People ask me why my mood's always so acrid. This is why.
October 9, 2014 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft CEO to women: Don't ask for a raise. CEO Satya Nadella spoke at the Grace Hopper Celebration and told women to use their "super powers" to get raises.

"A lot of advice is thrown at women to be considered equals in the workplace — lean in, speak up, be confident, demand raises and promotions, don’t dress “slutty” — which in itself is problematic because it places the onus on women to correct the culturally intrenched male dominance in workplaces.

(Companies should be the ones working to demolish the “old boys club,” and putting practices into place including strict policies on sexual harassment, equal pay, mentorship and paid maternity and paternity leave, for starters.)

However, advice given by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hit a new level of terrible: Don’t ask for raises, trust that your “super powers,” “the system” and “karma” will get you what you want. I’m not sure what mystical world Nadella is living in, but I imagine that there raises gallup magically into a woman’s bank account via a unicorn."
posted by ourt (93 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
And just like that, all of the vague amicability Microsoft has been building up with me over the last couple years has been tossed out the window. Fuck this guy.
posted by rorgy at 6:30 PM on October 9, 2014 [42 favorites]


Apparently Microsoft doesn't want women to work for them. I never thought that they'd out dumb Vista, but by golly, they've pulled it off.
posted by eriko at 6:32 PM on October 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


An incredibly vapid statement, and in line with the tired cliché of some bazillionaire saying "the secret is to do what you love." Thanks for taking the time out of your day to spend a lot of time saying absolutely nothing, and reminding your audience that you commute from a different reality.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:32 PM on October 9, 2014 [37 favorites]


Also, ReadWrite, not always known for their snappy editorial skills or senses of humor, had this great title/subtitle combination:
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to Women: Don't Ask For A Raise, Trust Karma
This is not good advice.
posted by rorgy at 6:33 PM on October 9, 2014 [22 favorites]


Nadella has since walked back the comment.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:33 PM on October 9, 2014


Now, now, maybe he's not sexist in wanting women not to ask for a raise. I'm sure he doesn't want men asking for a raise either. Where he's sexist is in thinking the women might be dumb enough to believe him.
posted by tyllwin at 6:38 PM on October 9, 2014 [14 favorites]


Ugh I was really hoping "don't ask for a raise" was going to be about addressing how when women do ask for raises and take the same steps men do they are often viewed negatively as pushy instead of strong or confident. There are, unfortunately, legitimate reasons to suggest that women not ask for raises because the system isn't fair. "Everything will work out, don't worry your pretty little head about it" and "This is what Fairy Godmothers are for -- just wish very hard!" are NOT those reasons.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:39 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Based on the live-tweets last night, the entire "Celebration" was as tone-deaf as Nadella. It was almost as if tech elites were pining for the days when women's accomplishments could be safely ignored and dismissed.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:40 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Give the man a break, he's not from around here.
posted by MikeMc at 6:41 PM on October 9, 2014


Funny, a good friend of mine, a female Microsoft employee, was actually at the event and talked about Nadella's talk in glowing terms via a Facebook post and photo. It must have played differently to different people there.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:41 PM on October 9, 2014


Given that this was his correction:
"Our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of bias."

I think maybe he was referring to women asking for raises specifically to get them to the same pay level as their peers, and his response was that it shouldn't be necessary to do that, that the system will correct itself. Which.. also is not correct. The system won't correct itself until women speak up.
posted by bleep at 6:41 PM on October 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


“karma” will get you what you want.

I feel like CEO Satya Nadella is just reading the faq: from reddit.com
"Or, to look at things from a less competitive and more altruistic perspective, read what philosophers have said about the matter -- namely, don't set out to accumulate karma; just set out to be a good person, and let your karma simply be a reminder of your legacy. Note: reddit makes no guarantees about attaining Nirvana."
posted by Fizz at 6:44 PM on October 9, 2014


I'm no fan of the Marc Andressen-style multi-tweet epics, but if you're trying to rephrase something that came out inartfully the first time, don't try to fit it into one tweet. Take up all the goddamn space you need so that it comes out better the second time.
posted by savetheclocktower at 6:46 PM on October 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


stop denying reality of four-day raise cube
posted by thelonius at 6:49 PM on October 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


That company is awkward because there’s actually no reason for that CEO to be Indian.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:49 PM on October 9, 2014 [49 favorites]


“karma” will get you what you want

I'm pretty sure if karma worked, Redmond would have long since been buried under fifty feet of ash from a freakish eruption of Mount Rainier that somehow skipped the whole rest of Seattle.
posted by sonascope at 6:51 PM on October 9, 2014 [25 favorites]


It must have played differently to different people there.

You mean like listening to the entire thing in context might give you a different impression of what's being said than reading a bunch of tweets from people doing a live fisking under the #ghcmanwatch tag and playing "LOL allies" bingo?
posted by effbot at 6:52 PM on October 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


That company is awkward because there’s actually no reason for that CEO to be Indian.

What's wrong with the contractors having someone who looks like them in the big office? Nice callback BTW.
posted by MikeMc at 6:59 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the "Male Allies" panel was just painful. Lots of mansplaining along the lines of "Ladies, if you want to succeed in tech, you just have to try way, way harder than an equivalent man" and "The gender imbalance is mostly due to not enough entry-level women in the 'pipeline', not a horrific rate of attrition due to harassment and lack of support".
posted by murphy slaw at 7:00 PM on October 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


Oh god fuck this guy.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:03 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: "Funny, a good friend of mine, a female Microsoft employee, was actually at the event and talked about Nadella's talk in glowing terms via a Facebook post and photo. It must have played differently to different people there."

