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April 2, 2005 March 26, 2005 March 19, 2005 March 12, 2005 March 5, 2005 February 26, 2005 February 19, 2005 February 12, 2005 February 5, 2005 January 29, 2005 January 22, 2005 January 15, 2005 January 8, 2005 January 1, 2005 December 25, 2004 December 18, 2004 December 11, 2004 December 4, 2004 November 27, 2004 November 20, 2004 November 13, 2004 November 6, 2004 October 30, 2004 October 23, 2004 October 16, 2004 October 9, 2004 October 2, 2004 September 25, 2004 September 18, 2004 September 11, 2004 September 4, 2004 August 28, 2004 August 21, 2004 August 14, 2004 August 7, 2004 July 31, 2004 July 24, 2004 July 17, 2004 July 10, 2004 July 3, 2004 June 26, 2004 June 19, 2004 June 5, 2004 May 29, 2004 May 22, 2004 May 15, 2004 May 8, 2004 2004 Stock Meeting April 24, 2004 April 10, 2004 April 3, 2004 March 27, 2004 March 20, 2004 March 13, 2004 March 6, 2004 February 28, 2004 February 21, 2004 February 14, 2004 February 7, 2004 February 1, 2004 January 18, 2004 December 27, 2003 December 20, 2003 December 13, 2003 December 6, 2003 November 29, 2003 November 22, 2003 November 15, 2003 November 8, 2003 November 1, 2003 October 25, 2003 October 18, 2003 October 11, 2003 October 4, 2003 September 27, 2003 September 20, 2003 September 13, 2003 September 6, 2003 August 30, 2003 August 23, 2003 August 16, 2003 August 9, 2003 Pension Lawsuit Win July 26, 2003 July 19, 2003 July 12, 2003 July 5, 2003 June 28, 2003 June 21, 2003 June 14, 2003 June 7, 2003 May 31, 2003 May 24, 2003 May 17, 2003 May 10, 2003 2003 Stock Meeting April 26, 2003 April 19, 2003 April 12, 2003 April 5, 2003 March 29, 2003 March 22, 2003 March 15, 2003 March 8, 2003 March 1, 2003 February 22, 2003 February 15, 2003 February 8, 2003 February 1, 2003 January 25, 2003 January 18, 2003 January 11, 2003 January 4, 2003 December 28, 2002 December 21, 2002 December 14, 2002 December 7, 2002 November 30, 2002 November 23, 2002 November 16, 2002 November 9, 2002 November 2, 2002 October 26, 2002 October 19, 2002 October 12, 2002 October 5, 2002 September 28, 2002 September 21, 2002 September 14, 2002 September 7, 2002 August 31, 2002 August 24, 2002 August 17, 2002 August 10, 2002 August 3, 2002 July 27, 2002 July 20, 2002 July 13, 2002 July 6, 2002 June 29, 2002 June 22, 2002 June 15, 2002 June 8, 2002 June 1, 2002 May 25, 2002 May 18, 2002 May 11, 2002 2002 Stock Meeting April 27, 2002 April 20, 2002 April 13, 2002 April 6, 2002 March 30, 2002 March 23, 2002 March 16, 2002 March 9, 2002 March 2, 2002 February 23, 2002 February 16, 2002 February 9, 2002 February 2, 2002 January 26, 2002 January 19, 2002 January 12, 2002 January 5, 2002 December 29, 2001 December 22, 2001 December 15, 2001 December 8, 2001 December 1, 2001 November 24, 2001 November 17, 2001 November 10, 2001 November 3, 2001 October 27, 2001 October 20, 2001 October 13, 2001 October 6, 2001 September 29, 2001 September 22, 2001 September 15, 2001 September 8, 2001 September 1, 2001 August 25, 2001 August 18, 2001 August 11, 2001 August 4, 2001 July 28, 2001 July 21, 2001 July 14, 2001 July 7, 2001 June 30, 2001 June 23, 2001 June 16, 2001 June 9, 2001 June 2, 2001 May 26, 2001 May 19, 2001 May 12, 2001 May 5, 2001 2001 Stock Meeting April 21, 2001 April 14, 2001 April 7, 2001 March 31, 2001 March 24, 2001 March 17, 2001 March 10, 2001 March 3, 2001 February 24, 2001 February 17, 2001 February 10, 2001 February 3, 2001 January 27, 2001 January 20, 2001 January 13, 2001 January 6, 2001 December 30, 2000 December 23, 2000 December 16, 2000 December 9, 2000 December 2, 2000 November 24, 2000 November 17, 2000 November 10, 2000 November 4, 2000 October 28, 2000 October 21, 2000 October 14, 2000 October 7, 2000 September 30, 2000 September 23, 2000 September 16, 2000 September 9, 2000 September 2, 2000 August 26, 2000 August 19, 2000 August 12, 2000 July 29, 2000 July 22, 2000 July 15, 2000 July 1, 2000 June 24, 2000 June 17, 2000 June 10, 2000 June 3, 2000 May 27, 2000 May 20, 2000 May 13, 2000 May 6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—June 30, 2007

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM to pay $7 million in SEC cases. By Craig Wolf. Full excerpt: Two federal securities investigations that have been hanging over IBM Corp.'s head have been resolved, the company said Monday evening after the stock markets closed. But the agreement reached with the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission will cost $7 million, the company said. IBM will pay the money into a fund to be set up in connection with the Securities and Exchange Commission's action against Dollar General Corp. The agreement will "resolve all issues" on the two matters affecting IBM, according to a statement from IBM spokesman John Bukovinsky in Armonk. These are:
    • The "Wells notice" IBM received in January 2004 from the SEC staff who were investigating Dollar General's 2000 financial statements.
    • The SEC's investigation into IBM's revenue recognition in 2000 and 2001 "primarily concerning certain types of client transactions," IBM said.

    That probe dates to June 2003 and IBM said it thinks it stemmed from the other investigation into Dollar General. IBM sells point-of-sale products to Dollar General, a client of IBM's Retail Store Solutions unit. A Wells notice gives a company a chance to clarify and resolve issues administratively.

    "IBM has consented, without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, to entry of an administrative order by the SEC directing that IBM cease and desist from committing or causing any violations of certain provisions of the federal securities laws and related SEC rules," the statement said. It also said an individual IBM employee in Sales and Distribution had received a separate Wells notice relating to the Dollar General inquiry and he had resolved it.

