Thursday, June 28, 2012

And so it begins......

Today's post is a bit fact it's downright rare.  I'm closing one chapter of my life and opening another.  Tomorrow I will turn in my pc along with my badge.  No longer will I be considered an employee of IBM.  This is a wonderful thing.......but as with any such change there can be some bittersweet mingled in.  I'm not going to go off on a diatribe about how IBM is not the company it once was.  This isn't about "them" - I could as easily state that I am not the person I once was.  It is my hope that I'm a better one......and a certain fact that I could be better still.

I wrote a farewell email and why rewrite what I already did?  So in another even more rare move, I shall simply paste the email here.  Yes, some of it will be meaningless to those on the "outside" and that's ok - it is my hope that the gist of it will come across.  Tomorrow it will be time to share more of the future but for now I will say it's bright indeed and I'm excited about it!  One part of what's to come is hinted at in today's picture.....

Here's the farewell:

It’s been said before and many times – perhaps too many but never the less…..:

“Parting is such sweet sorrow…..”

Indeed it is.  It might not be too much of a stretch to say in some areas it’s the ending of an era.  Certainly it is for me at any rate.  So many have gone before, some I’ve kept in touch with and some of you perhaps not so much. 

The time has come to move on to other things.  As many of you know, my last day with IBM will be June 30, 2012.  However, my close-out meeting is schedule for 1130am MT tomorrow (6/29) and I will be offline before that.  This will end an “era” that started 20 years ago with a small handful of you and many others in the years since.  It’s a long time and the changes have been many.  Some good, others perhaps not.  This one may be a bit of both.  I’m looking forward to many new and exciting challenges, things to do & things to learn and yet I’m leaving behind folks who will be missed. 

There have been thousands of memorable moments, challenges overcome and experiences shared.  There’ve been changes in jobs (ok not so many of those in the last 14+ years!) and changes in lives.  The IPODC I started with long since ceased to exist when it evolved into split organizations.  Apparently the memory of my Friday morning batches of chocolate chip cookies lasted far longer!  So did the candy jar.  The Federal Systems Division that became Loral that became Lockheed…..sounds similar to a well known nursery rhyme, doesn’t it?   A rain storm that destroyed roofs and made much of the Boulder site off limits – especially to someone like me at 7 months pregnant!  (that beautiful baby is now 18)  BOSS (Component Broker) development & sales that evolved into a key (and again renamed) part of Websphere.  Specialized Solutions and “we can and will do anything.”  BPS and its many changes in people, systems and more.  We almost made planes, trains and automobiles for some of our “trains,” planning sessions and issues but perhaps need to substitute skiing for the autos (yes, you guys know who you are ;-) ).  Visits to the long closed conference room “M.”  Other conference rooms filled with snacks and a revolving group of people while we refueled for working long hours on crazy software rollouts & migrations.  Rarely without issues but often with humor and at least good company – always with some bonus chocolate to help us through!  Sunshine & Tiger – those who know the reference need no explanation, those who don’t, sorry you just had to be there, hehehe.  Kids growing, changing and in my case even blowing things up a time or two.  Thankfully the house survived, even if the microwave did not!  Deaths and births.  My youngest child was born in my time at IBM.  My middle child has gifted me with a beautiful and sweet daughter in law.  Together they and our family have been blessed with my first grandson (over a year old now- want to see pictures? Lol).  My oldest child paves his own way now but remembers visiting the cool place Mom worked.  Changes indeed.

References to cran-apple martinis (yum!) and copious amounts of other alcoholic beverages and bribes have abounded through the years – if we’d consumed a 10th of what we joked about we’d all have floated away at best!  Although we certainly had “some” from time to time and a good time to go with it.  Recipe swapping and potlucks with fabulous food sharing.  Crazy achievements that shouldn’t have been possible and yet somehow we did them and then we did it again but better…..the list goes on and on.  Back then excellence was expected, delivered and above all appreciated.  Awards and recognition abounded in years passed and were a treasured delight after a long slog through what often could have been (and sometimes was) described as hell – no matter how satisfying coming out successful on the other side was!  Or maybe it was the parties we had to go with them where we could take a breath and savor a successful implementation and lessons learned with good food & good company.  Automations, innovations and collaborations.  Creativity and creative co-working.  And let’s not forget the humorous but educational team presentations of Specialized Solutions!  A tiny sampling of the many memories worth keeping.

It has been my honor, privilege and often great pleasure to work with, learn from and laugh with some of the best and brightest in the world in my time with IBM.  Wonderful times with wonderful people.

Thank you for sharing them with me!

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