Working for Microsoft you tend to develop thick skin because of all the stuff people say to you; insults, imputation, indictment & bad mouthing. I guess you could argue that it comes with the territory, it's par for the course or something you inherit from the history of working for a successful company.
In the face of adversity I tend just to smile and try and have a conversation with the person. If in a large audience the heckler normally embarrasses themselves simply through the act of heckling - there's no response needed.
What does wind me up is faceless, anonymous criticism and personal attack that demonstrate a real lack of spine and admission that the act of commenting on a blog of an employee in such a way is in fact wrong. I'm referring to comments that my colleague Darren has been enduring over the past few days.
Fair play to Darren for allowing this abuse to go out on his blog, I think in itself it's a powerful message of defiance and transparency. Yes, this is what we have to deal with and yes, I will be coming into work tomorrow to try and change the perception of people like that.
I've only worked for Microsoft for a year and a half and to borrow a phrase from my previous employer's co-founder, Robert Noyce; “Don’t be encumbered by the past, go out and do something wonderful!”. I'm too interested in the cool stuff Microsoft do to pay attention to all the history and stuff that surrounds the company like a mist of FUD. I'm here to shout about the stuff that excites me, the technology. Mr. Noyce said go and do something wonderful, so tomorrow that's what Darren and I are going to do.
What would you do?
I should have been more clear about what I was referring to as "personal attack". Someone wrote this comment on Darren's blog:
"Got your little feelings hurt? Good. But a far cry from good enough. The day they put you on the electric chair, I'm going to watch and applaud for the justice done."