Monthly Archives: March, 2017

Letters to the Power Plant #93 — Time 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 ninety third 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.

1/15/04 – Time at Dell

Dear Friends from up North,

I hope all is going well with you guys.  I learned that Alex Taybah has also left the building!  Gee.  People are dropping out like flies up there.  What’s the deal?

I often wonder why people would want to leave Sooner Plant when it is led by such cheerful and caring individuals.  There must be something else going on up there that I’m not thinking about. —  Oh wait!!  How about this….. (Since this might be one of the reasons I left)……

After working in a state of serene peacefulness for so many years one starts to feel guilty that other Oklahomans are not able to feel such love an affection from their workplace, so you begin to realize that it just isn’t fair, and you really want others to be able to experience the “Sooner Aura” of perpetual magnificence from the leadership.  So you get this overwhelming urge to leave so someone else can take your place!!!  That’s it!!  Isn’t it?

Well.  This week the big project that I’ve been working on has finally gone live.  It was a real big thing.  We had fliers put on everyone’s desk.  Manufacturing was told that they couldn’t use the time clocks for about an hour.

Everyone started using it on Monday morning, and away it went!!!  It was pretty exciting since I have been so engrossed in this project for the last several months.  —  We are in what is called the “Stabilization Phase” right now.  That means that I sit here and watch it run and make sure everything is working the way it is supposed to work.  So far that has been going well.

It looks like I might get an “Atta Boy” from this project.  Actually, the other day, I think my manager gave me the Dell version of an Atta Boy already.  He said something like.  “Uh Kevin, I see that Kronos Project went well.  That’s good.  Here’s a couple of other projects I would like for you to start working on”.  —  Whoo Hoo!!!  That’s an “Atta Boy” if I ever saw one!!!!  —  I’m just kidding of course.

I think we are all going to go out to some Restaurant that overlooks Travis Lake and celebrate this in a few weeks.  —  My manager told me I should take Friday off just to have a vacation day. —  I thanked him and told him I thought I ought to wait a couple of more weeks just to make sure everything goes well during the next Payroll in two weeks.

So Timekeeping is now being performed in a much more efficient and streamlined way at Dell.  Isn’t that great?  Payroll is happy.  Finance is happy.  —  Those people who have been pretending to work more hours than they really were —  They aren’t too thrilled, because now they won’t be able to cheat the system so easily.

Well.  It is the end of the day, and I think I’m going to go home at the regular time today, so I’d better say good night for now.  —  Let me know how things are going with you guys.

Your friendly Dell Programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

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Letters to the Power Plant #92 — Another Day 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 ninety second 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.

1/8/04 – Another Day at Dell

Dear Sooner Plantians,

Since I wrote to you last, a couple of you have requested more stories about Gene Day.  So, I thought I would tell you the story about what happened another time.

This happened about 12 years ago when I lived on Sixth Street in Stillwater, and Scott Hubbard and I used to meet at St. Francis Catholic Church (which is right on Sixth Street) each day to carpool.  —  This was back in the days before we had “alternate work schedules, so the operators used to get off at 3 pm, and we would get off at 4:30 pm.

I was driving home in the afternoon down Sixth Street and up ahead of me about a block I saw Gene Day pulling out of a parking space right in front of the Rockhouse Gym (down at the corner of Washington and Sixth.  I think it is a new bank now.) in his black pickup truck with the flames on the side (that you couldn’t miss).  So, I followed him a few blocks.  He turned into the parking lot of an Eye Doctor’s office, and I passed him and went home.

When I got home, I opened up the mail, and decided that I needed to go by the bank before it closed, so after about 10 minutes, I hopped back in my car and drove back down Sixth Street.

As I was coming up to the Eye Doctor’s office, I saw Gene Day’s pickup truck pull out about a block in front of me.  I followed him to Duck Street, where he turned into Simon’s Gas Station on the corner of Duck and Sixth (which I think today is a plant shop), and he parked his pickup in front of the garage door, like he was going to get his pickup inspected. —  I turned on Duck and went to my bank.

