Well, the day to leave has arrived. I certainly didn’t expect to be leaving IBM except on my own terms when I retired in a few more years. After 33+ years, IBM has decided that I am no longer needed. Nor is the entire Emerging Technologies team that I was a member of. That is what is really incongruous. We were a team that was working on forward thinking projects, exactly what IBM claims that it wants. Many projects, including the one I was working on, had customers and were building new businesses for IBM. Oh, but we didn’t have the name “Watson” in our title so we must not be useful and in the minds of the upper level folks, we “cost too much” (sarcasm intended).
My emotions vary between sadness and anger. I am sad to be leaving a wonderful team and manager, sad at what IBM has become, sad to be saying goodbye to so many friends and colleagues from over the years. At least keeping in touch is easier with social networking sites but it isn’t the same as a friendly chat in the hallways and catching up over lunch.
I am angry that IBM is turning its back on so many dedicated employees. I am angry that I am no longer valued, angry when I see IBM advertising job openings on social media, angry that I have to start over somewhere else. Angry that after 33 years I receive only 1 month of severance pay. A few years ago I would have received 6 months due to my length of service. In addition, by letting people go on the day before the last day of the pay period, we don’t accrue and are not paid for vacation for the last half of this month. It is all just so petty.
I have found a position with a startup. I will work part time for the summer and we will both reevaluate the relationship in the fall. I am continuing to interview for other positions and have had some good interviews. Thankfully I don’t have children in colleges or significant debt to increase my anxiety.
Life goes on. If I have learned anything over the last several years it is that nothing is guaranteed. There is no cap on happiness or good fortune just as there is no cap on sorrow or hardships. Tomorrow is a new day, new experiences await.
As for IBM, they lose.