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International Business Machines Corporation Message Board

  • big_ol_jet big_ol_jet Feb 4, 2010 9:15 AM Flag


    The demise of the “thanks” program shows that list of programs IBM can cut is getting thin. Management will continue to peck away one nickel at a time. As a hire right out of college in the 90’s, I have realized it is time to move on. As an employee and IBM seller, it shows me this is not a place I want to be much longer. To put things in perspective, I am a remote employee working at home, saving the company over $1,000 /month in office space. IBM will no longer pay for my internet connection ($50/month) or even a home office phone ($50/month), I am forced to get by on the company issued blackberry which barely works where I live. My Thinkpad goes back to the days when IBM still made PC’s and crashes constantly. There is no focus on helping us be more productive, only on how to save a couple of bucks. If IBM were an airline, I would not be flying Big Blue for fear of crash… My earnings are managed despite exceeding my quota and being ranked a ‘1’ , even the “100% Club” and “Golden Circle” events going back to Tom Watson have been cut despite record EPS by IBM. Why should I be motivated to sell more… IBM’s internal systems for managing customers are horrible, it is the dedication of the IBMer’s on the street and touching customers who hold it together and protect ill advised cost cutting management from themselves.

    I thank Lou Gerstner for turning IBM around and providing some perspective from the outside world but that perspective has been lost & the current management of IBM lifer's only concern is their deferred compensation, restricted stock,and short term gains. I appreciate the experience, the company paid MBA, and worldwide life long friends made along the way. I know it is bad out there but my focus in 2010 will be beyond IBM.

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    • one thing to remember ... about IBM and every other huge
      company like it ...

      a person could work for years on a zombie project and it
      would be easy to see why they may have skewed view of the
      company ...

      once it is determined that a technology has matured , the
      environment changes big time ... the better folks are
      promoted or transferred to the "next big thing" ** and
      what remains to run a project until death are flunkies,
      overlooked persons, less agressive people, and all of the
      subpar employees who were offloaded from other venues ....
      it's hell to work in one of these areas ... small or
      no raises , no promotions and pretty much the bottom of
      the management totem pole ...

      it's a lot different for those who are working on a project
      that becomes the next best thing, or an area that
      corporate deems to be essential ... lots of promos ,
      bigger raises, bigger variable pay , more opportunities ..
      a lot of it is "luck of the draw" and most people will find
      themselve in each camp, at least once in their careers ..

      a great thing about IBM was/is that it's always changing ..
      maybe you are in unit that is not pleasant, maybe you
      are in the "in circle" ... BUT ... nothing ever stayed one
      way at IBM for long, before you know it, your line is
      vendored and out and you are working for somebody else,or
      even in another biz unit ...... JUST LIKE A FRESH START
      and an opportunity to have learned from your mistakes.. .

      there never were and certaily are not now, very many
      companies even close to IBM ...

      don't look where you are going and eventually you will
      stumble ... later ...garce

      • 1 Reply to AU90CU10
      • Garce

        I do not agree. I am working in a cutting edge area. Very limited promos or raises. The PBC quota is the same as the entire company. Raises are also in the same limited bucket.
        It is a great job and the pay sure beats flipping burgers but, it is very much like the rest of Big Blue.

        "it's a lot different for those who are working on a project
        that becomes the next best thing, or an area that
        corporate deems to be essential ... lots of promos ,
        bigger raises, bigger variable pay , more opportunities ..
        a lot of it is "luck of the draw" and most people will find
        themselve in each camp, at least once in their careers .. "

    • as a recent ibm retiree who survived probably 3 - 4 resource actions over my career, all i can say is, you have a choice. i know there are a lot of people out there that would love to trade places with you. Not too many companies pay their employees to work from home either.

    • I'm in my 34th yr at IBM. I've seen and been thru it all from the open checkbook and candy store back in the late 70's and 80's to the belt tightening we have now. yes, my $50 a month expense is now on me too.. However, I can't complain much since I've slashed my own expenses by not having to drive to an IBM or client location (I've been internal last 8 yrs. No car fill-ups every week, no tolls, no lunch money, no more presentable clothes I need to buy, no shirts to the dry cleaners. The mere fact that I'm responding on Yahoo now shows the flexibility I have at my job. Granted my assignment does require me to be at times working late at night or early in the morning for the global teams but the flexibility is here for me. I can list more. Overall, I'm satisfied with the direction of the company in terms of a working environment. yes they cut back here and there but it's a large company.. If I were running my own business I also would look to manage expenses. it's a competitive and it's real out here. the days of handing out candy bars and having ice cream break days are over. GL to all.. I still have to put my kid thru college so if I can last another 4 yrs, I just might make it.

    • Listen guys..its very simple. IBM understands the cost of EVERYTHING (awards,phones,salaries,internet,office space,whatever)...But, IBM DOES NOT understand the value of c:ANYTHING (employee morale, goodwill,etc) someone else noted IBM is moving ahead at the expense of their employees, instead of growing the business THRU the hand of the employees.

      • 2 Replies to thefielder
      • You are close but off just a tad. The decision has been made to shift investment focus and funding to emerging markets, specifically out of the U.S.

        In order to fund this investment, IBM has decided to cut costs, cut U.S. benefits, discontinue awards, curb pay increases, and retract variable pay. This is in addition to the constant focus on moving jobs overseas into those emerging market countries.

        By cutting costs in the U.S., IBM can generate the funds necessary to keep up with being competitive in its compensation packages in those emerging markets. In places like China and India where the economies have been growing near double digits, you can bet the cost of keeping an employee tethered to IBM is much much higher than it is in the US, and will be for the forseeable future...less you think you can hold an employee in those economies with a 2% pay raise. Plus IBM has to put infrastructure in place to harbor those employees.

