20 thoughts on “IBM Brno: Stressful Chaotic and Toxic Reality

  1. I think you crossed the line here.
    Are you serious about this? It is a strong accusation. I work in GSDC for many years as a technician and can tell that 3/4 of your statements are simply false and will not even comment them.

    But come on, putting into relation death of an employee with the company culture that’s really something. It is unfortunate that something like this has happened but that’s life.
    I wonder from which country you are coming from as you’d expect some investigation here.

    Well, if you feel comapny is here to blame it’s actually your duty to go immediately to your closest police office and report it.

    Otherwise what’s sense of your shocking article?

  2. I have been working in IBM for more than 7 years and big part of that time I was technician or member of technical team. Honestly, this article has no facts, only pesonal opinion. So let me add mine opinion as well.

    – Yes, jobs can be paid better but still salary is above average for the region
    – Brno office has quite “free” culture and environment. I have never met anybody who wouldn’t take break any time he/she wants. On the other hand I know many cases when manager adviced person to take a break or go to sick leave and person just refused
    – Yes, top management cares about financial results and numbers only. True, but it’s not top management job. That is job for middle management
    – Now sick leave are I believe paid from first day… but its quite new thing
    – True, there is lack of clear vision, there I agree. Also from my experience lot of people dont care. They just care about tickets in their queue.
    – Chaper “?o feel guilty about everything” …. what did you want to say there?
    – Bureaucracy … yes there is. That is problem

    It all seems for me like a random rant collected from few people, but lot of people there would tell you that in the end its quite ok.

    Please next time, support your statements in article with statistic facts and comparisons. It would require more investigation but you would give to people chance to create their own picture instead of giving them yours.

    for example mortality in Czech republic for people in age around 40 is 0.43% (statistic from 2013). In Brno’s IBM Office there is approx 3500 employees. It is sad if something like this happens and its true tragedy for everybody around. But its little bit long shot to only blame company for responsibility.

    1. Dear M,
      The facts , you probably know, are confidential. We only rely on the emails received , and the information is summarized and based on the peoples opinions, like your.
      Our blog will never publish any confidential or personal information. The goal is to improve work conditions in some areas. We do not blame any company for anyone`s death, it happened everywhere , but companies need to reduce the reasons. The stress is one of them. The stress remain invisible in many companies and recently become official disease. As I know nobody announced Ivan`s death , which let the peoples to attend to the funeral. As I know peoples were forced to collect money from each other to purchase flowers. Where is the company responsibility ? This is not only the website talking about it. If you open glassdoor for example , you may see many opinions like this. I do not talking about the conformists, which are everywhere. Many peoples talking about that company culture dropping rapidly , as there are not enough “fresh minds” peoples from outside. Just internal hiring. They were said that hiring policy is wrong and not transparent. They said that no real external training. Education in this company is only to gain skills from your colleges, or useless skill transfers. In that way we have to close all schools and universities. The peoples can teach each other in some bar 🙂
      So thanks for your opinion. I will include and correct the statements, based on your, and other peoples opinions. I heard that company trying to improve some of the processes , removing some useless tools, but will wait for confirmation. And really hope that everything will be better in the future, not only in IBM. Regards,

  3. I feel compelled to write something out… after careful reading (yes, english is pretty bad for a website that is around for 7-8 years as stated and is written in english), of all the nonsense in this article. and before I actually start, a little about me: foreigner, working for IBM CZ since 2013, working for IBM generally since 2006.

