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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—August 11, 2007

  • US News and World Report: All Work and No Play Makes a Company...Unproductive. By Justin Ewers. Excerpts: It may be summertime, but the living isn't easy—not for weary workers whose last vacation is a distant memory. According to one recent study, 1 in 4 employees in the United States doesn't get any paid vacation. Almost half don't take even a week off every year. Economists estimate that the average American works one more month per year today than in 1976.

    Small-business owners are taking this daily grind to a whole new level. The number of employers at companies with fewer than 100 workers who plan to take a summer vacation has continued to fall in the past four years. Two in three bosses worry about their businesses when they're out of the office. Fully 75 percent check in by phone or E-mail even when they're on "vacation," many of them several times a day.

    But is all this work good for business? As the last weeks of summer vacation days slip away-unused—yet again, researchers are insisting these extreme jobs have a dark side. All work and no play really can make Jack a dull boy: Apart from health risks that come with overwork, people who don't get out of the office tend to be less creative, less productive, and, ultimately, less effective. If there is one thing small-business owners can do to improve their companies' performance, experts say, it is take some time off.

  • Yahoo! message board post "IBM Class Action Suit for non payment of commissions and FMS Errors" by Ritchie Schlette. Full excerpt: Fellow IBM'ers: Thank you, to the IBM'ers on this Yahoo group who have given me advice on how to handle this situation.

    I have been working through the open door process regarding the non payment of sales commissions for three months now. IBM HR has gone dark and refuses to close the open door.

    Like me, many IBM'ers have been ripped off by management over the years with regard to non payment of sales commissions. Recent issues with the FMS system and delay after delay in payment and the inability of IBM management to clearly and concisely show how commissions are calculated are the basis for this lawsuit. Because IBM refuses to deal fairly and openly I have hired an attorney to represent us.

    If you believe IBM has not paid you commissions for your sales results in the past four years, I invite you to join me in a possible class action lawsuit. Please reply to me and I can forward contact information to you for mutual legal representation. Please be prepared to detail your exact claim and the basis for such.

    Kind Regards, Ritchie Schlette Ph. 214-454-7108

  • ChannelWeb Network: Top Ten Solution Provider Complaints About IBM. VARs pull no punches as they tell why IBM can get under their skin. By Steven Burke, Craig Zarley and Scott Campbell.
  • ChannelWeb Network: Does IBM Matter To You? Not feeling the love anymore? You're not alone. For IBM VARs, 'true blue' has taken on a whole new meaning. By Craig Zarley, Steven Burke,
  • Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: Hinchey: IBM study will be a priority. By Tom Wilber. Excerpt: A plan to conduct a comprehensive study to determine cancer rates among 28,000 IBM Endicott workers has become a priority for federal researchers after federal lawmakers built it into the legislative process, U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey said. Hinchey, D-Hurley, was scheduled to make the announcement publicly at a 1:30 p.m. press conference at the village offices.
  • Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: IBM cancer study gets federal push $3.2M in funding almost '100 percent certain'. By Tom Wilber. Excerpt: Federal scientists will have money to proceed with a monumental study of cancer rates among 28,000 IBM-Endicott employees that will advance science about illness and chemical exposure, U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey said Thursday. Hinchey, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said he has secured funding necessary for the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health to begin the $3.2 million study in the next fiscal year, which begins in October.
  • For those of us that are consultants, a visit to the Getting Drunk in First Class blog can be entertaining. The site's tag line is "Crazy Ass Consulting Stories Published in Rightsized Cyclic Production Output Intervals." Most of the stories appear to be written by individuals working at firms with much more generous expense account allowances than IBM provides, yet the stories about air travel, Power Point presentations, clients, obnoxious Partners, will still ring true to lowly IBM Global Services road warriors. Note: Some of the posts on Getting Drunk in First Class are offensive, especially to women. We wish they weren't included on this otherwise informative and entertaining Web site.
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
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  • Physicians for a National Health Program: 'Sicko' economics, round 2. By David Felix. Excerpts: John Goodman summarizes his critique of Michael Moore’s documentary on health care reform (“Sicko is no model for health care reform,” BDN, July 21), as follows: “So what are we to make of Moore and his documentary’? Economists, like other scientists, study reality in order to adapt to it. Artists, by contrast, selectively focus on some facts and ignore others in order to recreate reality.” Bad economics is thus Goodman’s basic charge against “Sicko.”

