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 forty seventh letter I wrote.
08/19/02 – The Monday after at Dell
Dear friends from Sooner Plant,
Well. I’m back to work after spending the weekend recuperating from my past week. Last week, if you remember, on Wednesday we had to go to the Schlitterbahn Water Park and then on Friday afternoon we had a three hour happy hour get together at this big expensive restaurant called “Cool River”. — I don’t know for sure, but you can probably look up both these places up on the Internet, just to get an idea of what I have had to go through this past week.
I managed to get a sunburn on the top of my head again. I guess I didn’t put enough sunscreen in my hair. The water park had a bunch of Tube rides, so I spent the morning with my teammates, team-building as we sat in tubes going down rapids and getting stuck in eddies and twirling around and getting dunked and falling off our tubes, until we finally stopped for lunch.
Then we went to this other area of the park (by taking a shuttle bus), and they had this ride that they call “The Master Blaster”. It’s like a log ride, except that you go on the ride in a two-man raft. At different points along the roller-coaster-like ride, you are actually being shot uphill by water being blasted at you.
So your raft goes flying up these tubes as you desperately cling to the handles on the raft, then when you get to the top, you go falling back to earth while twisting and turning through the tubes, all the while, you have to hear your manager that is sitting in front of you in the raft screaming her head off while at the same time trying to maintain her cool composure.
This isn’t like OG&E where they supply you with earplugs. — It’s almost as fun as jumping on belt 10 and taking a ride up the “long belt” (which I wouldn’t suggest).
The only time I ever stood on belt 10 was when it had broke in two while it was full of coal, and we had to shovel coal off of it onto belt 11 all the way down the belt in the middle of the summer with the sun beating down on that galvanized oven (back when I was a summer help and I was getting paid $4.24 an hour).
Anyway, we recuperated from that by riding around this “wave” pool on inner tubes until we were so dizzy, we couldn’t remember why we were so tired.
When I was safely back at home, I put aloe vera on all my sunburned spots, which was just about everywhere my bathing suit wasn’t covering. — I had put sunblock on, but I think all the water blasting me everywhere, somehow washed it all off.
Then last Friday, our Vice President invited us out to eat hors d’ouevres (Now that’s one word I’m not sure how to spell, I always pronounce it “Horse Doovers”) and drinks. Of course I didn’t want to seem unsociable, so I drank a lot of Iced Tea and ate a lot of Horse….well….Snacks.
The snacks were actually more like a meal, so I ate a lot too. I sat at a table with the Vice President, and my manager came over and told him a bunch of good things about me. — I think she did that so that I wouldn’t tell him stories about how she flew screaming through the water tubes a couple of days earlier, and I nearly busted my gut laughing so hard.
I’ll admit, after drinking so much, it was hard driving home. I had had so much to drink, when I arrived at my house, I had to quickly run inside and head straight for the restroom. You know how Iced Tea is. It runs right through you, and when you have to drive across Austin in going home traffic, it is a long way between restrooms. I made it all right though.
Last week we also had a staff meeting where my manager gave me a $25 gift certificate for coming up with a team slogan. Of course, I feel like I should split this with Andy Tubbs, Diana Brien, Ben Davis, and Scott Hubbard, since they did help write the 600 other safety slogans that we turned in when we were still considered “electricians”.
We tried so hard to win the yearly safety slogan award so that we could have a pizza for our team. We never won, because everyone was mad at us for winning the slogan every month. I’m sure it was all that experience that helped me come up with a slogan for our team.
Note to reader: To learn more about our team writing safety slogans read the post When Power Plant Competition Turns Terribly Safe.
The slogan down at the bottom of this e-mail isn’t the slogan I turned in. Our team name is “CIA”, and I made a slogan that said, “CIA, We work behind the scenes so you don’t have to”. I came up with the one at the bottom of this e-mail when we were at the water park and we were trying to figure out how to convince some of our teammates that the “Soda Straw Tube chute” ride was really an educational ride, not a “supersonic, water blasting, life-threatening event”. For some reason, this slogan came to mind.
It’s good to hear from you guys, I’ll write later,
Your friend from Dell,
Kevin James Anthony Breazile
Kevin J. Breazile
CIA: Customer Experience, Integrated Services Model, and Ariba
—When the Mission seems impossible, call the CIA!–
Dell Computer Corporation