back to article IBM turns panto villain as The Reg tells readers: 'It's behind you!'

The meltdown in corporate spin at IBM was apparent last week after the flames of publicity were fanned by The Register's report on the firm's proposals to redeploy tens of thousands of Global Technology Services staff. axe on chopping block Black & Blue: IBM hires Bain to cut costs, up productivity READ MORE Insiders gave us …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the company is hiring expensive consultants and discarding their opinions."

    It happens all the time. If they confirm executives are right, and no changes are required at their level, the opinion count, and is widely publicized.

    Whenever the consultants find the the issues are mostly at executive levels, that past decision were wrong and caused more issues, and real changes are required at that level, the opinions are quickly binned and forgotten.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "the company is hiring expensive consultants and discarding their opinions."

      Wait, are you talking about IBM, or the companies which hire IBM?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "the company is hiring expensive consultants and discarding their opinions."

        > Wait, are you talking about IBM, or the companies which hire IBM?

        Yes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "the company is hiring expensive consultants and discarding their opinions."

          If only I were on those rates. But I did wonder at times, they are paying me money for help and advice, and then not acting on them.

          Anyhow...

          The rebel in me wore a "The Register" T-Shirt at an IBM location once.

          The coward in me wore a Shirt over it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "the company is hiring expensive consultants and discarding their opinions."

            I use my LOHAN mug every day, but then I am not an employee, just a scumbag contractor providing skills IBM have long since removed from their own workforce.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: "the company is hiring expensive consultants and discarding their opinions."

      Consultants are just that: consultants. They're not managers. They can advise and suggest and recommend, but in the end the decision belongs to the management. Who are the ones who will have to live with it.

      Of course a lot of recommendations will get binned. Otherwise you might as well get rid of the management team entirely, and just hire consultants to make every decision.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge
    Trollface

    "The story was published and not one person called The Reg to tell us we were incorrect. Not one."

    But did they email you? Have you checked your spam folder?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      And what about the carrier pigeon? Have you checked its perch recently?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Have you looked out of the window in case of you missed some semaphore messages? The flags are a giveaway.

      2. Steve Hersey

        Carrier pigeon? Oops.

        The vulture ate it.

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Carrier pigeon? Oops.

          @Steve Hersey:

          YBMTI. Cannot upvote enough.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Carrier pigeon? Oops.

            Vultures are carrion eaters. What killed the pigeon within reach of ElReg's beak?

            1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

              Re: Carrier pigeon? Oops.

              What killed the pigeon within reach of ElReg's beak?

              It read the message.

  3. m0rt Silver badge

    Whereas I love a good IBM bashing, simply because they seem to be run by arrogant disks, I also really feel for them. Like any company, the company is not a shell inhabited by people, it is the entire thing together. Like a body. So when you get part of the body attacking another part in such a manner, like a cancer, then it is a sad thing all around.

    1. iron Silver badge

      arrogant disks?

      Do they look down on all the other disks?

      1. James 51 Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: arrogant disks?

        Probably from the good place.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: arrogant disks?

          Hard Disks - One of the group of "DASD" devices in Ye-Olde-IBM terminology

          1. John Styles

            Re: arrogant disks?

            Decades ago we had someone move into our group who did PC software from one who did IBM midrange software, there was a certain amount of mutual incomprehension as the terms he used for everything were different (library for directory was particularly baffling IIRC)

      2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: arrogant disks?

        They look like a redundant array.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Solution

      Fire Ginni. Cancer gone in one stroke. This is her strategy.

    3. Numen

      It's discs. IBM had their own spelling.

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Own spelling ... and

        IBM had its own everything.

        Like starting the first of a bunch of program or OS diskettes, and the first volume in a multi-volume manual, at 0!

        How many man-hours were wasted by guys trying and failing to boot or install from Disk 1, or start studying that new program or OS from volume 1.

        Kee-rist!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Own spelling ... and

          You're new to computers, aren't you?

  4. ecofeco Silver badge

    You would think, wouldn't you?