After going through the Drive Thru at the Bank, I went back to the corner of Duck and Sixth Street on my way home, and I saw Gene Day pulling out of the Gas station and head in the direction of his home.

The next morning when I arrived at work, I went by Gene’s pickup in the parking lot and noticed that his Inspection sticker was missing, so I knew he didn’t pass his inspection.

So, what I did was, I wrote the following on a sheet of Paper:

Private Investigator’s Notes for Gene Day:

Date:  5/14/91

3:05  Gene Day leaves work.

3:45 Gene Day arrives at Rockhouse Gym where he works out with a young college coed named Bunny.

5:05 Gene Day leaves Rockhouse Gym.

5:07 Gene Day arrives at Cockrell EyeCare Center  where he meets with a nurse in his pickup truck in the parking lot.

5:20 Gene Day leaves EyeCare Center.

5:25 Gene Day arrives at Simon’s Garage at the corner of Sixth and Duck and has them clean his pickup seats to remove the perfume scent.  While he was there, he tried to have his pickup inspected, but it didn’t pass inspection.

5:33 Gene Day leaves Simon’s Garage and goes home.

—————————————

Then that day I noticed that Gene Day was going to go get the mail from the front office, so I knew he would be walking back to the control room across the Turbine Room floor in a few minutes.  I put the paper on the floor in the Turbine room near the Unit 1 Generator, so it was pretty conspicuous and near where he would be walking and went into the control room, and waited for him to come in.

After a while he came walking in the control room, and when he did, he was laughing and came over to me shaking the paper at me, and said, “How did you do this?”

He told me that he had been working out at the Rockhouse Gym and he had met his wife who was working at the Eye Care Center, and that he did go to the Service Station and get his car inspected, but it failed because of some reason.  I asked him what he was talking about, and he said he knew I had put that there.  —  I said what I always used to say,  “Why does everyone always think that I did it?”

Well.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Your friendly Dell Programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #91 — Days 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 ninety first 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.

1/6/04 – Days at Dell

Dear Sooner Plantians and friends from up north,

A couple of weeks ago when I sent my last e-mail to you, I received back a notice that Gene Day’s e-mail address was no longer valid.  I thought that was rather strange, because I know Gene couldn’t have retired or anything.  After all, he was so old and had been around so long that he didn’t really work there anyway, did he?  I mean, wasn’t he just sort of a “plant mascot”?  —  I’m kidding of course.  I really miss playing all those tricks on Gene.  He was usually a pretty good sport about it.

I was wondering if there was a Gene Day at Dell, so I pulled up a list of all the “Days” that worked at Dell.  We have 12 Days working here, but there were no “Gene Day”s, or “Eugene Day”s, or “Jeno Day”s.

I remember the best trick that I did with Gene, when we he was working as the auxilliary operator in the T-G building for the week.  So everytime I would see him walking around in the T-G area, I would duck behind a beam just when he would look over in my direction, and I would peer around the corner and write something down in my notepad. —  I kept doing that all week.  At the end of the week, I wrote up a paper that had the title, “Gene Day’s Psychological Profile”, and I had a list of things that I had seen Gene doing during the week, and I had an explanation for each thing.  For instance I would say that

“Gene Day spends his time walking around trying to look busy by pretending to check equipment that he has already checked.”

and

“Gene Day likes to write things down on sheets of paper as he walks around with his clipboard so that people will think that he’s important”.

And stuff like that.  Then down at the bottom I said

“Gene Day likes to look over peoples shoulders and read their personal information.”

Then right after that I wrote,

“Gene Day chokes people that try to help him by writing “Psychological Profiles about him”.

