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I bet if you're really nice to someone when someone is visiting, someone might help out. But I think it's great, and maybe in the end it feels good to be more self-reliant?

Thanks for the offer, but I'm way beyond looking for help. This one is on me! Self-reliant? I feel more challenged with even more to juggle. But I am NOT complaining!

Jon ! You missed the BIGGEST value add your assistants (and may I say your managers and staff) provided. The Prial translator !!! For your readers who never experienced you drawing IN THIN AIR, and expecting a chart the next day, or taking 4 o5 5 seemingly unrelated syllables, and turning them into a reply, took patience, experience and a willingness to learn to speak "Prial-ese" - not unlike going to a Star Trek convention where fans actually speak Klingon.. How can you have forgotten..??? edco ( :-)

Fair point. I'm sure you are smiling knowing that I have to talk to myself and then get most of my work done by myself! At least there is no middle person! ;-)

:) It was fun being the translator!

Google Calendars are helpful in keeping in sync JP!

And the cell phone lines are always open if you get into a jam.

You may be gone - but you will never be forgotten!

I'm still laughing at this post, and I see Donna has joined in.

I loved being a translator, and already miss the ideas and energy.

That said, welcome to the real world, dude. Try planning a two-week motorcycle trip from St. Louis to California and finding hotels and restaurants according to a schedule. Takes us months to get the whole thing together.

Oh, and remember "The 4-Hour Work Week?" You can always get an assistant if you simply can't handle it... :)

I'm getting there! But all the advise is appreciated!!

It's just funny, really. IBM did away with most administrative support for everyone except "executives", meaning first line managers, second line managers, not to mention individual contributors.

Now you are finding it difficult to manage your PERSONAL schedule, this while you are retired!

Meanwhile the penny-wise, pound-foolish policies of IBM and other companies has cost those companies millions in lost productivity as high-wage, highly skilled specialists spend (hours) doing things like expense reports, travel reservations, meeting scheduling. Policies that you helped plan and implement in your former role.

What a funny piece. I know however that Jon will win over the man in you. Keep up the great effort!

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that Anonymous has a strong point of view. This blog was meant to enlighten and hopefully entertain at the same time, but let me share some thoughts in disagreement.

The development of collaborative technology has automated many tasks including basic calendaring. Although not perfect (and not a topic for debate here), we also have tools for Expenses, Travel Reservations, etc. and they will keep getting better. I can't barely remember what technology I was using ten years ago vs. what I have on my laptop today.

IBM is a technology company and should leverage technology. Rather than be bitter we should acknowledge the progress made and the very successful business built by hundreds of thousands of dedicated employees - at all levels.

I need and will find a new set of tools, not as good as what I had at work, but more than sufficient for my current needs.


One great new tool just out (that Notes, Outlook, Google Calendar, and many other tools can integrate with) is http://tungle.me. A wonderful time-saver especially when you're trying to schedule meetings with people who aren't on the same calendar service as you. I almost always use it now when scheduling meeting with non-IBMers, and it works great. Plus I can see my free time from my iPhone now without having to log into the office network.

All I needed was a little technology. Can't wait to try it out. Thanks, Jacques.

Love this discussion! You know you can find part-time virtual assistants (my sister does this as a side business!)We miss you!

I shall endeavor to manage this entirely on my own (with a little help from technology)! :-)

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