back to article IBM HR made me lie to US govt, says axed VP in age-discrim legal row: I was ordered to cover up layoffs of older workers

A former senior executive at IBM has claimed she was ordered to lie to the US government about just how many older workers Big Blue was laying off. And she says she was fired after pointing out that the aging biz was breaking age discrimination laws by primarily firing post-50 staff. The shocking allegations are found in an …

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  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Sued Into Oblivion

    Once a critical mass of these lawsuits get going and I've Been Moved has coughed up various internal documents they might find themselves disappearing rather quickly. No compelling product other than Red Hat and a lot of 'me too' products, they wouldn't be missed.

    Hopefully some Club Fed time for Ginny and her cabal of slime.

    1. ST Silver badge

      Re: Sued Into Oblivion

      > Hopefully some Club Fed time for Ginny and her cabal of slime.

      That would be very appropriate, and nice, but I doubt it will happen. Barbie-doll-looking CEO - with brains to match - is too cute to jail.

      Maybe they'll pay some minuscule fine, just for show, and promise they'll never do that again. Yeah, right.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Sued Into Oblivion

        Actually I would like to see the Chinese solution dusted off for a couple of these slimes; as warning to the others that prisoners may not be taken. But I doubt there will even be a slap on the wrist.

    2. WatAWorld

      Re: Sued Into Oblivion

      For whatever reason Ginny wasn't sacked a decade ago she'll be walking away from this. Probably get a golden handshake with a few tens of millions to boot.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        Re: Sued Into Oblivion

        For whatever reason Ginny wasn't sacked a decade ago she'll be walking away from this. Probably get a golden handshake with a few tens of millions to boot.

        Free clue. She already has that money in the bank along with stock options.

        She's won't lose any sleep over this, nor does this impact her.

        The bean counters are to blame along w HR.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ a_yank_lurker Re: Sued Into Oblivion

      Your assertion is not true.

      Posted Anon because I do know something of IBM's business due to having escaped the borg many moons ago. ...

      IBM does have a large set of core customers. Some of them are still very loyal. They still rake in billions of dollars.

      From the article...

      In response to a request to comment on Rodger's allegations, IBM spokesperson Edward Barbini said, <u>"Rodgers is making it sound as if she were laid off, and this was not the case. Moreover, she has never provided any documentation or evidence to support her outlandish claim of wrongdoing by the company."</u>

      This seems a nonsensical line for Big Blue to take: Rodgers does not claim that she was laid off in the affidavit. Rather she clearly states she was fired: "I worked for IBM from approximately September 1, 1978, to July 17, 2017, when I was terminated," the second sentence of the affidavit reads.

      Furthermore, because Rodgers has not yet filed a legal claim against IBM, she has not provided evidence to support her allegations. That normally occurs once a case has been filed with a court and discovery has begun. Her affidavit is simply a sworn statement submitted in the New York lawsuit against he former employer.

      Actually it is not a 'nonsensical' response.

      Its a bit of intentional misdirection.

      Its an attempt at spin control rather than say that they won't talk about pending litigation, they're attempting to discredit her and claim she offers no proof. Regardless of the facts.

      The truth is that if she does have facts to support her allegations, the HR person will be terminated or reassigned... IBM will pay a fine, settle with the members of the class, and will have a short term hit depending on the settlement.

      I wouldn't recommend buying IBM stock anytime soon. It really depends on what they find during discovery.

      I will guarantee you that there are notes in my IBM file that are not true. The corporate world is not clean and HR is not the employee's friend. I personally witnessed how IBM does things... not pretty.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    It would appear that if these allegations are true and proven* then the rotating air movement device is about to get even filthier. I had a job offer from IBM way back in the mid-70's and in hindsight looking over the last 10-15 years, turning it down was a good idea.

    *Given the nature of big companies closing ranks and stonewalling this might be tougher than what we've read about.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby

      @Mark 85

      It would appear that if these allegations are true and proven* then the rotating air movement device is about to get even filthier. I had a job offer from IBM way back in the mid-70's and in hindsight looking over the last 10-15 years, turning it down was a good idea.