    This charge prompted me, an economist, to see the documentary. My conclusion? Moore is far less guilty of flawed economics and disregard of relevant facts than is Goodman. Moore is also straightforward about his values and ideology, whereas Goodman masks his as scientific economics. This impels me to defend my profession by exposing the falsity of his claims, and some of the salient facts that he ignores.

  • California Nurses Association: The Candidates Need to Catch Up to the Public. By Rose Ann DeMoro. Excerpts: Those presidential candidates who continue to tip toe on the critical issues facing voters ought to take a close look at poll results in Thursday's Wall Street Journal. The poll shows again how far the voters are ahead of the cautious politicians, especially on such essential matters as overhaul of our dysfunctional health care system and the hijacking of our economic and public life by big corporations. (Admittedly, it may be the last independent glimpse like this we see in the news pages of the venerable Journal whose new owner Rupert Murdoch is a greater practitioner of fantasy than Harry Potter.) [...]

    Every top tier presidential candidate continues to cling to health care reform proposals that would reward and reinforce the very insurance companies and pharmaceutical industry that have caused our present health care disaster and put so many Americans at financial and health risk. [...]

    No wonder Americans are worried, and why they are increasingly angry at the corporations that profit off pain and suffering. Insurance industry profits jumped from $20.8 billion in 2002 to $57.5 billion in 2006, according to a June report by the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, the research arm of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee. In the same period, drug company profits went from $64.4 billion to $94.8 billion.

  • New York Times: Less, Less, Less! More, More, Moore!. By Robin Toner. Excerpts: From the very beginning of the nation’s modern social welfare system — even before Michael Moore began to explore the issue — there was a tension in it: What should the government be expected to provide? What should be left to the individual? How much government is too much?

    The questions were asked even in 1935, not exactly a time to instill confidence in the resilient power of private markets. Senator Thomas Pryor Gore, Democrat of Oklahoma, put it bluntly when Frances Perkins, the secretary of labor, testified on Capitol Hill that year about President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan for a new program called Social Security.

  • Boston Globe: A free-market cure for US healthcare system. By Rudolph W. Giuliani. Excerpts: America is at a crossroads when it comes to healthcare. All Americans want to increase the quality, affordability, and portability of healthcare. The 2008 election presents a decisive debate on how to reach this goal.

    The Democratic candidates for president believe in a government-mandated model that looks for inspiration to the socialized medical systems of Europe, Canada, and Cuba.

    Most Republicans believe in expanding individual choice and decision-making. I believe we can reduce costs and improve the quality of care by increasing competition. We can do it through tax cuts, not tax hikes. We can do it by empowering patients and their doctors, not government bureaucrats. Instead of being more like Europe, we need to be more like America

  • Los Angeles Times: Under the influence. Savvy marketing whets our appetite for prescription pharmaceuticals. Consumers, doctors, researchers -- no one is immune By Melissa Healy, Excerpts: For many Americans, a doctor's decision to prescribe medication is something of a sacred transaction. A physician considers the patient and symptoms and chooses the best drug for the job, drawing upon years of training and clinical experience. It is an exchange conducted in a hushed sanctuary, far from the heat and noise of the marketplace -- a place where cool judgment reigns.

    That sanctuary has been breached. Today, drug manufacturers do everything in their considerable power to ensure that their brand-name prescription medications are on the lips of patients and in the minds of physicians every time the two meet across an exam table. A growing chorus of critics says their efforts have begun to rewrite the dialogue between patient and doctor, influence physicians' judgments and open the act of prescribing to forces more profit-minded than sacred.

