Letters to the Power Plant #102 — Dell Learning and Learning and Learning

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 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.

8/13/04 – Dell Learning and Learning and learning….

Dear Soonerites and associates,

Everything is going pretty good down here.  That is… I still have a job.  Dell is growing rapidly.  I’m getting used to my new job as each day goes by.

Interestingly, even though I’m on the support team, I keep getting assigned to new projects.  Right now I’m on 5 different projects.  Three of which I’m the main developer.  One of my projects goes live next Monday, so that will make things easier.

They are going to send me back to Dallas in September for some more training on Oracle Financials so that I can start writing programs for that in the future.  Oh boy!!!  I can’t wait.  For those of you who know me well, you know I like writing programs.

They don’t even have to be really fancy ones.  Just things like some HR Supervisor getting sucked down a whirlpool or a fish jumping out of the water, or an e-mail telling you who has a birthday today.  Just as long as I get to program something I’m happy.

Note to reader:  To learn more about the HR Supervisor being sucked down the whirlpool read the post Hitting the Power Plant HR Cardboard Ceiling.  To learn more about the birthday emails see the post Power Plant Birthday Phantom.

Actually, I’ve been doing more programming since I have been on the Support team than I was doing on the Development team.  I think I was doing more of the paperwork on the development team than programming.  Moving to the support team is supposed to be “good for my career”.

If you move around and do the different roles, then you become more familiar with all the aspects that are important in writing good programs.  For instance, now that I’m on the Support Team, I am not necessarily so thrilled that when I was on the development team, I wrote a program that after you stayed logged on for a time, but didn’t use the application, it started snoring, and then it started making a tapping sound, like it was trying to wake you up.

Well.  Being on the support team has taught me that when I write programs, I don’t need to add all those extra features into the program because the users do enough of that already.  —  I mean the snoring part and the tapping on something to wake you up (like when you are in an “eye-lock” and staring off into space), not the “adding features to the program” part.

Other training that I will be doing in the near future is “Safety Training”.  I am signed up to take a CPR course.  —  Actually, we have a bigger chance here that someone will suddenly drop dead than we ever had at Sooner Plant.

For one thing, we have a couple of thousand people in our building.  Second, the stress level is a lot higher around here than it is at the Plush and Oasis-like environment of the Sooner Plant Resort.

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve seen an ambulance pull up at the front door to rush someone off to the hospital.  —  Of course we do have a higher recovery rate here than you have at Sooner Plant.  One reason is that they have a really good Heart Hospital not too far away from Dell, and at Sooner Plant, the only choice you have when you are put in an ambulance at Sooner is to end up at the Ponca City Hospital!!  And we all know what that means.  “Whenever anyone goes in.  They never come out”.  —  It has been a few years since I have taken CPR, so it is about time.

Next week I will have been gone from Sooner Plant for Three Years!!!!  Does it seem that long to you?  (I know.  I know.  Three years of not having to put up with my rantings and ravings.  Three years of relative calm, and lack of controversy).

August 20 is my anniversary.  — This means that next year, I will get an extra week of vacation.  —  I like that idea.  I already get four more days off by being on the support team (because they feel sorry for us —  though I don’t know why).  And I get 5 or six days off for Christmas break.  —  So I’m just about up to 5 weeks of vacation again, which is what I would have had if I had stayed at Sooner.

Our “Boot Camp” group is going out to lunch next Friday to celebrate our 3 year anniversary.  I have been talking to some of them, and no one feels like they have been here for 3 years.  —  Of course, some of them haven’t had any sleep for 3 years either.

I have a knack of scheduling time to sleep in my Outlook Calendar so no one schedules a meeting for me between 10:30 in the evening until 8:00 in the morning.  —  That’s using “Time Management” to improve my “Work-Life Balance”.

I am taking some training next week called “Effective Business Presentation Skills”.  It is a two day class at a meeting room in a hotel down the highway.  Just think of the kinds of PowerPoints I will be able to come up with after I take this course!!!  —  Gee!  If only I had those skills when I left Sooner.  I might have been able to make a “really good presentation” at my going-away party.

Note to Reader:  To learn more about the presentation at my going away party see the post Power Plant Final Presentation.

Well.  This letter has gotten a little long, and you guys have been bored since I said “Everything is going pretty good down here.”  So I should probably wrap this up.

It was good hearing from some of you last week.  When you write, It really makes my day.  Of course those people coming by my cubicle to see what strange thing is going on today, get a kick out of reading over my shoulder at all the things that happen up there in Soonerland.  —  It’s good to hear from you guys.

Keep up the good work, and don’t let the bed bugs bite,

Your friendly Dell Programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Global Financial Systems I/T

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

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