    The statement said IBM will not restate any of its business results due to this settlement, meaning past earnings statements will remain as they were. As IBM's statement was after hours, the SEC could not be reached. IBM, however, said the SEC's order "notes that the revenue recognition errors at issue were, in many cases, errors with respect to the recognition of revenue as between quarters, and in most cases, were discovered and corrected by IBM in advance of the commission's investigation."

  • Yahoo! message board post "SEC fines IBM $7M" by "sby_willie". Excerpt: The SEC just slaps IBM on the wrist for multiple "oversights" or reporting errors but IBM never has to admit fault or guilt and only has to "cease and desist" the activity or "oversight" that was found by the SEC investigations. There are far too many SEC findings against IBM recently for them to be so lenient with IBM.

    It is beginning to send a subtle message that the SEC is more interested in corporate interests rather than the interests of the ordinary investor. And since a lot of us IBM employees are IBM stockholders, that is not a good message to be hearing now is it?

  • Vault message board post by "ancientblueconsultant". Excerpt: In the 7th year of one of the most pro-large business administrations in the history of this country, they still manage to get a fine from the SEC, get a public rebuke and disgusting statement from the IRS on ethics and it took a packed and bought for US Supreme Court to stop the pension fiasco. Stay tuned, more to come from some of these parties and others. IBM: Immoral Brand & Management?
  • Information Week: YouTube Video On Avoiding U.S. Job Applicants Angers Programmers. IT professionals criticize a law firm's video play-by-play description on how to expedite the PERM process to more easily hire foreign workers. By Mary Hayes Weier. Excerpts: YouTube bites again. A law firm's attempt to get positive exposure for an immigration law conference by posting it on You Tube backfired when an organization that's been tough on H-1B visas and offshore outsourcing copied it and made a controversial video of its own.

    In the original video, posted by the firm Cohen & Grigsby from a May 15 conference, an attorney is shown advising attendees on how to meet the minimum requirements of advertising a job to U.S. candidates so that a foreign worker can more easily be hired. The firm's conference dealt with the U.S. government's labor certification requirement for foreign workers, the first step in helping them obtain green cards. The law requires that an employer prove there are no qualified U.S. citizens for a permanent job being offered before hiring a non-citizen.

    In one 10-minute segment of the conference video, a panel of lawyers are shown discussing Program Electronic Review Management (PERM), an electronic labor certification system the government put in place two years ago to reduce certification to under 60 days. It was that portion of the video lambasted by the Programmers Guild, an organization of IT professionals that is staunchly protectionist against the loss of U.S. jobs to foreign workers both onshore and offshore.

    The PERM process requires that an employer post a job in at least three places and allow 30 days for job candidates to respond and for the employer to review resumes. If no interested and qualified U.S. workers respond, an employer can instantly and electronically apply for a foreign worker's labor certification.

    In the video, attorney Jennifer Pack advises attendees that posting the job at an employer's Web site and with a local newspaper is usually enough to fill the minimum requirement, if the newspaper also posts the job online.

    Another attorney, Lawrence Lebowitz, adds, "We're going to try to find a place [to advertise] where we are complying with the law and hoping, and likely, not to find qualified and interested worker applicants." Earlier, Pack mentions less desirable methods that are more likely to pull in qualified and interested workers, including job fairs, online job sites like Monster.com, campus recruitments, and job placement firms.

  • Information week Editor's Note, by Alice LaPlante. Excerpts: I've spent the last few weeks researching an article on H-1B visas, and it's been both illuminating and painful to dig underneath the press releases of high-tech firms, lobbying groups, and politicians and talk to the individuals directly impacted by how many H-1B visas are issued -- and how many of those guest workers actually get green cards.

    Although admittedly anecdotal, I keep hearing two things: first, that older IT workers -- even those who have kept their skills up to date or are clearly competent to acquire new ones -- are getting the shaft in favor of younger workers. And when employers run out of young U.S. citizens to hire, they turn to the (on average) very young H-1B visa holders before they'll look at the seasoned 45-year-old Americans.

    Second, many foreign H-1B holders are feeling a vicious backlash as the trend toward outsourcing continues and as technology companies keep issuing their dire warnings that without more H-1Bs they'll have to send more jobs offshore. Actually, H-1B holders -- the majority of whom are Indian -- get hit with a double whammy: Not only do they get paid less, on average, than their American citizen counterparts, they're often very personally blamed for keeping IT salaries artificially depressed because of what many claim is an oversaturated IT labor market. "It's gotten very ugly very fast," one H-1B holder told me.

  • New York Times: High-Tech Titans Strike Out on Immigration Bill. By Robert Pear. Excerpts: Bill Gates and Steven A. Ballmer of Microsoft have led a parade of high-tech executives to Capitol Hill, urging lawmakers to provide more visas for temporary foreign workers and permanent immigrants who can fill critical jobs.

    High-tech companies want to be able to hire larger numbers of well-educated, foreign-born professionals who, they say, can help them succeed in the global economy. For these scientists and engineers, they seek permanent-residence visas, known as green cards, and H-1B visas. The H-1B program provides temporary work visas for people who have university degrees or the equivalent to fill jobs in specialty occupations including health care and technology. The Senate bill would expand the number of work visas for skilled professionals, but high-tech companies say the proposed increase is not nearly enough. Several provisions of the Senate bill are meant to enhance protections for American workers and to prevent visa fraud and abuse. [...]

    Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, a co-author of a treatise on immigration law, said: “High-tech companies are very organized. They have numerous lobby groups. When Bill Gates advocates more H-1B visas and green cards for tech workers, everyone listens. [...]

    Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, have a proposal that would overhaul the H-1 B program and give priority to American workers. Their proposal would also define, in great detail, the wages that must be paid to workers who have H-1B visas.

    Mr. Durbin contended that some companies have used foreign workers to undercut the wages of American workers. And in some cases, he said, foreign workers come to this country for a few years of training, then return home “to populate businesses competing with the United States.”

    “The H-1B visa program is being abused by foreign companies to deprive qualified Americans of good jobs,” Mr. Durbin said. “Some companies are so brazen, they say ‘no Americans need apply’ in their job advertisements.”

