Wednesday, 18 April 2018

If Microsoft Wrote Rental Agreements

If Microsoft Wrote Rental Agreements

A prospective tenant is looking to rent an apartment from Microsoft, and has just reviewed the rental agreement. The tenant looks up with a glazed and slightly panicked expression. “This is so confusing. I don’t understand what I am allowed to do here.”

The Microsoft rep smiles comfortingly, “We know, and we sympathize, but this agreement is designed to be as flexible as possible based on the feedback from our Tenant’s Association.”

“How do I join the Tenant’s Association?”

“We select a key group of tenants and invite them to join. We do this so that we have an unbiased cross-selection of all tenant types.”

The tenant ponders this for a minute, “So I can’t join.”

“If you fit a specific profile that we are looking for, you will be asked to join.”

“Uh. Um..” The tenant tries to process this, and bites back several comments.

After an uncomfortable pause, the Microsoft rep prompts, “You had questions about the Rental Agreement?”

“Oh yes. I don’t understand what I am allowed to do in the apartment. Um, for example, why are there specific terms about how to use the living room?”

The Microsoft rep eagerly leans forward, “That’s part of our flexible rental agreement. It allows us to tailor the cost of the apartment to the individual, based on how they use it.”

“So I can’t sit on the couch?”

“No, that requires an upgrade to your rental licensing..”

The tenant replies with heavy sarcasm, “For an additional fee..” He can taste the venom as the words roll across his tongue.

The Microsoft rep is unruffled “Yes. That is correct. “

The tenant is taken aback as his sarcasm does not take root, “but the chair is included, I can sit in the chair.”

“Yes, the chair is part of the basic package as is the television and the small end table.”

Weariness quickly gives way to anger, “I can’t use the coffee table either?”


“I’m almost scared to ask, and the TV has?”

The Microsoft rep fiddles with a pen, as she replies, “Antennae only, no cable. You should get 3 channels, but that depends on atmospheric conditions and other uncontrolled factors.”

The tenant clenches his fists, and then slowly releases them. He recalls reading that cable was not included. He meant to bring that up as a negotiating point, but immediately drops it realizing it would be futile. “Ok. I remember when we took the tour, the couch was in front of the TV, and the chair was on the other side of the room. Can I switch the chair and the couch so that the chair is in front of the TV?”

Sitting straight up in her chair the Microsoft rep states firmly, “No. That violates the terms and conditions. You are not allowed to modify the apartment in any way. If you want to do that, you need to upgrade to the Apartment Assurance package which includes Apartment Mobility licensing.”

“Hold on. I get the TV and couch as part of my contract..”


Flustered the tenant plows on.  “Right. I get the TV and the CHAIR as part of my contract, but with the way the room is organized, I can’t use both at the same time.”

The Microsoft rep answers defensively, with a hint of outrage, “Well no, you can use both at the same time.”

The tenant is losing his temper, but with effort bottles it down. This is the cheapest apartment he’s found so far, and he doesn’t want to lose it. In the calmest, most reasonable voice he can muster he argues, “Well not conveniently. To watch the TV I have to stand in front of it. I can’t see it from the chair. It does me no good to not be able to use both at the same time.”

At this the Microsoft rep smiles beatifically, “That’s the wonderful part of our Rental Agreement. If you want to use the couch, you can just add a small fee.”

The Tenant’s frustration boils over, “I JUST WANT TO USE THE CHAIR IN FRONT OF THE TV!” he shouts.

“I’m sorry sir. No need to get upset. That option wasn’t popular with our Tenant’s Association, that’s why we don’t offer it.”

Embarrassed at his loss of control, the tenant replies in a small meek voice.  “Well it’s popular with me.”

After a moment, the tenant sighs, and asks “OK, fine. How much is the couch?”

“An additional $3”

“OK that’s nothing much, add it in.”

The Microsoft rep senses she made an error, and quickly clarifies, “Sorry that’s $3 per day. It’s a daily subscription.”

“WHAT!? But that means I'm paying almost as much for the couch as I am for the whole apartment! And my rent is monthly. I can’t combine the two?”

“Not at this level. If you want to have it all on one bill you have to subscribe to the..”

The tenant and the Microsoft rep finish the sentence together, “..Apartment Assurance package.”

The tenant continues, his voice unstable, “But that package is $2,000 per month! The basic rental agreement is $500.”

“True. But the Apartment Assurance package is cheaper than subscribing to every option independently.”

The tenant continues to argue his point, “But it has features I would never use, like ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ a ‘Brass Pole’ and ‘Confetti Balloons.’”

The beaming smile from the Microsoft rep radiates confidence, “Those are quite popular. You should try them out.”

But the tenant has had enough. Aware of his budget constraints and just wanting to close the deal, he makes a quick decision and declares. “I just want to sit and watch TV. OK fine, $1,000 a month is still cheaper than $2,000. Add in the couch.“

The Microsoft rep is all smiles and confidence now,  “Exactly sir. We make this agreement flexible so you can choose the options you truly need.”

“Well at least I get to use the kitchen and the bathroom.”

With widened eyes, and a little bit of fear, the rep quickly replies “Oh. Um. You still have to talk to the kitchen and bathroom rental teams.”

Incredulity wars with exasperation, “They’re not included!?”

“And the bedroom rental team. Unless you want to sleep on the couch. That is now allowed under your new licensing agreement now that you added the couch subscription.”


Catelli said...

If Oracle wrote rental agreements: "We charge by the square foot. It's $100 per sq ft per month."

If Amazon wrote rental agreements: "We charge by the square foot. It's $1 per sq ft per month, but's it's one big room and you share it with all of your neighbors. Here's some police tape to mark off your area."

If IBM wrote rental agreements: "Kplx blag chip my meme door. Juput?"

Catelli said...

If Linux wrote rental agreements: "Here's a hammer, a box of screws and some wood. You build your own apartment. The instructions are somewhere if you look for them."

Anonymous said...

You know, you could have done this as a 5000 part twitter essay. ;) Mr. Sinister