  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Swedish will no longer accept United HealthCare coverage. By Bill Virgin. Excerpts: Swedish Medical Center will no longer accept insurance coverage for its patients from United HealthCare because, it says, the health plan doesn't reimburse it enough for treatment by its physicians and in its hospitals. In letters being sent to its patients, Swedish says acceptance of United HealthCare plans will end Sept. 8 for physicians in its hospitals and clinics, and Oct. 8 for the hospital itself. [...]

    In a memorandum to Swedish managers and employees, the Seattle-based health care system said it is terminating its contract with United because its reimbursement rate is not only below commercial average, but is "the lowest of all commercial payers." While not specifying how much less than market rates United is paying, Veilleux characterized the gap as being "millions of dollars below." "United consistently refuses to increase its reimbursement to competitive levels to keep pace with the cost of providing services," the memo said. But Minneapolis- [...]

    Swedish said it also takes into consideration in negotiating reimbursement rates such value-based factors as payment timeliness and accuracy, payer size, ease of operations, contract simplicity and physician compensation. "United has the lowest value-assessment score of our payers," the memorandum from Swedish management said.

  • Yahoo! message board post: "Seattle -- Swedish Hospital and United Health Care on the Outs" by "over20ibmer". Full excerpt: It's looking like Seattleites will be paying more for Swedish Hospital Services--as they transition to an "out of network" provider beginning next month. Is this how "Usual and Prevailing Rate" is set- -by knocking out #1 hospitals in a regional market?
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 08/04/07: Welcome2TheNewCorpAmerica - Spot on. Everyone should read "The Corporation" to understand the history and "mentality" of corporations and why they have one goal in mind, and will do ANYTHING (moral/immoral, legal/illegal) to reach their goal. Additionally, I'd ask people to read "Fast Food Nation" for a glance at a specific industry and the greed that drives corporations to do EVERYTHING they can (again, moral/immoral, legal/illegal) to reach their goal of increasing shareholder value. I'd also add that you CAN do things to help yourself aside from complaining. Realize that you HAVE to supplement your income by investing in YOURSELF via acquiring assets today. Corporate America has no care what happens to you - YOU must help YOU. -CorporateDrone-
    • Comment 08/04/07: Frank M, you are absolutely right. Ever since I have been in IT (15 years) companies (most any company) is not loyal to their employees and only concerned about the "bottom line". Employers and HR folks generally acknowledge this and do no longer question why someone has been with 9 different employers in 15 years. In most cases they actually consider this an advantage because of knowledge transfer issues. So I vote for everyone quitting (not all at once cause that affects my rate) and find a job elsewhere. In the meantime, the IBM board of directors will still be blind to the foolish moves they are making and how they are treating their employees. The Board of directors does not care, as long as they get their bonuses and retire before the company totally goes down the tubes. So do what is best for "your bottom line" (and your mental health) and start looking elsewhere for employment. -Kiss My Bottom Line-
    • Comment 08/05/07: Since the IBM stock is going down expect another round of LEANing and firings by the end of this month, especially in USA IGS. WHY? The only way IBM knows how to do to turn a profit is to cut costs. If cutting costs means a higher stock price, even if the policy is unsound, they will blindly do it. IBM to it's USA employees: Have a Happy Labor Day: it might very well be your last in IBM. -end_of_summer-
    • Comment 08/05/07: I am currently an IBM employee and I am sick and tired of the way the hard working stiffs are being treated. The corporate exec's who sit in there offices all day long have no idea what is actually happening at any of the company sites. They are so far removed from reality. So here's a little something for all of the shareholders to contemplate: Once IBM corporate exec's continue to layoff there once greatest assets"there employees" the shareholders will not have a company to invest in. IBM was once one of the 100 best companies to work for in the U.S. and I can tell you this from personnel experience they are not and will no longer ever be on that list.

