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August 11, 2001 August 4, 2001 July 28, 2001 July 21, 2001 July 14, 2001 July 7, 2001 June 30, 2001 June 23, 2001 June 16, 2001 June 9, 2001 June 2, 2001 May 26, 2001 May 19, 2001 May 12, 2001 May 5, 2001 2001 Stock Meeting April 21, 2001 April 14, 2001 April 7, 2001 March 31, 2001 March 24, 2001 March 17, 2001 March 10, 2001 March 3, 2001 February 24, 2001 February 17, 2001 February 10, 2001 February 3, 2001 January 27, 2001 January 20, 2001 January 13, 2001 January 6, 2001 December 30, 2000 December 23, 2000 December 16, 2000 December 9, 2000 December 2, 2000 November 24, 2000 November 17, 2000 November 10, 2000 November 4, 2000 October 28, 2000 October 21, 2000 October 14, 2000 October 7, 2000 September 30, 2000 September 23, 2000 September 16, 2000 September 9, 2000 September 2, 2000 August 26, 2000 August 19, 2000 August 12, 2000 July 29, 2000 July 22, 2000 July 15, 2000 July 1, 2000 June 24, 2000 June 17, 2000 June 10, 2000 June 3, 2000 May 27, 2000 May 20, 2000 May 13, 2000 May 6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—December 1, 2007

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "To Network Div employees impacted by sale to ATT" by Lee Conrad. Full excerpt: Please contact the Alliance@IBM at endicottalliance @ stny.rr.com.
  • Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: IBM pollution settlement talks fail. Attorneys plan to file suit against company in January. By Tom Wilber. Excerpts: Negotiations to settle more than $100 million in health and property claims related to pollution from the former IBM factory have failed, leaving attorneys representing nearly 1,000 area clients planning to file a lawsuit against the company in January. IBM's offer of $3 million to settle all claims, with a release from further action, fell well short of expectations, according to a letter to clients dated Nov. 27 from Levene Gouldin & Thompson, a Vestal law firm.

    The plaintiffs will press forward with litigation "based on these very disappointing developments, especially in light of the more than three years we had spent meeting with IBM in what we always assumed was good faith bargaining," the letter states. ....

    Lawyers representing plaintiffs began talks with IBM in 2004 with the expectation of reaching a settlement. According to the Nov. 27 letter, IBM's $3 million offer did not include personal injury claims, which IBM believes are without merit. But the offer would require a provision that would release the company from those claims, anyway. "We're disappointed," said Stephen G. Schwarz, a lawyer with the Rochester firm of Faraci & Lange, part of the legal team. "We are surprised it went as long as it did," considering the sides were never close to an agreement.

    IBM's final offer was given after changes in the company's management created "a new attitude ... concerning claims arising from chemical contamination, and the type of litigation through which contamination claims are asserted and resolved," according to the letter. It was signed by attorney Philip Johnson, writing on behalf of a legal team including five firms from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree - Information Exchange message board: "2008 medical plan analysis" by "Jay". Full excerpt: I don't know how many of you guys battled through this but I was out of town for the whole enrollment period until this past Sunday. I opened the material which had arrived while I was away. Then the struggle began. I'm going on 69 so am on Medicare coverage - my wife and daughter are not eligible for Medicare. Trying to understand the pros and cons of the new Aetna offering was ridiculous.

    After 4 calls to the help line I finally realized my wife and daughter were covered under the Aetna Open Choice PPO and not the Aetna Medicare Open Choice Plan (PFFS). But the real hooker is that the Guide to IBM Benefits Enrollment (Blue cover page) for IBM Retirees gives no detail on the Open Choice PPO even though page 10 tells you to consult your 'Health Plan Detail Sheet' for specific coverage information. So how do you make a choice?? It turns out they never sent that sheet to us according to the retiree help line.


    One steamed retiree after 5 hours of useless work, Jay.

  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree - Information Exchange message board: "Re: 2008 medical plan analysis" by "retired_loveit". Full excerpt: I bet that this delay is the result of poor staffing and poor training of Fidelity's subcontractor employees.

    The real root cause is that IBM did not assigned any knowledgeable professional (I guess they all left or retired) who would be capable of developing and implementing an effective quality plan for this so complex endeavor and then verifying and auditing it's execution.

    We are lucky that we are not getting free food rations from IBM yet. They could pack in the cans all that discarded dog food plus some lead to spice things up... Milan Miklos.

