I forgot to tell you...I got my 5 year clock! For those of you that don't know what I am talking about (no, it has nothing to do with biology), Microsoft rewards employees after 5 years with a clock (you can also choose a pen but hardly anybody does). They usually award you the clock (it's silver and pretty cool looking) in front of your organization and everyone claps for you because they know how hard you have worked after 5 years of service or they aspire to last for 5 years. Jeesh, in a way I still feel new...and sometimes I feel like I have always been here.
It's not the clock itself, but what it stands for that is cool. This is a competitive place (hard to get in and then when you do, you have to be good enough to get to stay) and not everyone is successful even after they make it through the interview process. So the clock is really an accomplishment and I have to say I'm pretty proud of it. It's one of those things that you see in peoples' office and then you look forward to getting yours.
So it's a manufactured milestone in a Microsoft career, but I am glad we celebrate not only good work (like I said, you gotta do it to stay), but also loyalty and longevity.