Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2010/01/06 Quarter century lunch

I have been honoured to work for the same company for 25 years.
I started work at IBM on January 2, 1985.  Following a tradition of a Quarter Century Clubs in the company going back to 1924,  the beginning of 2010 marked my 25th year of service.  With a choice of venues for lunch, I made an unconventional choice with a Korean restaurant, Seoul House.  We got a private room that turned out to include karaoke, but were disinclined to sing.  We gave a few guidelines to the waitress for ordering, resulting in a sushi appetizer in a large serving that could have been more than a whole meal.

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I had a cross section of friends attending over the 25-year period.  Norm was a mentor when I first started in headquarters plans and controls, and retired prior to IBM becoming a services company.  Diana and I married during my first year on the job, and she coincidentally became a  coop student at IBM during her work terms at Seneca College.  I met Greg in the days of the late 1980s in the retail branch when he was a systems engineer, and he later became my manager in IBM Consulting Group.  Anita was a colleague consultant in the early 2000s Business Consulting Services, once assigned a task of extracting a linear storyline out of my convoluted thinking to produce a report the customer might understand.  Stephen joined the company only 6 months after me, and we became friends while working together in 2008 in Industry Solution Sales.

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Before we started the grilled beef main courses, Mary Ellen snapped this group photo.  She was my current Canadian manager, matrixed to Antonio in the U.S.  Other colleagues that I had invited unfortunately sent regrets, as they chose to escape the Toronto winter with sunny vacations.

It’s official.  I’m now one of the “old guys” in the company.  I never intended to be at IBM for 25 years, it just happened.  I’ve been fortunate to have a long series of good managers and great colleagues.  I don’t expect to retire any time soon, and continue to enjoy the professionalism and camaraderie in the IBM culture.

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Thurs. Nov. 10, 2005: Hours like a student

Consulting hours aren’t much unlike those of my experiences as a university student.
David’s work hours seem to follow those of student days.

(by David): In my work like, not much has changed since 1976, when I first started university. I read articles and books, and write reports, most of the days — work days, and weekend, although the content is sometimes different.

Working in consulting usually means a little bit of a rush towards the end, even if the project is well-managed. In the earlier days of a consulting gig, there’s always a possibility to move around deliverables a bit, but at end of the project is the end of the project, so everything has to be wrapped up.

I’ve known since August that I was planning to leave for Finland on November 11, so this hasn’t been a surprise. I’ve been managing the consulting time pretty well — there’s really only me and antoher consultant, and we’ve been working together well — but working towards a final report means that there can effectively only be one person that “owns” the document at any given time. It’s possible to work on sections, and copy-and-paste them into a master document, but there’s always the risk of making mistakes doing that.

So, the schedule was a four-hour slot for a Powerpoint presentation on the second last today — this Thursday — and then the final report due on the Friday.

On the late Wednesday night (actually early Thursday), I was up until 1 a.m.

On the Thursday night, I asked my colleague to finish up around 8 p.m., and hand the document over to me. I started working on the document around 8:30 p.m., and finished at 4 a.m. When I spoke to him on Friday morning, I told him that the document was all his to finish. The amount that he had to finish was up to him, but most of the content of a 70-page-plus document was done.

These types of deadlines definitely give me a flashback to student days …. Nothing much has changed.

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