      So to all you corporate exec's in Armonk get up out of your cushy chairs and take a trip to any of your plants and listen to the hate that your fellow employees have for you and this company. You can forget about making any type of schedule anymore because your once greatest asset "your employees" could really care less anymore. You have created a monster by allowing profits to out weigh the value of a human being and there loyalty towards this once great company. So to Sam Palmisano and the other corporate exec's who make it a daily ritual of lying and ruining people's lives, I hope you can sleep at night knowing that one of these days you will not have a job to wake up to at IBM either. Remember "What comes around, goes around". -Anonymous-

    • Comment 08/06/07: Managers are getting rid of older employees who are retirement eligible putting the performance at 3 level and then forcing them out. My manager told I was doing 3 work in july. only thing is I don't care I told her I could give a Rats ass. After jumping through hoops the last 5 years to get 30. I got it and I am ready to go. Give me the package and let me outta this losing place. Ibm has no heart and hire managers with no ethics. This is a losing game for US employees. Less is more. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 08/08/07: My manager called me in his office and told me that my job performance has dropped. I am 55 years old with 25 years at IBM. When I asked him what the problem was he kept looking at his folder. He was very careful with his words. He wasn't specific about what I could do to improve. I've been a 1 and 2 performer for years. I feel like a golf ball on the tee ready to get whacked. My manager is a 30 something with absolutely no ethics or morals at all. Funny thing is upper management seems to love him. -Joe IBM-
    • Comment 08/09/07: RE: JOE-IBM - You should have some fun with your manager. CHALLENGE HIM formally and copy IBM HR. Ask for documentation of what is deficient in your performance, so that you can formally address the issues with him. Also, ask for how him to document how your performance is below that of your teammates, so you can provide a formal response. If they are going after you, you might as well have some fun and you may also have them document an AGE-DESCRIMINATION situation for you. You should also ask for your manager to give you in writing - what the difference is in what you are doing vs what is in your COMMITMENTS document and also, if you have been selected for separation from IBM and why ! SMILE the whole time you are with your manager and be sure and say THANK-YOU when you leave the office. -no_ky-
    • Comment 08/09/07: After being a 1 or 2 performer for 9 yrs, I got my worst rating last year, despite being a top performer in my team. Took 3 months of maternity leave off & my mgr claimed that I didn't perform as much as others who were there the whole year. This yr, I have a different boss, who not only approved a salary increase but said I was the best she's had yet...and I got the ax in June. She told me that it was all of a sudden and she was told last minute to get rid of X # of people in such-and-such job categories and band levels. All I gotta say is:
      1. There were an awful lot of aged 50+ workers in the list that I got in my separation package.
      2. . Sam Palmisano is sinking the ship. He suffers from having only worked for IBM his entire life, so he's been incorporated into the IBM-Borg way of thinking. Translation: no new innovation. No leadership. No inspiration. When are the stockholders going to figure it out and bring in a new CEO?
      3. Family-friendly company, my butt!
      4. I'm glad that I never bothered doing the whole IBM Certified Project Manager thing. Nobody outside IBM cares about that. -laidoffoutwest-
    • Comment 08/09/07: Joe IBM - your manager is 30 with no morals or ethics? It sounds like he has a long and successful career ahead of him at IBM. My manager has morals and ethics but is a victim of the overwhelming climate of fear that is so widespread in the company. This company does not see employees as assets, but rather liabilities that need to be gotten ridden of. -DB-
    • Comment 08/10/07: Latest Rumor is that there will be another cut in November; a BIG one. I heard in the thousands. It seems that IBM is prepping Fishkill for sale and Plans on Closing Poughkeepsie by 2010. Update your resume's folks. we that are left are in for a very bumpy ride. -waiting on the chopping block-
    • Comment 08/10/07: I read the letter that Mike Cadigan put out after firing 450 STG employees on 7/30/07. It's amazing he'd have the gall to address the STG organization as, "Team!" What kind of team turns on its own? Imagine IBM executives leading any sports team? Or military operation? As a quarterback they would deliberately trip you up, throw passes to you, behind your back, then blame YOU for missing the pass! IBM managers, personnel and execs, leading a military squad, you'd likely be shot in the back! IMB management needs to, put down the crack pipes, they are pulling for the team or America. It's mainly about saving their own butts at others expense! -TeamIBMHa-
  • From the General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 08/03/07: Managers at IBM have not only hit an all time low but they have now made an eternal bond with the devil. Who spends 8 years of their life achieving a PHD education to waste it on a 1st line managers position. All you are is a messenger from the depths doing the dirty work of your 2nd and 3rd line masters. Isn't that right F. T. jerkoff -Joe Blow-
    • Comment 08/04/07: Yesterday was my last at IBM after 8 years. Like most people on this forum, I was sick of my 1 ratings and 2% raises. Perhaps my favorite quote, that sums up IBM greatly - my manager saying "In order to avoid working weekends in October, you should start working weekends now". To anyone reading this board and considering leaving IBM, I would highly advise it. The "market" rates that they quote you are BS, and you'll most likely find yourself with a 40-50% raise out in the real world. -Anon-
    • Comment 08/05/07: I am glad to see many of you have woken up to what's really going on. To those left, please slow down. Do as little as possible to keep your job especially since we all know being a good performer is no assurance you will keep your job. So, why bother, please slow down. We can get them good with reduced productivity and it will hurt them bad. -screwedinRTPnc-