Well, the ReadWrite article has some contemporaneous tweets from other people in the audience who were less than impressed. The followup article on ReadWrite has a a link to a video of the livestream. The relevant section is around 1hr 35min. You'll note that when the moderator says she disagrees with Nadella, there is audible applause.
posted by mhum at 7:04 PM on October 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


They’re harder to find. It’s definitely not because women ain’t funny, because I’m finding the opposite. It’s because there’s fewer of them. The statistical probability of picking up a shitty script, it’s compounded for women. There’s the same percentage of genius happening in both genders, but there’s less women writing scripts and out there looking for the job. So you dig a little extra-hard, and you end up with a staff that took a few extra meetings and a few extra shitty scripts to read. Now you have a staff that is just as good as the staff you would have had, but happens to be half women... And the male writers across the board, from top to bottom, in their most private moments drinking with me, when they’re fully licensed to be as misogynist, reactive, old-boy-network as they want, all they can say is, 'This turned out to be a great thing.'

[...]

As it turns out, I think Megan’s the only female writer who’s staying this year, so now, even though Bromstad’s gone, now I’m carrying this legacy, going, 'Eh, guys, we really need a half-female writing staff.' I would teach it. I think we have to stop thinking of it as a quota thing and think of it as a common-sense thing.
posted by rorgy at 7:05 PM on October 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


You mean like listening to the entire thing in context might give you a different impression of what's being said than reading a bunch of tweets from people doing a live fisking under the #ghcmanwatch tag and playing "LOL allies" bingo?

No, pretty sure most of the audience wasn't a fan. He means like "apparently there was at least one person there that didn't think it was so bad".
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:05 PM on October 9, 2014


And here I thought we were supposed to be Leaning In. Now I don't know which monster tech company's advice to follow.
posted by Molly Razor at 7:07 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Unicorn requests
Cash upon delivery
Company brays neigh
posted by Mblue at 7:10 PM on October 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


These are the people who think that you can make your product magically better by skipping a version number and then cracking jokes about it...

...so obviously all they have to do is start calling all the women at Microsoft men and everything will be okay right?
posted by trackofalljades at 7:21 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I trust that karma will show him the error of his ways at the tip of a unicorn horn.
posted by arcticseal at 7:24 PM on October 9, 2014


Because I am one of those crazy people that insists on seeing the source material and not just a blog summary I typed up the following transcript:

Maria Klawe:
So one of the questions that somebody asked was, how do you. What do you advise to woman who are interested in advancing their careers but they're not comfortable with putting themselves up for promotions or advancement opportunities... [tangent]... So, for woman who aren't comfortable asking for a raise or sort of saying... who aren't the younger you let's say. What's your advice for them?

Satya Nadella:
You know, the thing that perhaps most influenced me in terms of how do you look at the journey or a career. There was this guy who's name was Mike Maples, he was the president when I joined and he had this saying where he would say "look, all HR systems are long-term efficient, short-term inefficient." And I thought that phrase just captured it. Which is: It's not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.

That, I think, might be one of the additional superpowers that, quite frankly, women who don't ask for a raise have. Because that's good karma. It'll come back because somebody's going to know that's the kind of person that I want to trust. That's the kind of person that I want to really give more responsibility to. And in the long-term efficiency things catch up. And I wonder, and I'm not saying that's the only approach, whether taking the long-term helps solve for what might be perceived as this uncomfortable thing of "hey, am I getting paid right? Am I getting rewarded right?"

Because reality is your best work is not followed by your best rewards. Your best work then has impact, people recognize it, and then you get the rewards. And so you have to somehow think that through, I think.

For the record, Maria Klawe politely disagrees but it is all very cordial.
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:27 PM on October 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


I wish that the hubbub here was less "Microsoft CEO sticks foot in mouth" and more "Male Executives repeatedly co-opt the Grace Hopper Celebration to spout off unconsidered observations to an audience of unamused professional women".
posted by murphy slaw at 7:29 PM on October 9, 2014 [42 favorites]




@notsalome: "Ladies, if you want a raise, just kill all men."
posted by sockpup at 7:33 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Dammit, 2bucksplus. I was just finishing up my own transcript. Well, here's Klawe's response:
Well, let me tell you a story about myself because this is one of the very few things I disagree with you on. [applause] So, I've always been uncomfortable in asking for things for myself. I'm really great at asking for things for the people who work for me. So, I was being offered the position of dean of engineering at Princeton and I took it without having been offered a salary. So, at some point we're having this conversation -- Shirley Tillman [sp?] hired me -- and she's saying we have to figure out what salary we're going to pay you. And I'm so uncomfortable, "just pay me whatever you think is right". [laughter from audience] I probably got a good fifty thousand dollars less than I would have if I had been doing my job. Same thing when I took the job at Harvey Mudd. They offered me quite a bit less than I thought was appropriate. I didn't say anything.

So here's my advice to all of you: first of all, do your homework. Make sure you know what a reasonable salary is if you're being offered a job. Do not be as stupid as I was. Second thing is: role-play. Sit down with someone you really trust and practice asking them for the salary you deserve. And now I have a bunch of people who do role-play with me and I try to negotiate part of their increase to give to Harvey Mudd after they get it.
posted by mhum at 7:34 PM on October 9, 2014 [19 favorites]


The actual remarks are even worse than portrayed in the article. "I will give women who do not ask for a raise more work for, by definition, the same amount of pay." Woo. "Hopefully karma will take care of them because I sure as hell won't." Ok fine the second one was more of an interpretation than a paraphrase.

No one should expect anything but the highest level of borg from this man. Remember the big speech he gave when he got the job about the direction of Microsoft? The whole thing was about how he wants Microsoft to create products that will follow white-collar employees home, to the beach, to the bathroom etc. There were actual diagrams about how he was going to destroy the barrier between work life and personal life using Microsoft enterprise software.
posted by ProtoStar at 7:40 PM on October 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


The question is: what do you tell women who are uncomfortable or unwilling to ask for a raise or promotion?

Nadella's answer: [if you won't ask for a raise/promotion] in that case you have to have faith that the system will eventually recognize and reward you and you have to be comfortable waiting

Klawe's response: I disagree; buck up and ask for a raise, by not doing so I got screwed

(At least that's my most charitable interpretation.)
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:41 PM on October 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


I don't have time to watch the whole thing, so I'll take Klawe at her word when she says that this was one of the only things she disagreed with Nadella about. But, if I were in her place, I would hope to have had the presence of mind to follow-up Nadella's advice with "Well, have you ever asked for a raise? Do you think your career would have been better if you had never asked for a raise?"