  • Jim Hightower: Outsourcing America. Full excerpt: Maybe you've noticed that America's call-center jobs are largely being outsourced to India. Well, you say, I'm more skilled than that, so I can't worry about it. Then you note that our accounting jobs, legal research, and architectural drafting work is being taken to India, too – but, hey, you do sophisticated stuff, so you can't sweat those losses. Lately though, you've also seen that our country's high-tech computer jobs are being shipped to India – and uh-oh, that's getting close to what you do. Still, you say, I'm a professional, by gollies, so I'm okay.

    Well... good luck. The latest surge of jobs heading to India might well include yours. Such outfits as Citigroup, Boeing, and Eli Lilly are now moving out the work of white-collar elites – including investment banking, aircraft design, and the clinical testing of drugs. "High-end outsourcing" is the new wave, and it's pulling away the professional work of well-educated Americans who've been enjoying six-figure salaries, nice homes, and the good life.

    Economist Alan Binder, a former top official at the Federal Reserve, says: "We have, so far, barely seen the tip of the offshoring iceberg, the eventual dimensions of which may be staggering." How staggering? Binder says that up to 42 million American workers – about one-third of us – are looking at a rude awakening.

    What's the middle-class future then? Binder says America needs to increase jobs that have to be done in person so they can't be outsourced – jobs like doctors and police officers. Yeah, well, I'm thinking we'll need lots of police officers to contain everyone who can't be a doctor! And... how exactly, are the rest of us to pay for seeing the doctor?

    It used to be "them" who had to worry about outsourcing. Now it's "us." Our politicians have got to quit pretending that this is not a problem – and start developing policies to revitalize American's middle-class.

  • BusinessWeek: More Heat for Indian Outsourcers. Senators Grassley and Durbin release more data showing that Tata, Infosys, and others are using U.S. work visas to their advantage. By Moira Herbst. Excerpts: On June 26, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released information revealing that foreign outsourcing firms that use the high-skilled H1-B visa program extensively are also among the heaviest users of another category, known as L visas.

    Durbin and Grassley say these companies are abusing the L visa program, which is intended to allow multinationals to transfer foreign managers and specialists within a company to U.S. offices. The Senators allege that outsourcing firms are not engaging in transferring at all, but instead are hiring foreign workers expressly to bring them to the U.S.—and to take the place of American workers. The newly released data show that of the top 20 L visa users in fiscal year 2006, 14 are offshore outsourcing firms, including Tata Consultancy Services, Satyam Computer Services (SAY), Wipro (WIT), Infosys Technologies (INFY), Patni Computer Systems (PTI), and Accenture (ACN). [...]

    Durbin and Grassley obtained the information on L visa users from the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services after requesting it in a June 13 letter. The data show, for example, that Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy obtained 4,887 L visas in fiscal year 2006, the most of any firm, American or Indian. "I find it hard to believe that any one company has that many individuals…legitimately being transferred within a single year," said Durbin. [...]

    Critics say the L visa program could allow for even more abuse than the H1-B program, which allows high-skilled workers to come to the U.S. for up to six years. While H1-B visas are capped at 65,000 per year, there is no annual limit to the number of L visas, and while H1-B visa workers must receive the prevailing wage, there is no such requirement for L visas. The number of such visas issued has increased from 39,886 in 2001 to 53,144 in 2006.

  • BusinessWeek: Top 20 Users of L Visas. Excerpt: L visas allow employees to enter the United States temporarily for work. Here is a look at the top 20 companies that used these visas in the federal government's fiscal year 2006. (Editor's note: IBM is third on the list.)
  • CNET News: A sunny hiring season for job seekers. By Miriam Olsson. It's recruiting season and the forecast looks sunny for job seekers, so long as they're talented and willing to work at landing employment. That's the consensus among analysts, students and big company recruiters who are struggling to find enough qualified applicants to fill their posts. [...]

    This year's batch of students with degrees in engineering and computer science can take advantage of a job market that's grown steadily over the last four year years. Challenger cited Labor Department statistics showing unemployment for recent tech grads down to 2 percent.

    "In the tight labor market there are many companies which are eagerly awaiting the new graduates," Challenger said. "They bring in new skills and expertise and they are not as high priced." [...]

    Spring and summer are busy hiring times for companies and graduating students. But the recruiting process take place throughout the year through the likes of job fairs, lectures, alumni events and on-campus interviews. Companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM put huge amounts of people, time and money into recruiting students, although they're unable to assign specific dollar figures to such efforts.

    IBM, for example, spends much more than $100 million on student activities annually, said Gina Poole, the company's vice president of innovation and university relations. "You can't even begin to count the time IBMers put into this," she said. IBM has even created its own academic discipline, Services, Sciences, Management and Engineering (SSME) to help ensure future recruits will have the skill set the company looking for.

  • eWeek: 'I Quit!' 15 Reasons You Probably Left Your Last IT Job.
  • Investment News: Bill would provide pensions for workers. By Sara Hansard. Excerpts: Companies that provide “lavish” executive benefits would also have to provide defined benefit pensions for all employees under a bill introduced today.

    “At a time when employees’ retirement security is anything but secure, things are looking rosy in the corporate board room, where our nation’s corporate elite make sure that they have pensions, higher incomes and other benefits so generous that Midas would have been embarrassed,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who proposed the bill, in a statement.

    Despite rising corporate profits in recent years, many workers have had their pensions frozen, the statement said. Many companies have said they cannot afford pensions while at the same time awarding top executives lucrative non-pension benefits that function much like pensions, the statement continued.

  • Pension Rights Center: PRC Statement on the Restoring Pension Promises to Workers Act of 2007. At a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 28, 2007, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) announced the introduction of the Restoring Pension Promises to Workers Act of 2007. Karen Friedman, policy director for the Pension Rights Center, delivered the following statement at the press conference: Excerpts: “Last year, when Congress passed the Pension Protection Act to address underfunded plans, a new problem was already emerging on the horizon. Suddenly, a rash of healthy companies were freezing well-funded plans. [...]

    “These employees talk about these cut-backs as ‘broken promises’ and ‘pension pay cuts.’ They say they feel betrayed by companies to whom they have given their blood, sweat and tears. Employees like Margo Bryerton of Verizon ask, ‘Why is it that company execs can pay themselves these gargantuan executive compensation plans while our companies freeze or terminate our pensions?’ [...]

