A term used at Microsoft
to refer to temporary employees. Microsoft lives and dies by head count
and employs a great number of temp
or contract workers. In the email
system, temp workers have a "A-" appended to the front of their email name. For example, full time MSFT
employee Mike Smith is email@example.com. Temp employee Mike Smith is "firstname.lastname@example.org". The "a" stands for "agency", meaning they're technically employees of a temp agency
This helped create and reinforce a hierarchy
between full timers and the lowly, seemingly disposable temp workers.