Also, "all HR systems are long-term efficient, short-term inefficient" was one of things that "most influenced" him? I don't even know where to start with that bullshit.
posted by mhum at 7:48 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hmm yes perhaps unsurprisingly reading the entire context does make it sound somewhat less bad than the twitterati interpretation.

The correct answer to "what is your advice to women who don't feel comfortable asking for raises?" would have of course been "we need to fix the system so they feel comfortable or so that raises are not dependent on anyone asking for them."

But still, serious foot in mouth and the backtracking was absolutely necessary. At the same time, I have a bit more sympathy for off the cuff responses to questions like this than I would if it were a written statement. I speak in public frequently, and I know too well that sometimes the answer that you thought you were giving in your head was not actually 100% successfully conveyed by the meat brain you used to do it. Given the phrasing of the question, there was little room for error - had he answered "well they really need to ask for raises even if they feel uncomfortable!" I can envision criticism that "When asked about wage gap in tech, Nadella tells women to suck it up and lean in."
posted by modernnomad at 7:55 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Give the man a break, he's not from around here.

Wait what? Maybe I'm misreading, but if "here" is the US, I think he's been around here since the late 80's.
posted by naju at 7:59 PM on October 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


in that case you have to have faith that the system will eventually recognize and reward you and you have to be comfortable waiting

The history of the 21st century in America will be the history of our faith in the system dying.. Bit by Bit.

We should have maternity leave and stronger anti-discrimination laws. We don't, and with Republicans winning in the fall, we wont' for the foreseeable future.

But at least we'll have a fun screaming party on Twitter about it. Like I just did there lashing out against Republicans. Things should get better soon now.
posted by formless at 8:00 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's unfortunate that he directed his comment specifically to women, but I agree with the 'don't ask for a raise' philosophy in general. If your company isn't paying you what you're worth you'd be better off finding one that will.
posted by rocket88 at 8:05 PM on October 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Microsoft's corporate culture is entirely about producing bullshit for the express purpose of determining who is willing to perform the affective labor of swallowing the bullshit and then smiling and calling it delicious.

I can't not believe that everyone present in the room — Nadella and everyone listening — knew that this was a (very) thinly veiled way of saying that Microsoft will gladly fire women who ask for what they're worth. Microsoft's interest in this is clear: like, definitionally, Microsoft gets more labor for cheaper if they can convince their employees to work harder than they need to for less than they're worth. One way to convince employees to do this is by issuing threats — like this threat, issued against any woman who might ask for a raise — and then getting the employees to smilingly pretend that the threats aren't threats.

I mean, of course, duh, this isn't just a Microsoft problem, it's an American workplace culture problem. Microsoft's uniqueness is in their awkward nerdy tendency to play the "I'm going to threaten you while pretending not to threaten you, and you're going to pretend to overlook the threat and act happy" game so openly and obviously.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:07 PM on October 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


*clicks sell position*
posted by phaedon at 8:11 PM on October 9, 2014


Hasn't Microsoft been doing a lot of laying off lately to start with? The answer is reprehensible, but at the same time I'm not going to be asking the advice of the head of Microsoft on this sort of thing. I would far rather hear the advice of someone who actually has a reputation for cultivating a good culture for gender equity and for their talent generally.

I'm sure he thinks of Microsoft as a place where hard work gets rewarded automatically. I'm sure most people running companies think that of their companies. That seems to, by nature, make them the worst people to ask for advice on how to fix inequity. They should be the ones asking the question, not the ones giving the answer.
posted by Sequence at 8:21 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


This was just catastrophically terrible.

Karma? Really?

...(long pause)....(longer pause)...Wow. If I were unfortunate enough to work at MS, I think I might ask for a raise tomorrow morning.

Y'know, because Karma.

Asshole.
posted by aramaic at 8:24 PM on October 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm sure he thinks of Microsoft as a place where hard work gets rewarded automatically. I'm sure most people running companies think that of their companies.

Bullshit. They know exactly what they're doing.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:26 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Karma leads believers to blame people who are suffering for their suffering. It tells those in disfavored positions that their misfortune is their own fault. Hells. No.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:27 PM on October 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Hmm I guess I was wrong...
posted by bleep at 8:29 PM on October 9, 2014


More follow-up from NYT: Microsoft's Nadella Sets Off a Furor on Women’s Pay. Nadella's email to Microsoft employees is much more thorough than his tweet:
Toward the end of the interview, Maria asked me what advice I would offer women who are not comfortable asking for pay raises. I answered that question completely wrong. Without a doubt I wholeheartedly support programs at Microsoft and in the industry that bring more women into technology and close the pay gap. I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work. And when it comes to career advice on getting a raise when you think it’s deserved, Maria’s advice was the right advice. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.
Ok. Fair enough. Whether this statement comes from the heart or straight out of the PR department, the sentiments expressed seem fine. Damage control achieved, I guess?

But, I still wonder if we should take at face value his claim to be greatly influenced by the whole "long-term efficient, short-term inefficient" thing, which carries with it a bunch of problematic implications (e.g.: who cares if you're getting screwed over now because at some indeterminate point in the future, things will be made all A-OK by some magic, unstated mechanism of efficiency and equilibrium; see also, in the long-term we're all dead). And what about the implication that if not asking for a raise is good karma and an indicator of trustworthiness, then asking for a raise is bad karma and an indicator of untrustworthiness? There's still a lot to unpack here. I mean, I didn't get the sense that he was filibustering or mindlessly blabbering on there, Miss Teen South Carolina style, so I think it would be a little disingenuous to completely disavow his entire answer.
posted by mhum at 8:32 PM on October 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


here's Nadella's damage-control tweet which claims he was trying to say women don't need to ask for a raise to close the gender pay gap because that's a systemic bias issue that needs a general fix not a case-by-case raise fix (or at least that's how I interpret it, though it's unclear to me that this was indeed what he was originally saying).

and here's his damage-control email to Microsoft employees
posted by Bwithh at 8:38 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


mhum: I mean, I didn't get the sense that he was filibustering or mindlessly blabbering on there, Miss Teen South Carolina style, so I think it would be a little disingenuous to completely disavow his entire answer.

