When I left IBM last December, I did so with mixed feelings. I was sad that I was leaving my home for the past eight years; I was apprehensive that I was going forward to face the unknown; and I was happy that I was free to do as I pleased.
Well, alright: I was much much happier than I was sad and apprehensive, for reasons that many people are already well aware of.
Yesterday, I wrapped up my five-day xSeries class. As I came to realize that it was going to be my last day at IBM yet again, the same ecstasy of happiness and excitement that visited me last Christmas pounced yet again with the same vigor.
I am so happy to be out of IBM.
Oh, it wasn't the class at all. The xSeries class was tiring to run, yes, but it was also instructive and exciting. It being my first time with the materials, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to proceed. But in the end, my students and I pulled it off. I even came away with very good evaluation marks.
Rather, it was hearing all the old catchphrases that I had lived with for several years but was never quite comfortable with:
"Our pipeline is weak."
"What's your commit?"
"Are you making plan?"
"This is our must-make number."
"I have a cadence call with my vertical."
"I work with R3, R4, and R5. That other fellow works with R6."
Familiar words but alien words. After four months I was hearing them again for the first time. And they sounded strange.
Without prejudice to my former co-workers, many of whom are very good friends, I must say that IBMers must really sound strange to people around them. Yet they never realize it because they live in that atmosphere of strangeness five days a week (or more likely, seven).
Me? I'd rather be biking.
But really, here's the thing: I was so happy to leave IBM yet again that I'd gladly take on new contractual assignments just to be able to experience the joy of leaving again and again. And in order to remain worthy of that privilege, I'd readily forego opportunities with all other competitors.
I've been a denizen of Strangeland for too long.