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 seventy 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.
7/18/03 – New Name at Dell
Dear friends from Sooner Plant and Beyond!!!
If you look at my signature tag at the bottom of the e-mail, you may notice that Dell has changed their name from “Dell Computer Corporation” to “Dell Inc”. This is in order to keep up with the new movement that was started with the movie “Monster’s Inc.”
We have come to the conclusion that we are more than just a “Computer” company, and therefore it would be less “constrictive” if we didn’t have the word “computer” in our name. Most people are used to just saying “Dell” anyway. No one really says, “I think I’ll order a computer from Dell Computer Corporation. So we changed our name to Dell Inc.
It is true that one of our main competitors, HP (which stands for Hewlett-Packard), is not much more than an “ink” company. They make most of their profit by selling ink for their printers. They sell computers below cost so that you will buy a printer from them. Then they sell printers below cost in order to get you to buy their ink. Which is where HP makes their money (that and selling servers and services). Maybe we are thinking that if we put the word “Inc.” in our name, then people will think that we are an “Ink” company also. Who knows. It might work. We do sell Dell printers now.
Yesterday we had a business group come over and serve us Ice Cream Sundaes and cookies and stuff. I’m still full from eating all that. They said they wanted to serve us something since we had been serving them so long. — Isn’t that precious? Now I’m getting so fat, I can hardly push my chair away from my desk, because it’s embedded in the carpet. Oh well. That’s life in the Fat Lane.
Well. You know what those guys were after, don’t you? Serving us all that ice cream. It’s not like I was just born yesterday. — You guessed it. Just when all of us were so full, we couldn’t stand up, then they said that since they had been so kind as to come all the way down here from the Round Rock Campus (five miles away), that we should remember that and do anything they ask us from now on.
Uh Huh. That’s what they said. They also said that they were just joking, but they only said that was so that we didn’t get so upset that we started puking up all the ice cream that we had eaten. But I thought that was the reason all along. — If they only knew the truth. We do just about everything they ask anyway, whether they give us Ice Cream or not.
You guys know what I mean. When Arnold says, “Go in the boiler and fix that tube leak as fast as you can. You don’t have to take all the safety precautions as long as you don’t get hurt.” You just run right out there and dive right in, almost before the fire has been put out and it’s still 350 degrees in there.
Yeah. I see you shaking your head saying, “I never do that.” — Really? — Yeah sure. You’re right. At least you don’t ever “remember” doing that, since that part of your brain was permanently fried to the point that you have to eat some ice cream in order to cool your brain down enough to jog those memories out of there.
I think I still have an Ice Cream Headache from yesterday. When I ate that Ice Cream, all these memories about working in the super hot areas all came back to me. My hardhat melting on my head. — You guys know what I’m talking about. — When it gets to be around 160 degrees and your hardhat gets so soft that you can squish it down flat just like a baseball cap. — Boy. What a headache I have from thinking about that.
Note to Reader: To learn more about working in the heat in the boiler read the post Luxuries and Amenities of a Power Plant Labor Crew.
Don’t think I have forgotten the time when Eddie Hutchins wanted us to stay in the boiler while they were dynamiting in there because it was taking too long for us to climb in and out every 15 minutes, so he just stood in there when the dynamite blasted off to show us it was safe (as if that would have convinced us). — After the dynamite went off, he came stumbling out of there all wobbily and said, “I guess that might not be such a good idea.” (It sounded more like “aaaa gesh tha my nud be uh gud I dee ur”) — And we looked at him like, “Did you really think you had to tell us that before we knew it?” — Gee, Those Ice Cream headaches bring out some long lost memories.
Note to Reader: To learn more about Eddie Hutchins standing in the boiler when dynamite exploded read the post Cracking a Boiled Egg in the Boiler and Other Days You Wish You Could Take Back.
I don’t think anyone is still around from that day except Chuck Moreland, and Larry Riley. I don’t even remember if they were standing there when Eddie did that. I remember James Kanelakos and Ronnie Banks, and Ron Luckey and Bob Lillibridge and Fred …. Fred……. (Oh. You know. The tall thin guy on Labor Crew that moved to Diluth Minnesota), were there when Eddie did that.
Well. I hope you guys had a great week. Have a nice weekend. I’ll talk to you guys later. — Crocker!!!! That’s it! —- Fred Crocker. — It’s amazing how something pops in your head when you have decided not to think about it any more. — Later.
Your friendly Dell Inc. Programmer from down under,
Kevin James Anthony Breazile
Kevin J. Breazile