Yeah, pretty safe to file this one under "Kinsley gaffe."

Incidentally, I went to Microsoft's web site to see how much gender balance there is on their executive team / board of directors, and the page won't load (news.microsoft.com is timing out.) Looks like their media relations site is getting hammered.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:39 PM on October 9, 2014


The bit about HR being long-term efficient would have had my eyebrows above my actual head before he got to the rest. I'm sure some are. There are others run by people who have no idea what they are doing, and also enjoy fucking people over. There is nothing magical about human resources as a type of department that makes it efficient at anything.

I mean, even if you're thinking "HR is good at screwing over employees to benefit shareholders" I can tell you, a lot of HR departments aren't even that competent. Often because the CEOs won't pay for talented HR people either.

In general this guy is just a massive bag of douchery and he needs to shut his stupid face.
posted by emjaybee at 8:39 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Of course he walked it back after it didn't go over well. That's how trial balloons work.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:42 PM on October 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


LEAN OUT BITCHES
posted by klangklangston at 8:45 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Silly me, I thought being articulate, able to think on your feet, and a good representative of the company were core competencies for a CEO. Clearly not.

Hopefully it will turn into a Larry Summers-style debacle and he'll get the boot.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:47 PM on October 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


This thread exemplifies why modern feminism can't be taken seriously. The CEO tells a female board member at the Grace Hopper event that women have super powers and they should use them, and people are outraged? He's using karma as a metaphor to say that company culture rewards good work. And they do.

Do you people have any idea how well Microsoft treats its employees? The salaries are great, the stock options are good, the healthcare is fantastic, the retirement is decent, and there other, smaller perqs everywhere you look. You don't punch a clock and there lots of holidays. You work in a comfortable, safe office. The food is excellent. All of this applies to both men and women.

Yet all this whining about unfairness and suffering.
posted by king walnut at 8:50 PM on October 9, 2014


king walnut: This thread exemplifies why modern feminism can't be taken seriously.

Cool story, bro.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:53 PM on October 9, 2014 [59 favorites]


After watching the actual video of the event, I think this Metafilter story is outrageously misleading and disingenuous. It is the worst kind of tabloid garbage.

Pathetic.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 8:56 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Do you people have any idea how well Microsoft treats its employees? The salaries are great, the stock options are good, the healthcare is fantastic, the retirement is decent, and there other, smaller perqs everywhere you look

Do you have any idea that you're talking about a small subset of Microsoft employees?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:57 PM on October 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


The CEO tells a female board member at the Grace Hopper event that women have super powers and they should use them, and people are outraged?

Yes, exactly, because that clearly implies that the reason women are underpaid is that they aren't properly using those "super powers." That was the context of the question.
posted by dialetheia at 8:58 PM on October 9, 2014 [17 favorites]


This thread exemplifies why modern feminism can't be taken seriously. […]
Nice try, Satya Nadella.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:02 PM on October 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


My superpower is filing my nails.
posted by zennie at 9:03 PM on October 9, 2014


Do you people have any idea how well Microsoft treats its employees? The salaries are great, the stock options are good, the healthcare is fantastic, the retirement is decent, and there other, smaller perqs everywhere you look.

The stock options are generally worthless. A lot of options I'd worked hard for were underwater when I got a better offer from Google and quit some years ago. The food is bland and not free, overpriced even. The health insurance has been wildly slashed since the heydey and there are no onsite doctors. They killed the ESPP. It's constantly wearing working for a company that people hate and make fun of. The pay is nothing to write home about. Anyone decent can make more elsewhere. Currently everyone has the big axe of layoffs swinging over their head, which I'm sure does wonders for morale.
posted by w0mbat at 9:03 PM on October 9, 2014 [17 favorites]


Yet all this whining about unfairness and suffering. yet another man in a position of power telling his women underlings that they ought to shut up and be "team players".

Whine whine whine whine whine.
posted by rorgy at 9:05 PM on October 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


Microsoft's uniqueness is in their awkward nerdy tendency to play the "I'm going to threaten you while pretending not to threaten you, and you're going to pretend to overlook the threat and act happy" game so openly and obviously.

And they do it well. Douglas Coupland's Microserfs beautifully captures the corporate culture and loyalty. Not that Microsoft is unique in this regard. That's a big part (in addition to underlying sexism) of these gaffes that tech industry leaders keep falling into.

Do you people have any idea how well Microsoft treats its employees? The salaries are great, the stock options are good, the healthcare is fantastic, the retirement is decent, and there other, smaller perqs everywhere you look. You don't punch a clock and there lots of holidays. You work in a comfortable, safe office. The food is excellent. All of this applies to both men and women.

For full-time employees, maybe. For part-time or contract workers.. well... not so good.
posted by formless at 9:10 PM on October 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's constantly wearing working for a company that people hate and make fun of

On the other hand, it's super fun to watch the bluebadgers pretend to love their crappy windows phones.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:23 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The salaries are great, the stock options are good, the healthcare is fantastic, the retirement is decent,

Yeah, a solid half of my friends circle works or worked at Microsoft, myself and my husband included, and this is just not true any more. You don't clock in, true -- but you also don't clock out; I spoke to a woman at Microsoft just yesterday who said that even on her days off, she usually puts in 2-3 hours of work to keep up. Another friend of mine who works at MS leaves work at 4:30 so she can pick her kids up from daycare by 5:15 and be eating dinner at 6, but she's back on her computer working again by 9:30 and doesn't go to bed until 1. The forced-distribution review system was toxic, the expectations are horrendous -- I saw a manager try to get an employee to stay at work to push for an upcoming ship deadline after her water had broken.

