Letters to the Power Plant #3 – Learning new things at Dell

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

Dear friends,

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,

Kevin Breazile

Programmer/Analyst

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6 responses

  1. Gosh, as I finish up school for the year, I was thinking about all my WordPress neighbors I haven’t had time to read or visit with, and you came to my mind! And here you, first one I see when turning on to read! Love your letter to your friends. Very impressed with how you have progressed to cleaning out “was it rats or bugs or something in a dark tank/room” to computer programmer!! Wow, you are living proof of our American dream of one can do anything and be whatever the heart desires with hard work and determination! SO enjoyed visiting and uplifted by your story! blessings, denise

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post 🙂 I love the part about the duct tape and the cowboy hat, but then again everything you write in this post is fascinating and truly witty 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I once saw this letter when my father brought a copy home. You have a great imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am honored to learn that I was able to entertain your Father enough for him to bring a copy of my letter home. He is a great man and a dear friend.

      Like

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