    1. This article makes no sense, as clearly is stated a person’s death, and then it goes on a rant about salaries and work environment conditions.
    2. People die every day on their workplaces, is that a cause to point the finger to the company where people work? Maybe you’re a disgruntled former employee that needs to do it for the sake of something… your ego, maybe?
    3. I developed professional disease, and do I blame IBM? As I’ve been working for them for the past 14 years… and taking your comments on the original issue (the death of a person), I should blame them.
    4. You say there are no statistics of people dying in IBM… should there be such a thing? considering IBM employs over 500.000 people, I’m guessing this is not an isolated case, and again… People die every day on their workplace.
    5. You ask how it is possible to someone (Ivan) be working in “this condition” (whatever that means)… only shows that you have absolutely no clue how an heart attack/stroke can happen on an apparently healthy person.
    6. What has the policy of the country’s health system to do in relation to IBM’s work policies?
    7. Salary is bad? People can always leave, or not come at all if the salary is bad.
    8. You state as well people were “forced” to contribute for funeral stuff… again… donations are voluntary, not mandatory nor forceful. IBM’s has no responsibility in it, though it would be nice if there was some reaction in company’s name, so again… what’s the point?
    9. Stress environment, High pressure, organizational chaos and no clear rules… This just shows the typical employee that can’t… read the rules/procedures/processes of his work. High pressure? Yes, it can happen every now and then, and not everyone can handle high pressure, so they come out and complain. Stress environment? what is stopping the person to leave? There are more companies with apparent higher salaries looking for new employees…
    10. You say you never publish confidential or personal details… but you failed to do so when you published the name and the photo of a person, taken from a confidential website (IBM’s internal pages)
    11. Job role not defined by IBM… I totally agree with that. You are hired to a certain “job role” to do a certain “set of tasks within that job role”, what else is needed? Or maybe you were hired to a job role, and you in fact have no clue on what to do…
    12. Overloading… again… bullshit excuses, I’ve been in fairly busy (and I mean by A LOT) teams, and teams where I still have time to write posts like this. If you are overloaded, only means that either you or or team are not balancing the workload properly, which shows lack of organization from the person or the people on the team, not the company.
    13. and to end this long post… as I won’t be expanding for the things I left unanswered… You end up saying that this story it is confirmed, that it is a fact, yet despite every refuted point on the comments, you say that this post is relying only on people’s emails… so where’s the confirmation or the actual facts been verified? If you after 7-8 years running a website haven’t learned anything about “news publishing” FFS (need translation?) dedicate yourself to crochet, or some other manual work that preferably requires at least half a brain to do!!!!

    1. Dear Honza,

      It was little bit difficult for me to catch your idea, from your comment. I have strange feeling that you copy/paste this text from somewhere. lacking imagination, or just bad work habit.
      For me it looks like that you never been in some other company , outside Brno, or outside “iron curtain” 🙂
      Okay, I see some peoples are not so experienced to understand what this article contain. That is why I will provide you something which is much easy to understand.
      Please, next time instead reading try to understand. Will try to help you, searching instead of you. Don`t be lazy 🙂


      Hope this will be much understandable for you?

  4. Guys ,
    I am one of those who knew Ivan personally. He was in the Architects team.
    He was a pleasant and responsible man, a great colleague.
    Unfortunately, he found himself in a place that was not suitable for sensitive people. It is a public secret that locals do not like foreigners, and usually foreigners always get the hard and thankless job at this company.This is the low culture spoken of.
    I don’t want to offend anyone, but I’ll be honest with you.
    Brno is a big village. You can’t find a high-culture person who previously grew pigs in any other village.
    They continue to think that changing the village with a city is a great achievement. Yes, most of your colleges are not from Brno, but some villages around.
    Just having a home computer doesn’t make you a specialist. Reading a lot also doesn’t make you a specialist. IT is a matter of art and you need to have a sense. You are a specialist or you are not, but it does not depend on your assignment. Obviously there are people who are not able to understand what is written here, but it is typical for the local population, they never consider, or realized it is just its own problem.
    I can safely say that what is written here is more or less true, it is simply written in summary.
    If you don’t already know it or can’t understand it, your problem is in yourself. Don`t blame the author because you don’t understand something.
    I am ex IBM Brno employee and left IBM in 2018.
    I was one of the lucky few to find a good job in Vienna. Now I’m sorry that I lost so much time. Vienna is only 120 km from Brno, but the difference is huge. Not only in pay check which is four times higher, I now have the respect, and a contract that has been followed. My salary goes up every year and really based on my experience, and not of some subjective factors. The stress is minimal, not like in Brno, where it was a daily routine.
    I often think of those colleagues who have stayed and are still trying to find a good job. This is not the case in the Czech Republic, and they know it. The Czech Republic is set to be a source of cheap labor. People in the Czech Republic are not able to understand that they have been used, or abused.
    I started working at IBM when specialists were above 50%, and quit when they fell below 10%. Company “blind” policy caused it. Almost all the time I was looking for a new job because I knew that there was no future. Many myths are told in IBM, and you have to be an idiot to believe. They just want to use your skills cheaper.Can`t blame IBM, every corporation looking for cheap peoples. The problem of IBM Brno is not a problem of IBM USA. Peoples in USA are better protected, so you only can blame your government.
    I guess they also have benefits from having exposed their people cheaper.
    But I’m optimistic, and I believe that one day you will find a good job and stop looking anymore. I believe that one day you will have a country where companies will come not only to find cheap labor. Good luck guys.