Then I stood in the control room and leaned against the monitor and laid the paper on the top of the monitor when Gene was around and he walked up behind me and started reading the paper over my shoulder.  When he got to the part where I said that Gene Day likes to look over people’s shoulders and read their personal stuff, he started to choke me.  —  Then he read the last sentence, and he broke out laughing!!  It worked out perfectly. —  That was fun. — I had him pegged.

Note to Reader:  To learn more about playing jokes on Gene Day read these posts Power Plant Humor and Joking with Gene Day and Psychological Profile of a Power Plant Control Room Operator.

Well.  I can see that it is getting rather late, and I should be out of here by now.  Maybe, if I remember, I’ll tell you another story about Gene Day the next time.  It had to do with the private investigator that was following him around.

I hope all is going well with you guys,

Your friend from Dell,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #90 — Overtime 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 ninetieth 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.

12/24/03 – Overtime at Dell

Dear friends at Sooner Plant,

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!  —  I know it has been a few weeks since I have written, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking (and talking) about you guys every day.

I have been so busy working on the project that I’ve been working on that I haven’t had time to stop and tell you guys how things have been.  This is the project that I went to all those schools a few months ago to learn.  Dell gave us the date January 15th to have this project completed.

The Kronos company told us that we likely wouldn’t be done until some time next April. —  Well.  Right now, we are on track to have the project in production on January 12th. —  What I’m doing is a lot like what we did to put SAP in place at OG&E.

You have to reconfigure everything and determine all the rules and all to do business.  This is just the “Timekeeping” part of it, so it’s not anywhere as near as massive as SAP was, except that I’m the only developer working on it, along with one consultant from Kronos.

So if the project fails, there is only one person to blame, and if the project succeeds, well, then, it must have been because of all that superb training I received long ago while working for the most ingenious Equipment Support Supervisor at Sooner Plant. (And we all know who that is).

Today is a rather quiet day in the office.  For one reason, all of I/T has the whole week off for Christmas.  So I’m the only one here.  —  Actually, I’m sitting in a team room in Payroll doing my work.  —  But today there isn’t even anyone here either.  Just the Kronos Consultant and me.

We will work until noon today, and then take off for the rest of the week.  —  I have to go get the consultant at the front desk here in a few minutes, so this is the only time I had to stop and write to you guys.  I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and to let you know that I have been thinking about all of you.  Especially when the north wind is blowing outside, and the temperature drops down into the 30s.

We almost reached freezing the other day.  —  I feel like I’m on my own little mini-overhaul working on this project, and I have to get done on a certain date, and there isn’t any way around it so I just have to work as much as it takes to get it done.

Well.  I better run to the front desk to get the consultant (who’s name is also Kevin, along with the other 269 Kevins that work for Dell).  —  I hope all of you have a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!!!!

Your friend,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #89 — Freeeezing 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 eighty ninth 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.

11/24/03 – Freeeezing at Dell

Dear Soonerites, and friends,

It has happened again!  Once again, as I drove to work this morning, I experienced the puzzled looks on the faces of my fellow Austinians, as they try to figure out why their muscles were twitching and their teeth were chattering.

Yes.  The temperature has dropped to “almost” freezing down here, and since most people down here don’t own a real coat, they are running around outside with their thin sweater that they bought more for looks than for functionality.

Of course, I, being from the frozen tundra of Sooner Plant, where the wind comes whistling down the plain at 60 miles per hour, which brings the brisk 20 degree temperatures down to a -15 degree wind chill, know better. —  Except that I no longer own a “real” coat myself.

I just have a jacket or two that survived the move down here a couple of years ago. —  But at least I know how to shiver with dignity.  You know.  Stomp my feet.  Rub my hands together and blow in them like I’m trying to make a dove call.

Say.  That reminds me of the owl, and or dove calls that I used to hear over the gray phone years ago. —  You guys know what I’m talking about.  They always seemed to happen when a certain individual was taking a ride in the elevator. —  They sounded real good too.

