When stars collide like you and I(BM)…

If you were kind enough to read my last post, you’ll know that two of my favorite things – IBM and Sir Elton John – came together at InterConnect 2016 on February 24.

As expected, it was an amazing concert.  Everyone I talked with was absolutely ecstatic, and Sir Elton told us that we were “something else.”  That of all the times he’d played the MGM Grand Arena, we were “the best.”  (Yes, he used those exact words).

Anyway, there’s this notion in the world of Elton fandom of something known as “EJ Magic” – when two things seem to serendipitously come together because of Elton (directly or indirectly).  Perhaps it’s an unexpected front row seat; or it could be a new best friend you meet through your Elton kinship; that you just happened to be in West Hollywood for a “pop-up” concert; or maybe even a chance meeting with a band member.

I experienced my own form of EJ Magic around the InterConnect concert. Perhaps not in the classic sense, but one that struck me anyway. Let me explain.

Before the concert, I asked my Facebook friends to send some EJ Magic my way in the chance that I would possibly get to meet him.  And so many did, thank you.

Well, as it turns out, I didn’t get to meet him, but I do believe I experienced a dose of EJ Magic nonetheless.

Here’s why:

So many people at IBM tried very hard to make the meeting with Elton happen for me, I was really touched.  I was offered a VP’s photo op pass (but they couldn’t be exchanged); by final count, I could have ended up with 4 wristbands that got me on the floor. I ended up with 3rd row seats right in front of Elton’s piano bench (the second best seats I’ve ever had at an EJ concert); someone even saved a souvenir photo op pass and hand delivered it to the front desk at my hotel (in the middle of the night, I might add).  And so many emails were sent on my behalf.  And that’s what I know about.

Let’s just say, I got teary eyed when I picked up the souvenir at the front desk the next morning.  Maybe a little because I was that close to meeting him (hey, I’m only human), but mostly because I realized how many really good, really nice, really thoughtful IBMers there are out there.

I don’t want to embarrass anyone by calling out their names, but you know who you are and I just wanted to thank you.  I also wanted you to know how much it means to me that you tried…and that through your thoughtfulness, I feel a renewed fondness for this great company that we all work for.

And that little reminder – that I work with such special people and for such a special company – is my “EJ Magic.”

A while ago, I wrote about why I’ve stayed with IBM for 33+ years, and I failed to mention perhaps the biggest reason, which is the people of IBM.  Truly.  IBMers are the best. Even Sir Elton said so!