  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree - Information Exchange message board: "Re: 2008 medical plan analysis" by "About Hadit". Full excerpt: I did not get the Aetna insert either. I called the hotline and discussed it with an IBM rep. He extended my enrollment period until 12/4 and mailed it to me. I had him insert a note in my file to ensure I'm not locked out.

    Another thing. Aetna mailed a packet out with a disk explaining their coverage. I haven't looked at it as yet.

    I also talked to someone at the IBM Retiree Hotline. He said that one gotcha of the Aetna Open plan is that you have to spend about $1100 before the plan goes into 80/20 mode.

    He also said that under that plan, each doctor accepts or rejects the plan on a visit by visit basis. That simply means more uncertainty when you seed medical services. Doc says Yes today and No tomorrow.

    There is also an appeal process for denied claims that rivals anything the US Gov throws at you.

    The cost to me is about $110/mon. over what I would pay for IBM Medicare Supplement. Then add the $1100 and that's the increase to me if I choose Aetna.

    The reason I'm looking at Aetna is because my wife is not eligible for Medicare yet and there is a $3500 cap on drugs under the IBM plan. To eliminate the cap would cost me an extra $350/mon.

    Should she have a serious illness like cancer, the cost of chemotherapy drugs would exceed that cap in a heart beat. So far, we are both in good health and have a good family history. Still, that doesn't rule out catching something because of what someone put in the water or the nearby landfill over the years. You place your bet and spin the wheel.

  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree - Information Exchange message board: "Re: 2008 medical plan analysis" by "tx_rodmaster". Based on the CD from Aetna, what the person told you is right. It's right on the CD. The Dr accepts or rejects your coverage on a visit by visit basis. You get seriously ill and the DR says no ! What a "lovely position" to find yourself in. Any problems the Dr encounters with Aetna payments and he decides it ain' t worth it and says go away. I encounter enough problems with UHC's handling of Medicare stuff. Big insurance co.'s like AETNA and UHC scare the hell out of me and Aetna is really a big insurer in multiple fields. Empire BC was a dream compared to UHC. I'll keep good old standard Medicare and the IBM "max oop" and suck up the 20%.
  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree - Information Exchange message board: "Re: AARP PLAN J + IBM Medical Supplement Questions -help" by "suenjim2000". Full excerpt: Here's what I have found by experience. We are both on Medicare. We have the IBM Medical plus drugs option and AARP Plan C. We have Medicare send payment info to both.

    We haven't yet exceeded the $3500 per person drug coverage - the exposure was reduced when they increased the copay to 35% a couple of years ago. We will come close this year, tho.

    AARP will always pay what they promise, and also promise to not drop you or increase because of your experience. So far this year they have paid about $3,000 for each of us - that's equivalent to $6K total out of pocket, substantially more than the premiums we pay. Not enough to qualify for any IBM payments ($4K/$7K).

    UHC will not pay anything if they know you have other coverage. Last year my wife had OOP of $5,000 but UHC paid zero.

    Minor inconvenience - most providers will bill you as soon as a secondary refuses to pay. This means that if UHC notifies them before AARP, you will get a bill. If AARP pays first you hear nothing. Ignore the bill.

    The net is that IBM has good drug coverage but zilch for medical. Still a reasonable price that.

    As a pure FYI - you can see all your Medicare payments online, as well as AARP and UHC payments. As a sorta born clerk I like this. You will be surprised at how much Medicare pays for lab work that never appears anywhere else.

  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree - Information Exchange message board: "Re: 2008 medical plan analysis" by "About Hadit".
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
  • New York Times: Just Off Insular Senate Floor, Life of the Uninsured Intrudes. By Robert Pear. Excerpts: When senators debate health care, they usually speak in abstract terms about soaring health costs and the plight of the uninsured.

    But just 20 feet from the Senate chamber is a young man who knows those problems all too well from personal experience. The man, Sergio A. Olaya, runs the Capitol elevators on which the senators ride. Whenever the Senate is in session, he is on duty.

    Mr. Olaya, 21, is struggling with $255,000 of medical bills incurred by his mother before she died in April from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

    A local hospital and its collection agency have been hounding him in an effort to collect from his mother’s estate, Mr. Olaya said. To pay the bills, he is selling the Maryland home where he lived with his mother, Clara Ines Olaya, 61.

    His experience highlights the problems of the uninsured, from which members of Congress are usually insulated. The leading Democratic presidential candidates say all Americans should have coverage as good as what Congress has.