I don’t suppose you guys use the gray phone anymore.  —  They have installed a PA system here for emergencies, and guess who makes it —- Gai-tronics (Yes.  The same that made the wonderful gray phone system at the plant).  —  When I first saw those here, I pointed at it and said, “I know what one of them are.”

Well.  I know it has been a few weeks since I have written.  That is because I have been so busy working on that project that they sent me to all those schools for.  Last week I was working with a consultant named Kevin.

We were both sitting in the same cubicle doing our work, and it was getting confusing when someone would walk in the cubicle and say, “Hey Kevin!”, and we would both look up from our respective computers and say, “Yes?”  So, we agreed that the other Kevin was going to be called “Kevin”, while I was going to be called “Kev”.

That way, when someone would come in the cubicle and say, “Hey Kev….”, we would both pause for a second to see if they added an “…in” on the end.  Then if they didn’t, I would answer “Yes?”, and if they did, the consultant would answer “Yes?”, and so the whole thing worked out pretty good.

The best part about it was that we didn’t have to go through a whole lot of red tape to institute that “Business Process Improvement”.  It just happened, and it worked out great. —  As you can imagine.

Anyway.  I have some time this morning, because I was supposed to be on vacation all this week, only they were offering some classes this morning that I wanted to take, so I decided to come in this morning instead of sleep in.  —  after all, I didn’t want to miss all this cold weather.  This might be the last cold wave until January.

So I am now waiting until 9:00 to go to my first class.  I have four classes that I am going to take this morning.  They are:  Project Planning, Project Estimation techniques, and ….  And……  Oh, I forgot….  Hold on a second while I check……  Oh.  There are two more….  Risk Management, and Project Tracking and Oversight.  —  Oh Oh.  There’s that “Risk Management” one.

I wonder if it’s going to be like the Risk Management that they used at Sooner Plant when Jim Arnold was still around.  You know.  The one where you cross your fingers and make a Wish:  “Please let this last until the next overhaul”.  — (the Risk Management technique that I always referred to as “Wish Management”).

Oh.  Wait a minute.  I just had a frightening thought.  Wouldn’t it be bizarre if that old coot was still around making decisions like that?  Whoa.  —  Come to think of it.  I think he still is.  I hope he hasn’t burned down any more Turbine room floors lately.

I realized after I sent my last letter that I didn’t end it with my usual salutation.  That was because just as I was finishing the letter, a guy came in my cubicle to work on something, and we sat there and worked on it for a while, when I looked over at my monitor and realized I hadn’t hit the “Send” button yet.  So I just clicked the “Send”, and off it went, just when I realized I hadn’t said:

I hope all of you are being safe, and having a Happy Thanksgiving.  By the way (I only thought I was ending the letter), I am going to be in Stillwater on Tuesday night, so if anyone would like to get together for a late supper out somewhere, give my dad or mom a call at 377-9478, and we may be able to go out somewhere.

I’ll also be in town on Saturday night if any of you would like to try to get together then.  We are all going to spend Thanksgiving in Kansas City with my mom’s relatives, (and Jesse Cheng of the “Jesse, Come get your Chilli!!!” fame).

So.  Be safe, Work Safe, cause Bill Gibson Loves You Man!!!!  🙂  Hey Bill.  I just had to throw your name in there, because whenever I look up and see that sticker in my cubicle, I think about you saying that.

Note to Reader:  To learn more about hardhat stickers see the post “What does a Hard Hat Sticker Tell You About a Power Plant Man.

Anyway.  Toodles……   (I just had to throw that in there to, because that is how Kent Norris says goodbye).

Note to Reader:  To learn more about Kent Norris and Toodles, see the post Corporate Executive Kent Norris Meets Power Plant Men.

Oh.  As long as I’m on a roll.   “Hubbard Here”, “Donuts?” (said using Danny Cain’s voice), and “Whoo Whoo”, (That’s supposed to be an owl call that we used to hear over the gray phones when “you know who, who was in the elevator  — by the way, was that a dove call or an owl call?  Andy?  Do you know?).

