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