    As a government employee, Mr. Olaya has health insurance. But his mother, like 47 million other Americans, was uninsured.

  • Los Angeles Times: A gap in GOP candidates' healthcare proposals. Giuliani, McCain and Thompson are offering plans to help the uninsured -- but their aversion to regulations would mean that many of their fellow cancer survivors would be left out. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. Excerpts: When Rudolph W. Giuliani was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the spring of 2000, one thing he did not have to worry about was a lack of medical insurance.

    Today, the former New York mayor joins two other cancer survivors in seeking the Republican presidential nomination: Arizona Sen. John McCain has been treated for melanoma, the most serious type of skin malignancy, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson had lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

    All three have offered proposals with the stated aim of helping the 47 million people in the U.S. who have no health insurance, including those with preexisting medical conditions.

    But under the plans all three have put forward, cancer survivors such as themselves could not be sure of getting coverage -- especially if they were not already covered by a government or job-related plan and had to seek insurance as individuals.

    "Unless it's in a state that has very strong consumer protections, they would likely be denied coverage," said economist Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, who has reviewed the candidates' proposals. "People with preexisting conditions would not be able to get coverage or would not be able to afford it."

  • Time Magazine: The Real Health Care Radicals. By Ramesh Ponnuru. Excerpts: Most Americans of working age get their health insurance through their employers. The Democrats running for President want to keep it that way. The Republicans don't.

    If you listen to what each party says about the other, you would get a very different impression. To hear the Democrats tell it, the Republicans are happy with the health-care system we have: all they do is stand in the way of Democratic improvements.

    But the truth is that it's the Republicans who make more radical proposals. They want to make a break with more than six decades of government policy. During World War II, employers started giving workers health benefits to get around wartime wage controls. Since then, the government has continued to give a tax break for employer-provided health insurance; it isn't taxed, the way wages are.

  • Spencer's Benefits Reports, courtesy of CCH Business & Corporate Compliance: Lack Of Health Insurance Delays Retirement And Related Positive Health Effects. Excerpts: Older workers without access to health insurance after retirement will postpone retirement, even though health improves somewhat after retirement, two separate studies from the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center suggest. In The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior (Working Paper 2007-170), economists Eric French from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and John Bailey Jones from the State University of New York at Albany found that delaying Medicare eligibility from age 65 to age 67 would cause workers ages 60 to 67 to delay retirement significantly by an average of 0.9 percentage points per year. This impact is similar to that caused by the shift in the Social Security retirement age from age 65 to age 67.
  • The Century Foundation: Health Care Reform: What Do Americans Want? (Or Think They Want?) By Maggie Mahar. On the surface, it seems that American voters have made their will clear. Poll after poll shows that they are calling for a major overhaul of our health care system. But when you look closer, their responses bristle with contradictions and discrepancies that I think the reform-minded presidential candidates will have to consider when deciding how to approach health care reform. ...

    If they are satisfied with the care they are receiving, why would they want radical change? Because they don’t feel secure that they will be able to keep what they have: “There’s a precariousness to Americans’ contentment with their own health insurance coverage,” the Kaiser Family Foundation reported after looking at a number of polls at the end of last year. “Among the insured, six in ten are at least somewhat worried about being able to afford the cost of their health insurance over the next few years, and nearly as many (56 percent) said they worry that by losing a job, they or their family might be left without coverage.”

    This, then, is why so many Americans want universal health care: it would guarantee that they and their families would always be covered.

  • Contra Costa Times, courtesy of Physicians for a National Health Program: Genentech bumps $40 drug with $2000 version. U.S. senator chides Genentech plan. By David Morrill. Excerpts: A U.S. senator said Genentech’s plan to restrict availability of its Avastin drug so doctors might be forced to use the more expensive medicine Lucentis to treat an eye disease will cost taxpayers $1 billion to $3 billion annually. The South San Francisco-based biotech company’s decision “is of great concern to me,” U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., said in letters to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration made public Wednesday.

    Avastin is one of Genentech’s blockbuster cancer drugs. It treats patients with colon and lung cancer and is being studied worldwide in about 300 clinical trials for more than 20 tumor types. But Avastin is also in the offices of eye doctors across the country, where it is being used to treat a major cause of vision loss, called neovascular age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.

