Category Archives: Random Thoughts

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