    IBM's workforce, particularly in front line field services, should be the company's crown jewels. They are its feet on the street.

    But nope. The email round robin manglement are pretty sure they ARE the crown jewels.

    And that front line? Temp workers not actually on IBM's payroll.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You would think, wouldn't you?

      @ecofeco

      IBM's workforce, particularly in front line field services, should be the company's crown jewels. They are its feet on the street.

      When I started in the company, for a client facing group, I was told by one of my colleagues that our manager would only hire externally or internally from other client facing groups. Reason? "North Harbour mentality" was the term that was used. North Harbour being the UK HQ at the time (nominally, it still is). He was also proud of the fact that we bought in revenue for the company, whereas the "internal account" spent what we bought in

  5. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    attrition w/o backfill

    Lovely. Open graves.

  6. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    How long would IBM last if

    All those non management staff all got up & left en mass & gave a collective finger as they went?

    How long would IBM last if the only folks left to do the actual work were now managers & higher level folks whom probably couldn't count their arse cheeks twice & come up with the same correct answer both times? (Thanks for that last one Mr. Travaglia!)

    If the only ones at IBM left to do any actual work were the same ones that haven't seemed to have done any, then how fast would IBM collapse into its own gravitational black hole of stupidity?

    I'd love to see their entire low level workforce get up, walk out, & refuse to come back as long as current management practices are in place; no temp or contract worker touch them with a 3+Meter barge pole in a gesture of solidarity; and only manager level folks left to be the new peons.

    I'd love to see the meteoric crash & burn as all IBM's customers demanded compliance with their support contracts, but IBM not have enough skilled people to do so.

    And then said striking workers come back en mass to unionize & lay an opening bid on the negotiating table.

    "You want us to come back & pull your arse from the fire? Then we want better pay, better retirement plans, & that bitch's body for use as a rugby sacking dummy."

    I wonder how fast IBM would have to cave in to the demands of their newly unified workers before/lest their support contract penalty clauses turned their (C-level execs) "golden parachutes" into lead albatross' around their necks?

    *Wistful sigh*

    I know it'll never happen, but the thought of all those C-level execs being used as rugby sacking dummies makes me smile in a most unprofessional manner...

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: How long would IBM last if

      .... "India's Best Men" start demanding pay rises?

      1. Lysenko

        Re: How long would IBM last if

        English is an official language in India with obvious implications for quality of service and therefore medium-term costs. I'm sure the C suite already has plans to shift work to Cambodia or Ulan-Bataar once this becomes a problem (for bonuses) with the Watson initiative papering over the linguistic cracks until a complete shift to chatbot based services becomes tenable. A minor wetware staff will be retained for highly technical work like delivering brown envelopes to C suite peers, minding coats in Michelin starred restaurants and securing Wimbledon centre court tickets (the core competencies of "Enterprise Sales" in other words).

    2. Robert D Bank

      Re: How long would IBM last if

      This sort of shit has become so common, across the world and in almost every sector. It just gets worse, especially as bigger companies absorb smaller ones. Barely a week, or at best a month goes by without hearing about another huge bunch of poor bastards being spat out of the grinder.

      There's likely to come a time soon, maybe we're very close as automation increases rapidly, where most people have nothing to lose (except debt) and fuck all to look forward to. In fact by far the majority of the worlds population is already in that position, the difference to us is it is coming to the west. Some will probably just get depressed and take enough smack, alcohol or whatever and fade away, but there WILL be a very sizeable and very angry mob with a lot free time and ingenuity to be exercised.

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: How long would IBM last if

      @ Shadow Systems

      "rugby sacking dummy."

      You seem to be mangling 2 different variants of English, games involving a non round ball.

      Sacking as a term is common in US Football, not in UK / commonwealth rugby AFAIK (with possible exception of N. America where the term may well have crept in from US football)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How long would IBM last if

        Sacking is what happens to the manager that fails.

      2. Sir Loin Of Beef

        Re: How long would IBM last if

        But....