    • Comment 08/06/07: I'm glad to see that someone else has been monitoring IBM exec stock activities. As a laid-off employee (possible triple-threat: Job injury, age, gender) I was forced to sell most of my stock. It wasn't much but I was desperate. I'd already wiped out everything else. Luckily I had enough time to monitor the Palmisano and crowd activities. I saw the elevator pattern and was able to wait till it reached a limit where they usually sold and did so myself. Then I watched it drop, they re bought, held, drove up price, resold--bought even more...what a racket! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 08/06/07: To Anon who said "The "market" rates that they quote you are BS, and you'll most likely find yourself with a 40-50% raise out in the real world" --- what land of milk and honey are you living in? I assume you're referring to someone under 35 that is living in a major metropolitan area. Try being 50 and finding a job - ANY job - if you live in areas such as Endicott or Poughkeepsie. Moving is out of the question because housing prices in the above areas are depressed because of the glut of properties already on the market. Also hard to gamble moving not knowing if the new job will really last (nothing like having the double whammy of being over 50 *AND* being the new guy in the company). And despite all of the hype you read, companies are NOT eager to let you telecommute either. I'm glad things are looking all rosy for you. -Been.There-
    • Comment 08/06/07: Hey Sam, do you hear it? Do your hear the legislature outcry against your free trade and outsourcing strategy? Are you scared? You should be. You guys took it too far. You shoved it in everyone's face and now it's coming back to haunt you. You will not win and you will be begging American workers not to quit. The tide is turning in Washington, can you can hear the rudder in the Potomac? You guys are screwed. Do you think this company can survive without American IT skills? Go ahead, fire us all, I dare you. Burn in hell Mr. Sam Palmisano. -screwedinRTPnc-
    • Comment 08/08/07: Sadly, Sam has no reason to give a rat's pa toot what happens to IBM at this point...or what happens to the US, for that matter. He's got his. Think about it. Estimate how much you will conceivably make in your lifetime, then imagine that IBM decided that they had faith in you as an employee, and they paid you the entire amount upfront, no strings attached. While you would be very grateful to IBM, you would not necessarily lose sleep over how well you were doing your job subsequently, or what your clueless manager thought about you, or, ultimately, what happened to IBM long term. In a May article in Financial Times Howard Gardner suggested that anyone who makes more than 100 times the average US salary should be taxed at 100% on the excess. This might make these guys less likely to cripple the long term health of US companies for the sake of their own personal short term windfalls, which currently average 400 times the average worker's salary annually. -alreadyGone-
    • Comment 08/08/07: Apparently project LEAN has been so successful that SWG has to prioritize all its projects - in the hundreds across the SWG division - to ensure that IGS has the "FOCUS" on getting the top ones done. LEAN apparently means UNDERSTAFFED. -SWG Employee-
    • Comment 08/09/07: The Poughkeepsie site hosted a 3 day LEAN meeting between the Operations Managers and Operations Team Leads this week. I hope everyone welcomed the Distributed and Mainframe Ops managers. We were happy to see them planning the next round of LEAN. -No Lean-
  • Pension Comments page
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 08/05/07: Well how was your raise back in June folks? Not too many people it seems are willing to disclose what they got judging from this board. Why not willing to disclose? If you are embarrassed or afraid to disclose what you didn't get or expect then why not do something about it??? JOIN the ALLIANCE now, work toward a CONTRACT, and get your RAISE in WRITING!!! -raise_what_raise?-
    • Comment 08/06/07: We just had our job families lowered a few levels also. IBM had a big push on the w3 web site earlier this year on how they were going to get everyone as close as possible to the Pay Performance Point (I'm guessing this is the old "Market Value"). Well, they failed miserably with our raises and got us no where close. So how did they achieve it? They recategorized us into lower paying job families and now we're at mid point. Thanks IBM for screwing the hard working employee once again. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 08/07/07: Salary = 68K; Band Level = 6; Job Title = Software Developer; Years Service = 3; Hours/Week = 40-45; Location = Canada; Message = Consistent 2+ PBC. 4.5% bonus and 4% raise every year for last 3 years. -Donald-
    • Comment 08/09/07: Salary = 71000; Band Level = 7; Job Title = Web hosting system administrator ;Years Service = 5.5; Hours/Week = 50+; Div Name = 07; Location = Colorado; Message = I don't work at IBM anymore, but the above is what I was making base pay-wise. The inconsistency at IBM is astounding. A few years ago, I had a 3 PBC rating, and still got a ~6% raise at band 6. Last year I received both a band promotion and a 1 PBC rating, and I got a paltry 4% raise which bumped me up to the salary reflected above. Considering that I was "expected" to work 44 hours a week, and usually worked 50-60+, I was only making about $27/hr! I got a 40% (!) raise by leaving IBM and going to work for a small company, where I work 40 hours a week. -Anonymous-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 08/04/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr Bonus = 3400; Prior Yr Bonus = 4500; Message = Look at the math. 2005 was horrible for IBM, 2006 was great. I got a higher PBC this year too. And I got 1100 less. Lesson from IBM? Your performance has nothing to do with your bonus. Guess I'll aim for a low rating from now on. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 08/06/07: Anon - Be happy you got something. I took on more work, more responsibility, worked harder, worked longer hours, and received more recognition from the year before. The result? No bonus, no raise, and no promotion. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how hard I'll be working this (or any other future) year. -CapitalismBecomesCorporatism-
Vault Message Board Posts:
Minimize

Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.

  • "Are you stupid enough to believe this?" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: A job advertisement in australia: " IBM stands at the top of their industry and to maintain this position, we require those that were at the top of their class. Graduating soon?"
  • "Sure" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: In order for the brand to continue, there must be fanatical belief in the BS from Armonk. Reality is irrelevant to the brand. Perception is all. The sheep must be dazzled by a zealous religion before they can be shorn. The more the disconnect, the stronger the belief. Accepting reality is losing and losing is not an option. The day the veneer is cracked the collapse will be swift and sudden. Until then, once you drink the kool aid.....
  • "Do you believe that day is coming?" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: ABC, Based on some of your prior posts, it would seem IBM's collapse is imminent. What do you think it will take before the market loses favour with the company?.
  • "But are we waiting for Godot?" by "wonderaboutibm". Full excerpt: Some of us are beginning to wonder -- the parlor game might just go on indefinitely. ABC, what's the chance that those of us on the inside (certainly would include you even if you are no longer at IBM) are a bit too jaundiced? Don't get me wrong --IBM continues to look like a joker's deck from the inside. But I think the gossamer strands could hold for quite a while. Hell, they certainly have the stock market snookered.
  • "Godot - God on Over Time?" by "ancientblueconsultant". Excerpt: After almost 40 years of trying to understand the Blue Pig, I cannot say I know the answer to your query. It could happen quickly, it could take another 10 years. Personally, I believe it will come when we and Armonk least expect it. On the other hand, there are stories like this emerging more and more every day: http://www.crn.com/it-channel/201202646
  • "A recent discussion of mine" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: The article is interesting. An excerpt reads: David Hudgins, president of PC Products & Services, a Greensboro, N.C., IBM partner, said his HP business is up this year, while his IBM business is flat to slightly down. "The channel is feeling more love from HP," said Hudgins. "IBM just doesn't have the field coverage out there they were always known for. We just don't see the IBM people like we used to."

