Home Forums 37 Years with IBM Ends with Read Script

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  • Harold Daub
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    #1524 |

    In the fall of 2015, I suffered the loss of my mother, and then 4 days later my oldest brother. My brother had been diagnosed with cancer in June of 2015, and my Mom was surely granted her pray request to not have to see her eldest son pass, as she died from the very rare CJD brain disease after beginning symptoms about Sept 1.

    Those two losses landed me with a diagnosis of depression, and over the next 5 months I began my slow recovery to get back to “normal”. On February 19 2016, my wife and I took a vacation to Arizona, and had a wonderful time. At one point while hiking in Sedona, my wife commented that “for the first time in almost a year, she felt like I was finally returning to my normal happy self.

    Unfortunately, upon my return to work on March 2, within the first hour I had a phone call with my IBM Manager. My heart sank as he obviously read from a prepared script, informing me my job responsibilities were moving to Hungary, my last day with IBM would be May 31, and over the next 90 days I was expected to train my foreign replacements. Also, IBM had recently revised the severance package that would be offered to terminated employees, moving from a 6 month severance to just 1 month. May 31 was exactly 55 days before my 55th birthday. As my heart sank, I also sank, back into an even deeper depression than I had suffered 5 months earlier.

    The IBM medical staff had been providing terrific support for me as I battled through my initial bout of depression, and when they learned of my being impacted by the massive March 2 layoff, they advised I seek medical attention. I did, and was promptly placed on Short Term Disability for severe depression.

    IBM maintains their silence on the scope of the March 2 “Resource Action”, however a search of online sources will yield published reports speculating that between 14,000 and 25,000 American workers were cut from IBM on that day. And that “RA” is not the most recent one at IBM, as on May 18 another round cut a few thousand more.

    We Americans must take a stand. I chose to not sign my separation package, declining to collect IBM’s “generous” one month severance, and I joined Sara’s fight to protect US workers.

    I look forward to working with Sara to make a difference for our future, and our children’s futures.

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