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Comment From an Ex-IBM employee (Score 4, Informative) 219

The rumors about LEAN and layoffs at IBM have been circulating for a few months, but have really intensified over the past few weeks. I jumped ship two weeks ago and two days after I gave my notice I received frantic IMs from co-workers who have been laid off, because 80% of the department is supposed to be outsourced - primarily to South America as part of LEAN. Two days later some of my ex-co-workers got re-hired, but, of course, as contractors without benefits. Yea, it is that easy.

The F500 clients are "not pleased", because they have been struggling with communication and logistical issues for quite some time with the new overseas staff, because you simply cannot expect that a non-native English speaker with (most of the time) heavy accent can elaborate highly technical and complex issues. We have been rolling our eyes for months while listening to daily conference calls with our South American or Indian peers. It simply does not work. The clients are paying a high premium for "excellence" and get served an understaffed, underpaid and "not very motivated" workforce. A server goes down in NJ and there is no staff to physically reboot the machine. I have seen instances where the client has to wait 3 months, before someone was found for "on-site" support.

My US co-workers are naturally all pissed off. Contractors are let go without notice after almost a decade of service. Managers are trained to be naturally unemotional alpha-males with mostly poor people skills. Teams primarily consists of an equal number of computer-illiterate managers/techleads and technically skilled people who *do the job*. Sure, it's their right to lay off people, but the way it has been implemented has been traditionally poorly managed. After all a serial number is easier to let go than a human being. The published reports don't surprise me at all. I know plenty of ex-co-workers who have been let go (and rehired) a dozen times during my time at IBM. I am not disgruntled ex-employee, because I thought that the IBM way was the "way to go", because I never experienced any other work environment.

I worked for IBM for almost a decade and I didn't even realize how miserable I was until I started my new position. When I got home from my first day at my new (non-IBM) job, I was so (positively) overwhelmed that I uncontrollably sobbed. This is what 10 years of working with IBM have done to me.

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