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 sixth letter I wrote.
08/12/02 – Traffic backing up at Dell
Hello Friends from of old, — not to be confused with “old” friends,
First of all, I would like to thank Donald Relf for driving all the way down here, just to visit me. I was so thankful, I took him out for a steak dinner at the Outback Steakhouse. Oh, and I suggested that since he drove all this way, that he might as well drive a few more miles down to San Antonio to visit his daughter (you know. Since he was in the neighborhood).
We had a good time discussing all the new and innovative things that have been going on at Sooner plant, (since he had recently visited there to help with the “Towering Surge Bin Inferno”). He said that Jim Arnold has just done wonders to the place. He has Lifted up everyone’s spirits and brought back that wonderful family atmosphere that we used to have when Bill Moler and Eldon Waugh were our nurturing benefactors. — Well. He didn’t use those exact words, but that’s how I understood them anyway.
Secondly, You all know that lately I have been driving on Interstate 35 to get to my temporary cubicle 5 miles south of my normal cubicle I call home. Well, for some reason Fridays seem to be the worst day of the week. I’m not sure why, but I think it probably has to do with the fact that Saturday and Sunday immediately follow Friday, and that seems to get the drivers in some kind of strange mood.
Anyway. Last Friday the meaning of the phrase “Traffic is backed-up for miles on North I-35” began to take on a new meaning for me. — Yes, I realize that it is normal for going-home traffic to slow down to 15 miles-an-hour. I even realize that sometimes the traffic has to come to a complete stop (though, it’s hard for me to see how anyone can actually have an accident at that speed).
The other day, however, right after we had come to a complete stop, and I was reaching for the lever to pop my trunk to retrieve my ice chest, and change to my tee-shirt that says “Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell”, the little white tail-lights on the cars in front of me started to turn on.
At first I thought. Gee. All those cars have a short in their “back-up” lights, because they are all turning on. Then I realized that the cars were actually moving backward. — So my hand moved quickly from the lever for my trunk back to the steering wheel, and my other hand moved over to the gear shift, and my eyes quickly glanced up at the rear-view mirror, as I too shifted into reverse. I think we were all creeping backward down I-35 at about 2 miles an hour.
I saw the looks of some jealous drivers’ faces that were in the other lane going south, and I think at one point, we were travelling south faster than the southbound lane of I-35. Those drivers in the other lane were having dreams of leaping over the barricade and getting into one of our lanes. I could tell by the way they were salivating as they sat on their trunks drinking their refreshments and listening to the radio.
They even have these “supposedly” homeless people that walk down the freeway selling candy to stranded motorists. It’s rather bizarre. So you see, now when I hear that traffic is “backed-up” on I-35, I have a whole different vision of what is happening than before.
Thirdly, I have tried desperately to begin my paragraphs with words other than “Anyway”, so that’s why I’m saying “First of all”, and “Secondly” and “Thirdly”. Anyway, This is going to be another one of those marathon weeks where I have to go do a bunch of activities that are not exactly in my “job description”.
On Wednesday, I’m supposed to go with my team to a place called “Schlitterbahn”. It is supposed to be the biggest water park in the world. — Yes. We are doing another Team-builder.
I haven’t received another list from my manager of questions to answer like I did when we went to sit around her pool. I’m still waiting to see what we are going to do at Schlitterbahn for 10 hours. — Then on Friday afternoon, we are going out to a big restaurant with our Vice President and having a “Happy Hour”, only it’s going to be for three hours. — So, I have to brush up my “social” skills again, in order to keep from making a fool of myself like I did at the last……Oh, well, that was nothing…..no really, it was nothing.
Fourthly, I can see that it’s time to get back to work. I hope everything is going well with everyone up there. It’s good to hear from you,
Kevin James Anthony Breazile
Kevin J. Breazile
CIA: Customer Experience, Integrated Services Model, and Ariba
–CIA, we work behind the scenes so you don’t have to–
Dell Computer Corporation
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of traffic on the interstates here actually doing that, but then I tend to avoid the interstates as people around here tend to store their brain in the trunk as they travel them. I’ll go the long way, waaaaaaaaaaaaay out of the way to avoid being among them.
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This was during the summer of 2002. It seems like it has improved since the toll roads were built.
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Good, any improvement helps.
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