I made a lot of good friends at Microsoft. Most of them work elsewhere now and are a lot happier.
posted by KathrynT at 10:50 PM on October 9, 2014 [17 favorites]


A friend of mine who was at the event has been tweeting how torn she is by agreeing with the outrage, but also concerned that this backlash, along with that against the Male Allies panel, is just going to further discourage men from participating in this conversation, which is unfortunate. And I agree with her. So in light of that, as a woman working in tech who unashamedly considers herself a modern whatever-this-current-wave-is feminist, here is what I think:

(1) Male allies are awesome, and we need and want more of them. But agreeing that women aren't second-class citizens shouldn't make you a special snowflake worthy of sitting on a dais to bestow your wisdom upon the female masses. It should make you, y'know, a decent human being. I consider myself a strong ally to my LGBTQ friends, but damned if I think that qualifies me to be on any panels or telling anyone else what they ought to do. So while I like the idea of the "male allies" panel in theory, I think "finding some CEOs who don't think women suck" doesn't really guarantee a quality discussion.

(2) By the same token, I think the panel organizers need to be more clear about what they're looking for. "Give us your enlightened CEO opinions on what we should do differently" maybe isn't the best way to present the topic to them for discussion. I would have wanted to hear about times they observed, or even inadvertently took part in/contributed to, sexism. I want to hear how and when they recognized it, and what they did about it, and what they've done differently since then. How do they suggest other men recognize/handle these situations? What do THEY wish was different about the system? The Lean In stuff can come later; what is THEIR experience with sexism? If they're allies, how did they become allies? What opened their eyes to this stuff? (Protip: I agree with the bingo card. "I had a daughter" isn't really the best answer to that in this context, IMO. It's a totally valid answer for someone's personal journey, but not really the best answer for a high-profile panelist asked to participate in this kind of event)

(3) Yeah, dudes, we love you, but you're gonna have to tread lightly. I'm careful not to make broad statements about racism around my non-white friends, or about homosexuality around my non-straight friends, even though in my head I am a totally awesome person who is 100% on their side. Their experiences are not mine. Even were I to be on a panel as an ally or something, I'd focus more on discussing what my friends had experienced and what I learned from that, than to make statements about superpowers or about how there's nothing delibrately toxic or bro-y about tech culture or whatever. Agreeing with a social issue doesn't magically make you always correct and immune from criticism in what you say. So yeah, I'm really sorry for those who put themselves out there and get jumped all over, but we all have to tread lightly even in support of people lower on the privilege scale than we are.

(4) Learn from these comments. Learn from that bingo board! I read it and lol-ed and completely agreed that it's getting tiresome to hear a lot of those statements! Like I said, things like "I had a daughter and it opened my eyes" is totally valid for an individual's personal journey toward understanding social issues like this, but we've moved on beyond a lot of that stuff being groundbreaking to where it's become the bare minimum of empathy and understanding. My understanding is that some of the ally panelists then sat down in other talks and later on had an informal panel where women could share their experiences and ask them questions. AMAZING! That is SO the right thing to do! People complain that feminists are just bitching and aren't clear about what they want - yes we are! We want to tell you! Listen to us and learn from the reality we experience and act on what you can!

And also, hearing "women have super powers" does NOT read as a compliment. This is like when the 55 year old sales guy visiting my company laughingly talks about his wife is so much smarter than him and he always thinks women are smarter and run the world. Hi, feminists don't actually want to be "better", and we don't want half-assed joking comments about how you couldn't put your pants on in the morning if it weren't for women helping you get your head out of your ass. Women do not have super powers. Men do not have super powers. We have equal capabilities we would like to contribute to the world, and we'd like to be recognized equally for it in return. Condescending flattery is unnecessary.
posted by olinerd at 11:40 PM on October 9, 2014 [51 favorites]


Bring back the sweaty guy who used to shout 'DEVELOPERS!'
posted by colie at 12:02 AM on October 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, under the sweaty guy, Microsoft ran a stacked rank system for issuing promotions and raises, which tended to hurt women who put team above pushing their own individual accomplishments, more than men.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:28 AM on October 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


speak in public frequently, and I know too well that sometimes the answer that you thought you were giving in your head was not actually 100% successfully conveyed by the meat brain you used to do it.

Yeah, but it's called Media Training. I've delivered it, I've coached senior execs before panels and meetings like this where they were representing the company, and I've drilled it into them. Someone who is the CEO of a huge multinational should, if they are doing their jobs, never never make a dumb, off-the-cuff comment like that We work damned hard to beat it out of them in the trainings, and the briefings, and the post-mortems.

It's an appalling failure that he didn't instinctually rebel from saying anything that did not reflect HR and Corporate policy. That he felt comfortable enough to air this dead shit opinion. Appalling failure.
posted by smoke at 2:38 AM on October 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's an appalling failure that he didn't instinctually rebel from saying anything that did not reflect HR and Corporate policy. That he felt comfortable enough to air this dead shit opinion. Appalling failure.

So, there's two ways to approach this problem. One way is to treat it as a PR failure, and to say "ah, the CEO didn't get the proper media training, and as such he's failing to correctly mouth corporate policy." The second way is to view the problem as something that goes deeper than PR and corporate policy both; to say that the problem is with how the company is actually run, rather than with how the company says it's run.

Not that I'm particularly important, but as a matter of personal policy I don't think I'll take that first view — the one where I pretend that Microsoft just has a problem with PR rather than arguing that the existence of this company makes the world worse — unless I am paid a huge amount of money to do so.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:38 AM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Silly me, I thought being articulate, able to think on your feet, and a good representative of the company were core competencies for a CEO. Clearly not.

Why would you think that, based on media coverage of major corporations in recent decades? The core skills for CEOs are tallness, aggressiveness, lack of shame and, from my own professional observations, sounding extremely confident while not actually saying anything and being able to intimidate others in boardroom meetings.
posted by aught at 6:39 AM on October 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


Oh god, I watched this unfold nearly real-time on twitter thanks to some folks I know at the GHC. In general, it sounds like most of the male speakers doing their thing were kind of a train wreck. I'm sure they all meant well, but, wow, naive and generally uninformed on the topic, from the sound of things.

king walnut: Yes. MSFT does a lot to treat its employees well. I particularly miss the health insurance. But at least while I was there, there was an unwritten but widespread expectation that taking maternity leave meant you were guaranteed the low score when performance reviews came around, and I personally know women who left msft for Boeing (of all places) because Boeing had child care.