        This is the price that is paid to be working in a mature economy, where frankly IBM sees no upside opportunity of any magnitude for years to come. It's unfortunate, but it is simply a shift in the economic cycle that will continue to impact U.S. workers at multinationals for years to come.

        And not to worry about the IBM exec team...they are all feeding at the trough, compensated for IBMs worldwide results which is bolstered by emerging market growth.

      • IBM grew its regular employee base to over 400,000 past year. seems to me that IBM is investing in hiring people.

    • ignatz742 -- are you always so nasty mouth? Didn't your mother ever wash your mouth out with soap? That would have cured you.

      Doesn't surprise me coming from someone who is the epidimy of negatism.

      "the nattering nabob of neverending negatism" You need a good old fashioned attitude adjustment.

      Hope you do become rich though and do something "positive" with your $

    • Heh, so much poison in such a small package, glad I don't have anyone as bitter as you on any project I ever was on, old or current.

      Bet life got good real 'gudd' real fast in your area when they axed you, morale probably went up enough to affect the numbers at the division level.

      Assuming of course you're for real and not a fake, too over the top you are, etc.

      What ever, I'm sure, troll on,,,, amuse me.


    • It's all about $$$ by geo. US market is not growing.......US employees will continue to be downsized, cut and earnings managed no matter how well you perform. You can be 120 % of plan and still be ranked a 2 (old 3). Growth, and I can only assume growing compensation is outside of the US/North America.

    • For many it's a quick thing and for others it takes time to realize. IBM is a world of mediocrity.

      In the old IBM you could move to another area and be re-born into a new career, but today's IBM doesn't allow that for the throngs that are not "chosen", like the executives. The majority of the "unclean masses", the "un-MBAs", have no chance to move like in the past. Today you are hired for one thing, and if it isn't making money or you are too old you are fired. A resource is not an asset, it's a disposable tool once obsolete and it's cheaper to get a new tool than to move them to another project.

      Now that you've seen the light, I don't suggest you leave in a hurry. Bide your time and plan your exit. Like Gerstner said, it's your career and your money, so optimize the opportunity by getting the most you can for you and not for the firm.

      Don't bother with the union. They won't help you. The real future is to distance yourself from the brand and either leech off it or go against it. Get your lips off the tit that is making you into a lazy, fat target.

      The other problem that most IBMers have is fear. The company and its paid propaganda channels make it a priority to induce FUD to employees so that they are paralyzed and get plucked off when management decides.

      Take charge of your career! You'll make mistakes, but you'll be better for them. Too many IBMers wait too long and so the average IBMer is totally unprepared and mentally destroyed when laid off.

      First of all, don't quit, plan on letting let them fire you. Starting today, invest in looking for the new job Ideally, you'd like to be fired one week and start a new job the next, and I know of many who have actually been able to do it. BTW, don't go to Microsoft. They are very much starting to look like IBM. Look at places like Oracle/SUN, HP and others, but many small consulting firms are a great place to go. CIO magazine recently reported that the turnover among clients of senior IT management has begun, so there will be opportunity there as well.

      On the other hand, it's time to think of you and your colleagues, then IBM. Traditionally, IBM wants you to work to death in obscurity so that you have no network outside of IBM and no good family life. Stop the overtime and focus on the family. Use the free time not for pet management projects but for skills development for a future job outside of the company. Ask only for work that will help you after you leave. Start trying to get your name out of the company by passing your name out as an expert in your community among friends. Seek to file patents, write articles and go for speaking engagements. They may try to stop you with the BCG, but when they do, make it very public that you were willing to help, but the IBM brand stopped you. Enough pressure will happen that they'll let you go eventually.

      Interestingly enough, I was not surprised when recently told that about 6% of the technical people in IBM today are moonlighting. That's ethically problematic, and you should not do it.

      Consider cozying up with some of the partners. If there's a client problem, don't take IBM's side, defend the partner. When they see you're on their side, you may see a offer coming from them. Many IBM top talent have played this game and continue to do it to this day, specially in the tech support and business development areas.

      The situation is bad, the client sat is falling and the cuts in benefits and just basic expenses will continue. Don't worry about it. That's IBM. Laugh at it because this problem is common to most large American multi-nationals.

      Don't worry, Most of the industry knows your plight. There are a lot of IBMers who will silently help you during this time of transition.

      It's a great life out there after IBM. Go and be successful!

    • Hey iggy pop.. you sure know how to dish it out.. don’t you? Or you think you do.. What’s your story IGGY POP ?? You write so much about swallowing.. I think you are the big swallower on this board.. Gulp Gulp Gulp !! you probably don’t even gag you’re so good at the BIG GULP !! Listen to you.. Well Said ibmaccountant.. blah blah blah.. rambling on thinking this audience cares what you have to write. Here’s a newsflash.. NO ONE CARES !! You’re the entertainment, that’s it !! you’re the opening act of your freak show.. a big joke.. with all you’re writing about swallowing I actually think you’re jealous you ain’t getting much of the BIG GULP like you’re use to.. so what’s your story IGGY ? you lonely? looking for some action writing dirty.. what’s your story IGGY POP? Do you troll the boards trying to get a rise from guys and gals? You must have a story.. do you take it all ways? Are you a switch hitter? I think you are.. are you a smart person or dumb as a stump? What do you want to be ? What’s your story IGGY Pop? Gulp Gulp Gulp? I’ll be waiting !! I can use some entertainment..

    • lookie lookie here.. Iggy pop is yawning from a hard day's night of GULP GULP GULP. no problem Iggy.. i'll be here when you're ready.. but just answer me this one question.. are you a switch hitter or do you strictly catch?

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