    IBM announced its freeze in 2006, and, in the same year, gave its CEO Samuel J. Palmisano more than $24 million in total compensation. The Hershey Company announced its freeze in October 2006, and CEO Richard H. Lenny made $11,349,910 in total compensation. HP (Hewlett-Packard) announced its freeze in February 2007. In 2006, CEO Mark V. Hurd made $24,031,487 in total compensation.

  • Wired: IBM 1401 Mainframe, the Musical. By Robert Andrews. Excerpts: When IBM chief maintenance engineer Jóhann Gunnarsson started tinkering with the IBM 1401 Data Processing System, believed to have been the first computer to arrive in his native Iceland in 1964, he noticed an electromagnetic leak from the machine's memory caused a deep, cellolike hum to come from nearby AM radios.

    It was a production defect but, captivated, amateur musician Gunnarson and his colleagues soon learned how to reprogram the room-size business workhorse's innards to emit melodies that rank amongst the earliest in a long line of Scandinavian digital music.

    Fast-forward four decades, and recently discovered tape recordings of Gunnarson's works form the basis of a touring song-and-dance performance, IBM 1401: A User's Manual. The show was composed by Gunnarson's son Jóhann Jóhannsson, with interpretive dance choreographed by Erna Omarsdotti, whose father is another IBM alum.

    "We've sometimes had older tech guys my father's age who have shown up, not because they're dance or music enthusiasts, but because they recognized the name of the machine," Jóhannsson told Wired News. "We had a group of people from (particle physics lab) CERN when we played in Geneva. It's great to hear reactions from this group of people, as it really is like playing it to my father in a way." [...]

    "The 1401s cost the equivalent of $2 million or $3 million in today's money and had to run 24 hours a day -- the engineers had a very important role, but IBM didn't really care that they were using it to make music," said Robert Garner, who is leading the restoration.

  • Communications Workers of America (CWA): AT&T to Return 650 More Outsourced Jobs. Full excerpt: AT&T announced this week that it will be bringing back from overseas nearly 650 Tier I DSL technical support jobs and locating them in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, later this year. The jobs are coming back to the United States as part of the agreement CWA reached with AT&T last fall to return the tech support work that had been contracted overseas.

    It was the third announcement this year of the return of AT&T Tier I customer support jobs. In El Paso, Texas, a new center is now up and running with more than 400 CWA-represented workers, and another 400 are expected to be on the job at a new call center scheduled to open in Indianapolis, Indiana, this July.

    Overall, more than 2,000 new jobs are expected to be created as a result of CWA's 2005 National Internet agreement with AT&T, reported Executive Vice President Jeff Rechenbach, who heads the Telecom Office.

News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
Minimize
  • Yahoo! message board post by "ranheimchas". Full excerpt: I would have to believe the purpose of the plan is to shift more of the medical costs away from the employers, and onto the backs of workers and retirees. I still have IBM's best (Most expensive) United Healthcare Plan. Last year, my total medical expenses paid by me was $12,000. This includes the cost of the IBM plans, Medicare part B, and my co-pays.

    Basically, the IBM United Healthcare plan paid nothing. This year, I have additional cancer treatment expenses added to what I had to pay last year. So far, every bill that went from Medicare to United Health, ended up with United Health paying nothing. They claim my out of pocket is only $2,000 so far, using their method of calculating it, so they do not have to pay anything.

    The medical billing departments I have to deal with find it hard to believe our United Health Plans (controlled my IBM) pays so little, or none at all. This will only get worse as IBM finds more ways to shift the medical costs away from them and onto us retirees.

    When you read about these new plans being proposed, they always mention how many millions of dollars the companies will save on their medical and retiree benefits. They never mention how it may help us retirees, because it won't. We are at the bottom of the food chain, and will probably stay there if big companies have their way.

  • New York Times: Keeping Early Retirees Afloat. By Milt Freudenheim. Excerpts: What with years of layoffs, employee buyouts and sending jobs offshore, corporate America has helped create a pool of about 800,000 early retirees who now find themselves in a health care bind. They are no longer eligible for employer insurance programs, too young to qualify for Medicare and unable to afford private insurance on their own.

    But now corporate America, having created the problem, is trying to help solve it. A group of some of the nation’s biggest companies plans to announce today a program meant to make health insurance available to their former employees ages 55 to 64.

    Not only would the insurance policies be relatively affordable, but no one could be turned down for coverage, regardless of medical condition. That is a crucial provision, because high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and other medical afflictions of late middle age can make it hard for early retirees to find an insurer willing to cover them at any price. [...]

    Typically, the policies will carry a moderately high annual deductible — perhaps $500 to $1,100 or so in out-of-pocket medical expenses before coverage kicks in. The retirees’ monthly premiums will range from $400 to $1,200 or more, depending on whether the employer defrays part of the cost. That is significantly lower than what people in this age range can expect to pay, if they can find individual insurance at all. [...]

    The sponsor, the HR Policy Association, represents 250 large companies, including General Electric, I.B.M., Sears, Starbucks and United Parcel Service. Although the association says it does not know how many total early retirees there are among its members, a few of the bigger companies have tens of thousands, while some newer technology businesses have none. [...]

    “This is a burning issue for corporations,” said J. Randall MacDonald, a senior vice president at I.B.M., which has 30,000 early retirees. “Employees have become increasingly concerned.”

  • BusinessWeek: The Doc's In, but It'll Be a While. Despite spending lots more per capita on health care, the U.S. is often as bad or worse than other industrialized nations in wait times. By Catherine Arnst. Excerpts: One of the most repeated truisms about the U.S. health-care system is that, for all its other problems, American patients at least don't have to endure the long waits for medical care that are considered endemic under single-payer systems such as those in Canada and Britain. But as several surveys and numerous anecdotes show, waiting times in the U.S. are often as bad or worse as those in other industrialized nations—despite the fact that the U.S. spends considerably more per capita on health care than any other country. In addition, 48 million people without insurance do not have ready access to the system. [...]

    One disturbing study published last year by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found average waits of 38.2 days to get an appointment with a dermatologist to check out a possibly cancerous mole. "Waiting is definitely a problem in the U.S., especially for basic care," says Karen Davis, president of the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, which studies health-care policy. She attributes the delays to a number of factors. Only one-third of U.S. doctors are general or family practitioners, she notes, compared with half in most European countries. Also, only some 40% of doctors have arrangements for after-hours care, making it difficult to see a physician on nights and weekends. As a result, emergency rooms have become fallback systems for routine care. [...]

