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 sixth 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.
09/28/01 – Meeting with the CIO
Dear Sooner plant,
I went to a meeting with Randy Mott this morning, our Chief Information Officer (CIO), who, by the way, was named “CIO of the Year” in the world this year. I think it was a productive meeting. The first thing that I noticed was that his cubicle was TWICE as big as mine. Yes. He does NOT have an office. He works in a cubicle just like everyone else. Even Michael Dell, the CEO of the company has a cubicle. Michael doesn’t even keep a chair in his cubicle, He works standing up at a drafting table. — And Dell is more than 20 times bigger than OG&E!!!!
Anyway, back to the meeting with Randy Mott. He told me that he thought I would have to stop doing the mouse in the sock thing because it was shocking my coworkers. I told him that I thought they would get used to it, and that they might even start doing it themselves. He said, “No, I don’t think you understand. You are “shocking” your coworkers!!!”
Apparently, by rubbing my socks on the carpet when I move my mouse around, I am putting a static charge on the cubicles, and when my coworkers lean against their desks, they are getting shocked. — It was at this point in the conversation that I learned that our CIO was named “CIO of the year” and that Randy was rather proud of this accomplishment (which he should be).
I thought about telling him that if the cubicles were properly grounded this wouldn’t happen, but I decided not to mention it. So I suggested that maybe I could wear grounding bracelets around my ankles to bleed off the static charge. He told me he knew I used to be an Electrician, but that I should find some other way to manipulate my mouse, or that I should learn to use the “hot keys” like most programmers do. (You see, Randy Mott used to be a programmer at Wal-Mart where he worked his way up to CIO, so he knows about those sorts of things — this was something else I learned about Randy in our meeting).
Why of course!!! Hot keys!!! That is when you press the CTRL-C to copy, and CTRL-V to paste, and things like that. There is a “Hot Key” for just about every operation. The advantage of that is that you don’t have to take your fingers off of the home row keys, and it doesn’t slow you down. — So I returned to my cubicle feeling rather foolish and put my unused scissors back in my drawer, and pulled my socks off of both mice and slipped them back on my feet.
Then my Vice President came by and said, “Hey lets go out to lunch!” So he took all the new guys that were under him (6 of us) out to lunch. We went to a Mexican restaurant named, “On The Border”. I was thinking the whole time, “Oh No, not another one of these torturous meals where we get so stuffed that we can’t move, then we have to do some sort of physical activity to make us barf it all back up again.” — But that didn’t happen.
We spent so much time talking that we didn’t eat that much. So even though we sat there for an hour and a half, and kept eating chips and salsa, we didn’t get too stuffed. — When I got back to work my whole team and a couple of other teams were all throwing a football around in an area in our building across from our cubicles that is the size of the entire maintenance shop at Sooner, except without any furniture. I realized that if I had eaten too much for lunch this activity would have been devastating and I was wondering if that had been intentional.
They were handing out free root beer, so I drank some of that. — I also found out that I had missed their breakfast this morning because I had that meeting with Randy Mott, but I had lunch and they didn’t, so it kind of made up for that. It turns out that every Friday they have breakfast for us and they call it “The Breakfast Club” and everyone dresses any way they want and they call it “Casual Friday”.
Anyway. That is how my day went. The weekend is here, and I am done for the day, and my Manager just walked by my cubicle and said, “Hey I thought I told you that you could leave early.” So, I suppose I should go home.
I would still like to hear how things are going up there, so keep me informed. I sent this with the mailing list as a blind copy, that way you shouldn’t have to have a header with everyone’s name listed on it, let me know if that worked. If anything it may have Ray’s name listed on it, since I don’t have him on the long mailing list, (mainly because I never heard back from him when I was making it – but I thought he would appreciate the reference I made to Walt Oswalt in the update from last week). — Is Ray doing ok?