Microsoft Employees Go On Strike, Demand Reduced Salaries

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, February 2, 2002

from the okay-so-maybe-they're-not-all-evil dept.

REDMOND, WA -- Several hundred programmers walked off their jobs at Microsoft Headquarters on Friday to protest their shoddy public image. "My friends all think I'm a servant of Satan because I get my paycheck from Microsoft," explained Microserf Eric Eshleman. "If I didn't make so much money, I'd have more of a backbone to shout 'No!' when my supervisor demands that I include some new virus-delivery feature in Outlook."

The striking programmers demand salary cuts, less benefits, and zero stock options in addition to their own multi-billion dollar public relations campaign. Their labor union, the Brotherhood Of Programmers Sick Of Being Called Evil, hopes to get some face time with Microsoft executives and touch base on reaching a proactive agreement leveraging the latest innovatives in PR to produce a synergistic worldwide buzzword-enhanced advertising campaign that showcases Microsoft associates as enlightened engineers instead of morally bankrupt bastards bent on world domination.

"Back in the day, the Microsoft Marketing Department was able to hoodwink millions of people into upgrading to DOS 7... er, Windows 95. Why can't they do the same for us?" asked Diego Rupiper, Solitaire and Freecell Project Manager. "I want to be able to attend a party and proudly say 'I work for Microsoft' without worrying about being ambushed by a posse of Linux or Mac zealots. I want to be able to attend a family reunion and boast about my Microsoft employment without everybody asking for my help troubleshooting all these weird Windows problems they keep having... But right now I have to lie about my job. I can't keep living this deception forever!"

Earlier today, about 150 strikers formed a picket line near the front entrance to Bill Gates' mansion. They carried signs saying "Hell no we're not going to Hell", "I want to be able to sleep at night", "Why does the public hate us so much?" and "I'm fed up with ethical dilemmas".

Programmers weren't the only picketers in attendance. One anonymous accountant told us off the record, "I have nightmares every night that Microsoft will become the next Enron. I've seen the numbers. I keep telling myself everything will be okay. Everything will be okay. Everything will be okay. Everything will be okay... Maybe if I repeat that long enough I'll forget about all those accounting irregularities I've encountered."

A Microsoft lawyer also showed up at the protest. "Everybody hates me," he said. "Even my old law school friend who was killed in a car wreck while chasing an ambulance gets more respect than I do. Most people rank 'Microsoft lawyer' right up there with Hitler and Osama on the Evilness Scale. I can't take it any more. Either Microsoft is going to clean up its act or I'm becoming a used car salesman. At least then I would have some respect from my friends and I wouldn't have to work for a company convicted of felonious anti-trust charges."

It's not clear how the company will respond to the strike. Explained one industry observer who happened to be on the scene for an interview, "If Microsoft starts paying their employees less, then they'll have more freedom to criticize management decisions knowing they can leave and get paid even more at another company. Moreover, if you strip away the unethical, anti-competitive part of the company, what's left? Microsoft can't live on its software 'quality' alone. Finally, the Microsoft Marketing Department can work miracles, but casting Microsoft programmers in a positive light will be nearly impossible. A recent poll shows that 85% of Americans admire Microsoft for its success and huge profits, but 82% also despise Microsoft for its crappy products. That's a huge barrier to overcome."

Microsoft stock traded slightly lower during after-hours trading. Enron stock held steady at 1e-15 cents per share, only 1% lower than Humorix (Nasdaq: FAUX) stock.

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