    Of the countries surveyed, 81% of patients in New Zealand got a same or next-day appointment for a nonroutine visit, 71% in Britain, 69% in Germany, 66% in Australia, 47% in the U.S., and 36% in Canada. Those lengthy wait times in the U.S. explain why 26% of Americans reported going to an emergency room for a condition that could have been treated by a regular doctor if available, higher than every other country surveyed.

  • New York Times: Scant Drug Benefits Called Costly to Employers. By Milt Freudenheim. Excerpts: Health penny wise, medical pound foolish? Employers that shift too much of the cost of drugs to workers in their company health plans could wind up losing more than they save, through absenteeism and lost productivity, according to a study by health policy researchers. [...]

    A growing number of large employers are beginning to consider overall costs, by adding productivity measures to their financial calculus for health care.

    “The evidence is compelling that we should be looking at the total health care outcomes picture,” said Dr. Pamela Hymel, the global medical director at the information technology company Cisco Systems, a member of the Integrated Benefits Institute. She said that in her own company’s case, studying employees’ overall health records had alerted Cisco to costly conditions like depression and muscular and skeletal problems affecting some workers’ productivity. The affected employees were encouraged to seek advice from health coaches and to seek treatment, Dr. Hymel said.

  • National Public Radio (NPR): Moore's 'Sicko' Lands Blows on U.S. Health Care. Excerpts: Director Michael Moore has found critical and popular success with documentaries that blend comedy and pathos to attack powerful interest groups. But those films are nearly always challenged as misleading. His latest work, Sicko, is an indictment of the U.S. health care system, highlighting insurance horror stories and profiling countries with universal health care.

    Melissa Block sizes up Sicko — as entertainment and expose — with film critic Bob Mondello and science correspondent Joanne Silberner, who covers the health industry for NPR.

  • National Public Radio (NPR): Michael Moore Trains Eye on Health Care. Excerpts: Day to Day, June 26, 2007 · It seems as if Michael Moore is everywhere at once these days as he promotes Sicko, a film that finds plenty of fault with the U.S. health care industry while praising systems in place in France, Canada and even Cuba.

    Madeleine Brand spent a few minutes with Moore at the posh Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, hours before he moved on to attend a premiere on Skid Row, which has become known as a location for so-called "patient dumping" by local hospitals. (The text version of the interview has been edited for clarity.)

  • Physicians for a National Health Program: Good Movie, Now Where's the Movement? Sicko and the Politics of Health Care. By Ralph Nader. Excerpts: Rich, famous and Hollywood chic, Moore will open his latest film-’Sicko’ in theatres around the country on June 29, 2007. To many of those who have already seen this indictment and conviction of the corporations that sell health care under an array of tricky conditions, it is his best move yet. [...]

    Great movies and documentaries raise people’s latent indignation levels-for a short time. Norma Rae, The China Syndrome and The Grapes of Wrath had this effect. But films do not usually move either people or legislators to action. Their effect does not reach enough people. Their urgent 2 hour impact tends to diminish quickly, as compared with the omnipresent and powerful corporate or commercial interests determined to preserve the status quo. [...]

    Will ‘Sicko’ be any different? Certainly the giant HMOs, hospital chains and drug companies are firmly entrenched with all the sinews of power that have left this country, alone among western nations, without health care for all. They have endured easily many mainstream print and television expose©s (see the New York Times, AP, 60 Minutes and the nightly evening news, for example) year after year.

  • Associated Press, courtesy of New York Times: Moore: Borat Steeled Him for Guantanamo. Excerpts: Michael Moore looked to his friend Borat to help muster the nerve to sail into Guantanamo Bay. Moore met ''Borat'' creator Sasha Baron Cohen at last fall's Toronto International Film Festival. Cohen was there to screen ''Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,'' which went on to become a $100 million hit, while Moore showed off footage shot for his health-care documentary, ''Sicko,'' which was to open nationwide Friday. [...]

    Moore said Cohen thanked him for helping to provide the courage for his own daring adventures on ''Borat,'' in which Cohen's Kazakh alter-ego wrestles naked with his portly producer and draws the ire of a rodeo crowd for butchering the national anthem.

    ''I said to him, `But yeah, I've never done anything like wrestle naked with another guy on the floor of an insurance-brokers or mortgage-brokers convention,'' Moore told The Associated Press. ''So after I saw `Borat,' if he says I was an inspiration for those things, I now have to up the ante for him. So we sailed into the mined waters of Guantanamo Bay with sick 9/11 workers and a bullhorn.''

  • Workforce.com: Employers Lash Out At Moore’s "Sicko" Agenda. Like a growing number of employer groups, filmmaker Michael Moore says he wants to fix America’s $2 trillion health care system. But that’s where the similarity ends. Excerpts: Moore’s film Sicko, which he describes as “a comedy about 45 million people with no health care in the richest country on Earth,” promises to deliver a withering, if one-sided, indictment against America’s health care system, taking particular aim at the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

    And though they have not yet seen the movie, to be released nationwide Friday, June 29, health insurance and pharmaceutical executives and employer groups have been striking back at Moore and his proposal to end the health care crisis by abolishing private health insurance in favor of a government-run single-payer plan.