    This reminds of a discussion I had with a SUN unix systems administrator. He said when there is a need to apply a patch, a SUN employee turns up within about 2 hours. IBM merely sends out a diskette/CD? and expects you to handle it yourself. He cited that as one reason for SUN's continued success.

  • "Maybe a whimper instead of a boom?" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: I've been surfing the web tonight. Seems that the activity here has dropped recently, which may be a sign that GBS is also dying quietly. It could also be that since there are less slaves and the desperation in Armonk rising, GBS folks are too busy chasing new objectives even less possible to achieve rather than posting here. Too bad. The Vault is informative and therapeutic for most of us who live a career within the wilderness of mirrors.

    In any case, I thought of the possibility that we might all be caught unaware and that IBM's implosion might turn out to be a whimper rather than a visible boom. Westinghouse's end was like that, as well as RJR/Nabisco after the cookie man raped and pillaged it.

    There are more troubling troubling signs. Here's the next CRN article on IBM and SMB: http://www.crn.com/it-channel/201203007 "Top Ten Solution Provider Complaints About IBM" By Craig Zarley, Scott Campbell, Steven Burke, CMP Channel. From the August 06, 2007 issue of CRN. Not a good article for Sam's report card on the SMB side of the business.

    On a much lighter note, there's a fabulously funny article by an obvious graduate "NoMoreBig Blue" of Global Blue Slaves on an interesting web site. http://www.gettingdrunkinfirstclass.com/2007/07/28/consultant-rite-of-passage/#comments I guess if you can't get rest or sell anything, a slave has got to do what a slave must do....

  • "Searching for a straight man" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: Wow, after I wrote that title, I noticed the triple entendre, so let me get this message back on track quick. I meant I am looking for Bud Abbot.

    There are a few forces at play on this board. First, the sponsored trolls were pulled almost a year ago. They have popped up sporadically since then, but IBM finally figured out that they can't fight the truth in this kind of medium. All the usual tactics failed miserably - discrediting the messenger through personal attacks and claims of bias, pointing to ancient history and reputation as evidence of its greatness, censorship, and misrepresentation of their own identities. They finally realized (after I mentioned it a half dozen times), that the traffic on this board was directly correlated to the level of their effort to defend themselves.

    Second, it's all been said, and there is a legacy of information on this board that only a dense or brainwashed idiot could ignore. There is absolutely no excuse for someone to misunderstand what it means to work here. I looked back through my post copies, and I have somewhere in excess of 2,000, not counting the ones that were just typed in directly. It's like that old commercial - "Hey, I did it, I reached the end of the internet"

    Finally, the word is definitely out on the street about what IBM is like. All we are able to recruit now is retreads, and mediocre college new hires. Sure we do reel in a few with talent, but by and large those that we recruit are right-sized for IBM. Only the clients are suffering now, or at least only they realize that they were duped.

    Heck, even the ________ have abandoned this site (you know - oli prefix) - beaten back with incontrovertible logic that all the unfounded jingoism in the world can't defend against.

    So I stand ever ready at the keyboard with my trusty satellite link, waiting for the fish to swim by and take the bait. It's a little slow out here at the canyon, so if there are any bottom feeders out there that would like to engage in some healthy, yet rehashed debate, feel free to jump right in! The chum slick has been laid, and the bait is just laying there motionless in the slack tide!

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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