      That isn't necessarily true.

      It depends on what you would have been doing for IBM.

      The 70's and even the '80s were another IBM altogether. Even the '90s.

      This century, its a whole different story.

      Back before I escaped and had the gold plated handcuffs, IBM would riff people based on the cost of their riff. Its not just 'older workers' but seniority and there were bumps. If you had 5-15 years in... you were safe. Less than 5 or more than 15 but less than 20... you were a target.

      Personally I wouldn't want to work for IBM because they are pretty clueless. The culture they created was one where if you wanted to fit within your pigeon hole and do what you were told, you would be safe. But if you wanted more... :-(

      If you were still at IBM and were in back in the '70's you would have qualified for the old pension plan. Would have been major bucks...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Managers and executives are very aware of employment law. And how to avoid discoverable documents, indeed any documentation, when something under-handed is being done. Unless some high-level executive admits that age discrimination has happened, it is unlikely to be proven.

    OK, so now that some high-level executive has talked...

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Managers and executives are very aware of employment law.

      An insurance company I once worked at had a spreadsheet of equations which determined the cost of complying with various employment laws. Where the estimated cost of compliance was greater than the estimated losses, including NDAs and settlements, they simply chose not to comply with it.

      Obviously, there were never any reproducable documents regarding such practices - the spreadsheet could be viewed in terms of a reminder tool of the cost of disobeying the law, as opposed to a tool to decide if they should.

  5. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    Corporate Parasitism

    Ah-hhhh, HR. The corporate parasite's Corporate Parasite.

    >"I listed all of the employees in my group who had been laid off, all of whom were over the age of fifty. I reviewed this form with IBM HR, and I was directed to delete all but one name before I submitted the form to the Department of Labor."


    Seen that sort of thing before by HR.

    Here's one:


    I'd scoured the UK market for months to find a genuinely hardcore developer. FINALLY found someone I could wrap the new devel team round. Got the offer letter out. Or so I thought. Coupla days later, got chased down in the corridor by HR:

    "Thank god I've finally found you! It's all right! We've PULLED that job offer letter for you!!"

    "Errrr.... what?"

    "We got his Reference. It's AWFUL!"

    He was working up near Liverpool in some fleabite place doing fleabite work. Total waste of his ability. The letter read like it was written by Charles Pooter: "P [is a lovely chap and we all like him and he does an excellent job and we have no complaints about his work], but he needs to understand the importance of dressing correctly." The unbracketed bit there stands out in my memory, word for word. Unbelievable. Monty Python territory. Yet there it was, right there in black & white, and signed.

    I couldn't believe it, laughed and said, "Get the offer letter out."

    He turned out to be precisely the star I thought he was (possibly the most stunning moment was him quietly mentioning as we walked back from the fortnightly work-organising meeting that that nightmare business-blocking port to the current version of Solaris, well he'd just quietly sorted that out in the background of all the other stuff and it's all working now -- 1.5m lines of preC++ C++ (old hands will know what that means) he'd never seen before -- done, as a personal side project because it irritated him and was important for the team).

    But I *would* get told every month or so that I needed to sack him. Once he realised and trusted that I knew how devel works, he'd routinely turn up between 10 & 11, scruffily dressed with rings in his eyebrows etc, shamble off home between 4 & 6. I didn't give a fuck. The corporate parasite types (some of them developers -- it's NOT a Senior thing) were horrified. But as I would point out each time: "He gets at least twice as much done as my second-best coder, with crystal-perfect code. And my _worst_ coder is about 3 times better than your _best_. So: no. He stays. I'm interested in results, not how long it takes him."

    A year or so later, I mentioned this HR/Reference episode while we were all down the pub for the routine Friday night fest.

    ~A month later down the pub again, he took me to task. He'd been a bit startled, realised he had legal rights to his personal info, gone to HR to view his file. They'd shown him his Reference Letter.