        In the UK sacking refers to a manager who was let go by a club. In the US we call it being fired.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    offering nothing but statutory minimum

    IBM, or any other organization, does not "offer" statutory minimum redundancy terms. They are forced to provide them by law.

    Presumably, since statutory minimum redundancy terms are somewhat miserly, and they refuse to do better, it's easy to form an opinion that what they actually would want to offer is nothing at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: offering nothing but statutory minimum

      "Presumably, since statutory minimum redundancy terms are somewhat miserly, and they refuse to do better, it's easy to form an opinion that what they actually would want to offer is nothing at all."

      That is a strategy that has been seen before. Creating a rotten working atmosphere will get rid of those who can find jobs elsewhere, meaning their payout is zero.

      Even at the UK statutory minimum of 1 week per full year's service, consider how much dosh that is for someone who has been there for 20 or 30 years.

      Don't forget that for folks TUPEd in from elsewhere, relatively young companies can find themselves with staff whose effective length of employment is greater than the age of the company.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: offering nothing but statutory minimum

        So true. But the risk is also that those who remain are those who truly could not make a go of it elsewhere. Sure, some of that will be due to people's personal circumstances, but as you turn up the "nasty factor", it'll be more and more skill gaps holding them back.

        And, of course, you're gambling your customers are too thick to spot that.

      2. scotposter

        Re: offering nothing but statutory minimum

        Ah, you forget or don't know, statutory minimum in the UK is capped at a maximum payout of around 14k. The 1 weeks per annum, is capped at a max of £489 (or something like that) per week, so doesn't matter if you earn double that per week, only 489 counts towards the capped max payout.

  8. JohnFen Silver badge

    "Reskill"

    Oh, a new obnoxious buzzword! I'd not seen the term "reskill" before. Hopefully, I'll never see it again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Reskill"

      Oh, a new obnoxious buzzword! I'd not seen the term "reskill"

      You can "re-skill" your workforce by running training courses, or internal projects to develop experience before offering it as a service to customers. But IBM have redefined it to mean saving on the costs of this by simply ditching people with skill X and hiring people with hot new skill Y (and in 3 years, skill Y and become skill X so repeat). They also call this "remixing".

      The real mystery to me and everyone else is, why do people with skill Y flock to work there still? If IBM literally couldn't hire anyone, they would be forced to treat their existing workforce sanely.

      1. discalced

        Re: "Reskill"

        In DXC, it's called Workforce Refresh.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: "Reskill"

        'ditch X, hire Y',....

        That seems to be the new direction, check out the jobs offered at IBM 'Client Innovation Centres' in the UK, they offer 23 month contracts, to prevent hires achieving employment rights, which kickin after two years. So the new IBM has designer obsolescence built in, hire keen graduates with the latest skills, then bin then after 23 months, rinse and repeat.

        Meanwhile, on 'reskilling' the existing workforce,.... during our induction after we TUPEd, we were told we'd get two weeks training per year, not necessarily classroom, but we'd be free to take CBT courses from their catalogue. Ha. Two weeks not getting billed to a client? This lie was quickly exposed once we started getting CLAIM nags, hell, you'd get nagged for not billing overtime to your clients, let alone falling under 100% utilisation, so if you wanted to take an course, you'd have to do it on your own time. I spent 14 years with IBM, and went on precisely two classroom courses in that time. One, because I passed through 'The Skills Centre' a one off fad thing that managed to grab a small budget, so when I was benched after one of my jobs was offshored (it happened more than once) I got to go on a course with QA before starting my new role. The second course I got I was backfill, because one of the original attendees couldn't go and it was too late for a refund, so I went in their stead.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: "Reskill"

        "You can "re-skill" your workforce by running training courses, or internal projects to develop experience before offering it as a service to customers."

        Yes, I understood its meaning completely. It means "training". That makes it no less obnoxious, but par for the course in the corporate world.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: "Reskill"

      It's not new, it was certainly in use in the early '70s when I was first advised to do so ... If you hate "reskill", you'll probably positively abhor "upskill".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Reskill"

        Historically, re-skill meant something the company helped you with (if you were employed by them) or something that you do between jobs.

