed $100k to lobby against, Gates Snr. appearing in TV ads for the measure known as Initiative 1098.

Where does BillG stand on the issue? That is unknown.

Anonymous said...

"L64
smsp
e/20
bonus - 50% - 60k (rbi)
stock 200% - 60k

no promo despite e/20 3 yrs in a row :("

same here. except my numbers for a 3rd year e/20 suck compare to yours
bonus 14%
stock 185%

small piece of advise, get your good perf results and use them to leave smsp. the place sucks....

Anonymous said...

Microsoft has good medical benefits. Thats it.

I would gladly pay 15 bucks for a co-pay or doctors visit in trade for a mentally healthy work environment. I have never worked for a mgmt group that unwaveringly plays the BS game as handed down by Brummel. Never honest insight into possible layoffs. They never "know anything". You would think you could find one human being once in a while instead of souless drones who buy into all the nonsense they get fed at their mgr. retreats. Over 16 billion last quarter and 50 billion in the bank and we had a "rough economic year"? We are a lesson in greed and its disguised as business. Gotta get into Google's space. Gotta make a crap version of an I-Pod...Gotta make our version of the I-Phone. We try to polish and re-brand others original thoughts and we fail time and time again.

Vote democrat. No tax breaks for hiring over seas...and remember that YOU should look out for yourself first and foremost. Don't sacrifice yourself or your family for this place.. F the stock. Sacrifice as much of your personal time as you HR rep. sacrifices for you.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, two mediocre SDET2 in the same team got promoted to senior. So it seems it's not entirely impossible to reach senior for testers as long as your manager is willing to support you.

Ha, we have principal SDET leads where I am. Level inflation has gone wild.

Anonymous said...

>Yes your software is not used by a billion people- but who cares?

I do. I care about that much more than the money.

Am I a chump? Maybe but, personally, I think it's the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Level: 62
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 11%
Stock: 115%
Merit : 2%

No promo : It sucks. I was expecting a promo this time for sure and my managers did not have the guts or were playing safe to keep me in the group.

Anonymous said...

Level: 61 -> 62 (dev)
Rating: E/20
Bonus: 19%
Stock: 300%
Merit %: 4%/6%

Pretty happy this time around.

Anonymous said...

http://financesummary.blogspot.com/2010/05/problem-with-microsoft.html

Anonymous said...

>> So I actually got a 10% underperform and
>> a demotion to L64.
>> This is a very good thing, in my book.

The naivete displayed by this comment is staggering. Dude, you got demoted two levels down after getting U/10. Your career at Microsoft is shot. You don't stand a chance of ever making it back to 66. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news, but your best option right now is to leave as soon as a good opportunity pops up.

Anonymous said...

For the comment that stated "For a U/10, HR has to approve the manager's comments. My manager flat out told me that it took a while for the approval since HR didn't want to send a mixed message that I did nothing wrong. "

I am a PDRM in MCS and this entire story sounds fishy. Your review is not based on utilization alone. So, while you may not have made your number in utilization, there were other committments on your review that you were not even close to attaining. Hopefully, you can right the ship this year. But, please do not try to let everyone on this forum think that you just did not hit UBI and got a U/10. It just does NOT happen.

Well, its too bad you weren't my PDRM because this is exactly what happened. My PDRM tried to get an exception on my behalf during the caliberation process but was rejected at the VP level.

Anonymous said...

To all those laid off: Please share the messages/offers you were given during your final HR visit.

Anonymous said...

>Layoffs are inevitable at MSFT.

Your amazing ability to predict the past astounds us all. LOL

The trolls here get lamer all the time.

Anonymous said...

>Yes your software is not used by a billion people- but who cares?
I do. I care about that much more than the money.


Yes, a billion people use your software but what percentage are using it just because it came with their computer, or they got it from their office, or because of the brand name, or because all the people they know use it, etc.

Without that momentum, it's crazy hard to sell people something you made. So it's much more satisfying to sell just 100 units of something you developed with your own two hands than to be a small cog in a big machine making a product that a billion people buy but didn't necessarily CHOOSE to buy.

Anonymous said...

Level: 61
Rating: A/70
Bonus: 7%
Stock: 115%
Merit: 2.5%
Union dues: 0
Health insurance costs: 0 ;)

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that the 10%/type 2 category (i.e., the 10% that goes along with an Achieved rather than an Underperformed) serves no purpose other than to give management a way to ruin (or very nearly ruin) a career at the company without having to justify it in any clear way and despite the employee achieving his/her commitments.