    “The American people do not support a government takeover of the entire health care system because they know that means long waits for rationed care,” says Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s lobby group, in a press release.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
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  • From the Job Cuts Status & Comments page (Note: There were a massive number of posts to this page during the last week. The following is a sampling of the large list of posts received by the Alliance@IBM.)
    • Comment 06/25/07: RE the link in NOSLOW6s post - Looks like IBM is forced to play the PR game in the press to make IBM LEAN look like the TPS LEAN. Maybe the bad press from employees and Cringely hit too close to home for Moffat. I'd like to remind Mr. Moffat that pretending you're good through spin and media manipulation is no substitute for the hard work of actually becoming good. -Frank-
    • Comment 06/26/07: I called Sen. Burr's (NC) office this afternoon and said that the immigration bill 1639 would lower the wages of American workers. The aid replied, "Yes, we know that." I said, "I will vote against Sen. Burr if he does that. "We don't care!", she laughed, and hung up. Unite now...or take care of your house so the H-1B who replaces you can move in after your foreclosure. -We don't matter anymore-
    • Comment 06/26/07: To -We don't matter anymore- Did you get a chance to see him on C-Span yesterday late afternoon in his support against the Employee Free Choice Act? He's another George Bush clone: Same dopey smile and equally clueless. But he's probably filthy rich and has a huge ego, so yeah he don't give a damn for the common folks in NC. I feel sorry for you folks in North Carolina. You're getting screwed by this friend of big business corporations. Yes, you are right, vote this guy out as soon as you can! -burr_hole-
    • Comment 06/26/07: Keep the pressure on your representatives in Congress and the Senate. Let them know the offshoring issue matters to you. The Alliance has made this a very convenient process that takes just 5 minutes. 1. Go to the Alliance’s sample letters page (see link below), 2. Copy the Alliance's form letter 3. Type in your zip code at the bottom of the page to connect you to your representatives’ sites, and 4. Send them the letter. (Don’t forget to personalize the first and last lines of the letter.) Alliance site for more sample letters: http://www.allianceibm.org/offshore/letters.htm -Movin' On-
    • Comment 06/26/07: "I see a lot of whining and complaining here, but precious little creative problem solving." I don't know what -NINE EDGE FIRST-'s little slice of IBM paradise is like. But in mine there's no chance for "creative problem solving" by engineers in the trenches. Not in any way that fixes why IBM sucks to work for. I can't work harder on a product and prevent it from being shipped to India or China. It's happening, and nothing will stop it. Doesn't matter what market share the product has or how the move dings quality. If a product has a ticket on the Bangalore Express, it's gone.

      I can't stop or avoid the cold, wet drizzle of IBM processes that make trying to get work done there so frustrating and slow. Most of the time, we don't even know who we'd contact to try to change them. I use the "cold drizzle" analogy because the endless stream of "Thou Shalt" mandates falls from the sky exactly like that.

      My slice of IBM has become big on "agile" programming. But they do it in a hybrid way that offers the worst of old-school IBM and true agile programming: Breakneck pace of development, but micro-managed via PERT-charts, and with all of the cold drizzle intact. As far as I can tell, "agile" just means "shut up and run faster".

      The most creative thing I can see to do is to find a better job elsewhere. I'd say about half of the engineers at our site are looking elsewhere. Some are "eyes open, would happily leap if the right opportunity knocked". Others are like, "dear God, get me the hell outta here!" looking. I know it doesn't matter if I leave. Or even if half my peers leave. I can't see it changing a single thing. -Ya@endicottalliance.org-

    • Comment 06/27/07: SPIRIT is and always has been a slap in the face to the rank and file. I remember the introductory meeting where they introduced the new "Director of Employee Satisfaction." A Director! How many folks could be retained if that one, superfluous, ludicrous position had been eliminated? I somehow doubt that LEAN would look kindly on that department sticking around, but I bet it will until the folks quit showing up for the sorry SPIRIT events and deem that "employees must have become satisfied all on their own, no more free popcorn for you!" Come on IBM, you don't need an overpaid Director, tons of SPIRIT "communities", and a few pathetic gatherings a year at the major sites to figure out that employee satisfaction comes from getting a decent raise, a decent bonus, and an occasional pat on the back for good work. It's not rocket science. -Spirit of an XIBMer-
    • Comment 06/27/07: Last week at IBM East Fishkill NY a employee with thirty years service and a web designer; thought that because He was a 2+ performer that when he was called to his managers office it was about a promotion. To his surprise a manager told him that is job was headed for resource action and lost his job to globalization. Three people would now do his job. Two in India and the other in China. Wake up people ! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/27/07: I told my manager over a year ago that the Spirit awards were insulting to us and I would not attend them. The money was being used to have pizza parties for us. I told him that we're not children and don't want any damn pizza parties! We are adults with mortgages to pay and utility bills that keep going up every year. We want raises and a fair bonus. They rip us off by making it so that we have to be able to walk on water to get a rating that will get us a raise. Productivity is falling because people feel no matter how hard they work they still won't get a raise. -IBM=I be miserable-
    • Comment 06/28/07: Seeing my team lose 6 people in the last two months, while we added "global" resources at a 2 for 1 ratio...I decided to leave for a competitor and a nice 20% bump in pay. NSD is losing a lot of good people to globalization. -Leaving on my terms-
    • Comment 06/29/07: Well today is my last day after 6 1/2 years. I have tried finding another position within IBM but ran into the usual roadblocks. I did have one colleague who was successful so it is not impossible. The funny thing was I got a modest pay raise after I was RA'd which will pad out my severance a bit. Only at IBM.... -RA - Really Asisnine-
    • Comment 06/29/07: "I have tried finding another position within IBM but ran into the usual roadblocks. I did have one colleague who was successful so it is not impossible." It *was* impossible at Rational. At least one engineer had a verbal offer for an open position. Then, was told that no, all the interviewing stuff was wasted time for everyone. None of the RA'd folks can be re-hired. All the cheery crap in the papers about RA'd engineers getting a chance to find other jobs within IBM was exactly that: crap. -Rational-
    • Comment 06/30/07: Another great week here at IBM. Successfully used "Welcome to Lean" at least 3 times this week. Knocked off every day at 4:20 even though work was there to be done. I simply told those concerned "Welcome to Lean" - management won't let me work after hours. Works like a charm. My claim time takes up 8 hrs a day so I have no time to do extra work. -Chauncy-
    • Comment 06/30/07: I am extremely upset and angry over the LEAN project for our middleware group. I know mgmt looks thru this site, so this is for YOU ! I've been working like a dog. Last week I worked over 90 hours. I tried to talk to my mgr, but all I get is 'I'm sorry, this won't last too long'. Well, you know what...this has been going on for several months now. I'm fed up and I started looking for another job yesterday. I was going to stay because I work from home, but with the hours I am putting in, my hourly rate is so low, I might as well take a job at McDonalds for a pay increase. And also....Thanks mgmt for the piddly 1.5% salary increase this past year. I'm sick of the crap that mgmt feeds me every year. You're a great 2+ performer, You're our expert..blah, blah, blah...its all a pile of horse pucky, and I'm not going to take it anymore! GO UNION! -@yeah YOU!@-
    • Comment 06/30/07: -waiting for the ax- Word on the street is many, many PDMs in Div #23 were dumped last week. Check the org charts .. a handful are moved .. or gone. Seems to be much more silent blood-letting after the Cringley article. Good luck all. -wondering myself-
    • Comment 06/30/07: The admin regs are hitting the road in droves and no replacements being hired to backfill. Remaining admins get the overflow and then expected to work on special projects as well. Awful for morale; the admins are getting sick emotionally and physically. The unspoken word is NOT to submit overtime even though the managers say you must report overtime or be fired. Randy McDonald speaks with forked tongue and gives mixed messages that carry down the line.

