Oh no, it’s inspection time again

Raymond Chen

I recreate below a memo attached to the office doors of some occupants of the Microsoft RedWest campus fourteen years ago today.

From: Reel Estate & Faculties Executive Notifications
Sent: Friday, April 1, 2005
To: People in REDW-A; People in REDW-B; People in REDW-C; People in REDW-D; People in REDW-E
Subject: BUILDING NOTICE: RedWest campus – Office Inspection
Importance: High

Redwest Campus
Office Inspection
April 4th, 2005
7:00am to 7:00pm (Pacific Time)
Duration: 1 day

It is Inspection Time again! As every five years, a Microsoft Executive, a Microsoft VP and a State of Washington Health & Safety Department representative, will inspect randomly selected workplaces in RedWest buildings A, B, C, D, & E.


Occupant impact:

MSN has coordinated with the representatives of the buildings to confirm this date is acceptable.

  • This inspection will impact randomly selected building occupants. Inspections will be conducted during normal work hours and your cooperation is required to minimize the impact. There will be some minimal noise associated with this inspection.
  • Inspections logs will be available upon request.


You are required to return your office to the original configuration by Monday 7:00am (Pacific Time). This includes but it is not limited to:

  • Removing clocks, posters and calendars from walls
  • Removing personal photos and photo frames from desks and walls
  • Removing stickers from doors and windows
  • Returning non safety compliant light fixtures to your Admin
  • Untangling all computer cables
  • Making sure your desk is not cluttered with paper, files, office supplies (the Washington State Safety Law allows workplace desks to have a 25% maximum occupied space)
  • Storing all office supplies in your cabinet drawer (all cabinet drawers should remain UNLOCKED)
  • Retuming all stored bulk supplies (such as paper reams) to your floor’s Copy Room
  • Tuming off all unnecessary lights end equipments (printers, scanners, etc.)
  • Steam-cleaning carpets and dusting desks and window’s sills


Inspections will be performed in selected offices throughout the whole day, starting with the first floor of each buil ing in alphabetical order.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter. If this inspection will impact critical business operations, or if you have any questions or concems, please contact a-fday.

Reel Estate & Faculties Executive Team


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  • Entegy 0

    >Reel Estate

    How many people panicked at this notice before noticing this?
    That’s not a bad prank.

  • Harold H 0

    According to the map, there’s a golf course across the street.  Everyone should just go over there for a few hours while waiting for the “inspection” to finish.

  • Ron Parker - MSFT 0

    That reads enough like a real notification from RE&F that I’d believe it, even if I got it today. I’d wonder about the spelling in the ‘From’ address, but I’d probably chalk it up to a mistake. 

  • MNGoldenEagle 0

    That’s pretty amazing.  The only thing I can see on here that would possibly tip me off that it’s a prank is the last line: “Steam-cleaning carpets”.  There’s no way you’d want your employees handling that kind of task, especially ones like me that would just as likely ruin the carpet as they would clean them.

    • cheong00 0

      I’d think something is wrong when I see “a Microsoft Executive, a Microsoft VP” will inspect the building for a whole day.
      There’s no way they’d assign irrelevent executive levels to spend a day to do such job, unless after some serious incident.

  • Simon Clarkstone 0

    Is the name “a-fday” imitating an existing Microsoft naming convention for something, e.g. a convention for email aliases?

    • Ji Luo 0

      “a-” means “agent/agency”. It’s the domain user name convention as well as the e-mail adddress (part before the domain).

  • Charles Oppermann 0

    “confirm this date is acceptable” was a tip-off.  It was well done.

  • Ji Luo 0

    This sounds like high school dorm inspection…

  • Dave Bacher 0

    Untangling all computer cables?
    That’ll last all of 15 seconds.

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