    The company’s superstar drug is going head-to-head with a drug called Lucentis that was approved last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for AMD. Lucentis is also owned by Genentech. The quandary is more than just two drugs that could potentially be used to fight the same eye disease. Lucentis costs about $2,000 per monthly dosage; Avastin could cost about $40.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
  • From the Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 11/26/07: If you are RA'd and have 30 days to find a position within IBM, does this 30 days count against severance package?. -looking to leave-
    • Comment 11/26/07: to: -looking to leave- 'The answer is no. However you may wish they would cut you loose immediately. My last month, my manager was a pinhead and loaded me up with as much crap work as he could find. Then noting in the paperwork was your severance package could be denied if you manager didn't think you were extending enough effort. He didn't, but that month was worse than any other because I had to keep my spirits up while knowing the axe had fallen.. -RA'd bear-
    • Comment 11/26/07: -looking to leave- Your severance is already set. The 30 day notice is just a formality. You will not get hired for any job within 30 days because you have been black listed so don't even try. You have been told you have 30 days to find another position but nobody will even look at you. You have been LIED to. Few have found a position but it's not the norm. You need a manager that is really pulling for you and 99 and 3/4% of the managers are scumbags. Take your severance and move on. I banked my severance, got a new job, then banked a lot of OT pay from the lawsuit. Good riddance to Big Blow. -long_gone-
    • Comment 11/27/07: Looking To Leave, no, the 30 days don't count against the severance package. Look at the 30 days as a grace period. All of the severance calculations/benefits are based on your "separation date", which is your last day at IBM and is specified in your resource action paperwork. Up until that date, you are still considered to be a regular employee.

      I was laid off last year during the first "redeployment" layoff. We were initially told that we were being "redeployed" and needed to find a new position within 30 days. There was no answer to my "Or else what?" question. At the end of those 30 days we were told that we were now part of a “resource action”. We had to find a new position within IBM within the next 30 days (a total “grace period” of 60 days) or be laid off.

      The resource action paperwork specified my separation date. All of the paperwork, benefits, etc. involved with my “IBM divorce” were based on my official separation date. The dates that I was notified of the redeployment and later of the resource action had no significance. -Divorced From IBM-

    • Comment 11/27/07: 1,300 people in GBS Division 16 got their 30 day notice (find another assignment) over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Just another "happy holiday message" from Big Blew. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/28/07: to; -Santa- Ho! Ho! Ho! 1300 just got nailed in GBS. Your PBC ratings are being distributed next month. The Grinch might not put a lump of coal in your stocking this Christmas. He might just be waiting for the Easter Bunny. Remember that you might be hearing from the horse's a*s disguised as his mouth. -RA'd bear-
    • Comment 11/27/07: Why do people post FUD about blacklists here... does anyone have any proof of such a thing? I know many people who have been told their job was going away but still found a new position in IBM. Sure they're in the minority but why say such a thing? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/28/07: Responding to "Why do people post FUD about blacklists here"....I can tell you as a former IBM manager there is a no hire policy if you have been put on an RA list. It is an unwritten rule but none the less it is valid. If a manager wants to hire someone off of an RA list they have to get approvals from their VP. I no longer work for IBM but left IBM management while I was still there. I'm making over twice what I made at IBM when I left SWG (on my own accord) and am much happier.? -formeribmer-
    • Comment 11/28/07: Reply to: Why do people post FUD about blacklists here... does anyone have any proof of such a thing? I know many people who have been told their job was going away but still found a new position in IBM. Sure they're in the minority but why say such a thing? -Anonymous- When I was RA'd in June, there were 1572 selected. The final number was 1570 which would indicated 2 people were not layed off. I know one of the two and he had to go up 5 levels of management to get his job off the list. Others that were let go before me who were top notch performers were blocked from new jobs because of the RA designation. This is not *crap* we are talking about on the Blacklist. It is the truth! I personally didn't try because I wanted to pursue opportunities outside Big Blew. I am much happier that I did. The fact that you are monitoring this web site shows that you are ready for a new life or dissatisfied with IBM. I you are an IBM manager or spy, take care to note that this is a Union meeting and if that is the case, you are breaking the law. -RA'd bear-
    • Comment 11/28/07: anonymous-regarding being "blacklisted". If you have been following all the posts since at least the May layoffs you would have read plenty of posts from people who thought they had a good line on a different position, even had their manager pulling for them and the job mysteriously vanished or fell through. I have heard this scenario from many different people. Make no mistake about it, the goal of these layoffs is to reduce US workforce plain and simple. Did you read the Donofrio article? "there will be layoffs. Jobs will be sent offshore". How much more proof do you need? Do you really think anyone in management or the execs are going to admit to this "blacklist" policy? Call it what you want. The end result goal is plain as day. Let's not be naive. -Anon-
    • Comment 11/28/07: Re Santa comment: Just relaying some GOOD NEWS for once in STG. The layoffs are behind us, straight from the horses mouth. Relax and enjoy the holidays everyone"... I just spoke with some System x presale folks in STG and was told that the System x 3650s and lower servers will be sold off to Lenovo which will impact the STG system x folks along with major re-org starting early next yr.. -Grinch-
  • General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 11/25/07: I am being offered a job with GTS doing 80-100% travel. I am wondering if IBM is still a good place to work? From a lot of the comments it does not appear to be a very stable company anymore. Is it really as bad as everyone on here says? Does everyone have to work over 40 a week if you are in a billable position? Any comments or suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks, -JT-
    • Comment 11/26/07: JT- It's worse than what you are reading here. IBM is going down the tubes. I do not know of anyone I used to work with who likes working for IBM. Put it this way, IBM feels they own you and will make you work 80 hrs plus per week. AND when the SH*% hits the fan all everyone else does is point fingers and pass the blame. Sorry, but that was my experience at Big Blew. Also, keep in mind, the minute your manager is told that a certain percentage of your department needs to be outsourced, you'll be low guy on the totem pole and will be expected to train your Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, etc, etc replacement. Even if you do get to keep your job, you will have to take on more responsibility, on top of an already heavy workload. -been there-
    • Comment 11/26/07: The former IBM Endicott panel manufacturing site sold a few year ago to local business persons, "Endicott Interconnect", has recently started an image make over. Most IBMers have left over the last few years. Many were let go and others found new jobs. EI has a reputation of being a low paying dead end job, now. Those that were hired and filled vacant positions left by former IBM employees, are paid less. $22.00 per hour jobs are now $12. EI has needed to hire, but attracts few. Now EI is attempting to run newspaper ads to give the impression that EI cares and is wonderful. The EI CEO wanted to change the IBM culture, which meant: layoff former IBM workers and replace them with lower paid workers. CEO Jay McNamara changed the culture and not for the better. A press blitz won't fool the locals. -EIWonderland-

