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 sixteenth 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.
01/03/02 – A New Year at Dell
Dear E-Pals from Soonersville,
I hope everyone had a great holiday. I just came back to work yesterday from my vacation. I was able to take the whole week and a half, from Dec. 21st to January 2nd.
Today it is cold outside. I mean, it is really cold out. The weather man called it a “Hard Freeze”!!! I bundled myself up and stepped outside this morning ready to face the harsh weather of Austin USA. The first thing I noticed when I stepped outside was that my cat’s water wasn’t frozen. So I thought. “Hmmm, has someone been putting antifreeze in my cat’s bowl?”
Then as I made my way through the blinding blizzard to my car, I thought it was strange that there was only a thin layer of frost on the windows. I climbed into my car and turned it on to let it warm up, and began the tedious task of scraping away the patches of frost from my windshield.
Then my son Anthony came prancing out of the house, and told Kelly that he didn’t want me to drive him to school, he just wanted to walk. I asked Kelly if he was sure, I didn’t want them to get lost in the blizzard between our house and the school a block and a half away. She said, he was determined to rough it, and they took off down the sidewalk.
I went back in the house and turned on the news and there was a winter storm advisory. The temperature was 31 degrees, with no wind. The sky was clear and the sun was shining. I have to keep reminding myself, I’m not in Oklahoma anymore.
In Oklahoma when the weather man says there is a winter storm advisory, there really is. Down here, when the weather man says there is a winter storm advisory, then that means that you have to put on your jacket, or at least walk briskly to the car and rub your hands together a few times to keep them warm.
Now I am sitting in my cubicle with a long sleeve flannel shirt and a tee-shirt on underneath that. It must be about 80 degrees in this building. I have my jacket hanging behind me, just in case I get too cold.
My forehead is all sweaty from wearing too much clothes. I made the mistake of wearing my better pair of shoes that are laced up, so I can’t easily slip them off under my desk, so my socks are getting damp from the sweat. — I have made three trips to the ice machine to cool myself off.
The sun is shining in the window, adding radiant heat to everything around me. All I can think of is that there is a weather man taking a break in the newsroom chuckling with his buddies about how many people probably overdressed for the “Hard Freeze” today, and now they are all sweating out the day in their cubicles at Dell.
Anyway, I am looking forward for the new year at Dell. I think Dell is supposed to run all of the other computer companies out of business this year. It will be interesting to see. I’m supposed to write a program that tracks the demise of all the other companies, and then schedules a fun committee party each time one goes under.
I’m writing a program that scans the news articles on the Internet and looks for certain keywords associated with certain companies, and then using some statistics, it figures out the exact date the companies will go under. People are always trying to get the inside scoop from me, so they can win the office pool for guessing which day Hewlitt Packard, or Compaq, or Gateway disappear from the face of the earth. — We’ll see if that statement gets past the DELLSECURE e-mail screening program. — By the way, think about that the next time you decide to buy a computer, and you are wondering who has the best warranty. The warranty won’t be any good if the company is gone.
Your friend from Dell,
Kevin J. Breazile
Programmer Analyst II
Dell Computer Corporation