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 msmith@microsoft.com. Temp employee Mike Smith is "a-msmith@microsoft.com". 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.