10 years ago I was interviewing for a job at Microsoft

10 years ago today I was celebrating my 25th birthday. I was also on the Microsoft campus here in Redmond interviewing for a full-time position to run the company’s Windows blog as a Communications Manager on the Windows PR Team. This was my dream job. I completed my interview loop shortly after lunch (I was interviewed by 3 very awesome people).  By mid-afternoon – I got the call from my recruiter that I got the job and outlined my offer. I accepted on the spot. I didn’t care about how much I would be making or whether they would pay for relocation since I was living in Oregon at the time. I had been telling people I wanted to work for Microsoft since the 4th grade. And this was the moment I achieved that. The above picture is the visitor pass I wore when I went through the interview loop 10 years ago. I framed it and have kept it here in my office. It reminds me of how lucky I am to be working at Microsoft today. I literally STILL have my dream job! 

My official start-date was on November 3rd, 2008. So much has happened in the last 10 years. I’m planning to do a follow-up blog post highlighting my most favorite experiences working at Microsoft to-date that I hope to publish on November 3rd to celebrate my official 10 years at Microsoft. 

Crafting my story and building my personal brand

Spin Your Tale

This month, I did a small “reboot” of my blog here in an effort to redefine my personal brand. People know “Brandon LeBlanc” as the guy who works on the Windows Insider Program at Microsoft that also used to run the Windows Blog. A large part of my personal brand is tied to Microsoft – which is ok because I’m more than happy to admit I’m a self-professed Microsoft fanboy. But there’s more to “Brandon LeBlanc” than just Microsoft. I also care about other things – ranging from what Ford is doing with their car line-up to the in-development new Batman movie to the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies as just some examples. I also care about equality in the workplace and space exploration. This is where I can talk about all that stuff. This is where I can craft MY STORY and be in control of driving my personal brand.

What really motivated me to do this little reboot of my personal brand through my blog was my manager Dona Sarkar. She has a huge passion for helping others develop their own personal brand in addition to putting a lot of effort into maintaining her own – independently of her job as the leader of the Windows Insider Program. Matter a fact – Dona just recently released a brand new book called Spin Your Tale which talks about how you can craft and control your story which is the thing that leads to your brand. I highly recommend buying her book.

Get busy crafting your story and building your personal brand. And watch me craft and build my own!

Frustrating online dating experience

I’ve been divorced for about 2 years now and I’ve dated a few people since the divorce was finalized. My last relationship was awesome but I called it off as I wasn’t quite feeling the connection on my end due to some things I needed to figure out on my own. So I took some time off from trying to date to figure that out. This was a few months ago. Recently, I’ve jumped back onto the dating apps – primarily Bumble and Tinder to casually look at meeting new people. I’m an introvert. And there’s the so-called “Seattle Freeze”. So it’s a bit difficult for me to meet women. The dating apps help with that. So that’s really my dating life in a nutshell. I don’t normally write about my dating life but wanted to vent. Who knows if I will actually post this (Update – I did.).

Up until two days ago, I had been messaging back and forth with a woman I connected with from Bumble. We hit it off (or it appeared we did at the time) and decided to move from messaging via the Bumble app to texting each other after exchanging phone numbers. We texted each other all day one day asking lots of questions and in general getting to know each other more. We even exchanged Instagram accounts which gives more insight into the kind of person I was. She even followed me and gave me permission to follower her (her Instagram account was locked down). I was going on vacation to Arizona but told her I wanted to meet up when I got back and she also wanted to meet up. The very next day – things were completely different. Texts were short and pointed. It felt like I was getting the cold shoulder. I asked if anything was wrong and she told me she was just at work. So naturally, I left her alone since she was at work. We had texted while she was at work the day before. But I still wanted to be respectful. Another day passed and I texted “Happy Friday” since it was Friday but I heard nothing back from her. I hesitated to reach out as I didn’t want to seem too clingy. I opened up the Bumble app and noticed she un-matched us. Then I noticed she un-followed my Instagram account. I still had permission to see her Instagram though. Things felt weird. So I texted her and asked if we were still on the same page about getting to know each other. She finally responded with a “not interested” message. I thanked her for her response but I am pretty sure I was blocked by then and she removed me from her Instagram. So that was that.

I totally get that in the process of exchanging messages with people, things can result in someone changing their mind about whether or not a match on a dating app is actually a good match. That’s kind of how the process works before you end up meeting in real life. But I’m frustrated with how things went down here.

First,  things went from seemingly really good to not good at all overnight with no explanation. I read and re-read my messages to try and figure out if I said anything wrong and nothing stood out. So I was really confused.

Second, it appeared that she never really intended to text me back that she had changed her mind and was no longer interested. She un-followed my Instagram and un-matched us on Bumble. It was only when I texted her asking point-blank if we were on the same page that she responded. She was just going to disappear – or “ghost” me.

Oh well. I’m frustrated but I wish her well. I just think I deserved more of an explanation.