      Alliance reply: There was a point, in the early days (2002) of the new company (EIT), that many were interested in forming a union to protect the EI workers jobs; after the first layoff of EI workers, two weeks after the ink was dry on the contracts between IBM and EIT. That interest waned quickly, because of fear, intimidation and continued layoffs over the next 3 years. The pro-union workers gave up. IBM'ers that are still employed there (for IBM) have seen a dramatic change occur right before their eyes. It is proof that if you don't do anything, it doesn't help.

    • Comment 11/26/07: -been there- : IBM can't make you work 80 hours per week, it's weak workers that allow IBM to push them around. I'm in BTO - the F&A outsourcing group in Tulsa were virtually all of us are billable to the clients. So there's a lot of pressure here to work the salaried workers as many hours as possible. Some of us have gotten fed up & just don't work those hours anymore regardless of what management says. They can't afford to fire us for not working those hours since their reputation is so poor in Tulsa, OK that they have a hard time hiring replacements. So do two things - refuse to work all those unpaid hours (if you're salaried) and join the Alliance so that we can make a difference. -Tulsa member-
    • Comment 11/28/07: Why don't the Alliance send some of these comments in these comments sections to Sam, Randy, and the Big Blew executives? The truth of how it is in IBM should hurt if they are any bit human. Maybe they can't handle the truth? -Anonymous-

      Alliance Reply: Here's a better idea...YOU should send the comment sections' to Sam and Randy, et al. Get others to do the same. Since they are not legally allowed to 'spy' on this web site; sending them the comments would be the best thing to do. Seems like some of the visitors to this board should have their email address, right?

    • Comment 11/29/07: Regarding sending these posts to Sam or any other top level exec., having worked directly with the executive deskside support folks, I know for a fact that Sam does not initially read his own email. His inbox is reviewed by his admin and filtered before ever being shown to him. Also, Sam has many different email addresses and no doubt the email address listed in bluepages is filtered most intensely. Nice idea though. Not saying not to do it, I just thought this info might be interesting to some of you. -Anon-
    • Comment 11/30/07: to: -JT- Good luck at IBM. There is a lot of uncertainty everywhere and IBM is a job. What you will not find at IBM is security and if that is what you are looking for, you will probably be disappointed. What is going on at IBM is rampant age discrimination and purging of long term workers. They are in effect adopting the Jack Welch model from GE: Promote the top 10% and can the bottom 20%. The definition of the bottom 20% is fluid. It really isn't performance based, it has multiple criteria. It can be poor performers, older workers who have no interest in management, people who prefer a work-life balance to spend with their families.

