Rich Helms’ Farewell When He Left IBM in 1997

Recently while cleaning up my computer I found my farewell speech when I left IBM. I forgot many of these things I did. It is an interesting read.

I was reflecting on my career at IBM and I accumulated a few interesting facts.

I have:

  • Worked 21.5 years at IBM
  • Worked in 7 divisions, 7 cities, 14 buildings and 2 countries
  • Had 17 managers
  • Visited 14 countries, 9 provinces and about 40 states
  • Been around the world twice but flown enough miles to circle earth over 20 times
  • Flown in planes ranging from a single engine 2 seater to the cockpit of a 747-400 and served meals on an Air Canada flight when I was mistaken for a crew member
  • Judged the Ontario Engineering Competition as the IBM representative for 13 years
  • Spoken at over 20 conferences
  • Received 15 awards
  • Locked myself out of my room at the Princeton Hyatt wearing only a short Japanese robe
  • Locked my keys in the rental car, wearing only a bathing suit while staying at a five star hotel in Boca Raton, Florida
  • Published 5 inventions and filed 4 patents
  • Eaten a whole clove of garlic in a Korean restaurant in Tokyo thinking it was an onion
  • Had my work with CARES, the system for aging missing kids:
    • Exposed at a national press conference that was the lead story on 2 national networks and the second story, to the end of the Ontario doctors strike, on the other two
    • Recognized by the Metro Toronto Police
    • Featured on several police shows including Top Cops
  • Been searched by the Russian Army
  • Been directed off the streets by the Mexican Army during an attempted embassy siege beside our hotel
  • Traveled to Italy when American executives were being knee capped
  • Met Nobel prize winners, ambassadors, IBM CEO’s and Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

And best of all, I have had the honour of working for the IBM Microelectronics Toronto Lab

So long, and thanks for all the fish

Rich Helms
October 2, 1997

Writing Services

Internationally published writer Dorothea Helms is passionate about writing, and has had her work appear in an amazingly diverse selection of publications. She has also served as editor of three magazines and several newspaper sections, in addition to editing books for individual authors. Whatever your writing, ghostwriting or editorial needs, Dorothea will exceed your expectations with a product that is not only written well, but is also creative.
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Creative Writing – a 10-week course offered each fall at the Uxbridge, Ontario, campus of Durham College that provides an overview of fiction and non-fiction writing for the person who is passionate about the craft, but needs direction in both polishing work for publication and the mechanics of how to approach editors.

Advanced Creative Writing – a 10-week course (offered at different times throughout the year) that builds on the skills from Creative Writing and pushes participants to expand their comfort zones and experiment more. During part of this course, Dorothea uses Pat Schneider’s Amherst Writers & Artists Method, in which she has been trained.
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Keynote Speeches

The Art of Making Money: How Artsie-Fartsies Can Learn to Tap Into Left Brain Skills
Humor Sells: Write Funny to Make Money
Don’t Sell Yourself Short: Marketing for the 21st Century
Weight No Longer: Learn to Love Yourself at Any Weight
Straight to the Top: How to Approach Celebrities and Other Important People
Opportunity’s Knocking: Make the most of every chance to advance your career
Your Name in Print: Write and Get Published (You know you want to!)

Business Training

In 1994, I was dabbling in professional freelance writing, making a few bucks here and there and generally working horrendous hours for little return. I knew how to write – I simply didn’t understand how to make money at it.

Then in 1994, I was accepted into a self-employment program run by Women and Rural Economic Development (WRED). Once I opened my mind to the left brain side of running a business, I was amazed at how my career took off. To this day, I make more money than most writers in Canada, and I strongly suggest other writers start to look at their articles, stories, books, poems, ads and whatever as products and consider pursuing entrepreneurial training. I spent several years as a Rural Organization Specialist with the Central Ontario Region of WRED. I offer my heartfelt thanks to WRED for helping to change my life and help me launch my lifelong dream.
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