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

Your Friendly Dell Programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #88 — Matrix 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 eighty 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.

11/6/03 – Matrix at Dell

Dear Sooner Plantians (and others less fortunate than to be working at Sooner Plant),

It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote, so I thought I would let you guys know how things have been going for me down here in Dellsville (not to be confused with Dullsville —  Which this is definitely not!).

Well.  Last week and the week before, I had loaned my daughter’s movie camera to our Customer Experience team so they could make a video about how Dell deals with the Customer Experience.  Next Monday they are going to film Michael Dell talking on the phone to a customer that accidentally calls Michael on the phone when they were trying to get Customer Support.

Michael stops what he is doing to work with the customer (the customer is a dad who is calling for his son’s computer, and Michael speaks to the little boy) and then tells his secretary (we call them Admins down here) to tell Bill Gates (from Microsoft, — for those of you who work in the coalyard) he’s going to be a little late for his meeting.

The Customer Experience group asked if I could video tape my son Anthony talking on the phone to Michael Dell, and they would use his voice in the film.  —  So they are using my daughter Elizabeth’s camera to film the video, and Anthony’s voice for the little boy.  (That is pretty neat).

Well.  The last time I wrote, I think I told you guys that I had put together a PowerPoint Presentation for the extra boring class I had to teach.  —  Well.  We had the first class last Tuesday. —  After the class was over, a manager that had taken it called me up and told me that she thought that was the best class she had taken since she had been to Dell.

My manager came over to my cubicle yesterday and told me that people were going out of their way to let him know that they really liked the class.  (So I guess it went over well —  I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be).  Now, my Vice President has signed up for the class, either next week or the week after, so we’ll see what his reaction is to it.  —  Either way.  At least one class went well.

That is kind of interesting.  I started the last paragraph with the word “Well” and I ended it with “well”.  Well what do you know about that?

Now, that’s interesting.  I started the last paragraph with the word “That”, and I ended with the word “that”, I wonder what I’m going to do now?

Look at that!  I…… Oh, never mind.  Sometimes I just get caught in a loop.

Anyway.  I only have one hour to do work today, because at 9:00 I have a meeting, and then right after that, our whole team is going to go to the movies and watch the new Matrix movie that just came out.

After that we are all going out to lunch, and then our Vice President wants all of us to go to Dave & Buster’s (the big arcade, bar, pool hall place) for a team-builder and refreshments.  —  Well.  He called it an “All-Hands Meeting”.

That’s the place that has that electric chair game where it tests to see how much it can shock you before you let go of the handles.  After being an Electrician for 18 years, and having an extremely shocking experience with our Equipment Support Supervisor about every three hours, I can hang on to those handles while the juice on that electric chair goes all the way to the top. —  And then I win a whole bunch of tickets that I can redeem for a bunch of little prizes like you might get at a “Chuckie Cheeses”, only a little better.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #87 — Presentations 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 eighty seventh 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.

10/24/03 – Presentations at Dell

Dear friends from Sooner Plant and from other places far and wide,

I know I told you in my last letter that I was going to write to you when I was in Chicago, but with all the training I was doing, and all the eating, and watching all the people in the bar (oh, I mean, “The Restaurant”) watching the Cubs play their baseball games (and losing), and doing my regular job in the evening, I neglected to send a letter to my friends.

On Tuesday of this week I presented a PowerPoint to our Training Group, to show them how we are going to teach a class that is extremely boring.  Well.  Most of you know how I am when I get hold of a PowerPoint Presentation.  (Some of you may have seen my Switching School Presentation that I made at Sooner.  —  They used that for years later at the Norman Training Center to train linemen switching).

Note to Reader:  To learn more about the Switchman training course I created see the post Power Plant Men Learn to Cope with Boring.