      A lot at IBM depends on your first and second line managers. Inspired managers make all the difference in the world. Most of the first line managers however are out for themselves trying to prove they can be second line or higher. The unfortunate part of being a first line is they are under intense pressure to perform - both with their people and master the corporate horse crap at the same time.

      What surprises me is that at this time of intense layoffs and blacklisting of selected employees; is that IBM is actually extending offers to outsiders. That should set of warning bells for an hires because it exposes the disingenuous nature of the IBM culture. Why would they extend outside offers when they just told 1300 IBM'ers last week they will not have jobs. On top of that, they block them from getting offers from managers with jobs. It is easier for an outsider to get the job rather than an experienced IBM'er.

      My comments are not sour grapes and I understand your interest in accepting the offer. When IBM offered me a job years ago, I had just watched a 20% layoff happen when I was a contract employee. I questioned to take the offer, but at the time it was the best thing for me and my family. The time I spent with IBM gave me an income when there was a severe downturn in the IT industry. I did however spend a few years at IBM longer than I wanted and watched as I felt the jobs I had were too narrow and focused to really be marketable outside. You are aware from your comments that IBM is not a bed of roses. You need a job - take the IBM offer. But remember - make sure you keep your skills sharp and be ready to move when a better opportunity presents itself. -RA'd bear-

    • Comment 12/01/07: RAd bear - The other part of the Jack Welch strategy that GE did at the time was to look at every business they had and to attempt to sell those lines of businesses where the company couldn't be #1 or #2. Of course, GE would dump as many workers in those LOBs to be put on the sale block so they would be more profitable and thus sell for a higher price. Kind of like IBM selling off the PC business and the printer business.

      Jack Welch was hated by his GE employees - Neutron Jack, they called him. The problem with that Welch strategy is that it's not sustainable over the long term. The same is true for Sam's strategy - it is not sustainable over the long term - you can't cut and gut the company to profitability and you can't treat your employees like crap and expect them to perform well, particularly in a service business. Of course, the goal is not to maximize the long term strength of the company - the strategy is to boost the short term stock price and Sam's performance bonus. Greed, indeed. -Scum buster-

