The process of retiring from IBM is a long one; I passed another threshold on Tuesday, when I had my official retirement lunch. I picked the Fish Market in San Jose, the same place I’d had my Quarter Century Club lunch; many of the same people were there, but about half the group, like me, were no longer working for IBM.
The conversation flowed freely; so did the non-alcoholic beverages (IBM was paying, hence the restriction). I made a short (I hope) speech thanking everyone for coming, and I received my binder of farewell letters and my retirement gift brochure.
I didn’t open the binder until the next day; the first letter was from Sam Palmisano, congratulating me on my many years of service, and emphasizing how much IBM values its people. It was addressed to “Dr. David Singer”, which I found amusing.
The rest of the letters were from friends, and I appreciate every one of them, even the ones which remind me of potentially embarrassing moments which I thought were safely buried (did I really used to tape a “GO AWAY!” sign on my office door?).
I haven’t figured out what to select for a retirement gift; the options are varied but somewhat odd. Of course there’s the expected range of rings, watches, and clocks, but they also offer items like a griddler, a cordless scrubber, and a fax/copier. Nothing really resonates with me, but I’m sure I’ll figure out something before the deadline. Hmmm, maybe the soft serve ice cream maker….