    1. I totally agree. I can confirm many of the sentences written here. I do not know what evidence they are looking for, after it is only enough to take a look around Of course if you have the right eyes.
      So, People who vomit and piss on the streets and bus stops trying to teach others ? No thanks. The most incomprehensible to me was the expression “Ti vole”, that is repeated in every sentence.I never understood what it meant, and I don’t want to know, but it always seemed funny to me.
      Small shops that always try to cheat you when they find out you’re a foreigner. Auto service prices are almost always double for foreigners.
      No thanks. Keep this “culture” to yourself. I don’t need to go back to the “Middle Ages”.
      Seems Brno grew very quickly from a village to a city, but the people around were not ready for it.
      As you said, locals do not like foreigners. This is “unfair” competition. Very often, the foreigner is isolated from the teamwork knowledge. Deliberately preventing foreigners to do its job in a better way. They do not provide the necessary information and just waiting to see how your work will fail. Disgusting! I have personal experience with that manners. I can give many more examples, and I personally do not need any other proof. For me, the writing is completely understandable, for those who can think.


    1. Unfortunately this is not capitalism. If it was, the peoples will have salaries not only to survive, and to pay its bills. The peoples will be protected and respected. I don’t know how to call it, but it should be something similar to the ancient Rome ages and slavery.

  5. Guys, You can talk as much as you want, but obviously IBM is dying. With the new CEO, the company is trying to fix the Ginni`s mess, but I don’t think that is possible anymore. Hope I wrong. It was necessary to change , or fire lot of the lazy senior management and to change the company vision on time.Most of them are only conformists, and selfish individuals.
    The acquisition of RedHad is a desperate attempt at IBM resuscitation. All this comes only from the blind management. IT Specialists cannot, and should not be placed under these conditions described in the article. That kills them. It also kills their professionalism. It kills the desire to work, and causes people to not care anymore. It’s not employee, but company fault.
    How can you not give your people a normal contract and describe the responsibilities there.What do you expect.
    Why you can’t create a normal work environment. You don’t want to pay, do you.Just reduce the salaries of your high management.Do not touch the regular employees.
    How it is possible to force your employees to pressure customers by writing charging hours in some stupid claiming tools.How many useless tracking tool you have. This is not their job! Do not involve employees in your company bullshit. Employees are required to be available 40 hours a week and at the same time to report every hour.WTF. This is an idiotic manner. Why treat your employees like idiots. Believe me, many are not. And they perfectly understand that they have been lied to. You were just funny, and now you’re just miserable.
    Please stop finally treating your employees as objects, and do respect them.
    Do not put your company negatives on them, because your success belong to them, but your failure only to yourself.They can quit, but you cant.

  6. IBM’s biggest enemy is its high management. Greed and blind peoples.
    I don’t think then new CEO will resurrect the dying company. IBM need a man with balls, not conformists.

  7. Noam Chomsky -“10 strategies of manipulation” , I think it perfectly match The CIC Brno methods.

    1. The strategy of distraction
    The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information. distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of the science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. “Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals (quote from text Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

    2. Create problems, then offer solutions
    This method is also called “problem -reaction -solution. “It creates a problem, a “situation” referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept. For example: let it unfold and intensify urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order that the public is the applicant’s security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Or: create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services.

    3. The gradual strategy
    acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, dropper, for consecutive years. That is how they radically new socioeconomic conditions ( neoliberalism ) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s: the minimal state, privatization, precariousness, flexibility, massive unemployment, wages, and do not guarantee a decent income, so many changes that have brought about a revolution if they had been applied once.

    4. The strategy of deferring
    Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application. It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice of immediate slaughter. First, because the effort is not used immediately. Then, because the public, masses, is always the tendency to expect naively that “everything will be better tomorrow” and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes.

    5. Go to the public as a little child
    Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children’s intonation, often close to the weakness, as if the viewer were a little child or a mentally deficient. The harder one tries to deceive the viewer look, the more it tends to adopt a tone infantilizing. Why? “If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense asa person 12 years or younger (see Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

    6. Use the emotional side more than the reflection
    Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis , and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas , desires, fears and anxieties , compulsions, or induce behaviors …

    7. Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity
    Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslavement. “The quality of education given to the lower social classes must be the poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes (See ‘ Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

    8. To encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity Promote the public to believe that the fact is fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and uneducated…

    9. Self-blame Strengthen
    To let individual blame for their misfortune, because of the failure of their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual autodesvalida and guilt, which creates a depression, one of whose effects is to inhibit its action. And, without action, there is no revolution!

