Hey, for cripe sake! I'm 67 years of history already. How the hell did that happen?
Three of us retired the same year - Dave Spurck - Hank Thoms - and yours truly.
Herm Koelmel remained to carry on the fine tradition we had built.
Herm became publications manager of an independent business unit within IBM. It was a special department to handle products of other manufacturers worthy of IBM acceptance.
As the publications for the products expanded and writers were needed, Herm called the three musketeers out of retirement, Thoms, Spurck and Coogan.
We worked three years for Herm under the 999 hour plan. 999 was the equivalent of six months. This time could be used as needed and when needed. The arrangement was beneficial to both IBM and the retiree. Previous to retirement we had a year to produce a manual. When engineering reached an impasse the writers had to spin their wheels (so to speak) while waiting for more text material.
Under Herm's new management we had less production time. However, when an impasse occurred, we would take time off until the material was ready. We were only paid for the time we spent at work. That way IBM benefited and we enjoyed the time with our families.
My last project was an electronic drafting machine used by companies who sold electricity to the public, such as Central Hudson, Westchester Lighting Co. And Niagara Mohawk. Every pole and transformer within their district could be identified immediately.
Problems were pin-pointed and correctional diagnostics implemented.
The system was originally built by Seiko, a Japanese company.
My responsibility consisted of reducing the size of the manual by eliminating repetition of procedures and converting graphic art to United States standards.
About the time the project ended IBM began to down size. People were no longer called back. I was sorry this had to happen. Working with these people was so enjoyable, but everything must eventually end.
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