I haven't worked there for years, but there was a whole lot of sexism there when I did.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:09 AM on October 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


olinerd: "And also, hearing "women have super powers" does NOT read as a compliment. This is like when the 55 year old sales guy visiting my company laughingly talks about his wife is so much smarter than him and he always thinks women are smarter and run the world. [...] Condescending flattery is unnecessary."

I think his statement is even dumber when we try to figure out exactly what he thinks this superpower is. It seems like it's either the mere ability to not ask for a raise (a.k.a. shutting the fuck up) or the ability to reap the karma after not asking for a raise which, as he strongly implies, is actually a property of the system and not of the employee so it's not even really the woman's superpower.
posted by mhum at 7:53 AM on October 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


"This thread exemplifies why modern feminism can't be taken seriously."

Your comment exemplifies why your views on women and sexism can't be taken seriously.
posted by klangklangston at 8:13 AM on October 10, 2014 [19 favorites]


There is one and only one way to get a raise at a large company I have ever observed working in action.

1.) get another job offer

2.) submit resignation letter

3.) agree to un-resign for more money, if they counter offer.

There is no way to get them to give you a raise unless you already have a toe out the door. They have a script for every single other possible scenario.
posted by bukvich at 8:46 AM on October 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Anytime I hear a CEO talk about equal pay for equal work, I am reminded I work for money, and I'm gonna milk that guy for as much money as I can possibly get because I sure as hell know he is, and I'm aiming to get at least 1/8 of what he gets, cause he sure as hell doesn't work 8 times harder then me.

This is Microsoft, one of the kings of capitalism. They took what they could get. And they want to tell me about fair? Fuck fair, I want mine. They aren't a charity.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:23 AM on October 10, 2014 [4 favorites]




They have a script for every single other possible scenario.

Including #3.

You'll get your raise, they'll quietly find a replacement, and once that replacement is trained you'll be out the door for being a non-team player.

#3 should always be "Move on."
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:44 PM on October 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


"...and I'm aiming to get at least 1/8 of what [the CEO] gets, cause he sure as hell doesn't work 8 times harder then me."

A Bank of America employee just had the same thought and asked the CEO for a $10,000 raise. And he copied all 200,000 of his coworkers with the request.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:00 PM on October 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


That, I think, might be one of the additional superpowers that, quite frankly, women who don't ask for a raise have. Because that's good karma. It'll come back because somebody's going to know that's the kind of person that I want to trust. That's the kind of person that I want to really give more responsibility to. And in the long-term efficiency things catch up. And I wonder, and I'm not saying that's the only approach, whether taking the long-term helps solve for what might be perceived as this uncomfortable thing of "hey, am I getting paid right? Am I getting rewarded right?"

This is even worse than the original shitty statement.

'I expect the women I work with to sacrifice themselves and will judge them poorly if they acknowledge that they work for money. Also, I don't give a shit about the fact that even an instant's reflection on the history of the equal pay movement proves that long-term efficiency is not a thing.'
posted by winna at 1:59 PM on October 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


What an idiot. Microsoft, WTF?!
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:30 PM on October 10, 2014


So he's saying women should be good and nice and hope to reincarnate into men. That way, in their next lives, they'll get the competitive wages they needed.
posted by clearlydemon at 3:09 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Everyone has already broken down the foolishness of hoping everything comes out due to "karma," but I think an important piece is missing from the conversation.

When it comes to salary, if you are being screwed NOW, you're already being screwed FOR THE REST OF YOUR CAREER.

Every raise will be calculated at some percentage of your salary. Every new job's offer will be carefully calculated by the new HR department --- at some percentage of your salary. If you are so much as making 1% less than you deserve right now, if you can leave: go. If you can ask for and get a raise: delay no longer.

In scenario A, where you start 5k less than scenario B -- and all future raises merely keep up with inflation in both scenarios -- that 5K less per year today will mean TENS of thousands less per year your final year of employment (assuming you're retiring at least a couple decades away). Don't wait. The law of compounded interest is screwing you over.
posted by chimaera at 3:27 PM on October 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


KathrynT: I saw a manager try to get an employee to stay at work to push for an upcoming ship deadline after her water had broken.

How do we kill this attitude dead? seriously. This sounds like EA with their "crunch mode" and so many other companies. I realized that every single fucking person i know whose done any sort of dev, or devops, or whatever has stories like this of stuff their either saw or experienced. I think of the times that i walked in to the home office of an acquaintances small company looking for a friend and found another friend there fucking coding at 1am while on a skype call. Not because it was an emergency, but because deadlines and #yolo and whatever.

So many places bake this deep in to the culture to the point that coworkers start socially enforcing the ridiculousness in a stockholm syndrome like way of "oh, well taylor wasn't working until 3am like the rest of us so obviously they're a slacker", or tattling on eachother for not working another 15 hour day or whatever the fuck.

And that's not even getting in to the should-be-criminal "second shift" of getting back on the computer at 9:30pm like you mentioned

A lot of the principles of the unfair labor practices progressive people love to talk shit on and shine light on in china and developing countries we outsource manufacturing to exist right here, at a lot of tech companies. Fuck, if you remove the physical labor part a lot of this shit is even more egregious than what UPS does to students.

And i haven't a clue how we start killing it. But this guy making an ass of himself is just the tip of the iceberg of why companies like this are fucking terrible.
posted by emptythought at 5:51 PM on October 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


We fix it with unions, usually.
posted by klangklangston at 6:04 PM on October 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Douglas Coupland's Microserfs beautifully captures the corporate culture and loyalty.

