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So you believe that corporation life is dull, cut-and-dried, and strictly stuffed shirt? Well, methinks you're in for quite a surprise once you've delved into this fascinating, humorous account of my twenty-year association with IBM, the global trailblazing pioneer of the computer world, nicknamed by the Wall Street Journal and referred to in this book as "Big Blue". This book, although occasionally seeming incredible regarding one's assumption of corporate decorum, and of a global corporation's high regard for human dignity, is by no means a distortion of the author's memory or imagination. For example, when forced by competition and other causes to drastically downsize its staff, what corporation would choose to pay off rather than lay off a huge number of employees-at a cost of $5,000 per year of past service per voluntary retiree? What other company would also furnish the voluntary retiree the cost of the training and special equipment necessary for a new career? Is that not the epitome of respect for human dignity, or what? .I decided to publish my long-held manuscript (copyright 1997) to assure that history wouldn't overlook Big Blue's richly deserved credit for having been the single most influential factor in preventing the 1972 (or thereabout) recession from becoming the start of a major depression by refusing to join the many other giant giant corporation drop-outs from the construction industry, at the risk of self-financial disaster.
By so doing, IBM sparked a revival of confidence in the American economy, inspiring the drop-out corporations to dig back in, like saying, "Come on in, the water's fine!" IBM, for example, would never have accepted the exterior skeletal (exoskeleton) structural steel design of the World Trade Center's twin towers, envisioning the possibility that the collapse of any single upper floor (truss system), for any possible reason, would likely cause via a vertical "Domino effect" (i.e., no internal columns). IBM placed too high a value on human lives to risk such a radical departure from standard structural steel design to save money.The architect and structural engineers would have been subject to inscrutable criticism by the pertinent staffs of the Real Estate and Construction Division, as well as the IBM Using Division, who themselves, when in doubt, enlisted the analysis of outside consultants.