back to article IBM stands for I Block Money, says sales rep: Big Blue sued yet again by its own staff over 'missing' commissions

A 17-year veteran of IBM is suing the American giant claiming it failed to pay him promised sales commissions – a charge made by other Big Blue salespeople in at least two dozen similar lawsuits over the past fifteen years. Mark Comin, of San Rafael, California, who worked for IBM from 2001 through 2018, filed his complaint in …

  1. FreeRadical

    Not rocket science

    Dear sales folk,

    Unless you are simply greedy and stupid, I suggest you don't work for IBM. Without salespeople they can't sell their shit, can they?

    Mic drop

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Not rocket science

      That's logical, but every sales type I've ever run into has a different mindset. They believe that they're smarter than everyone else and great at what they do. They're also gullible to "promises" just like they feel customers are.

      1. FreeRadical

        Re: Not rocket science

        Sad, obviously they are not as smart as they think they are

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not rocket science

        >That's logical, but every sales type I've ever run into has a different mindset.

        I think Christian Bale nailed the mindset very well.

      3. fredesmite

        Re: Not rocket science

        They still deserve what they officially earned and contractual agreements the agreed to.

      4. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: Not rocket science

        How and why they get Commisions should be part of their contract, otherwise stuff like this will keep happening.

        Okay, it will keep.happening until all sales are online and so Commisions become a thing of the past.

    2. Daedalus

      Re: Not rocket science

      Plenty of companies have tanked after trying to screw over their sales staff. A rush for the exits generally follows any attempt to mess with commissions, territories etc. If you can sell stuff, you can sell anything anywhere.

      Probably IBM has a cachet that the sales droids don't want to lose, which is why they're complaining rather than going to sell Glengarry Glen Ross Real Estate.

  2. fredesmite

    IBM ....

    India Business Machines

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

      Re: IBM ....

      I've heard of

      Institute of Black Magic (somewhere in OS/2 eZine)

      Internal Bowel Movement (Schlock Mercenary)

      Itty Bitty Machines (El Reg)

      And the latest to this list is

      I Block Money

      India Business Machines

      Can any other commentards care to elaborate and add more, for our pleasure?

      1. Raphael

        Re: IBM ....

        Have an upvote for the Schlock Mercenary ref.

        IIRC Howard Taylor used to work for IBM

        1. RayG

          Re: IBM ....

          Novell, I think, and wasn't it Intragalactic Bowel Movements? :-)

      2. It depends.....

        Re: IBM ....

        My favourite is the "French TLA"...

        Ici Beaucoup Merde....

        (With my apologies in advance for any spelling or grammar errors!).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM ....

        It's Been Mangled ?

        I've Bought the Management ?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM ....

        I'm Being Mended was used in the early PC days...

      5. macjules

        Re: IBM ....

        When the Sculley deal with IBM was made in 1991 IBM was known as “I Buggered Macintosh”.

      6. Terje

        Re: IBM ....

        Insincere Business Model

      7. bpfh

        Re: IBM ....

        I Bleed Money (especially in the 90's)

        In Business for Money

        French nickname when I worked there was "Institut de Bite Molles" - Soft Dick Institute.

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM ....

        I've Been Married

        I've Been Moved

      9. trindflo Silver badge

        Re: IBM ....

        I burn money

        I blame Microsoft

      10. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

        Re: IBM ....

        I Believe in Magic

        Install Bigger Machine

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IBM ....

      I've Been Moved

      Especially with all the recent "co-location"

    3. spold Silver badge

      Re: IBM ....

      I've Been Mugged would seem more appropriate.

  3. Notas Badoff

    IBM, pioneers yet again

    So, IBM has been at the forefront of the gig economy all along, but just forgot to tell the sales people? Talk about taking people for a ride... ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IBM, pioneers yet again

      Lets not drag Uber and co's employment standards down to the level of IBM's, they're bad enough already...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how far the mighty have fallen

    as noted in my previous el reg comment posts, IBM once earned 70% of all revenue in information technology.

    diversity has not been their strength.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I B M

    U B M

    we all BM

    for IBM

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not "for IBM" for Ginni

      Do a Fermi estimation of the amount of money saved from all reps worldwide (who've exceede their "targets") and you might come close to the money paid, reapeatedly, to Ginni for actually missing her targets. What's the saying about honor?

  6. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Short sighted bean counting

    Is there a bonus scheme in place for managers who can reduce the bonus payouts to their sales staff?

  7. sbt

    There is a new corollary stalking the land

    It used to said "No one ever got fired for buying IBM."

    Now, it's "No one ever got paid for selling IBM."

    Mine's the one with the IPL in the pocket. -->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is a new corollary stalking the land

      Or "we treat our employees like our customers".

      Swap employees/customers as needed.

  8. bpfh

    Incentive Plan Letter - an IPL?

    where "I" probably more stands for "Insult" than "Incentive".

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you know anyone at Aecom ask them about IBM then take cover...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone gets fired for selling IBM

    c.f. Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM

  11. Blackjack Silver badge

    IBM used to sell typewriters and typewriter accessories

    I am not kidding, one of my father typewritters ink tapes had "IBM" on it. And there are even IBM typewriters out there.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wow, not one reference to Initial Program Load.

  13. FozzyBear


    The executives have their incentives, stock options, bonuses, gratuites, parachute clauses and pay outs, and every other benefit in a iron clad contract that a team of lawyers poured over and rejected due to a errant comma. The contract now cheiselled into the concrete foundations of IBM headquarters and signed in blood.

    Yep no hypocrisy there

  14. Uncle Ron

    This Has Always Been True at IBM

    This is not new at IBM. Thirty years ago, I was part of a 3 or 4 person team that sold a huge deal to a university. My share of the commission would have been 10's of thousands. In today's dollars--probably $60 or $70K. I got nothing. The branch manager simply didn't like me. So he cut me out. They didn't give more to the other guys, they just didn't pay me. I didn't fight it because it was a time in my life when I didn't want to lose my job--part of the calculation I'm sure. The quota letters were the same then as now: "Not a promise or a guarantee. Not a contract." "At will employment." I heard many stories of guys earning million dollar commissions that just weren't paid. They just couldn't stomach paying a salesman a million dollars. An IBM Director once actually told me, "The product sells itself. We don't really need sales people." The IBM Company and it's shareholders have been paying for this attitude for decades now.

  15. darklord
    Paris Hilton

    Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me applies here!

    Nowhere does it say they didn't get paid the salary they agreed too, They just didn't get the perks they thought they were entitled too, with no contract then they don't automatically get any more for doing the job they are paid to do.

    And it took him how many years to realise hes getting screwed over and how many times did it happen. No wonder IBM is going down the pan with idiots like that.

    Anyone else would have walked after the first time.

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