Back in 2009, after Microsoft went through a big round of layoffs, I visited the Goodwill a short drive from the Redmond campus and found a huge number of second-hand Microsoft shirts — many of them donated by former employees trying to rid their closets of any reminders of the company.
Microsoft went through multiple rounds of layoffs this year, totaling 18,000 people worldwide, but when I recently visited the same Goodwill, I didn’t find nearly the volume of old shirts as I did a few years ago. Maybe Microsoft has cut back on its internal usage of promotional shirts?
At any rate, one former employee is still very ready to move on, apparently: Someone is selling a 10-year Microsoft Service Award — a 9-inch tall crystal trophy — for $150 on the Microsoft section of LiztEZ, a Seattle-area startup that operates classifieds sites for co-workers at a variety of companies. It appears that the same person is also selling a 5-year Microsoft Service Award.
“Got a chipped crystal but don’t want to pay over $250 to get it replaced? Lucky for you I’m selling one for $150 bucks. Perfect condition,” the listing reads, going on to explain, “I’m no longer an employee and decided to shed items from my house. I thought this would be nicer than throwing it in the garbage.”
Well, that’s certainly true, but the fact that someone is selling a service award is highly unusual, and it’s getting lots of attention on Facebook: “Seriously, who sells their service award? That’s kinda messed up,” writes one person.
For the record, the seller is at least putting in some controls, noting on the listing for the 5-year award that the buyer will need to show a Microsoft blue badge to be eligible to purchase. The seller isn’t identified in the listing, but we’ve contacted the person through LiztEZ and will update this post if we hear back.
Microsoft employees have a long tradition of using internal classifieds to buy and sell items with co-workers. LiztEZ notes that its Microsoft classifieds portal is growing rapidly, with about 5,000 users so far.