Golden handcuffs

My manager just called me about an hour ago and said he was happy to inform me that I am the recipient of an IBM Equity Award. Apparently these types of awards are management-initiated and require the backing of your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line managers. After a bit of research I discovered that I have received these twice before and didn’t know it! Equity Award is the fancy label IBM gives to stock-related awards which I received in 2003/06 and 2003/12. (Yes, yes, I know that stocks are equities, lay off.) The previous two Equity Awards were stock options. The new award is a set of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) who’s label told me absolutely nothing until I read up on it.

Apparently RSUs are a way for IBM to give someone actual stock, instead of stock options. They are similar to options however in that they take time to vest. Whereas IBM options vest 25% over 4 years, RSUs vest 50% every 2 years over 4 years. When they vest you are basically ‘given’ that many shares of stock minus taxes and whatnot. IBM very clearly states that Equity Awards are a mechanism to ‘retain truly exceptional people with the critical skills … to win in the marketplace today and in the future’ [courtesy of the IBM internal website], hence the phrase ‘golden handcuffs’. Looks like IBM wants to keep me around for a while. I’m not altogether certain that stock options (or RSUs) would be enough to retain me if I really wanted to leave (’cause its only money and I’d leave it in a heartbeat if I didn’t like what I was doing for work) but I agree that they are an excellent fringe benefit for staying!

A 4-year vesting time oddly coincides with our current 5-year plan which is nice (more on that in a later post).

In actuality I’d rather IBM pony up to the table when it comes time for annual performance reviews and salary adjustments. We shall see.

ADC: Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon

Benjamin and I finished the the third race of the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) last Sunday (Nov 12). The weather was nice although we over-dressed for it (at least I did). The weather was cold in the morning when the race started but warmed up after the sun rose. Luckily, there was no wind.

B and I felt pretty good at the end. B’s knees were hurting him a bit which mirrors the longer runs last year too. We’re going to have to figure out how to fix them, and soon.

Race: Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon

Overall position 1036 out of 1778
Class position (M 25-29) 64 out of 99
Chip time 2:05:33
Pace 9:35/M


Overall position 1035 out of 1778
Class position (M 20-24) 27 out of 38
Chip time 2:05:33
Pace 9:35/M

Paces for each mile according to the Garmin:

Mile Pace
1 8:54/M
2 8:40/M
3 9:27/M
4 9:19/M
5 8:00/M
6 11:22/M
7 10:12/M
8 9:18/M
9 8:58/M
10 10:20/M
11 8:44/M
12 9:39/M
13 10:04/M
13.3 11:59/M

Next race: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s – December 3rd

Wearing the Pants

All this week Benjamin has been in training for his new Financial Sales Representative (FSR) position with Compass Bank. There are 4 people total in his class: The Instructor, The Girl, The Guy (who is family), and Benjamin — all of which have husbands/partners. During a break The Girl asks The Guy which of he and his partner is ‘the man’ in the relationship. The Guy responds ‘I am’ to which The Girl laughes and says ‘you’re kidding!’. [Ouch!]

The Girl turns to Benjamin and says something along the lines of ‘how about you, who wears the pants in your relationship?’. Benjamin replies, ‘let me break it down for you: my husband is the man, I wear the pants, he makes the money, and I spend it’ and winks. [Too true — I love it!]

Even better, after telling Eve (Benjamin’s sister) at dinner tonight, Eve says ‘hmmm, just like Mom and Dad’. [!?]

Who wears the pants in your relationship?