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 tenth letter I wrote. Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.
10/23/01 – Inside Dell
Dear Sooner Friends of Dell,
I hope overhaul is going well for you. If my memory serves me right, you should just about be done. The other day my manager gave me a new project, and he said the due date for it was October 2nd, three weeks ago. I told him that I had heard that Dell was a fast paced company but I was going to have to be a little late getting that project done.
He said, “Welcome to Dell”. He said he would take me to Starbucks and buy me a Cappuccino or something to help me with my nerves. I wasn’t sure what he meant, so I took the next step in the Quality process. I asked him, “My nerves?” He replied by saying that after gulping down a few Espressos from Starbucks I’ll be all tuned up and ready to work on this project, and before I know it, I will have had it done three weeks ago. Starbucks by the way is located just past the lobby and past the bank. Next to a gift shop.
This morning all of the IT group, (that’s me and 1,800 others – or is the number 3,000 I don’t remember) here in Austin are going to an “All Hands” meeting. That’s the meeting where last time our CIO Randy Mott gave the guy $100 for asking a question. I’m supposed to leave here in a few minutes, and that is why I’m taking the time to write a letter.
We all get in buses and go down to some performing arts theater, and they put on a big show about what sorts of projects IT rolled out in the last month. I think one of my projects was rolled out this past month, so I might get to stand up and present it to the group. I would tell you what it is about, but since I haven’t written it yet, I’m not sure.
I was told the other day that I am considered an Inside Trader at Dell. That means that I have access to financial information that is confidential and I’m not allowed to buy or sell Dell stock at certain times of the year — Like now. I’m also not allowed to give anyone advice about trading Dell stocks. — So don’t ask me. All I will say is: “Don’t buy Compaq, or Hewlett Packard, or Gateway.” They don’t have a chance.
Most of the time while I was working at Sooner Plant I was the only “Kevin” there. When you called me on the radio, all you had to say was “Kevin”. Here at Dell, there is a lot of Kevins. They are everywhere.
One out of 10 of the new recruit’s names were Kevin. I checked the directory the other day, and we have 226 Kevins working at Dell. I feel like that Italian joke about Luigi. Someone yells, “Hey Kevin” and 30 heads pop up over the cubicles. (I think they call that “Prairie Dogging” when the heads pop up over the cubicles). — Actually, people don’t yell around here.
All you usually hear are the sounds of computer keyboards tapping away. Maybe a groan now and then, (when someone’s program didn’t work the way they thought it would). And People saying, “Did you hear what Kevin said the other day? No, not THAT Kevin, that other Kevin.”
By the way. Our Senior Vice President and probably all time favorite friend of Michael Dell’s name is Kevin Rollins. I think he’s behind the Kevin Conspiracy at Dell. I think he’s grabbing up all the Kevins he can find in order to take over the Kevin Market.
That doesn’t quite explain the Flores situation. Odd as it seems, Noe Flores for years has been the only “Flores” at Sooner plant. You can say “No Way Flores” (since his name is Noe Flores) and everyone knows exactly who you are talking to. Dell, however, has 36 Flores’s. So, Noe, don’t be surprised if you get a call from someone at Dell asking you to come down for an interview. I think they might be trying to move into the Flores market as well.
Well. I had better go catch the bus to the All Hands meeting. “Impulsive” — That was the fourth Imp. Impunity, Impatience, Improvising, and Impulsive. — I’m surprised none of you replied back with the answer. That is a good sign I guess. That probably would have been Impulsive.
Have a good week, and BE CAREFUL!!!!!
Kevin J. Breazile
Programmer Analyst II
Dell Computer Corporation