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 third 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. So please ignore the bad grammar and the overuse of the word “Got”, “Get” or “Gotten”.
9/17/01 – Learning new things at Dell
I have been learning a lot of new things at Dell. I spend half of the day in “bootcamp”, ( a place where we learn a different computer language each day), and I spend the other half of the day working in my cubicle. They are teaching me a lot and I am grateful.
I found out today that I have been teaching them a lot too, without realizing it. When I first moved in my cubicle, I didn’t have a chair, so I did the most obvious thing. I went out to my car and got my tool bucket. I placed it in my cubicle and sat on it while I worked. It wasn’t until today when I received a chair that I found out that people around here don’t sit on tool buckets while they work. — They told me that I would have gotten a chair a couple of weeks ago, but that they were so intrigued by my use of a five gallon bucket that they thought they would hold off giving me a chair so they could study the benefits of working while sitting on a bucket.
Many of my cubicle mates have shown an interest in my style of writing code (that means, programming). They haven’t seen anyone splice code fragments together using wire nuts and a pair of strippers before. One guy down the way asked me what brand of dikes I liked best because he was going to go out and buy some after he saw me trimming some clip art with mine. Of course I told him that there was only ONE brand of dikes — Kleins.
I have also taught my fellow computer nerds the benefits of butt splices when copying and pasting computer code. With a good pair of crimpers and some electric tape, copying and pasting takes on a whole new dimension.
At first they thought I was just joking when I whipped out my electric tape and started wrapping up my code into a three-tier business model. Their first response was, “What kind of Duct tape is that?” (actually, I think they said, “Duck Tape”). I showed them how a properly wrapped piece of code wouldn’t short out the program causing it to crash.
They have shown me a few things too. I had to go get a can of skoal and keep it on my shelf. Whenever the monitor overheats, I whip it out, squish it around in my mouth for a few seconds and spit in the back of the monitor, and voila!!! (voila is french for, “There it is”).
They have also taught me that keeping a cowboy hat in your cubicle is a useful tool. Whenever someone yells, “Hey You!”, the first thing you do is toss your hat up over the cubicle, just in case someone is shooting a rubber band across the room. It is an old cowboy trick.
I call it a room, but where I work is really about the size of 4 basketball courts. Cubicles as far as you can see. Being tall is a great advantage (which I’m not). It changes your perspective from being in a maze to being in a wide open prairie. I think I saw Dilbert (or is it Dellbert?) working down on the far end the other day.
It is good to hear from you guys, I’ll talk to you soon,