Anyway.  I don’t think I told you this before, but a couple of months ago, I went to a class called “SCM Process Overview”.  SCM stands for “Software Configuration Management”.  —  Well.  That class was so boring that toward the end of the class it was actually getting painful to sit there and watch it.

I was glad when the class was over, and I thought that would be the last of “that” class, and I would never have to see that again.  But I was told later that I was on a team that was going to have to teach that class to a couple hundred other people.

We would have to update the SCM Plan and teach a class on it.  —  Well.  You know how I am with boring classes.  —  I don’t like them, so I decided that we were going to do this a little different.  So I put my own PowerPoint together and showed it to our team this past Tuesday.

Needless to say, when I was done showing the PowerPoint to our team, there was a “stunned silence” in the room, and most of the people were staring blankly with their mouths hanging wide open (I think in amazement — but I could be mistaken — they could have been waiting for me to toss little bite sized pieces of Milky Ways in their mouths — I also think they were confused by those two people that were waving goodbye on the last slide).

Note to Reader:  To learn more about the people waving goodbye at the end of the slide see the post Power Plant Final Presentation.

You see, as with most of my PowerPoints, I had to put things in there to make it more interesting.  So I gathered up some of my daughter’s friends from her Advanced Theater class and they helped me make a bunch of video clips out here at Dell to illustrate the different sections of the Software Configuration Management Plan.

I let them do pretty much what they thought would work, and they came up with some very creative ways to illustrate the different points.  — I tend to think that some of the “8th Grade” humor was lost on some of my audience.

Anyway, it wasn’t until yesterday that I heard any feedback, since right after I was done showing the presentation to them, they all just sort of stood up and walked out of the room while their mouths were still hanging open without telling me what they thought.  When I did hear some feedback, it was pretty good.

Word has gotten round that people should sign up for this class because it’s not going to be like any class they have ever attended before.  —  I consider that pretty positive, don’t you?  — You see, after working here for two years, I can still whip up a pretty good PowerPoint.  They have now decided that they want to include a whole other department in the training classes.

Now, my manager has told me that I have to present an overview of one of our application to our new director next Monday.  So I have to come up with something pretty quickly or that presentation will be equally boring.

I hate it when I have to stand there and say, “This is This.  And That is That.  And if you click here you see this.  And if you want you can see that.”  —  I’ll think of something over the weekend to make it a little more interesting.

Wish me luck.  It was good to hear from a couple of you last week.  I’ll write later.  Be safe.  Watch out for the other guy.  Do the Circle For Safety.  Think of the Yellow Flag before the accident happens.  Lift with your legs and not with your back.  Don’t let the bed bugs bite.  A penny saved is a penny earned.  Don’t take any wooden nickels.  Yada Yada Yada……..

Your friend from Dell,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #86 — Dellightful Policies 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 eighty sixth 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.

10/10/03 – Dellightful Policies at Dell

Dear friends at Sooner,

I hope all is going well with you guys.  I realize it has been a couple of weeks since I have written, and I hope you don’t think I have forgotten to write, because I haven’t.  I have just had something scheduled every minute of every day for the last couple of weeks. —  Until now.  In 15 minutes, I have to do something else, but for the next 15 minutes, I’m FREE!!!!

Next week I will be in training all week in Chicago.  I’m going to be learning more of what I was learning before, only it will be different.  I’ll let you know how the food is up there.  Someone already pointed me to a good Italian Restaurant near my hotel.

Well, I’ll have to see about that.  After all, my Italian mom and my wife are both very good at cooking Italian food, and I don’t usually find food that is much better than their Italian dinners, so I’ll see.  — Enough about food.  I’m making myself hungry.

We had a new policy come out today, that I thought was really constructive.  It is so good that I thought you guys would like to hear it and maybe institute this policy back at the plant.  The policy reads like this:

“A zero tolerance policy on human error has been instituted since this can be managed.”

