Letters to the Power Plant #125 — Dell Kiosk Heaven

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 one hundred and twenty 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.

11/8/06  —  Dell Kiosk Heaven

Dear overhaulin’ Soonerites,

I figured this is overhaul season and that you are all in Overhaul heaven, so I’ll try to be brief, since I know you are all “chompin’ at the bit” to climb back into that boiler and ride those sky climbers back up into the vast darkness of space…..

Note to Reader:  To learn more about working in the boiler read the post Sky Climbing in the Dark With Power Plant Boiler Rats“.

I was very sorry to hear about Floyd Coburn, as the first I knew something was up was when I sent my last e-mail and his address came back undeliverable.  —  Microsoft is working on it, but it will be a while before we can send e-mails to Heaven.  I’m sure Floyd is up there dancing with the Angels now…. Not quite wishin’ that he could be back in that boiler patching tubes…  Or….. Maybe he is (in there with you guys)!  He can help keep the boiler ghost at bay!

Well.  The title of this e-mail is about Kiosks….  And that’s what I should talk about…. Since that is the topic after all….  So.

Dell has Kiosks in malls all over the country.  And we have put Kronos clocks in those Kiosks so the employees can use them to clock in and out…. Using their finger.  —  How about that?  You just put your finger on the little reader and it clocks you in and out.  No time cards, no nuthin’.

I know that wouldn’t work exactly right at Sooner Plant, but a few weeks ago I was in Orlando Florida going to a Kronos Conference at Disney World and they showed me this nifty wireless device that you could wear on your belt and record your time right there with you.

I kept thinking about how when I was at Sooner, I used to say how someday we would be carrying our computers around with us on our belts, and “by golly” there it was.  It would allow you to log in and record your time and all, and if you had wireless at your plant, it would automatically be recorded in the system.

You could use it to log your time working on an M.O. (Maintenance Order for all you “non-plantians”).   If you don’t have wireless, then at the end of the day, you just go to the shop, plug the device into the recharging cradle and “voila” (remember.  That’s French for….well…it’s French for something that you say when you’re trying to say “There it is!”).

Anyway.  I just kept thinking about that and how it would be so much easier than filling out timecards every day….  It’s easy to interface Kronos to SAP, so that’s no problem….  It even has a barcode scanner on it, so you can print our your M.O.s for the day with barcodes, and just scan them.  You don’t even have to enter anything, just scan it.

So, I’ve been talking (e-mailing) to people in all these Malls all over the country.  The clock in Penn Square Mall in OKC was having an issue and I wrote back to them and told them that I wasn’t able to connect to their clock and I gave them instructions on how to fix it.

When I sent the e-mail I had copied our IT support people in Penang Malaysia, just to keep them in the loop.  A few minutes later, I received an IM (Instant Message) from one of the Penang folks (I call it “getting Penanged” when I am IM’ed from someone in Penang).  Asking me what we had to do when we can’t connect to a clock.

I explained to her that the problem will have to be corrected at the clock since we can’t talk to the clock until it has been setup on their end.  She asked me again.  “So, what do we do when we can’t connect to a clock”.

So I spent about 15 minutes walking her through logging into the server and testing the clock, and how she could see that we couldn’t connect to the clock….  Then she asked me again, “What do we do when we can’t connect to a clock”.

So, I told her to open a browser and go to the Dell Home Page.  Then click on “You and Dell”, and then click on “Travel And Expenses”  Each time waiting to make sure she was following my directions.  Then I told her to go to the “Online Booking Tool” and make plane reservations for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

She said she didn’t know her logon name.  Then she asked why she would have to go to Oklahoma City and I told her that the only way to fix the clock so that we can connect to it is to fix it at the clock.  That’s what she asked me, so I was just showing her how she could fix it if that is what she wanted to do…..

I have the Penang folks all confused about me anyway.  I told them I was very old and very fat.  I told them once that I kept making mistakes while I was typing because my long grey beard kept getting caught in the keyboard.

Then one day, one of them asked me about a server and I said that it was old and probably would have to be replaced soon since it was over 3 years old.  She said that her computer at home was 5 years old, and I said, mine was too, but my daughter had one of those new XPS computers and it was new and very fast.

She asked me how old my daughter was and I told her she was 53 years old.  The Penang person just about had a cow.  She said, “How old were you when you were married?”  I told her that I was married when I was 26 years old.  She said.  “You’re not 79 years old!”  I said.  “Golly Gee No!  I was married 4 YEARS before I had my first child!  I’m not a young whipper-snapper you know.”  —  So they don’t know what to think about me….

I was training them online one night and I had them all on the phone for about 2 hours doing a Live Meeting.  Toward the end I started talking using an old man voice, and I quickly stopped and apologized.  I said, I usually just use my young person voice when I’m training people, because it’s hard to understand me when I talk normally….  They didn’t know what to think about it…..

Anyway…. I can see that I’ve been rambling again….gee…  When my shirt gets all wet from drool.  I can tell I’ve been talking too much, or I just fell asleep for a while and drooled over all my shirt before I even knew I was asleep.   I’m not sure which, but I should probably just get back to work.  I still have about 100 more clocks to configure.

Talk to all of you later.  Have fun, but be SAFE!!!!

Your Pal from Dell,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile

______________________

Kevin J. Breazile

Global Employment Services Support

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

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