Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I wanted to be an IBM'er
Growing up I always wanted to be like my dad. I mean sure, mom made nice cookies and cooked some decent grub...but to me? Working like my dad was where it was at.
Dad was what many of you affectionately know as an "IBM'er"..."I've Been Moved" was the running "clutch your gut from laughing" joke acronym for the nerds who worked there.
Did I even know what my dad did during his 40 hour work week? Nope. But it didn't matter. I wanted to be an IBM'er. I think Dad did something in programming. Whatever. I liked his office. Pretty cool. Tons of colored pencils with the word, "THINK" engraved on them. I thought it was a nice way to remind employees why they were at work there...to use their minds and all.
A big highlight for me was actually visiting during IBM family day. Dad would show me around the big rooms with reel to reel tapes on giant thingamajigs that did something or another. Or he'd take me to his office and proudly show me books the equivalent of a New York City yellow pages filled with mathematical equations for whatever widget he made. Cool.
Oh, and the only tangible product I understood was a crude printout of my name "Trina"...Keep in mind this was 1977. So technology at the time was slightly archaic by today's standards. But still...I thought the patterned printout of my name with its letters made with "1"'s and "0"'s was super rad. I could do that shit. My first task upon getting hired would be printing out all members of my family's name. I'd be productive like that.
My love affair with IBM ended the end of 8th grade when I finally made the Varsity cheerleading squad. I spent hours practicing for tryouts...very stressful getting every move right to "Jukebox Hero". Oh and even called my (former) best friend a bitch because she got jealous I could jump high.
Anyway, I came in my house with my cute cheerleading uniform...As I straightened the plastic green and silver streamers on my pom poms, mom and I had the following conversation:
Me (holding up kelly green and white pleated cheerleading skirt): "Isn't it awesome I made the squad? I can't wait to wear this to school!"
Mom: "Yeah, it's nice. By the way, we're moving...to a place called 'Lexington, KY'."
Me (abruptly turning...wide eyed in shock and disbelief): "But I just made cheerleading. We can't move!" (As though cheerleading trumped the family's need to eat on a weekly basis.)
Mom: "Yeah, well, we are. So there you go."
Me (in my head): "FUCK IBM!!!!! BULLSHIT! Why the fuck does he work there? Who needs computers and typewriters anyway? Mark Mahan will finally notice me in my uniform and now I'll never date him because dad has to work?! I hate IBM!!!"
I said the same thing in my head when a similar announcement was made prior to my Senior year in High School.