    It was completely different. Didn't just say nothing, it now followed the corporate standard say-nothing script: "P worked here." etc.

    It was only much later that I really twigged the full toxic import.

    HR, on getting knocked back on their attempt to block him, had gone back to his Referee and demanded a more neutral letter.

    Then replaced the original on file.

    To cover their arse.

    Never mind the degree of toxic parasitism, consider carefully that they were fully aware of possible repercussions from their parasitism then engaged proactively and energetically (compared to normal: getting them get the offer letter out was a bear) with external third parties in order to then edit/delete employees' files in order to make sure they were OK. On something utterly trivial.

    HR are ultra-toxic corporate parasites on top of corporate parasites.


    1. I3N

      Re: Corporate Parasitism

      Always been a bit pleased to know when issues were pursued about 5 HR'ers would be skittles ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corporate Parasitism

      Your dev reminds me of... me!

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Corporate Parasitism

        Get a haircut, you layabout! :D

    3. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Corporate Parasitism - Dilbert

      HR are getting sloppy if they actually generate physical evidence in the first place.

      >>>One staffer she knew of did agree to relocate to Connecticut. IBM then reassigned her to an office in South Carolina.<<<

      A big problem with stupidity is the self reinforcing aspect.

      Having a workforce of mainly under 40's in IT removes the detailed memory of when $current-fad$ was called something else 20+ years ago and crucially how (& why) it evolved into $next-fad$.

      Mainframe Bureau services (charging by the clock tick) evolved into on-premise with cheaper mini-computers then vast numbers of PC units until the hugh increases in system complexity & support costs to rise, leading back to on-premise centralisation and then exteral service companies providing a 'Cloud' (charging by the clock tick)

      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Changes staying the same

        "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

        I don't mind other languages, but please use them correctly.

        plus ça change, plus ça reste la même chose.

        "The more things change, the more they stay the same".

        1. fnusnu

          Re: Changes staying the same


          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Changes staying the same

            Frankly, I won't trust an English website on French grammar or literature. If you search for the phrase, just type in "plus ça change plus" (including the quotes), you will find both, but "c'est" notably on English sites and "ça reste" on French. I used to be pretty good in French and it still is my fourth language (after Dutch, English and German, but before Thai, Polish and Vietnamese).

            1. HandleAlreadyTaken

              Re: Changes staying the same

              Here's a French site, which also provides the source of the quotation (journalist Alphonse Karr):

              1. krisr

                Re: Changes staying the same

                The commenter, AP Veening, who apparently knows 7 languages would be well advised to be less pedantic in the future. The "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" is the more widely used quote even among the French.

                Here is a 2013 article from the French news magazine, L'express. Look at the headline.

                And, here is the front page of L'Humanite, a French language newspaper. This usage is almost a hundred years older than the above example. Scroll down and look at the article title on the lower right.

                Both use the phrase "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Changes staying the same

              You must be an absolute joy to work with.

            3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Changes staying the same

              Frankly, I won't trust an English website on French grammar or literature

              Then go to the source. Alphonse Karr, Les Guepes Volume 6, page 278 "Ne faites pas dire : «plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose»"


            4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Changes staying the same

              "Frankly, I won't trust an English website on French grammar or literature."

              I would, however, trust it on French phrases adopted in English. As far as I can see it makes sense with either verb. The OP version, if my long-ago French classes can be relied on, means "the more things change the more they are the same" which makes the same point, arguably more pithily.

        2. WatAWorld

          Re: Changes staying the same

          When a foreign language phrase is used sufficiently in English that it becomes a part of our language its foreign grammar no longer matters.

          "The hoi poli". "Hoi" means "the", but you'll see the London Times and everyone use throwing "the" in front of it.

          However in this case I suspect you've got the difference between classical French and modern French.

          Myself, I prefer to stick to English when I'm writing in English and there are valid English words that describe what I'm saying, as in this case.

          That is to day, I avoid being pretentious.