        Within IBM, re-skill means "we think skill X might be hot but aren't too sure. If you retrain in it, you might not lose your job come the next round of redundancies". Given IBM's inability to execute, the chances of you using your new skills within IBM is almost zero. Although there are rumours some people have moved to new areas within IBM GTS, I've never meet any of them in-spite of working with hundres of them in the past.

        If offered the chance to re-skill by IBM, look outside IBM for what to retrain in and enjoy your new life outside IBM...

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: "Reskill"

        I'd heard "upskill" years ago. It's about equally abhorrent, in my opinion.

    3. Norman Nescio Silver badge

      Re: "Reskill"

      I thought it was a new pronunciation - "rez-kill" - meaning to get rid of ('kill') 'resources' deemed superfluous for the current day-to-day operation.

      Actually providing training at the company's cost to make someone more employable in this day and age sounds like fantasy.

  9. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    International Banking Madness

    It gets better, during the last five years of decline. The CEO has trousered $100 Million. I'll give you a clue for free. If you need a consultant, you don't have the expertise. #canyouimagineifitwassomeonegood

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

    In all the years I was at IBM (almost 20) I was only ever allowed to do 2 external training courses, after a huge amount of justification and pleading to be allowed to do them. There is never any money in the budget for training, NEVER. You can put whatever you like in your "Development Plan", your manager will approve it, but you are never allowed to go on training.

    IBM's idea of training and development is to put billions of meaningless slide shows on the intranet, and let you try and find them, and do them on your own time, and insist you do at least 40 hours of it every year, UNPAID.

    Actually I've seen recently a lot of my ex collegues spamming Linkedin with some meaningless "acclaim" certifications. No doubt some other meaningless web based rubbish from IBM.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

      Current IBM cloud seller here. I have to respond as although working for ibm sucks in many ways, one way it doesn’t suck is training. IBM has some of the best training on the planet, and if they consider you worth the investment they’ll spend big bucks on your development. In the last 12 months I’ve been to Interconnect in Vegas, Cloud Fast start 2017, Top Gun, Global Sales School (4 weeks face to face, plus loads of curated and coached theory), and end of this month I’m off to Madrid for the 2018 cloud fast start. I and most of my colleagues have the opposite problem to you - we’re swamped by ‘mandatory’ training and have to fight to find time to do our actual jobs.

      Think40 is paid, you can do it in work time (and most do). Acclaim badges are a useful addition if you want to profile yourself to management (they love that stuff)...

      In short, your experience is not typical. Unless the training you wanted to follow was unrelated to your business, in which case I can well imagine your manager didn’t want you following it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

        The acclaim badges are a good way of getting yourself unfollowed on LinkedIn.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

        @ac apart from sales school, which all sellers go on, all you have listed are conferences. Those might be fine for sellers and as a techie at IBM I got to go on plenty of conferences. What the other guy is talking about is actual training, where you sit down and someone teaches you something that you need to know. As he said, even if you costed it into a project it would be denied because of a global training ban.

        I ran projects where I had set aside 5k for training and ended up wasting 50k with people sitting on their hands while I fought to get exceptions approved. IBM would be a great place to work of it weren't for IBM.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

          I couldn't agree more. Most of the *mandatory* training is useless or underskilled. Being a UNIX administrator for over 20 years most of the think40 content I find is stupid, outdated or simply useless. And all the valuable courses are paid or -if internally dictated- you'll never find a seat.

          Now if you want to learn how to sell a product without ever learning what the fuck such product can -and more importantly, what it CAN'T do- you'll find a lot of content. And then we, the ones in the trenches, will have to make that project achieve its goal, even when the thing you useless sellers promised to the customer was impossible, non-existent or undervalued.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

            "... even when the thing you useless sellers promised to the customer was impossible, non-existent or undervalued."

            Hit the nail on the head !!!

            This is NOT just a IBM problem.

            I have spent the whole of my career in IT, digging the same trenches. :)

            Sales is the most powerful group in the company and yet they are usually the cause of the most problems because they think that a 1 day 'Buzzword Bingo' filled 'Training Course' makes them the expert to define and reccommend the solution the Customer wants.