      Randy and Jennie Mays - can we put in the overtime for supporting 5 times as many principals than we used to or are we going to be dunned because we 'don't manage our desks well' or 'do not know how to prioritize'? Give us a break, please. We are really the silent minority who never complain; we eat at our desks and work on beat-up outmoded laptops, sign for your packages, get your lunch, order your supplies, plan your big meetings, do your charts, arrange your complicated travel, handle your expense accounts, avoid conference conflicts, and represent your office with amazing political aplomb and good grace.

      If the principals have a flawless day and get their jobs done smoothly, they can thank the efforts of the admins who made it so. The admin managers are just as victimized and consistently put in the position of whipping the dead horses to get more out of us. Maybe the top execs should give up some of their mega-bonuses and let the money trickle down a little....... -Stunned Admin-

  • From the General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 06/26/07: july 11th is the final court date for the overtime lawsuit. I spoke with the lawyers and we should be hearing something in August with a check to follow in the fall. -OTlawsuit-
    • Comment 06/28/07: I am gone tomorrow! RA, just wanted to mention I just saw a piece of email from a network services hotshot in the US. His closing mantra is... ONE TEAM, NO BORDERS, unfricking believable. On that Note I leave. -EX REMOTE BOY-
    • Comment 06/29/07: I worked for IBM Endicott, NY. In July 2002 they sold us out, nearly 2000 of us. We were sold to some local business persons via a deal cooked up by them "EIT"and New York State. 2 weeks after the sale was completed, even after the governor of NYS told us all the sale of the site to EIT would save our jobs; EIT (former IBM Endicott) RA'ed 200 persons! After that a few layoffs of a 100 or so.

      Many of the skill and engineering left EIT. The former IBM panel plant is a shell of what it was now but enjoys lucrative NYS tax breaks. All the EIT owners and silent owners are enjoying the big bucks while x-IBMers within days and weeks of full iBM pension/medical benefits were screwed! I left EIT and found a well paying and job out of the industry.

      My advice, before iBM RA's you or sells you off, look around for other opportunities and do NOT limit yourself to the electronics/service industry. You can do very well, just take the chance. IBM is not worth the waste of your time and life, anymore. If you stay, work to form a union. It will at the least force iBM to show some respect. -TrySomethingNew-

    • Comment 06/29/07: Any government making a deal with IBM for government aid/tax relief in exchange for jobs must be extremely careful and must be prepared to carefully monitor and enforce compliance with the terms of the deal. IBM will attempt to cheat or renege on any such agreement. Just ask the Republic of Ireland. -Rat-
  • Pension Comments page
    • Comment 06/30/07: IBM achieves an efficiency! In my pension statement received today it says ". . . we will no longer be mailing monthly payment statements effective with your August 1, 2007 statement." This will save postage plus a penny or two for producing the statement itself. It does say that you can request to continue receiving paper every month. -Auld Phart-
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 06/25/07: Salary = 148000 with Bonus' Band Level = 9; Job Title = sr engineer; Years Service = 25; Hours/Week = 60; Div Name = 7T; Location = Mid-Hudson Valley Message = receive raises average 2 % per year for the past 4 years. long working hours, no end in sight. Performance Bonus was a joke, PBC's 2+ for the past 4 years. -just a job-
    • Comment 06/28/07: For those lucky to get a salary adjustment would you please share the following if you don't want to post your current salary out here: What was the percent MBA you got? What TCA ("top contributor award") percent did you get? Raises, if you can call them that, were typically anemic or non existent again. I also did not hear the word MERIT anymore in describing about them either. I got a 2% MBA and a .5% TCA. I guess the planning calculator for retirement has to adjust that 2.75% yearly salary growth assumption figure since that is rather unrealistic perhaps now. -MBA+TCA=SOS-
    • Comment 06/28/07: Salary = 58k; Band Level = 7; Job Title = Sysadmin - UNIX / AIX Years; Service = 5; Hours/Week = 40+ but only allowed to claim 40; Div Name = Global Services; Location = New York Message = Was told that job family 24a was exempt from any salary action this year. Market Based Adjustments are 0 this year. I am at the low range of my Market Based scale...but who cares? I hear my division will be LEANED on soon. I used to be proud to work for this company. I think I will move to Bangalore. -Unix Lady-
    • Comment 06/28/07: Salary = 105k + Bonus; Band Level = 9; Job Title = Sr Software Engineer; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = STG; Location = Somers; Message = Raises really suck on a reg basis. Not sure how things will change once people have nothing left to lose when the pension freeze occurs. Doubt enough people will leave to actually wake up management. -Roo-
    • Comment 06/29/07: Salary = 73000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Peon; Years Service = 8 ; Hours/Week = 45+; Div Name = Global Services - ITD; Location = Boulder; Message = To MBA+TCA=SOS- I am in job family 24, there was no MBA allocated by HR for 024 this year. My TCA was 3%. I have received a 1 for the last three years. I am at 65% of my market range. I feel as though IBM is begging me to leave by giving me barely any increase the last 3 years when I got a 1. "IBM differentiates based on pay" = BS. "IBM rewards its top contributors" = BS. -IBM-
    • Comment 06/29/07: Salary = 72K; Band Level = 7; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 1; Hours/Week = 50; Message = 2.5% raise last year -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/29/07: In response to "IBM" poster: Yep, maybe folks gotta read my article again: http://www.allianceibm.org/ibmpayforskills.htm The more things IBM says they change about pay the more they don't do any positive thing about it or what they do change to their "philosophy on pay" it just gets worse for us! Don't just hang around for it to get any worse. Join the Alliance NOW and work to get real pay raises in WRITING and protected by a CONTRACT! -sby_willie-
  • PBC Comments
Vault Message Board Posts:
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Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. A few sample posts follow:

  • "30 Year Handcuffs" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: Most, if not almost all of the ones that were staying for 30 years are staying because of the old richer pension. Now that that's gone you'll see a massive exodus this year.