    • Comment 12/02/07: I attended an IBM "party" the other night where there was a speaker from HQ talking about work / life balance. This man obviously had very little self respect as he bored the annoyed audience with endless slides talking about IBM's flexibility in work schedule. One employee asked how many hours each employee was expected to work in a week and his answer was 55-60 hours. So ... I wonder how much work / life balance and flexibility there is when you are expected to work 8 hours a day, seven days a week ? ...When this speaker was asked what incrememental compensation would be paid for the 30+% in incremental productivity his reply was "none". The employees of IBM are working harder than ever, for less money and less benefits. All the while the executives get richer and continue to be in bed with the rich politicians who are destroying this country. -IBMInsider-
  • Pension Comments page
    • Comment 12/01/07: Congratulations to all who will be employed in Big Blew through 12/31/2007. As an IBM "benefit" you'll get to enjoy your full, deep frozen pension for 1/1/2008. If more of you reading this had joined the Alliance maybe we would still have a real pension. IBM corporate management to their employees: Seasons Beatings! -Anonymous-
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 11/24/07: Salary = 60,000; Band Level = 7; Job Title = 08A Project Manager; Years Service = 8; Hours/Week = Less than 40; Location = WFH; Message = Came into IBM without a BS at a Band 6 paid $42K (Took a pay cut from $49K i got as a contractor because IBM would pay for my education). Finished my Bachelor's, got my PMP, got my promotion, received 2 different 7% raises due to Salary inequity because i COMPLAINED up the chain to management. I did all my research and provided it to management. The thing is, when I was making $42K with 4 years of experience, a woman was hired at $55K who knew LITERALLY NOTHING. We finally figured out she would alternate asking different team members how to do stuff. I was low balled in the beginning and am definitely underpaid, so I don't put in the hours. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/27/07: To 60K 08A Project Manager: Yep, "welcome" to the IBM low balled, pay blacklisted employee club. You're in good company for all it is worth. I also complained to HR and my management and they really don't give a #@%$ about paying below market and really low pay. In fact I think it does worse in the long run bringing it to their attention. If you are hired as a low paid resource you largely remain a lower paid resource in IBM. IBM sees to it. If you are hired as a higher paid employee, even if you are friggin clueless, you always get to keep the starting booty. There is at least one person in every IBM dept. that is the epitome of this often times more than you know. That's what IBM calls strong pay differentiation! Forget that stupid "change in philosophy" in the IBM compensation program with the "market based adjustments", "top contributor award" and all that nonsense. It's worse than hogwash, right? http://www.allianceibm.org/ibmpayforskills.htm -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/28/07: Div Name = swg Message = we got screwed out of commission in the 3rd qtr...didnt make all the measurements, also we lost our capability to get a raise, they told us it was now factored in our commissions, and now commissions will go away next year....swg had a poor record, archived year to year growth, but I guess they had to give away the stuff to get the revenue and our profit suffered...However at the top things are going well...Mr Sam made a cool $8.9M in options this week. Got 120,000 shares at about $50 per share and sold only 80,000 of them...see: http://www.secform4.com/insider-trading/51143.htm -the fielder-
    • Comment 11/30/07: Salary = 120,000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Senior ITS; Years Service = 13; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = S&D; Location = PNW; Message = salary is an OTE (on target earnings) # -lurker-
    • Comment 11/30/07: Salary = 96000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = slave; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 60; Div Name = 23; Location = CGF; Message = I receive more bonus my first year from HP for one day than for the remaining 364 days at IBM. I was told nobody gets raises and then was sent an email telling me that I'm paid 108% to do what I do. I have never this lousy working for any company in my life, I have worked for KPMG, HP, NBC, and several other smaller companies and they all take better care of there people, IBM only looks for ways to lower morale and screw people, to many bean counters. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/30/07: Message = Top execs cash in again, Mr Mike Daniels picked up $75K of options and Mr Moffit $944K ..all at a cost of $51. per share...double your money quick...See: http://money.cnn.com/quote/insiders/insiders.html?symb=IBM -marketwatch-
    • Comment 11/30/07: As a band 9 making less than many recent disgruntled posters who are at band 8, and who work very few hours, should I be happy? Especially the 120K band 8 ITS - wow. -No one-
    • Comment 11/30/07: To -No one-: No way should you be happy. You are a victim of IBM pay discrimination. -band8_since_1997_$78K-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 11/27/07: Prior Yr PBC = 3; This Yr PBC = 3 ; This Yr Bonus = what?; Prior Yr Bonus = huh?; Message = What I suggest to any employee who is a PBC "3" and has been told such by their manager already.DO NOT FILL OUT YOUR PBC THIS YEAR! Your manager might have a PBC commitment to "process 100% of your employee's PBC in a timely fashion before deadline" If your manager is going to screw you, screw them this way! If you are a PBC "3" then what do you have to lose anyway? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/29/07: Prior Yr PBC = 3; This Yr PBC = NA; This Yr Bonus = 26wks; Prior Yr Bonus = 0; Message = Last year my manager called me in over Christmas break to give me my PBC rating of 3. On top of that he included a lot of bull crap justification in the write-up how bad an employee I had been. My previous year it had been glowing. I knew given the write-up that I was a marked person and had at most 15 months left with Big Blew because of the two three rule. I am assuming that every 3 in the company should have gotten RA'd this year. If not, you had better expect a 3 on your rating this year and bye, bye by March. A three means "dead man walking" at IBM. -RA'd bear-
  • International Comments
Vault Message Board Posts:

Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. A few sample posts follow:

  • "GBS Offer - MBA - Promotion?" by "IBMSC". Full excerpt: I recently received an offer from the GBS for Business Strategy!! It's a nice deal I would say. Just pondering if anyone has any thoughts on: - timeline for Promotion? and associated raise? - overall experience of any insider from the Business Strategy group? - which band am i in? the offer doesn't mention that!!
  • "not quite" by "IBMSC". Full excerpt: just back from the sell weekend for ibm and i agree it's not a pure biz strategy work...and that there's a big technology part to the consulting services.... i had a fair idea about it and it only got clearer during this weekend. Nevertheless, they do have a credible biz strategy pipeline...so all is not that bad as is portrayed here.

    raise, promotion...yes not competitive i would say. However, i think top management is thinking of eliminating some of these drawbacks and putin new and competitive processes in place.....and that's why i believe the deal this year is quite competitive. hope for the better...

