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 forty eighth 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.
08/23/02 – Record Breaking Dell
Hello Friends from Sooner Plant,
I had a dream the other night (not to sound like Martin Luther King), where someone at the plant had gotten hurt real bad. I think it was George Clouse.
He was somehow thrown real far when he was being lowered by some kind of rope, and then he fell and banged into something and ended up being tossed about 30 yards where he landed on the concrete close to where I was standing. I called for help on the radio, but no one came. (Except maybe some other Dell programmers with long names).
Dreams are weird that way. — Anyway, you guys stay safe. Watch out for each other.
I found Dell’s Safety Mission Statement sitting on a table in the cafeteria on one of those triangular cards that you find in restaurants to show you what is the special that week. — Anyway, it starts out like this: “Dell Computer Corporation is committed to the belief that people are our most important resource. Dell’s safety policy is to be proactive in maintaining a work environment that protects the health and safety of employees, customers, and the public……”
Then it goes on with a few more sentences about personal responsibility. — I thought you guys would like to hear that. Just recently Dell’s factories reached 2 million man-hours without a major injury. That’s pretty good considering how fast things are moving in there.
This past week we had an I/T All-Hands meeting. We all got on buses and went to a “Performing Arts Center” where Randy Mott (our CIO) spent the morning giving us the scoop on how our company is doing. It was fun watching the videos and stuff.
There was one day during this past summer when we produced 75,000 computers in one day. — That’s really making computers fast. Especially when you consider that there are only 86,400 seconds in a day. That’s getting pretty close to making one computer every second continuously. That’s pretty fast. It’s been calculated that we can do up to 2 computers per second if we had to.
Besides going to the All-Hands meeting, not much happened this week out of the ordinary. Unless you take into account that I was able to get to work early this morning because I-35 was fairly clear.
There was an accident, but it happened north of where I enter the freeway, so everyone in that direction was stuck, which made it a breeze going to work. When I saw that the highway was pretty clear, I quickly tuned into the “Traffic Channel” on the radio.
They told me that there had been an accident at the corner of HWY 29 and I-35, and if you were on FM 620 and were planning on going down FM 734, it would be better if you took HWY 183. And there was some accident on HWY 290 that was causing traffic to back up on I-35.
It still amazes me how every street that has accidents has a number. I sometimes think that if they quit numbering all these roads, that people would stop having so many accidents. — Maybe they’re all looking at the road map as they’re barreling down the road trying to figure out which number they are supposed to turn on to next.
Anyway. Since this has been a rather normal week, I have been able to get a lot of work done. I found out today that they are adding some stuff on to my project since I’m so far ahead of schedule. I’m supposed to learn more about that on Monday.
Next week is going to be the same. — Except that next Friday during a “Quarterly Luncheon” with a group of teams, I’m supposed to give a “PowerPoint Presentation” about what we are doing to teach the teachers at the Austin High Schools. I asked my manager if that’s what they really wanted me to do, and she said that it was.
I asked her if she had heard about my PowerPoint Presentations from the past, and she said that she had. She said that someone from where I used to work had called the company and told them that I was not to be trusted when giving PowerPoint Presentations, and when they asked whoever it was if they were referring to the PowerPoint Kevin had given at his going-away party, that had already been posted on Dell’s Internal Website as a learning tool for giving uplifting and energizing presentations, the person hung up and didn’t even leave their name.
Somehow I can picture them waving at me now. — Let me pull that up real quick. — Yep. There it is… Isn’t that precious?
Note to reader: To learn more about my final PowerPoint presentation see the post PowerPoint Final Presentation.
Of course, those of you who missed my going-away party don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. It’s probably better that way.
I hope everything is going well with all of you. Remember to keep alert. Don’t get hurt. Lift with your legs and not with your back. Watch out for the other guy. And as the sign says: “Always Wear Your Gloves” (That is, when you’re doing switching). — I guess, now it’s “Always wear your gloves, your Switching jacket, your protective hood, and good quality work boots and safety glasses.”
I would go on rambling some more safety slogans, but it is Friday afternoon, and if I were to take attendance of the cubes around me now, I would find that there is: No Venkat, no Murthy, no Srinivasa, no Kotamraju, no Devika, no Radha, no Nanda, or Liming, no Ravi or his other brother Ravi, no Jichuan, or Venu, no Sohan, Ragini or Azeem. — Sorry I couldn’t help myself. That’s just too fun.
Ok. Ok. I’m going. Write to you later. Let me know how things are going.
Your friendly Dell Programmer from Austin,
Kevin James Anthony Breazile
Kevin J. Breazile
CIA: Customer Experience, Integrated Services Model, and Ariba
—When the Mission seems Impossible, call the CIA!–
Dell Computer Corporation