      2. tlhrtp

        Re: Corporate Parasitism - Dilbert

        I am curious as to just where the referenced employee was asked to relocate to in SC. There is NOTHING in SC w/possible exception of a small branch office in Greenville.

        My absolute hope is that IBM gets nailed on age discrimination for what they did to an extremely high contributor (my wife).

        I am so very happy that I gave up and left in an earlier cycle. There IS life after IBM!

      3. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Corporate Parasitism - Dilbert

        A big problem with stupidity is the self reinforcing aspect.

        Indeed. As I've said before, even organic one legged black lesbian vegans get old one day. It's the only diversity characteristic we will all share, and is thus the most stupid to discriminate against because it ends up discriminating against everyone somewhere down the line.

        That your day is not today does not mean that your day is not one day closer.

    4. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Corporate Parasitism

      My experience with HR over a number of companies is that the nice ones are useless, the unpleasant ones are useless, they all feel that any employee-related work impinges on their own productivity, and that they see themselves as inside the wagon-fort fighting off attackers.

      I am always clear that their job is to cover for senior management, and that indeed is the only time I have seen them bestir themselves.

    5. FozzyBear

      Re: Corporate Parasitism

      he'd routinely turn up between 10 & 11, scruffily dressed with rings in his eyebrows etc, shamble off home between 4 & 6. I didn't give a fuck.

      I will take this type of person every single time over someone who comes dressed in suit and tie and plays "How-to-climb-the-corporate-ladder".

      The best coder I ever met reminds me of "Tig" from SoS. in both looks and mannerisms.

    6. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Corporate Parasitism

      Wow. Just wow. Would've been good to keep a copy, no? ;-)

    7. eldel

      Re: Corporate Parasitism

      I have fond memory of a previous employment where I was in a technical meeting regarding the new "wonder project". The topic of conversation got around to lead engineer/architect and we informed the attending bigwig that we had identified the ideal person and had informed HR to make the job offer. At which point the HR drone that was present informed the bigwig that due to HR rule they wouldn't be making the offer. The response was beautiful. The bigwig, an ex naval aviator with the classic steely glare, simply looked at the HR waste of space and said (and I'm paraphrasing a little - it was quite a long time ago). "I am the President of this division. You work for me, not the other way around. That offer will be emailed within the hour or your replacement will be sending it".

      We got the guy. Was worth it too.

  6. I3N

    Some companies don't even pretend ....

    "Raytheon is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status."

    HR slip up in all the job announcements, doubt it .... notice the operative word "consideration" for the rest ...

    1. rnturn

      Re: Some companies don't even pretend ....

      We've all likely seen that bit of verbiage in job adverts before. Notice what "class" it doesn't mention?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Some companies don't even pretend ....

      and in that alleged 'equal opportunity' list it conspicuously didn't include AGE... because, of course, <begin snark> _SOME_ people don't recognize the benefit of having done things "like that" before, aka experience is worth more than youth, because, 'cheaper' is not necessarily better. You get what you pay for.

      And, most likely, some bean counter would say "how come this 50-something is earning twice what a 30-something earns?" (without regard to actual work output or quality, of course).

      Obvious Answer: he's worth every dollar/GBP of the additional salary. Bean counters don't know this of course. They're too busy counting beans.

      But yeah older people know what they're worth, too, so you won't get them to work for peanuts. Bean counters hate that, but they're (thankfully) NOT the hiring managers. And HR (and the bean counters) need to get out of the way of a company's success.

      But on a lighter/snarkier note...

      Q: How many HR people does it take to change a light bulb?

      A: Irrelevant. HR never does any REAL work, even something as simple as changing a light bulb. But they'll happily "screen" hundreds of applications, spending WEEKS on filtering out anyone who doesn't have at least a Master's degree in a "relevant field", ignoring anyone who's been a light bulb changer for 50+ years, maybe even INVENTING the light bulbs that are replacing the old ones, because the application and/or resume/CV doesn't have the right "key words and tricky phrases" in it, because in HR they're all a bunch of anal retentive pencil-pushing un-creative types that fear going outside of the lines/box for ANY reason, at ANY time, even if it's common sense to do so, the type of people who would need to read a procedure and check off all of the rules and regulations in order to take a dump...

