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.
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.
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.