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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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2006/12/18 Accelerated early retirement

The time between the announcement of Greg’s retirement and the actual reception was … brief.
We can’t say that it was totally unexpected, with the way that year-end headcounts are done, but the early retirement of my (ex-)manager Greg happened quite rapidly. Less than a week after an e-mail announcement from Rick came out — surely buried in the mass of end-of-year rush — a group of colleagues convened at Viva City to wish Greg well.

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