            The training is usually very reluctantly taken because it eats into time spent selling. The attention span is minutes at most and everything needs to be turned into a set of bullet points that can be learnt by rote.

            They are supported by some sort of 'Sales Support Techies' that are only there to answer difficult questions BUT must never contradict anything the Sales People say even if it is some impossible made up rubbish. (Been there done that and had no end of threats thrown at me (out of Customer earshot !!!) when I have tried to gently steer away from an 'Expensive Foot in Mouth Event' ).

            I fully understand Sales processes and how they are supposed to work BUT you cannot work around promises to do the impossible (Technology and/or Time & Resources and/or Integration with existing Systems etc).

            The idea was always get the signature then you can fix the problems later when you are doing the Services !!! ???

            Sales were for ever costing up the 'Deal' with the discount being on the Services required to deliver the working solution. They never could understand why we could not 'Give away' the services to win the deal.

            [Services obviously don't cost anything to provide and their sales commisions were mostly driven by the Hardware sales with a much smaller banded commision on the Services so cutting the Service costs in half did not greatly impact their commisions. .... Quelle Surprise :) ]

            To be fair I have worked with very good Sales BUT that was because it was an Ex-Techie who had moved into Sales and was very very good at selling while understanding what could and could not be done with the Technology. That was enjoyable :) :)

      3. Guevera

        Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

        " IBM has some of the best training on the planet, and if they consider you worth the investment they’ll spend big bucks on your development."

        To make you a better sales guy. Especially since you're in the favored buzzword compliant division.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Downward spiral?

        Yeah right, and the cheque is in the mail...

        In the 6 years I worked for them NOBODY in GTS ever received any training. So much for re-skilling then hey?

      5. Salestard

        Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

        @AC fellow IBM salestard

        Mwahahahahahaaaaaahaaa *cough* ahahahaaahhhaaa

        Now, granted, IBM Global Sales School (all three days of it for experienced guys) is fairly good - it would have been better if the trainers weren't purely ex-IBM, and CVM wasn't presented as some magic IBM only formula (which it isn't). Do you still have to do the use cases from the Aussie telco and the American whole foods thing?

        It's good, but by no means is it world class, industry leading, or any other superlative.

        As for the rest of the 'mandatory' training (which I usually found wasn't that mandatory) - remember this, my fellow shiny besuited charm wrangler; in the eyes of Big Blue, attending training sessions is absolutely no excuse for not doing something else it wanted you to do.

        In other words, be careful to note your concerns in writing to your line about the amount of time required for training.

      6. trevorde

        Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

        Is that you, Ginni?

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

        His experience is totally typical. You site nothing of value to the external community. Having done sales school and top gun I know their worth. You also mention interconnect...which tells me everything I need to know.

      8. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

        So, lots of training to sell stuff ... but no training for the people "at the coal face" craeting products / solutions to sell.

        Why am I not in the least bit surprised...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development

      I have to agree with this. In the many years I was with them the training was always promised, signed off and then never delivered.

      “IBM is proud to be in the forefront of workforce training and development.” This means endless think40, no actual industry recognised content and no external courses. For those who don’t know Think40 was a con bought in in which you have to do a certain amount of vapourware a year. It’s made up of PowerPoint and recorded sales calls. IBM does not give you the training you need even when it’s a prerequisite to do a job on customer site.

  11. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    That "decaying orbit" around IBM

    Well done for not saying they are swirling round the toilet bowl, management having already flushed the handle some time ago.

  12. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Newspeak - the IBM way.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wot? No more OS/2 training courses as well? Or do these still exist?

    1. jake Silver badge

      OS/2 still exists.

      Runs on (some) up-to-date and modern hardware, even. But forget about talking to IBM. Instead, you'll have to talk to the fine folks at eComStation and/or ARCA NOAE. I've used both. Both are excellent versions and well worth looking at if you think you might need OS/2.

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Re: OS/2 still exists.

