The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – IBM (NYSE: IBM) is calling the layoffs launched at the tech giant on Monday a “rebalancing.”

“I am in shock but also a little happy to be out of the hell of ‘Big Blue,'” wrote one veteran.

“16 years with ibm and now I am a low performer .. HA Good luck with the foreigners that will replace me,” another wrote.

“15 years down the tubes,” added another.

“I knew this was coming so I am not shocked. I too am somewhat relieved that I don’t have to pretend to like BLUE,” posted a fourth.

To the hundreds of people already documented by Alliance @ IBM as being cut – and perhaps with thousands more to come – a rebalancing means termination. A “resource action” is what IBM typically calls layoffs. No matter the name, a cut is a cut.

Here are some of the comments posted by workers at the Alliance website. The Skinny is leaving in some of the hard-to-decipher IBM shorthand for job work groups since these employees have their own internal shorthand as all companies do so readers can get a better understanding for the depth and range of emotions these people are feeling. (By the way, in IBM job appraisals, a “1” is best. “Packet” refers to the “Resource Action” package of documents covering benefits, job trans possibilities and a break down by age of workers cut as well as retained in each business unit. Most posts without a name were listed as “anonymous.”)

Not all the posts were from laid-off workers. One noted “safe for now” and another “there is life after IBM” said another.

Inside an IBM “rebalancing”:

  • “15+ years, band 7, dba in GBS group. Heard of 20 others in our group.”
  • “15 years, all 1 or 2+ in GTS and got the call first thing this morning that I have been RA’d. Not sure whether I should be relieved after the past 5 years of dwindling US based employees that I got the call.”
  • “Counted 178 in the packet for GTS Delivery Distributed Server Management organization.”
  • “RA notice this morning. 15 years down the tubes. Hearing of cuts across STG and GBS.” -DoneinDFW-
  • “9+ years IBMer, also all 1 and 2+ appraisals. Because IBM shafted the customer so badly, the customer requested early exit… so this was expected. HOWEVER, all the SDMs on this account originally had new roles to move to, till they went “on hold”. Found out today, THOSE jobs all went to India. So a bunch of us, in a way, have lost TWO jobs. Double-screwed. Nice work, IBM.” -AnotherLowlySDM-
  • “Just received RA at the Rochester MN site at 9:00 am….I am in shock but also a little happy to be out of the hell of “Big Blue”
  • “RA today in ISC… more jobs move to China”
  • “Guess I am the mole today. 15 years of 1 and 2+ services.. I knew this was coming so I am not shocked. I too am somewhat relieved that I don’t have to pretend to like BLUE. …”
  • “Just received my RA notice this morning in BT/IT CIO. About 100 people on list in my package.”
  • “ITD hit today. 10% of small group gone. Hearing of others, will post what I hear.”
  • “16 years with ibm and now I am a low performer .. HA Good luck with the foreigners that will replace me .. I worked in GBS .. the layoffs are BIG across the board”
  • “Received my RA call this morning. Been a PM for IBM for over 16 years. Knew it was only a matter of time. Sr. Management in the PM area made it very clear 5 years ago that they were working to eliminate as many US employees as possible and they are staying that course.” -Deflated-
  • “I feel terribly for the folks that received RA notices this morning. My manager pinged me and asked if I had a minute… I was sure it was going to be me today. He said I was not affected. I can only say that I wish the best of luck to those that were affected today and read this. I hope that you find a better opportunity than what we have all been reduced to at this company. It is very sad. I am a member, but I feel very discouraged. -ThereislifeafterIBM-
  • “Another SDM who got RA notice this morning. 11 years with IBM.”
  • “Hit after 20++ yrs GTS SO..”
  • “Just got the call in GTS this morning, sent the package with stat info to the Alliance Email.”
  • “Yup – like I mentioned on 2/22, CHQ is getting hit REAL hard today. Still more to come. How stupid is management to let go some people that have an incredibly unique and NEEDED skill set? They cannot possibly replace them with a GR – and if they could, it would take that person MONTHS (not 4 weeks) to get even close to up to speed. Smooth moves on IBM’s part -bite their nose to spite their face.”
  • “Resource Action hitting US AIS today. Not sure of exact numbers.”
  • “A colleague just got RA notice this morning. IBM CHQ, BT/IT CIO”
  • “Global Admin lay offs today. About 10% of the population.”
  • “M&TS Bus Ops hit today. I am safe but 4 people got the axe. All of their work going to Brataslava. More work for me, until they can expand that group and take all of my work as well I’m sure. Good to hear that the 4 did get the std severance pkg at least, since I had heard that may be going away as well.” -Disappointed-
  • “GTS notifications being done now, main reason if for work beingmoved to GR sites …just received the call, safe for now…but its only a matter of time…same package as usual” -survived for now-

Layoffs are always more than just numbers regurgitated in news reports and often praised by stock analysts. Real people are hit every time. These IBMer comments state the anger and fears of so many others who have been cut lose in the wake of “The Great Recession” – and those who fear that they have only “survived for now.”

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