Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Team Got Me

It's a tradition at Microsoft that when someone leaves for a while, their office is vandalized in one way or another.  Sometimes it is something big like moving the office into the hall or covering it in post-it notes.  Other times, it's something more subtle.  For me, it was subtle.  I returned from a short trip to California and all seemed well in my office.  Then I heard it.  A short high pitched squeal.  Almost as if one of my monitors was not quite in sync.  Seemingly every 15-20 minutes the same noise or something similar but shorter pierced the room.  I tried to localize the sound but it was difficult because it was so short and came unexpectedly.  After 2 days (much of which I wasn't in my office), I had it narrowed down to one corner but hadn't found it yet.  I'd looked inside the computers, underneath the desk, in the legs of the desk.  Still nothing.  I knew it was something my team had done because of their reactions.  When I was in 1:1s with them and the sound happened, they ignored it.  Still, I hadn't been able to figure out quite what it was.  This evening they revealed it to me.  I think I would have found it within another day or so but it was hidden well.  It turns out they had put a small circuit board called an Annoy-a-tron under the leg of my desk.  It puts out a 2 kHz or 12 kHz sound at random intervals.  Well done guys.  My hat is off to you.


  1. Hello, Steve,
    People around the world is anxiously waiting for the moment when they can vandalize ALL Microsoft offices.  ;-)
    Please take a look at and

  2. After reading your blog about being gotten by an annoy-a-tron, I went to think geek and ordered one.
    It is currently buzzing in an office near me.  So many are in on it, and we can't help but smile every time we hear the thing.
    We hid it inside his monitor.

  3. That's awesome.  You'll have to let us know when (if?) he finds it.