It was a little surreal: I was about one mile into my commute to work two weeks ago, listening to NPR the way I do every morning. "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that IBM may be in talks to acquire Sun Microsystems." I managed to maintain control of my vehicle, but it was extraordinarily shocking. With a company as big as Sun, it's not exactly an anticipated possibility.
Naturally everything at work was airtight - no superior was making any comment - except for the chatter around the water cooler, of course, which was bubbling. In the kitchen, the 4 daily newspapers were carefully fanned out, all turned to the IBM news. I slipped into the offices of the Corporate Law folks across the hall from me, but they were sealed up too. All they could do was tell me that in their experience, the merger of two enormous companies could take anywhere from 9-12 months. (There are plenty of antitrust issues too.)
But it's been about 2 weeks, and things have quieted. We were told to keep our heads down, and mostly we are, because what else can you do? I feel a great sense of equanimity. I'm a contractor, after all, so my job security isn't established. And I've been laid off once, and survived it. What more can they do to me? Meanwhile, I couldn't help but wonder how many times in my career I could experience such a mega-merger firsthand. I feel calm enough to be interested in watching it unfold.