But how do you spot an old IBMer?
Is it by the cut of their suit? Not sure about that anymore.
It’s certainly not by their extensive beards.
Is it by the size of their laptop? I hope not!
No… you can spot them by their use of certain words and phrases.
Here are a few I can think of… you may know more. Try this out as a test on someone who you think is an old IBMer and see how they go:
1) While showing a powerpoint presentation they keep saying they are showing foils (despite having not seen an overhead projector in over 10 years).
2) They refer to disk storage as DASD (pronounced Dazz-Dee).
3) They still call a Sales Rep a Marketing Rep (check out Buck Roger’s book The IBM Way to see why).
4) They refer to their inbox as their reader (see #6 below).
5) They refer to the IBM corporate personnel database as callup (it has been a Web based application called BluePages for around 15 years).
6) If you say I will PROFS you (or I will send you a PROFS mail), they don’t blink an eye-lid (PROFs was IBM’s Mainframe based mail system, replaced by OfficeVision which was replaced by Lotus Notes in the 1990s).
7) If you say you F4ed or PF4ed an email… they know what you mean (it meant that you deleted it in PROFS/OfficeVision).
8) They reveal they are a veteran of IBM Typewriters by regaling you with their knowledge of Selectric Rotate Tapes.
9) They can name the dimensions of a punched card.
10) You look around the office and they are the only one still wearing a tie.
Go and test it out today. See if you can find someone who can score 100%.
And have a great weekend…