LOL. That was written almost 20 years ago when the stock was on its way up and up and it was the happening place to work. It's nothing like that now, hasn't been for a long time.
posted by w0mbat at 6:44 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


How do we kill this attitude dead? seriously. This sounds like EA with their "crunch mode" and so many other companies. I realized that every single fucking person i know whose done any sort of dev, or devops, or whatever has stories like this of stuff their either saw or experienced. I think of the times that i walked in to the home office of an acquaintances small company looking for a friend and found another friend there fucking coding at 1am while on a skype call. Not because it was an emergency, but because deadlines and #yolo and whatever.

These behaviors are symptoms of an underlying disease — and that disease, best as I know how to articulate it, is the conflation of "passion" and today's strain of delusional entrepreneurialism. But if you want to understand where it all comes from, you need to understand that we're in the middle of a drastic sea change with regards to how capitalist institutions function. The fundamental problem here is that people are trying to make the cultural landscape of the 21st century conform to the 20th century's peculiarly delusional outlook.

Let me elaborate. The 1900s, for America and for much of the rest of the world, was defined by corporate entities: nominally-privatized institutions which were nonetheless able to extend their reach globally and often-inescapably. To this day, a staggering majority of what we consume is owned by six ultra-conglomerates, each of which branch out into a number of still-bafflingly enormous umbrella companies. These corporations didn't eliminate national boundaries, eradicate governments or royalty, or change the lines of the earth as we've been taught to view them, but nonetheless a new class of superpowerful industrialists emerged, many of whom were not "born into their station" per se (which is not to say that they didn't each benefit from massive amounts of privilege/luck/yadda yadda). This mass industrialization affected everything from supermarkets to education to the mass media, and it continues to define swathes of our culture so enormous that none of us are capable of imagining a world without these conglomerates' and these industrialists' influence.

I am not prepared to call this an entirely awful thing — it was a step towards placing the power over the planet in more rather than fewer hands, and I'd rather have the Fortune 500 list than, say, King Henry the Eighth. But this change happened in lock-step with the nationalization/globalization of our culture, so that those few entities suddenly had an even more unilateral power over the nations they existed across than could have possibly happened before vehicular travel and broadcast media. It also detached those entities from all sorts of notions of "honor" and "nobility", for better and for worse; I doubt those ideals were adhered to rigorously even before, but certainly there is a ton of confusion surrounding those concepts today.

The computer introduces an even more radical societal change than the advent of the car or air travel or media broadcasts: it gives individuals the ability to construct unique abstract and functional spaces for themselves, spaces in which our actions are only constrained by the tools which we've devised to act with. The Internet made those spaces readily collective and shareable (hi, MetaFilter!); mobile computing lets us take those spaces wherever we go; the upcoming advent of physical computing and the "Internet of things" (ugh awful phrasing) will let us realize those abstractions in the physical environments surrounding us. It turns the globally-interconnected space created in the 20th century into a space in which each of us have voices, rather than just receptors. Culturally speaking, this is a revolution which has been ongoing for three decades now, and at a faster and faster pace every year. We are only a slim sliver of the way into realizing just what this means for the societies we live in; even as of 2014, we ain't seen nothing yet.

There're all sorts of problems that come about when you give people the freedom to define their own worlds and cultures, to to speak, but let's pretend that those don't exist right now, because they're not germane to your question. The real important takeaway is that, yes — it is possible to redefine entire cultures just by broadcasting a relatively simple software application that enough people want to use. YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat... if an idea takes off, it takes off in a big way, more rapidly than you'd have ever thought possible even a decade ago. (Can you believe YouTube is only approximately a decade old? I sure as hell can't.)

Over time, this is going to allow us to create all sorts of specialized microcultures that we probably literally can't envision at the moment, and in fact this is already happening (most apparently in gaming, IMO — just look at League of Legends, EVE Online, and Minecraft, and the astonishingly rich cultures that have emerged out of all those in a handful of years). But your average venture capitalist isn't trying to be a visionary, in the sense that they're radically reimagining how society could function with this new tool at its center. They want to look approximately six months ahead, and invest in creating a monolithic corporation that will gain Google or Facebook-like powers over society — they want to have a stake in the next big 20th century-style conglomerate, and in getting to radically redefine our society the way General Electric or ABC once did.

There's a lot of talk about a new tech bubble, and my prediction is that it'll pop the second that investors realize these shifts are only going to start happening faster and faster, and that individual "disruptions" are in fact far less significant than they appear to be on the surface. Right now, your Ubers and your Snapchats look incredibly exciting, because they seem to shift entire social structures overnight, but what VCs haven't quite grokked is that this state of flux is going to become the new norm, as people gain an extraordinary amount of power over which systems they do and don't want to opt into, and their preferences will shift rapidly, perhaps even daily. Google and Facebook and Amazon and YouTube only became as ultra-pervasive as they are because there was no fundamental framework for the various services which they've provided; each one of them is struggling to prevent such a framework for coming into existence, because they know that as soon as consumers are given the freedom not to use but to develop, to create structures which are as expansive as those platforms but far more customizable, and at no cost (economic or effortwise) to themselves, then they won't jump ship so much as they'll let all these would-be ships dissolve back into the endless churning ocean.

This is my suspicion, anyway; the huge corporate structures that dominated the 20th century for lack of a technical solution will no longer find it feasible to exist as they once did, and as our level of computational saturation rises, we'll stop needing to rely on any one solution. The future is in customer satisfaction, not in simple service offers; the second competition is possible in a field, it will happen, and fiercely. The tech bubble will pop as VCs realize there's no reason to throw millions of dollars at a company in the hopes that it will net you billions when it is eventually acquired.

At the moment, however, that epiphany has not been reached; every venture capitalist invests in tech companies under the pretense that said company might grow to be the next Google, or at worst the next YouTube. Almost all of what these companies do, however, is technically extraordinarily easy, at least before scaling; if somebody knows what you're doing they can beat you to the punch if they pull a couple of all-nighters (or invest in a team of coders to pull all-nighters for them, whatever). What matters the most is mindshare, and mindshare's hard to achieve when most forms of advertising are crippled and slowly dying; this leads to a panicked frenzy of people trying to make sure that their particular product hits the billion-dollar acquisition point before anybody else can catch up and make the market worthless.