For some reason, this reminds me of something right out of a Dilbert Comic Strip.  Of course, none of us at Dell produce “human error”, so it really doesn’t apply to us.

So far, it has always been “Someone else’s fault” that caused all the errors.  I suppose this policy has just been put in place for any new hires who may join the company and think that they can produce “human error” without consequences.

When my manager sent me note that said, “We should all take note that John has instituted a zero tolerance policy on human errors.”  I sent him back a reply that said,  “I have notted that Jhon has institooted a zer0 tallerance on whoman errers, and it will knot happin agin.  Beecuz this can be manitched.  Kevin.

My manager came over to my cube (that means “cubicle” in case you were wondering), and told me that he thought I needed “Sensitivity Training”.

By the Way.  I spent all morning in “Conflict Management” training, so I told him.  “I know.  I just took Conflict Management training, but I still have a problem with ‘sensitivity’.  So I’ll see if I can sign up for a course.”  —   That’s just what I need….. More training.

Well.  I can see that my 15 minutes is almost up, so I better wrap this up.  I’ll write next week from Chicago.  I hope “Overhauls and stuff” are going well with you guys.  It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve heard anything from up your way, so I figure you are all too busy just like me, overhauling one of the plants.

Let me know how it’s going.  Talk to you later,

Your Friend from Dell,

Kevin James Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #85 — General 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 eighty fifth 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.

9/17/03 – General Dell

Dear Sooner Plantians,

I am in Dallas, and I have finished my homework for the evening, so I thought I would write and let you guys know how things are going here.

I just heard that my brother Greg (the Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines) was told by his boss General John Thomas that he had to write an important speech for him.  Last year Greg wrote a speech for the General when he gave one to the heads of NATO.  This year he is giving an even more important speech and he asked Greg to write it for him.

Yes.  It’s true.  You see….  Next week General John Thomas is going to go to Round Rock Texas and give a speech to the executives at Dell Inc. —  Yep, that’s right.  And Greg is going to write the speech for him.  —  Isn’t that a neat coincidence?

I guess it’s fitting that a General from the greatest Armed Forces in the world should come and give a speech at the greatest computer company in the world and that my brother ought to write a speech for his boss to give to my boss.

We all know that if the General was going to give a speech at the greatest Electric Company in the world that he would probably give it while standing atop of #1 Boiler at Sooner Plant.  I’m sure he would praise all the hard work and determination that you guys have had keeping Oklahoma from having a blackout like they had in the east.  (You guys are calibrating the protective relays I hope).  They still haven’t figured that out, have they (in the east I mean).

Well,  I guess I’ll keep this short, since I have to get up early in the morning —  Well, not as early as I did when I was working at “The Plant”.  Anyway.  I thought you guys would like to hear about that “neat coincidence” since I’ve been having “neat coincidences” a lot lately.

Oh, that reminds me.  I went to visit the “Grassy Knoll” this evening.  You know.  The place where John F. Kennedy was killed.  It was strange, because after all this time, you can still feel all the sorrow that is there.  It feels the same as it does when you go and visit the spot where the Murrah Building was blown up in Oklahoma City.

It surprised me, because it has been 40 years since that happened, but there are still people standing around staring up at the book depository and the parking lot with the wooden fence.  There was even a guy standing out in the street with a professional movie camera making some sort of a documentary or something.

Well.  That’s kind of a coincidence, since my brother Greg used to work in the Murrah building and here I was visiting the Grassy Knoll in the middle of Dallas, and it felt just like it does when you visit the spot where the Murrah building used to be, and at the same time, my brother’s boss is telling him in Washington D.C.to write a speech to give to my boss in Round Rock Texas.  And there seems to be a big “conspiracy” going on here, when there isn’t, but there probably was when John F. Kennedy was shot, and there you have it.

