Returning to the scene

Since leaving IBM, I’ve developed a few new projects; one of the more urgent is to make our home office usable as my primary workplace; doing that requires sorting out the stuff that’s already in there. And while doing that, I’ve been finding things that had followed me home over the years; today seemed like a good time to return them to IBM. So that’s what I did this afternoon.

The drive up the hill was beautiful, as always; I did have to stop at the gate and use the intercom to be admitted instead of being able to badge in, and that felt strange. Stopping at the reception desk was unusual; this marked the first time I’d had to use my retiree ID card (and it took me a few tries to figure out where I’d hidden it in my wallet). But after few moments, I had a bright yellow “IBM Retiree” badge on my lapel, and I was able to freely wander the halls (though I couldn’t open any badge-locked doors).

I’d arranged to meet my ex-assistant so that she could help ship some items to my ex-manager, so I walked all the way through the building to my ex-office, which, somewhat to my surprise, was undisturbed since I’d left. The office next to mine was also vacant (its occupant was also included in this year’s Resource Action, though he’d been extended for a couple of weeks) — that seemed very odd.

As I walked the halls, I kept running into people I’d worked with; they were busy, but everyone I saw wanted to know how I was doing. I was happy to be able to tell them that I’m doing OK.

And I am; I wasn’t sure how I’d feel when I first drove up to Almaden, but it’s just this place, you know?

3 thoughts on “Returning to the scene

  1. I know what you mean. I did most of the hardware that had migrated home since 1993 (the start of mobility, 60+ boxes of stuff that I’d tried to get Endicott to take back but won’t). I haven’t begun to start on the filing cabinet and books. That will wait till this fall or winter when I start building a new desk out there. I have new windows on order for there and will rebuild it so I can do work (if I do work), video/photo stuff, and my amateur radio station will get reactivated this fall.

    I haven’t been back into the office since the 31st but there’s no real reason to go since the only folks left there is the mailroom and one administrative assistant. I’m not even sure why we keep that facility open but there are a few that occasionally wander in.

    Glad you are doing good. This feels so strange in one way, and good in another. A friend of mine referred to it as 6 Saturdays and a Sunday.

  2. I haven’t been back yet, but on the other hand, I was never at the Austin site except on occasion (such as signing my exit papers). I think all the IBM hardware that I had has been accounted for, but I have good-sized collections of file folders that need pruning. Not that I find much time for that… my DITA community support activities (including standards work that I’m still involved with) and my career reinvention work with Right Management and my writing are still keeping me busy. The new Firefox reminder plugin and the Google Calendar function are great subs for Lotus Notes’ Calendar tools.

    In some ways, my standards-related activities remain the same as in IBM days; back then, IBM supported the 20% or so of my PBC time defined for that role; now I get to do it on behalf of my own charity, it seems. I’m still trying to work a business plan around those activities, but it’s not coming together. Yet if I drop those activities, my visibility and street cred take a nose dive, and I’ll need these for any new work I might start. Ah, the dances we learn to do to stay in the game!

  3. “It’s just this place” — I’m so glad you’ve arrived at the point where you see it that way. What happened is a major shock to the system. You’ve obviously weathered it. Bravo!

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