    As a well-known elder retired IBM executive, I still get asked by many for retirement letters. In June of 2006 I wrote 11 letters. So far this month I've written 71. It's a massive brain drain going on so far this year. The amazing thing is that about 30-40% of the departees I write letters for tell me the numbers of professionals leaving at the 10-20 year experience level are staggering. The ranks are depleted at the customer contact level and are now creeping into the research executive levels.

    When this pig blows it will go quickly, I'm afraid.

  • "The Hope of The FHA" by "Frank_Reality". Full excerpt: Good to hear from you ABC. Besides the 30 year hope of first and second choicers, there's also the hope of getting the Future Hell-th Account. While it would only last around 3-4 years at the current rates and it can be taken away at any time because it doesn't vest, the FHA is better than nothing. What's also keeping some "hanging on" is the need for medical coverage from retirement to Medicare eligibility. The FHA won't cover that full period, thus there are a lot of retirement eligibles with medical issues staying because of the medical coverage.
  • "Sounds like fried pork for all then" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: Well the Pig certainly looks like it's on a collision course with reality. I never worked at a company that had such self serving management where obeying a process was perceived to be success, regardless of the outcome. When I was re-trenched they lost a out-sourcing contract with a potential client they were wooing (getting rid of me and 3 others decimated the team). Shortly after they retrenched a colleague that another client absolutely adored- so much for client consideration - when that goes, so does the business.
  • "The road to 'prosperity'" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: It looks like we bought back another 3.5 billion in stock in Q1 - higher than the pace from last year an annual rate of less than 8 billion. (See http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=IBM). That's an annual rate of almost 10% of the shares outstanding. Way to go guys! That's such a creative way to get the stock price up when the market cap is going down, and you get to sell your exercised options back at a nice profit. There is no shortage of resourcefulness when it comes to personal greed here. Now if you could only apply that talent to winning in the marketplace! So who is going to be stuck holding the last share?
  • "I'm out!" by "yeahsure". Full excerpt: I've been called a cheerleader here a few times, but I would rather term it an optimistic skeptic. I almost made it to a year (I actually believed I would make this a long-term career stop, I REALLY tried and wanted this to work out). My thoughts (apologies in advance for rambling).

    Positive:

    • There is strength in numbers, IBM can do things that no other firm can (this doesn't mean they do them, they just have the ability).
    • Some of the people B9 and below are great. Not as high a percentage of greatness as the other firms, but they aren't all complete morons.

    Negatives (why I'm out):

    • As a B10, I get (some) exposure to the leadership here, and I have found VERY few that have impressed me. Seriously, I can name 2 of the several dozen B10+ that I have met that I consider worthy of being highly paid. Additionally, the people we are hiring from other firms, who are "All-stars" here, are frankly dolts from other firms (I know, I worked with them there, and they were complete losers (JB, SD, SR, etc. are a few).
    • We are so slow to react to a client that I'm shocked that anyone contracts with us. On the big 100MM+ deals that's fine, the sales cycles are so long anyway, we can compete (and compete well I might add, our scale is pretty marketable), but if a client wants to spend <10MM, fogettaboutit, we take too freaking long, and piss clients off.
    • IF we win a deal, then we run into having good people at the B6-B9 level, and a buncha idiots above that, so it completely destroys the fact that we have good people, and potentially good solutions.

    So here's my advice, I think if you're B6-B9, and don't plan on staying long-term, I think this is a great, safe place to be. As long as you don't want to grow to be a partner, and focus solely on building your skills, IBM is a decent place to be, I might even say a good place to be (you COULD do worse, trust me on that).

    If you want to be a leader, or come in as a leader, or you really have a desire to see successful projects, build a network, stay 10 years, etc. this is the wrong place.

    I think it's a simple fix really, someone needs to bite the bullet, and get rid of a LOT of the leadership. I know this is expensive due to pensions, blah blah, but it needs to be done. This can be done fairly... DoR is an exec here (love you man) but he's clearly miserable, there are many like him, and there's no way that many miserable people are really working at 110% capacity, building the best place to work for future leaders. At the same time, I bet those guys would retire right now if the price was right...

    Maybe after the oldster miserable folks leave in the next 10 years, I'll be back. And MAN it is CRAZY being a 30yr old B10 here, I have a few dozen 50yr old B8&9s on my teams, this doesn't count all the oldster B10+s. Not saying there's anything wrong with that, it's just a tad strange, I'm used to being the youngest around but usually we're only off a decade or so, here I'm the youngest by 30 years at times... Anyway, not that it means anything... I think it pisses them off more than I even think about it....

    Anyway. It's late I wish you luck, I'll be around a few weeks, then sign off. (I'm also not like those losers that don't get a life and continually post how crappy it was when I worked there a year ago. When the paychecks stop, I'll post on my new company board (but I'll lurk here for fun!!) SP

  • "Good Luck - You'll Do Fine" by "GTS Grunt". Full excerpt: You were in a hot growth area with lots of potential, but not one in which the Blue Pig can compete effectively with all its processes. They think they can win on price and process, but it'll fail, especially in your segment.

    You are a perfect candidate for the boutique practices, except that in a smaller organization, you need to do a lot of jobs and many IBM executives fail because they won't dare get their hands dirty. Don't let IBM false pride get in the way of success. That's what makes folks like JB losers. It's gotten to their heads and they've been re-programmed.

    I'll pass the fact that you've left to the ancientblueconsultant, who introduced me to this board. He's been sweeping the market with those oldsters in that niche of yours.

    Don't worry, Scott, the old farts like me with tons of experience and tens of thousands of hours of billable experience are bailing out quickly. That strong base of B6-B9 will be full of newbies before long. Don't forget that as you leave voluntarily without a package you need to sign nothing, especially the "Statement of Understanding". Don't hobble yourself at the gate before your glorious run.

  • "Call it Tough Love" by "Frank_Reality". Excerpts A person should come to IBM with as much information as possible and not just the PR spin that one gets from the company. That due diligence includes honest and direct feedback from a cross section of people who actually have worked there. There are a minority who actually may like working for IBM. There are different organizations that are better than others. Thus, IBM is a good long term employer for only a minority of employees.

    I believe for most people in most organizations, a person should consider hiring in to IBM under two and only two circumstances - a) they have no place better to go, or b) they do not plan to stay more than 3 to 5 years.

    There are two parts of the business to avoid - the consulting and the services parts of the business. Just about any other part of the business is better than these two.

If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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