      (OK I'm done venting)

      1. Snapper

        Re: Some companies don't even pretend ....

        I REALLY hope you took a breath in the middle there.....

  7. steviebuk Silver badge

    Not what they used to be

    If true, I hope IBM lose. They need to feel the pain treating staff that shitly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not what they used to be

      "If true, I hope IBM lose. They need to feel the pain treating staff that shitly."

      IBM have been loosing ever since they tried to ignore Microsoft and Windows.

      1. ByTheSea

        Re: Not what they used to be

        "IBM have been loosing ever since they tried to ignore Microsoft and Windows."

        I recall a presentation on OS/2 by a senior VP..."We're going to whip their (MSoft) ass". The rest is history.

        "If true, I hope IBM lose. They need to feel the pain treating staff that shitly."

        IBM have been doing this for 25 years at least. What has caused controversy and ill-feeling is that in the past they paid candidates very generously to leave. Many, myself included, were happy to accept.

        Now they terminate them on minimum terms mandated by law.

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I doubt that anything will happen

    Corporations are corrupt - we've all known that IBM (and many other companies) have been doing this for years and nothing has every happened - OK, so it's "illegal" but they can get away with it by just manufacturing the statistics and paperwork - that's their real purpose in life - "products" are secondary.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: I doubt that anything will happen

      "Corporations are corrupt"

      No, SOME people who RUN corporations are corrupt. The corporations themselves are just entities that exist on paper for accounting, tax, and liability purposes.

      And it's highly likely that even YOU work for "a corporation", dontcha? So where would you get a job if not FOR "a corporation" ?

      A small number of (apparently) evil+greedy+self-centered people slither up the power hierarchy in order to fulfill their evil goals and desires. It's been that way forever. This time it looks like they got caught engaging in age discrimination. Let's hope others will be motivated to NOT do such things in the future.

  9. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    IBM having an Internal Bowel Movement* yet?

    *see Schlock Mercenary

  10. rbf

    Definitely a Big Data problem

    IBM is doing what other technology companies have been doing, but because of its size, there's a critical mass of laid off over 40 employees.

    To all you CS students: You want the laid off employees to win big time and take Big Blue to the cleaners.

    If they lose, well you better put being laid off by 40 in your IT career plan.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twas ever thus

    This has been going on for a long time, it will continue to go on, and companies will continue to regard the odd lawsuit as a cost of doing business (because at the level at which fines are levied, it is).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Describing the circumstances under which she was terminated after nearly four decades with IBM..."

      I guess that says it all!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sheep and dairy farming

    That's what it is - when the animals reach a certain age you slaughter them.

    But of course sheep and cattle don't get put there for their experience or intellect.

    And, one suspects, nor do a lot of occupants of the C suite. They're in the position of the tenant farmer when Lord B has a bad day at the races and decides he needs to raise the rents.

    Only today it isn't Lord B but Pension Fund Manager B.

    Who in theory is employed by us...who work for companies like IBM.

    Ouroboros, basically.

  13. redpawn Silver badge

    But Look...

    at the pretty organizational flow chart. Look at the policy documents.

    Now how could you claim this is not reality? You have nothing as pretty to support your claims, so move along.

  14. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Eh, what?

    "It depends on the federal government's interest in having age data accurately reported," she said, noting that the Trump administration has rolled back employers' data reporting obligations.

    As far as I can see, they broke the law before the law changed so it still applies to the situation.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

    They are lying thieving bastards because they always were lying thieving bastards. Always.

    Ever since the day Tom Watson Snr joined IBM after being fired by NCR because the CEO of NCR though he was going to get them both sent to jail. In one of the first high profile anti trust cases.

    In the end they were both saved from the clink by the Dayton, Ohio, floods. You really cannot make this stuff up.