So there's a huge amount of pressure on these teams and a whole heck of a lot is at stake; the pressure is artificially-induced and based on the fact that "what's at stake" is wholly illusory, but those stakes are what let start-ups get their millions of dollars in funding, so once you have enough money to hire a staff you're already at the point where you sort of need to work them as hard as possible in order to realize your delusions of grandeur. At this point, the most optimal strategy is to see exactly how many people you can get sacrificing their lives for your cause for as little money as possible, because, again, there is no "realistic need" in which you need X people doing Y amount of work, there is only an endless gaping chasm between where you are now and the point at which you stand to make millions or billions of dollars for your relatively generic idea. The more the merrier!

I get the sense that the same thing happens at game-dev companies like EA, whose products are so mass-distributed that if you work on one of their big franchises you're practically creating a cultural landmark, and at more mainstream tech companies like Microsoft and Apple. And here's where the conflation of entrepreneurialism and "passion" comes in. Because in theory, the only way you could possibly maintain this kind of insane work ethic without being horrifically damaged for your efforts would be if doing whatever the thing is that you're doing were an actual obsession of yours.

Now, here's a point at which I want to say that it's awesome to be an obsessive, and that I am very happy with my own tendency to fixate on particular ideas/challenges to the exclusion of everything else in my life. It's just the way that I'm built. I will stay up until four in the morning trying to get an essay or a melody right; I occasionally lock myself into bathrooms or take a walk with a notebook or a computer because something's come to mind that I don't want to let go, and for me that's because I see a real beauty in the things I work on, one that I love with, yeah, a real passion. I don't think everybody's like that, but I do think that people can be like that without deluding themselves. I suspect that many founders of these companies, and even many of the people who work at these places, feel the same way. Some of them will say with a straight face that their work is their life, and while that horrifies people for whom work is a 9-to-5-type deal, I don't think that the people who say those things are trying to bullshit anybody.

But the problem is that these obsessive "passionate" types are inflicting their own mindset upon everybody who tries to work for them. They create environments in which it is mandated that you either feel this "passionately" for what you do, or you have to fake it for the sake of fitting in. And those environments are increasingly becoming the norm. For these particular fields — game development very notoriously — it is hard to find workplaces where you don't have to treat your work this way, and in a job market as unhealthy as the one we're in now, that means people are being forced into fucked-up work environments that operate along some really delusional and outdated thinking.

The simple fact is that not every company that makes a video game or an app is going to wind up being the Ford or the GE of whatever field they happen to be in. There're a lot of companies that would be better off making products for a couple thousand people who'll each pay money for whatever that company is making, either growing at a healthy pace or sticking to a stable, workable size, creating a work environment in which the right number of people put in a healthy number of hours making sure that whatever they're working on does the thing that it's supposed to do by the time people get their hands on the product. But that's not what companies today aim for. They see an exciting, turbulent cultural landscape, and assume that they could make unreasonable amounts of money trying to take advantage of it. And that's how investors choose to spend their money, and that's how founders go about seeking investments for their product, and that's how employees are theoretically chosen and employed to whatever various ends.

This attitude will end when enough employers in this field stop acting according to that delusion, and if the bubble that people've been saying for a year or two is close to bursting ever does eventually burst, it will hopefully bring back a sense of normalcy that is much-needed in these fields. But at the same time, I doubt this mentality will be going away any time soon. It's too much of a culture-shock for too many people who've been raised with a business attitude that better pertains to a dying century. If Apple still forces their employees to be on call Sunday evenings and at 4am on workdays because that's when their overenthusiastic bosses get to work, rest assured that a range of other companies will attempt to make that their own policy as well. And the landscape is still such that a group of 8-10 dedicated people can make a huge cultural dent if they work themselves hard enough, which means the environment currently favors people who've got the crazed empire-building mentality that these days is all the rage; I don't see that stopping any time soon.

In the meantime, there's indie/DIY culture, which is generally laid-back and more genuinely enthusiastic, but which isn't nearly large enough to kill the corporate mindset. There's also "getting the hell out of whichever fields are infested by these sorts of jackass employers", which may or may not be feasible depending on your outlook. I'd like to think our governments could pass bills preventing this sort of abuse, or at least entitling workers to the sorts of rights which would let them protest this sort of thing on their own time, but to be honest things are looking grim on the political front these days.
posted by rorgy at 7:20 PM on October 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


This attitude will end when enough employers in this field stop acting according to that delusion, and if the bubble that people've been saying for a year or two is close to bursting ever does eventually burst, it will hopefully bring back a sense of normalcy that is much-needed in these fields. But at the same time, I doubt this mentality will be going away any time soon.
You're discussing an American problem as if it's a global problem. We know the solution to abusive employment conditions, because it already exists on the other side of the Atlantic. We need:
  1. Tight government oversight of employment practices
  2. Actual enforcement of employment law
  3. Strong unions willing to strike, and to engage in sympathy strikes, at the drop of a hat
  4. workplace cultures that shame people for working extra hours
In short, it's not that we need to wait for our corporate masters to learn that the system of capitalism has changed in this complex technologically driven way, it's that we need to seize the power we need to defend ourselves against their attempts to ruin our lives.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:58 AM on October 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


In a system where the government is being slowly and systematically rendered incapable of acting, employment law has so many loopholes in it you can wrap a belt around it, and the public has been taught to hate and fear unions, your solution sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Genuine question: by what method do you think we ought to "seize the power we need to defend ourselves"?
posted by rorgy at 9:33 AM on October 11, 2014


Goon squads.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:42 AM on October 11, 2014


I like the cut of your jib.
posted by rorgy at 9:43 AM on October 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


As Mao almost said, power emerges from the barrel of a goon.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:19 AM on October 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Local news posted a 15-minute interview with Klawe about her take. In short, she says, "He flubbed." Granted, she's on the MS board, and—at least in my experience with her as my college president—she's pretty good at the PR game, so maybe she's cushioning her opinion.
posted by Maecenas at 1:26 PM on October 11, 2014


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