I Am The Planner for The Analyst Connect Event

I lost this post in the switch from Blogger to WordPress. I’m re-posting it with corrections to accurately represent the facts. I’m retired now and can tell the real story.


It’s no secret that Software Group is doing well for IBM.  Analysts should be particularly interested in how and what we are doing, now more than ever. (This part is true, they actually cared back then)

We hold a yearly analyst conference in November to discuss our issues and give the analysts who follow our business the chance to listen to our leaders and ask what they may.

Running the Event:

Each year, one (un)lucky soul gets to be the A/R liaison for this event for logistics with the strategy team.  This year it is yours truly.   I did it once before and it is time consuming and the details are overwhelming.  It’s a job to add to your job.  For the record, I’m honored to do it.

Annotation here. I wasn’t honored to do it because it sucked. They stick this lousy job on someone that they don’t think is busy enough. I’d pulled it off once in 2006 and that was a rousing success. They used this event to fire a colleague (Tom B.). When my manager Amy Loomis told me I was doing it, I said nothing in response for almost half a minute of awkward silence until she said she thought I’d be honored, why I wrote the above. I knew she had it out for me as I made more money for less responsibility than her. I knew it got to her like it did Ray Gorman, two of my worst managers at IBM.

They call it a stretch assignment, but it is bullshit work that they dump on the back of some unlucky person that needs an employee screwing. There were more than 40 A/R reps to take turns at running this and I got stuck with it twice in three years.

It’s a time suck and a thankless job that I didn’t want to do. I did the best job I could to not get fired, but was stymied at many crossroads.

The first one I ran was under Dave Liddell, the best Director of Analyst Relations we ever had. He was reasonable and expected results. This one was under Sarita Torres and Amy, which made the job twice as hard. They couldn’t make decisions and were constantly interfering in the progress in the guise of helping out and giving guidance. Many times I had to not tell them what I was doing to be able to make progress to get the job done. At times it seemed they got in my way or didn’t let me do the job when appearance was at stake.

They clearly were favoring female employees as they put incompetent mangers in place who were a spanner in the works. I missed Dave and Mike Bizovi tremendously during this suck.

At the end of the conference, it was a party for the retirement of Jerrilyn Glanville, a co-worker. I liked her and she was one of the more competent reps we had. They went on for half an hour at the end of the conference with one mention of me running it. It may sound like sour grapes, but that actually worked for me as I hated attention. I was glad they had the girl fest so I could catch a plane to get out of there as quickly as I could. I knew it was thankless if I pulled it off. The only real attention I would have gotten would have been if it screwed up.

I pulled it off flawlessly with maximum social media coverage never seen before at the time. None of them understood it and that got ignored. I was playing the game by a different set of rules. The analysts knew as I was the leading A/R blogger and social media expert in the group. They barely understood Twitter at that point.

I had to work around Christy Pappas also. She was a control freak who thought she helped run it when she mostly processed PO’s and got office supplies. She was more of a speed bump I had to avoid to get the job done.

So I made sure that it was run right, regardless of the managerial interference and attempted back stabbing that came with it.

After this, my desire to over perform, as I’d done for decades was sucked out of me. I saw how the sausage was made and it stunk. I was glad to get it over with and asked never to do it again. I retired early only 4 years later, something they couldn’t understand.

I’d been saving and paying off every debt so that I could call the shots on when I want to go. When most of them got canned a few years later, they all said they wished they could go out on their own terms like I did. They all were neck deep in debt and mortgages and couldn’t understand how I did it.

Back to the original post.

I’ve decided to blog about it as part of the Social Media outreach.  There will be a second blog residing on My developerWorks (I”ll post the link in an additional blog) so that you can follow our progress and what tools we are going to use.

I’ve been working on it now for a few weeks, but we meet with the powers that be today which really kicks off the event in terms of work to do.

Request for Advice:

Since two way interaction is actual communication, I’m open for (reasonable) suggestions from the analysts who want to find out more and interact prior to the event.  It will only make for a better conference.

We’ll have a closed portal only to those who are registered, so sorry competition, there are some issues off limits.   We’ll provide tons of data and make the conference easier to attend and navigate than ever.

Wish us luck and don’t be afraid to send me suggestions.  Jsimonds@us.ibm.com

More annotation: I put the request for advice to be able to show the girls in charge that I was working with the analysts. That way I could do what I wanted under the guise of Analyst input. It was the only way I could get things done when the girls started meddling in my work. I set the agenda and made the rules to get it done so they couldn’t screw me like they did Tom.

They don’t hold it anymore because it turned into a gabfest. The analysts cared less and less because it was a show rather than an information exchange. I think Covid finally killed it along with firing all the employees who didn’t work at the home office.

At the end of the day, I was smart enough to not let them screw me. I gave them a highly successful and well organized conference. All the time I knew I had to go through the motions, but also knew it was bullshit from start to finish.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.