Well,  like I said, I’m keeping this short, so I’m not going to be rambling in this letter like I do in most of my letters.  I’m just saying a few short sentences so that you know how things are going in Dallas, and that’s it.  Well, since I’ve done that, I’ll be talking to you guys later….

Your friend from Dell,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

Letters to the Power Plant #84 — Dilbert in a Dell Shirt

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 eighty fourth 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.

9/12/03 – Dilbert In a Dell Shirt

Dear friends from Sooner Plant and beyond,

I had to stop and take the time to write to you guys.  For two reasons.  One is that I will be in training again all next week in Dallas, and I don’t know if I will have time to write to you then.  The other reason is because I was just given another Dell Shirt that says, “One Dell.  One Community” on it, and it has a picture of a globe with the emoticon 🙂 written across the globe.

For those of you who don’t know what an emoticon is; it is the smiley faces that are sideways when you write e-mails.  They are used to express emotion.  So when someone says, “Ice Cream”,  I write:   🙂   When someone tells a joke, I write:    😀  because that shows that I am laughing (you see, you turn your head sideways to see the smiley face).

I know most of you already know this, but there may be one or two people on my e-mail list that may not quite remember all this. —   Of course, when I start rambling, like I usually do when I’m writing these e-mails, then I might write something like:   😦 )  Because my mouth is wide open.

When you guys reply to me and tell me all the fun things that the Equipment Support Supervisor makes you do (I used to say, “Under penalty of Waugh”), then I might write something like this:    >:-<   Because it might make me kind of …well… you can see.  Ok.  Enough with the emoticons.

Anyway.  You guys know what I’m writing when I write it.  You remember the “Gene Day, Bless his heart” phrase don’t you?  Well.  I could say the same thing like this:    Gene Day, ♥ ♫ but someone might get the wrong Idea.  —  Anyway.  Now you know what’s on my latest tee-shirt from Dell.

Next week I have to go to training again all week.  So I will be back in Dallas, as I mentioned.  I suppose I will be bored all week, but I’ll be checking my e-mails every evening, so if you write, I will respond.

This week I wrote an upgrade to a program that I wrote almost two years ago.  It was the first big program that I wrote when I came here.  It is an ASP application (That means that it is a web-based program — which means that you use Internet Explorer to run it).  —  Since I didn’t have any training this week, I actually had time to sit and program something.

So I added a fun-filled feature to the program and the business partners that use it told me that it would save them 75% of the time it takes for them to do their job, just because of this one feature.  So guess what I did.

I told you guys a few weeks ago about how I had to go to “Quality training”.  Well.  I put this in as a Quality idea, and now when I put this into production this weekend, I will be able to get my “Yellow Belt”.  You might remember that that is how they measure your “quality performance” down here, by giving you different belts like they do in Karate.

So, for about 4 hours of sitting and playing on the computer writing a new feature, and about 2 hours of testing it, I will now be able to get my Yellow Belt.  I’m sure you guys are all beaming with joy for me.  —  Yes.  I can feel the love all the way down here.  —  I just looked up at the sticker I have mounted in my cubicle.  —  The one that says, “Be Safe, Work Safe, cause I Love You Man ♥”

—  Yep.  I feel the love all the way down here.

I miss getting hardhat stickers down here.  All they ever give us are tee-shirts.  I mean, how many tee-shirts can you wear at one time?  You can probably get 20 or more hardhat stickers on your hard hat, but when I get more than three or four tee-shirts on at once, I begin to get the feeling that I’m a little too confined.  I don’t know about you guys.  But that’s the way I feel.

Well.  It’s Friday afternoon.  I hope everything is going well with you guys.  Stay Safe.  Remember.  “Anger is only one letter away from Danger”, and “Cain is only one letter away from Crain”.  —  So watch out for that Tim Crain guy.  You never know……..  I’m just kidding Tim….  Oh, wait.  I don’t have Tim Crain on my mail list.  Never mind……

I’ll write later,

Your friendly Dell Programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527