        Recently there was an article in El Reg regarding a bare-metal OS/2. What happened to it?

        I'm interested, but due to Rand/Dollar fluctuations I will not be able to afford a copy. :(

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: OS/2 still exists.

          If by "bare metal", you mean "is it an actual OS controlling the hardware, and not some form of virtualization?", see the links in mine. Yes, they are a real, stand alone OS.

          They are not all that expensive, especially if you have a business case to evaluate a copy or six. Spendy compared to Linux, yes ... but they occupy a different niche in a much smaller ecosystem. Somebody's got to feed & house the coders.

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Head is Rotten/Core is in Meltdown

    What does it all tell you of the state of IBM top management whenever they hire outside consultants to present them with future options for actioning?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The Head is Rotten/Core is in Meltdown

      "What does it all tell you of the state of IBM top management whenever they hire outside consultants to present them with future options for actioning?"

      It tells me they don't trust the 1000's of consultants they employ to farm out to their customers. Why would an outsourcing business need to bring in consultants when "consulting" is a core part of their business?

  15. Trollslayer Silver badge

    A brief history of Celestica

    Celestica are one of the big three contract manufacturers including Solectron and Son Hai aka Foxconn.

    Cleestica as created in a novel way - IBM built the worlds most advanced and automated plant for manufacturing PCs and made a loss because of the layers of management so sold it - to some of the managers who then started selling the PCs at IBM a good price.

    I worked for them in the UK on a range of projects for six years.

  16. Truth be told
    Stop

    Redeployment and the gear box

    I welcome this article and the previous one about IBM hiring consultants to swing the axe. It's nice to see the topic being discussed in an open forum. I'm not here to jump on the band wagon and do some IBM bashing because I had 18 great years working there and I made some great friends around the world in my field. Over the years I gained a lot experience. So, looking back I have a lot to be thankful for.

    Like any large company IBM is not perfect. I see training and budget mentioned on here as negatives and I would concur as well as adding the time (due to workload and pressure) to do training was never there. Even out of hours because usually that time was consumed by catching up to the next day etc.

    However, recently and rather cynically the culture within IBM changed and I (like many others) became a 'fatality' (shall we say) of the process called internally as the 'Gear-Box' and 're-deployment'. It is not a pleasant experience but rather one of undermining, marginalizing and dehumanizing you. If you are not in the 'club' or if you don't fit within a certain age bracket (as was my experience) you lose out big time. You get an e-mail telling you that you are one of the 'lucky ones' having been selected for redeployment but re-deployment is not a given - you also get pulled aside into a room by your front line manager for discussion where the details of this life changing experience are even more shady.

    You have to re-apply for jobs advertised on the intranet, wait to do an interview and hope in the end you will be successful - that's if you get called or even get an acknowledgement your application has been received (often I did not). If you are not successful, you have to scout around on the internal jobs website and try find something else that suits.

    While waiting in this 'limbo land' and having been told you are no longer required on the team you've worked on? They still give you work (fair enough) 'and' the work of younger, as it happened (less experienced) colleagues whom have obtained options elsewhere. This new work you get may not have the skill sets for but they assign it to you anyway because it has to have a home and therefore tick a box in a metric somewhere.

    There's no doubt the directive came from on-high. In my experience however, middle management were clueless as to your fate (even their own) or how to act. In the 6 months or so I remained there in limbo land they messed us up and we were treated very shambolically. In the end it started to take a toll on my health. The situation became untenable. Redundancy was not on offer and so my only option was to leave and find work elsewhere. Which I am happy to report I have done.

    To my colleagues left in there. There is no guarantee the wielding axe of the 'gear-box' and re-deployment will not come looking for them again in their new positions and so they continue to look nervously over their shoulder. The part of the business I worked in was sold off to HMC and a lot of colleagues with it too unhappy with their fate. This is the ugly side of big business and the scorpion tail and unpleasant side to working in IBM's modern day culture. A lot of the younger people looked on in dismay and the behavior of the company and some have left after watching the treatment of others. Such was the negative effect and knock-on.

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