They certainly did get better, I joined Property Services as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and helped commission Southbank and all its Series 1's which was then nearing completion. It was then onto Wigmore Street which I managed along with the other Central London locations including the IBM shops (remember those?). I joined the "back to the field" call some 25 years ago and spent 18 months training as a Systems Engineer. It was in the middle of the Mid-range Implementation School that we announced the AS/400 so we hurriedly had to redo all the System 38 stuff. During the final SE School the team I was part of proposed the 6150 and AIX as part of our solution; this baffled most of the call takers as they had very little idea of what it was.
Then it was life as a branch SE at Croydon in South East Branch. I played my last game of rugby for them some two years after my "retirement" from the game, We played one of our large customers. It must have been a very hot day as there was a tremendous rehydration session after the match. I am trying to imagine the control forms that we would have to complete today if we were to try to embark on such a venture! Then it was into the AIX Business Unit and finally joining the newly formed Storage Unit in about 1996/7.
Looking back, the past twelve years have been the best. Almost four years working at the ITSO in San Jose, who wouldn't enjoy living and working there? Then back to the UK at the end of 2003. I spent most of my time working with the best storage product that IBM has invented and produced, the SVC. Then in 2008 I joined the XIV team. Not only is it the best storage product in the marketplace but it has the some of the best teams supporting and selling it that I have worked with during my career; teams in the UK, the US, Mainz and Israel. It has been a great time.
So it is with mixed emotions that I will be leaving IBM. IBM has changed beyond recognition since I joined; perhaps it is as well it did or else it would no longer exist. The whole world has changed and not always for the best. Those of us who have been around a while can reminisce about thing such as; family dinners, team meetings in Calais, branch teams in the Sunday Times Fun Run, trips on Blue Bell line, tea at the Ritz, the IBM Hot Air Balloon (no not senior management, a real one in which we took customers), IBM Half marathon Championships, the list goes on!
When I leave I will be completing my studies for a degree in Pastoral Theology and, DV, will be ordained a Permanent Deacon in the RC Church next year.
Finally spare a thought for my wife Julia, we have been married for 41 years and now she will have to put up with me 24x7!