    Plus ca change..

    (..and yes I deliberately mangled the last bit to annoy the Francophone pedants..)

    1. DeathSquid

      Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

      The old IBM says hold my beer, and collaborates with Nazis. Specifically on tabulating populations for termination. This is distasteful history but absolutely true, and I raise it with respect for the millions of victims. Something IBM doesn't seem to mention in their official corporate histories. In any case, the DNA of an organisation has a way of running true, and it seems that IBM has systematically and amorally engaged in decades of abuses against their workers. This shame stained corporation should have been disbanded 70 years ago, but it's never too late.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

        Oh fuck off with the nazi shit. Bombastic Bob has it spot on up thread; this is about the people in charge now and what they're doing now. All you're doing is attempting to cause a diversion and weakening the argument.

        Every sodding time there's an IBM article someone brings this up. It's irrelevant.

        1. DeathSquid

          Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

          You don't get it, do you? Coroporations have culture that can span generations. It's convenient to say that was then and this is now, especially when then was shameful. But when you see ongoing patterns of abuse across decades the problem is clearly deeper than whatever idiot happens to be in charge today.

          And if you feel that swearing somehow makes you sound more erudite, why don't you stop doing it as an AC?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

            Do you have Death Squid on your birth certificate?

            What happened in the past at IBM has nothing to do with what is happening now. It makes no difference if they did that then or they didn't. If another corporation were doing the same thing it would not make them any more or any less excusable. It's irrelevant in other words.

            What do you think the effect of a prosecution lawyer saying "well someone who worked at the same place did this 80 years ago, therefore this guy is guilty" ?

            Frankly, it's you who doesn't get it. And I'll swear if I want to; they're only words.

            The focus should be entirely on what is happening now.

            1. DeathSquid

              Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

              I'll certainly conceed that the same behaviour by a corporation with a different history would be equally as reprehensible. But I'll continue to argue that history is relevant because it sets the trajectory for corporate culture. Not irrevocably but, left uncorrected, fundamental cultural flaws have a way of resurfacing over and over. In IBM's case there appears to be decades of ongoing extreme amorality and anti-social behaviour where corporate social responsibility is given zero or even negative weight. To not recognise the pattern and how it is transmitted is to fail in any attempt at rectification. A fine or punishing an individual will not change embedded culture. In extreme cases, and I believe that IBM is one such, the only viable approach is to disband the company.

              Incidently, we see similar patterns with certain banks. "Mistakes were made" goes the non-apology, the fine is paid, and then the circus starts again.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

        Hey, at least they don't fire you for transitioning genders anymore (, although you had probably better do it at a young age...

  16. WatAWorld

    Time flies and you'll be 40 sooner than you think

    To people considering working at IBM and those already stuck there: Time flies as you get older. The time from 30 to 40 seems to pass by as quickly as the time from 6 to 21. So you'll be 40 sooner than you think. Kids you want to send to college. Vacations cottages you'd like to buy. Retirement just a blink of an eye off.

    Situate yourself properly for your future.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM most definitely was discriminating on purpose.

    They also tried a back door route to firing by purposefully re-assigning aging IBMers into designed to fail positions. Positions that were forced to sell a narrow portfolio of products, to a fixed customer list, with 0 pipeline, and a ridiculous quota. They did this on purpose so after 2 or so quarters of not being able to produce, they could outright fire them instead of laying off. They did this to even gold circle sales staff that were now over 50. I hope they get sued into oblivion...

  18. WatAWorld

    Just think of all those ex-IBMers and the purchasing decisions they make each work day.

    At a minimum IBM should be banned from US federal and state contracts for 10 years.

    But when the Queen's law fails, good citizens take justice into our own hands.

    Just think of all those ex-IBMers and the purchasing decisions they make each work day. And each one legitimately knows many reasons why their employers should be extremely wary of IBM products and services, why those products and services will have lapses in support, be retired early for the convenience and profit of IBM, how bills are jacked up, contracts written in a one-sided manner, etc., etc.