While I realize that there are some good managers who find themselves having to give someone a 10% even when they don't want to (because they’re forced to), for the rest this 10% is a very evil tool to have at their disposal.

Why not just have 20%/80% categories instead of 20%/70%/10%? That way, if an employee wasn't performing, it would be legitimately captured in an Underperformed review. (Of course, Underperformed reviews that aren’t legitimate can be a problem some places, but that’s a topic for another day.) And then you really wouldn’t need to give him/her a 10%/type 1 ranking, because the person is obviously at the bottom of the heap if s/he underperformed.

If a person didn't underperform, why should his/her reputation be destroyed? This "pro in place" b.s. that some promote makes no sense. If the person is a "pro in place," doing just fine, why nail him/her with a label that makes the employee radioactive and typically unable to move to another team or even just hang on to his/her job for more than a year or two? It just doesn’t make sense. The 10% is nothing more than a way to destroy someone even where defensible reasons don’t exist.

Anonymous said...

The more people I talk to, the more people I hear about that got screwed over in this years annual review.

These aren't people who are being branded A/10s vs A/70s, but people who are E/20s and getting E/70s.

Before people start bitching about how much better these reviews are than everyone else, I'll tell you why this is a problem.

There apparently were fewer 20s to go around this year. The intent was to truly differentiate and reward the top performers, but we know that didn't happen.

Before, you'd have enough room for the ass kissers and the people doing the work to get in the 20% bucket. It wasn't great (people got pissed off that brown nosing, self congratulatory slackers got equal rewards), but people accepted it as part of the system.

This year, in many (but arguably not all) groups, the ass-kissers were the exclusive recipients of top rewards at the higher levels. This, in conjunction with the lack of job security (see prior layoffs where alot of good people were let go and constant rumors of a "next round", while alot of politically savvy deadwood remained), is driving people at a minimum out of a number of teams, and alot of senior people are either leaving or plotting to leave the company.


This also has knock on effects for promotion, where promotions are scuttled because you can't make the 20% bucket. Who gets the promotions, your politicians.

When these top folks get screwed, they start looking around the company, and the older folks (in Microsoft that means 40+) are getting odd looks from the 25 year olds that have been given management positions. Noone wants the old guys. Whether they go to one of these teams or not, these people realize the lack of value Microsoft is putting on experience (not necessarily something mandated from the top but as a result of a very young bench). These older employees are realizing they should leave now before they hit their 50s, because they fear if they don't, they'll have concerns moving companies 5 or 10 years from now.

Lisa B., if you pay attention to this blog, do you realize the brain drain that has been kicked off here? By limiting the slots for the 20% and increasing the rewards, you've effectively boxed out alot of the people you want to retain and the big rewards have gone largely to politicians or people with more aggressive managers.

These people are in high demand and are either leaving the company for greener pastures or they've realized putting in 200% is no different than 100%, and productivity is taking a nosedive.

Here's a newsflash, Lisa, you have senior managers literally telling people that performance doesn't matter, that the skills ladder doesn't matter, and there's no way to advance in role - despite getting gold stars and exceeded reviews (true story, happened to that former peer of mine who got an extra $250 this year.)


What's worse is that when people do look around the company, they are starting to see ageism coming into play - and for people in their 40s! Mixed with the constant fear of random layoffs that are only occasionally based on performance, the increase in ageism, the stock trading at the "Ballmer Discount" and rewarding the undeserving, the people you want to stay are either gone, going, or have started to pace themselves vs. sprint.

If the goal is to make Microsoft a company like every other, you folks are doing a great job. If it's not, you need to put in an anonymous whistleblower line where people can report nonsense - whether it's the result of politics or an ineffective manager.

Anonymous said...

The other issue is that not only are people not getting the rewards, they're questioning they're level of effort. In one team in our org, there was a guy who was an IC who delivered more value (documented value, gold star winner, drove tens of millions in revenue, drove significant PR) but he didn't play politics. Killed himself - nights, weekends, etc. and his bonus was $250 more than last year. No zeros missing, $250.

This also has knock on effects for promotion, where promotions are scuttled because you can't make the 20% bucket. Who gets the promotions, your politicians.

When these top folks get screwed, they start looking around the company, and the older folks (in Microsoft that means 40+) are getting odd looks from the 25 year olds that have been given management positions. Noone wants the old guys. Whether they go to one of these teams or not, these people realize the lack of value Microsoft is putting on experience (not necessarily something mandated from the top but as a result of a very young bench). These older employees are realizing they should leave now before they hit their 50s, because they fear if they don't, they'll have concerns moving companies 5 or 10 years from now.

