After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going. This is the first letter I wrote. Keep in mind that at the time, I didn’t intend on it being posted online when I originally penned this letter.
8/30/2001 – Working at Dell
Sooner Plant employees,
I thought I would drop you a line and let you know how things are going in Round Rock Texas.
First, and most importantly. I have learned how to drive like a Texan. I regularly and randomly swerve into other lanes. I pass only when there is a yellow line. I fly through yellow lights, (one note — I never noticed before, but at 98 miles an hour, when a yellow light turns red, it actually looks orange for a millisecond as it flies over your head). I fall asleep while waiting at red lights, and only wake up just in time to watch the green turn to yellow. To keep myself from getting bored, I play with the turn signals by turning them left and right and watching the little green arrows on the dashboard turn on and off. I can tell everyone else on the road is getting into what I am doing, because they keep cheering me on by honking their horns. It is really a friendly atmosphere on the road down here. People wave a lot. There is a lot of team spirit. They keep indicating that “We’re number one” with their hand gestures! — They have all made me feel real welcome.
Second. In Austin, I finally figured out why there are so few trees. It usually goes for a month or two without any rain, and then all at once it floods the whole countryside. It is only then that you realize that everyone ELSE has built an Ark in their backyard. — As you see them lifting up over the roofs of their houses. On Monday we had 5 1/2 inches of rain in about an hour. Today I think we’ve had another 4 inches.
Which reminds me. They also have all the mailboxes down at the corner where you use a key to get your mail. I thought it was for security, but it is really so they can secure the mailbox to keep them from floating down the river. I wondered why the neighbors had strings tied to the mailbox post, but it all made sense to me when the jugs on the end of the strings were floating in the temporary river, and the neighbors went floating by in their arks checking their jug lines for fish. These guys take advantage of every opportunity to get the best out of every occasion.
There are many other ways I have adapted to Texas life, but I will save that for another day. Let me know how things are going up there. I’ll write to you later.