    IT is still a new and painfully naive industry. There are reasons why established industries have learned not to turf high performance experienced staff.

    1. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: Just think of all those ex-IBMers and the purchasing decisions they make each work day.

      You know, I did wonder if I was ever going to get to grill some IBM sales guy, but given IBM don't produce anything we're remotely interested in, it'll never happen. We're not in the market for a Mainframe, Watson AI, and our cloud stuff is taken care of by MS and AWS. It'll be a cold day in hell when we look at Notes.

      Given I now work for local Govt and we do everything, pretty much, I doubt IBM could come up with a cost for outsourcing this century, so that'll never happen. But, it is a small world in IT, maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to offer some other ex-IBMer refuge at some point in the future.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The older people are the more they have built up experience so can demand more for their expertise.

    However, this is not always the case. Sometimes dinosaurs who refuse to evolve are expensive lead weights. Well educated graduates can bring in skills, enthusiasm, an energy to get the job done and be adaptable to improving and changing how things are done.

    IBM are not however ditching those over 40 on the basis they are crap - it's just a cynical, manipulative cost-cutting exercise to replace them with cheap offshore morons.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Age...

      "dinosaurs who refuse to evolve"

      name ONE example (fine to do it in your own head, no need to dox anyone). In any case, I call "straw man" on THAT one

      But I can cite SEVERAL recent examples of projects/products gone horribly wrong because the tech allegedly "evolved" but really went into a spiral pattern that encircled the drain... because, as far as I see it, too many of the experienced people LEFT and "the children" took over.

      You know, like the cluster-blanks of:

      * gnome 3

      * Windows 8 and then 10

      * Mozilla (post-Australis)

      * systemd

      [just for starters, anyway]

      youthful arrogance, indeed. With plenty of 'enthusiasm' I'm sure. And degrees a-plenty. But a degree is only "proof of potential". *EXPERIENCE* is proof of CAPABILITY!!!

    2. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: Age...

      @AC "Well educated graduates can bring in skills, enthusiasm, an energy"

      IBM will soon beat that out of them. If there's one thing I learned during my time, was that changing things was painful. I'd find that some process was flawed, and people had been doing it wrong for years,... trying to get it corrected was swimming against the tide. I'll wager many of things I corrected in my area are now being done incorrectly again, and if anyone from PWC wants some pointers for their next audit, ping me.

    3. trashsilo

      Re: Age...

      The ONLY "expensive lead weight" I saw was paid 341 x MORE

      than the average IBM employee pay of $55,000.

    4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Age...

      dinosaurs who refuse to evolve

      Better-informed (older?) readers will know that dinosaurs evolved consistently for about 180 million years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Age...

        And some still remained crocodiles...

        At no point did I say all people with experience cannot adapt, just that I have seen some who didn't want to or couldn't if they tried.

        Treading water on legacy skills leads to a downward spiral of limited opportunity as legacy tech becomes obsolete.

        New is not always better either - Cloud is overhyped expensive bollocks of other people's computers you have no control over. However if your work stack goes to the cloud, either get up to speed or cling on whilst hoping you stay relevant in the jobs market.

  20. Howard Hanek

    A Couple of Generations Later.......

    I see the age discrimination at IBM that was policy has finally caught up with them.......thirty years later.

  21. raving angry loony

    Age discrimination in high tech?

    So IBM is basically doing what every high tech company out there does when either hiring or deciding who to let go? <sarc>gosh, I'm so surprised.</sarc>

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    24 days to go!

    Then employment oblivion, for eternity!


    - Over 50 trainee retiree

  23. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Like I said when her own claim was mentioned in an earlier article: don't upset someone who knows where the bodies are buried.

  24. Shannon Jacobs

    Me, too, but...

    You can't fight city hall so I finally gave up. If they need more witnesses, look me up. I'm on the Web, eh?

  25. adam payne

    Another day another lawsuit for IBM. At this stage i'm starting to believe the lawsuits.

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