    10. Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves Over the past 50 years, advances of accelerated science has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those owned and operated by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically. The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves.

    Is it looks familiar to the peoples still working there ?

  8. I have similar issues at the moment.
    I am specialist?? At this moment I even doubt about my self with all the sits that I am taking, I am one man team. Not to that during my working hours I had a health issues and need to hospitalize for more than a week and I lost 35% of my income. The manager they don’t fucking even care, begging for salary to increase deaf doors nobody cares. But after my health issue causes from all this stress and shit that I am taking I woke up and I am on the search to leave from there. I am searching a way to escalate also my managers (I don’t even know who is actually my manager at this point).

  9. I have similar issues at the moment.
    I am specialist?? At this moment I even doubt about my self with all the crap that I am taking, I am one man team at the moment. Note that during my working hours I had a health issues and need to hospitalize for more than a week and I lost 35% of my income. The managers they don’t fucking even care, begging for salary increase and reaching deaf doors ,nobody cares fucking cares that my salary don’t even fucking covers my high praised rental or my baby’s milk. But after my health issue causes from all this stress and crap that I am taking, I woke up and I am on the search to leave from there fast. I am searching a way to escalate also my managers (I don’t even know who is actually my manager at this point) with all this fucking bureaucracy

  10. I have similar issues at the moment.
    I am specialist?? At this moment I even doubt about my self with all the crap that I am taking, I am one man team at the moment. Note that during my working hours I had a health issues and need to hospitalize for more than a week and I lost 35% of my income. The managers they don’t fucking even care, begging for salary increase and reaching deaf doors ,nobody fucking cares that my salary don’t even fucking covers my high rental place (fucking high landlords in CZ for a shit whole
    )or my baby’s milk. But after my health issue causes from all this stress and crap that I am taking, I woke up and I am on the search to leave from there fast. I am searching a way to escalate also my managers (I don’t even know who is actually my manager at this point) with all this fucking bureaucracy

  11. From our mailbox:

    Congratulations to all PROUD IBMers

    Do you feel valued, respected, and maybe you really feel proud to work in this Indian-American company and of an already dying company, whose shares have been going down only in recent years?

    For misunderstood colleagues who do not read their emails – in 2020 there will be no annual 0.3% annual salary increases. The reason, of course, is the pandemic. How convenient, right?
    Did you noticed that they stopping care abou tyour health already ? Yes, they did.
    Did they took our vacation – they did it.
    Did they cut the overtime / compensations for those who working hard? – Yes, they did it.
    Did they remove the bonuses – they did it.
    Will there be a salary renewal in 2020 – Obviously not …

    With these decisions, IBM is and will continue to collapse on its own. IBM is us. Maybe we should BOYCOTT work in order to be noticed and heard.

    On the already ridiculous salaries for the sector, with almost no additional benefits (which we still pay), they can afford not to raise salaries. This is not the case even in Africa.

    I would like to remind to some of my colleagues, namely – the “great” practices of IBM.
    Treasure wild ducks – have you seen somewhere to encourage thinking outside of the box? I’m not. An old model is followed and it has been ridden for X years.

    Put the Client First – it’s more like Put Myself First, especially for the management. They are crushing and their decisions are, to put it mildly, absurd.
    Show Personal Interest – after all I’ve listed – how exactly will I be motivated to take an interest in anything?

    I don’t understand how a huge, global IBM-caliber company can treat its employees like fourth-hand people. And no one would come and say – Hey, stop it, and start thinking..
    Do you believe that the company is in a constant freeze and that is why they do not raise your salary? If so, you probably still believe in Santa Claus. For reference – see how many people have been hired in the last year. But this is normal, there must still be some counter-reaction on the part of IBM to this turnover, which will continue to increase.

    I would say that the only two advantages of the company are the colleagues and the company security. Colleagues are no longer there or they are not what they used to be because they are overwhelmed by work and stress.
    And company security? People are not fired unless they are really “special” and deserving.
    Remember, colleagues, that change must come from ourselves and that change is us.

    That is why I proudly declare that because of the above-mentioned events I will look for a new job and will find it. There is no time to waste.

    Do you feel PROUD IBMer ?. Because I don’t.

    Good luck to all!

  12. the pigsty is about to disintegrate. you will have to pay for all the nonsense they have done in recent years. the bad thing is that they will force the regular employees who worked for them, to pay their bills again. run away from the pigsty as fast as you can.

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