  • "incredible" by "Frank_Reality". Full excerpt: Another new year, the same old promises that never materialize. I think the only thinking top management is doing is trying to extract more profit out of you while minimizing the cost of employing you. That and how to manipulate things so they get bigger bonuses. I think false hope is far more dangerous than a true assessment of reality. I'll believe it when I see it. Keep your hope, because that's all you're going to get next year.
  • "Another Year, Another Sucker" by "Tweetie_Bird". Full excerpt: You can tell because they won't listen. It's a like a disease. Loss of common sense and an inability to listen. The poster's mind was set all along, just setting us up to try to sell GBS recruiting.

    Oh well. A new strategy and more money from a group that can't even let is people order printer ink cartridges because the revenue is falling like a stone unless they use accounting games. Unless, of course, the poster is an HR or corporate communications contractor.

  • "Leave or perish" by "Big_Blew". Full excerpt: I quit IBM after a 3-odd year stint in GBS. During this time, I depreciated my resume fully, gained no valuable experience, got grossly underpaid and felt extremely ashamed to work for an organization with no ethics, employee loyalty or customer respect.

    IBM should sell GBS at scrap value. There are no employees to boast of (the PWC heritage is long gone), no incisive thought leadership and a complete lack of value-addition on client engagements. Calling this empty corpse shell a consulting organization is an insult to the consulting industry.

    For any self-respecting individual looking at making a career in the consulting industry, the only reasons why you should join IBM GBS are as follows:

    1. You are too under-qualified to make it to a real consulting firm
    2. You would like to coast along, suck up and make a career out of making proposals for the sales of servers
    3. You believe all the gloss so craftily painted by the leadership team while they exploit third-world consultants to fatten their bonus pools
    4. You are a masochist

    I hope this message goes out to all the prospective employees and HR trolls. Be warned - the end is near.

  • "Flashback" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: Welcome to 2004! But seriously, thanks for bumping this very cogent and useful message back to the top of the list. However, I beg to differ with your statement "no employees to boast of". I am still here.
  • "Back to the Future" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: I'm seeing a lot of flashbacks from 1989-1993. Friday I had lunch with a F50 bank CEO who is an ex-IBMer. He said..."I think more of you now that you garnered the guts to have left IBM. That place was always dubious but it has really become a nest of con artists passing for management that thinks they understand the services and IT business. The practitioners and client reps are either arrogant ignorant bit twiddlers who think they are IT professional wannabes who understand business or mentally self-limiting process types, all trying to slam software and servers or pimp other peoples products."

    The secret's getting out. It takes decades to destroy but the brand is on its way to the bottom of the heap.

  • "The sooner the PIG" by "mogrits". Full excerpt: dies the better off everyone will be. I'm sorry to say that for the few people still at IBM who have struggled so hard to stay around and retire so as not to throw away 20 or 30+ years of service BUT IBM needs to be relegated to the history scrap heap along with Wang, Digital, etc., etc. The company is totally beyond recovery, at this point, having been almost fully consumed by inept, arrogant, pinheads that call themselves executives and leaders. From the ashes of IBM will arise some viable companies I have no doubt. Perhaps these companies will even remember the combination of ingredients that made IBM great once, starting with giving a damn about their employees and customers. Unfortunately, the same idiots who have brought about the downfall of IBM will continue to prosper instead of being recognized for what they are.....greedy, self-absorbed cretins.
  • "How Does PBC Affect Raise?" by "CurrentMBA". Full excerpt: I'm an internal business consultant with IBM and report to Corporate Headquarters and joined the company after my MBA. I have been here 6 months and am completing my first PBC. Realistically, it's a formality more than anything else at this point and I expect that the result will be a 2 - meets all expectations. What type of % raise can one expect in such a case, when the time comes?
  • "Don't buy the Lamborghini just yet" by "Frank Cary". Full excerpt: Son - So you've been here 6 months and think you're getting a "2"? The raise for such a performance is the locus of all points equidistant from a point. It stays the same as your years of seniority increases. The only way you'll see a salary increase is to achieve a "1". So here's a site for some nice pictures to look at instead: http://www.lambocars.com/mainpage.htm
  • "But he reports to CHQ" by "nolocont". Full excerpt: He reports to CHQ and they always get their raise!
  • "Reference for Young "Business Strategists" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: Here's the story of "parts is parts" for nascent business strategists....Great business strategy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTzLVIc-O5E Think of the Blue Pig's visions of grandeur sending out business strategies in high margin intellectual capital like the chicken served in this commercial. The problem the average worthwhile CEO will consider this entertainment, not business strategy. If we're all the same strategy, what makes me look better for the shareholders?
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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