Things finally feel like they're coming together here, more or less. I'm starting to realize that I can rely on Diana to do the kind of stuff I used to just assume I would do, because she's not working. So for example, she's handling the apartment stuff and insurance, so I can concentrate on getting work stuff going, benefits enrolled and all of that.
We've got a place in Issaquah, and it's actually an apartment. The odd thing is that with three bedrooms, it's actually far more flexible than the townhomes we were looking at, not to mention cheaper. As it turns out, if you can find a good sized apartment, the rooms are more logically shaped than the long and narrow town houses. We'll still have a spare bedroom. It's also one of the units in the 1.5% that actually have gas stoves, and we're thrilled about that. The hope is that we can have our junk delivered on Friday and we can get settling in.
I'm not pleased about the news I keep getting from the realtor about what people don't like about my house. I have a scary feeling that we'll be looking at two mortgages and rent for way too long.
Meanwhile, I had my first day of work. Sort of anyway, since really it's just all HR type stuff and an overview of how the company rolls. The orientation was impressive just from the people that I met there. The guy who was sitting next to me is going to work on Project Natal, and that's pretty exciting stuff. Another guy is on the Silverlight team, moving in from Canada. In fact, there were folks there from India, Iran, China, UK and the Philippines. And the really interesting thing is that I got in by simply by applying to the careers site, despite all of the networking I was doing.
I'm so impressed with the HR operation there, from the person running the orientation to the online systems. I've only worked for a few really big companies, but this one seems so less encumbered in needless and stupid process.
Oh, and I have to say that I'm already tired of people making the stupid jokes about working for the Borg/Evil Empire/M$ or whatever. The orientation person put it this way: How many evil companies donate hundreds of millions of dollars to hundreds of causes every year? I mean, I can donate up to 12% of my salary to a non-profit, and they'll match it, dollar for dollar. The company certainly has an image problem, but just because Windows may suck (still haven't had significant time with Win7, but it seems snappier) doesn't mean the company doesn't do great things. I <3 my Xbox, and the group I work for (Server & Tools) has made my life infinitely better with their products.
Lots of great perks around town too, including use of the public transportation, fee waivers for my rent, bus lines around town (with Wi-Fi) to work and cheap goodies from the company store. That's on top of awesome benefits and what not.
So once we get out of this crappy temp housing, I feel like we'll finally be starting the new life. I wish the house would sell, but there's not much I can do about that. Overall, I'm just thrilled to be here. It's hard to believe it's for real and permanent.