Lisa B., if you pay attention to this blog, do you realize the brain drain that has been kicked off here? By limiting the slots for the 20% and increasing the rewards, you've effectively boxed out alot of the people you want to retain and the big rewards have gone largely to politicians or people with more aggressive managers.

These people are in high demand and are either leaving the company for greener pastures or they've realized putting in 200% is no different than 100%, and productivity is taking a nosedive.

Here's a newsflash, Lisa, you have senior managers literally telling people that performance doesn't matter, that the skills ladder doesn't matter, and there's no way to advance in role - despite getting gold stars and exceeded reviews (true story, happened to that former peer of mine who got an extra $250 this year.)


What's worse is that when people do look around the company, they are starting to see ageism coming into play - and for people in their 40s! Mixed with the constant fear of random layoffs that are only occasionally based on performance, the increase in ageism, the stock trading at the "Ballmer Discount" and rewarding the undeserving, the people you want to stay are either gone, going, or have started to pace themselves vs. sprint.

If the goal is to make Microsoft a company like every other, you folks are doing a great job. If it's not, you need to put in an anonymous whistleblower line where people can report nonsense - whether it's the result of politics or an ineffective manager.

Anonymous said...

Level: 61 (promo)
Rating: E/70
Bonus: 12%
Stock: ~11K
Merit: 10% (including promo)

The raise is just about enough to keep me with the company for another year.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone out there managed to stay employed by the company after two years in the 10% category?

I'm not asking because I'm in that situation and looking for advice. Rather, I'd just be curious to know whether there are places in the company where it's acceptable to be achieving one's commitments yet ranked in the bottom 10 for an extended period of time.

Anonymous said...

Level 59
U/10

Wondering if its even possible to overcome the bad review or if its time to move on... been 3 years @ 59, but first 10...

Anonymous said...

I suppose people will complain about review systems as long as we have them. And I know it can be a release to vent. But I do hope you all realize two things:

1. You have the power to change your circumstances.

2. Compared to the circumstances of most humans on earth, you are doing very well financially. For the most part, that is because of luck.

Vent, let it out, and then spend at least the same amount of time appreciating what you do have in the now.

Peace and Love

Anonymous said...

How do you have a manager working on a piece of technology that doesn't even know how it works or what it's even supposed to do?

Also I noticed if you engage your manager AT ALL - you get lower reviews. Leave them alone and not engage keeps them happy.

Pathetic. Sorry for this, but I work under a truly awful management chain.


Now how many of us nodded and sighed at that?!! Yet within our values are not being afraid of conflict etc. Amen brother.

btw HiPo is now Bench isn't it? I usually don't want to be on the Bench :)

Anonymous said...

Are you people really that oblivious to think that Seattle has a high cost of living? Try moving to San Francisco, one of the nicer neighborhoods in and around Washington DC, or New York. You will find that $70K doesn't get you as far as it does here, and on top of that you will have a local income tax. Having lived in some of these places I find Seattle pretty cheap. There are cheaper places but you probably wouldn't want to live in those loser places anyway.

Anonymous said...

re: "And told that if he took the offered severance package (with COBRA assistance), he could not only never work for Microsoft in any fashion again (full-time or contractor) but could not work for a vendor that works for Microsoft either, for the rest of his life."

What is the story here? Is that legal? What are others hearing during their "offer" meetings before being show the door? I assume that if going the a- or v- route, you may easily end up back at MS. But, to do so means not accepting severance, or signing up for COBRA???


Of course you can sign up for COBRA, that's the law. MSFT just wouldn't help with the costs (which, for my family, are $1700/mo for the Premera option - Group Health would have been less).

But yes. They were very clear on that point: if you take the severance (which included a bit extra to help pay for COBRA), you can't ever come back again, etc. Or, if you do NOT take the severance, you can come back.

We took the severance. At this point, my husband isn't interested in working for MSFT ever again. He poured his life and soul into his work, and came home (usually very late) looking and feeling like a kicked dog, especially over the last two years as they (apparently) racheted down the pressure, trying to get him to quit. The severance was treated as a big lump sum payment & taxed at a higher than normal rate. Effectively, the "bonus" meant for COBRA assistance all went away to taxes. Gee, thanks. It could've been calculated as the 3 months' worth of salary it was described as.

Never mind. His skills are much in demand. When he finds a new employer who treats him with respect, he'll wonder why he waited so long.

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