Well, I've now had a couple days to get used to my new officemate, who is a contractor working for our team for the next six months. He seems like a nice enough guy. He does, however, seem to only breathe through his mouth while chewing Extra gum. Thanks goodness for headphones.
Ha! So your officemate moved out, but this does not result in your own office; you just get another one? Too bad.
(Other luke, now): Just out of curiosity, do Microsoft employees feel uncomfortable with contractors? Are there multiple classes of contractors, like temp secretaries and contracting consultants?
It's hard for me to say. There's only this one contractor on our team, though some other teams have more (and many have none). Certainly, non-technical professions have many, many more of them. Nobody bats an eye when a receptionist is a contractor, but it's a very different thing when the person sharing the office with you is guaranteed to be off the team in half a year. They don't have the same access to resources that full-time employees do, don't go to as many meetings, and I would assume that in most cases they work on different kinds of projects from the full-time employees. (For example, this guy is working on testing a side project, not SharePoint Designer directly.) So, in that way, he's kind of an outsider in our midst, which is admittedly weird. I guess it's kind of like just having an older intern who happens to not be in college anymore, the difference being that I tended to hang out with the interns a little more, and the interns are treated as full-time employees so they do a few more things that full-time employees do.
So, it's a little weird, but I wouldn't necessarily say uncomfortable. I've heard that certain other teams with more contractors have had some animosity in the past, but I don't know the whole story.
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