Letters to the Power Plant #61 — Abbreviated Christmas at Dell

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 sixty first letter I wrote.

12/20/02 – Abbreviated Christmas at Dell

Dear OG&E Friends,

Well.  Here it is.  Our last working day before Christmas (for Dell I/T).  There is hardly anyone here this morning.  Yesterday we had a “White Elephant” Christmas party, where you bring a “gag” gift, and then you play a game to figure out what order people choose the presents (we played musical chairs), and then there are a bunch of rules about how you can take other people’s presents from them, but only so many times, and then you get to eat rum cake, and cookies, and drink sodas, to help cover up the smell of rum on your breath (as if that works).

I think I got the best gift of them all, which was a glass chessboard.  It is really nice.  The gift I brought last year was voted the “best gag gift”.  It was a book called, “Why I am a Baptist”.  It is an old book that I bought in a police auction way back when I was a kid in college (the first time).  This year it was again voted the “best gag gift” when the person that ended up with it last year used it as her gift this year.  —  There was only a handful of us there that knew where it had originally come from, since the teams have changed around a lot in the past year.

I was just given a new project the other day, and I’m supposed to spend the day planning it.  I sure am lucky that I had the opportunity to sit in on a few of Jim Arnold’s marathon outage planning meetings.  This has prepared me for the task at hand.

First I will make a list of all the things that I need to do.  Then I will start with the date that I am going to start the project and add all the tasks in the order that I need to complete them.  Then I will put down the amount of time it will take to complete each task.

When I have completed that, I will look at the ending date, and if that doesn’t meet the “required” end date, then I will adjust my “estimated” times to complete each of the tasks until I make it come out to end on the right date.  —  And as in the meetings with Jim Arnold, I will only put down the times that it will take to complete each task, if nothing goes wrong (because, of course, we all know that nothing ever goes wrong).  Then I will turn it in to my manager, and I will start the project.

It would sure be neat if they had something like the “Power Program” here.  They told me the other day that one of the programs I wrote back in November saves the company $57 million a year.  —  I’m not sure how, but that’s what they put in their CBA (Cost-Benefit Analysis).

Which reminds me.  I have been learning so many acronyms for things lately, it’s hard to keep up with them all.  My manager sent me an e-mail yesterday that said that I “need to make sure and include the LOE in a min-traceability matrix for the QLT package.”  —  Well….. Ok…..  I asked him if that meant that the EMEA validation with the DDW was SOL, and he said, “What’s SOL?”

I said, “Well, if you don’t know, I guess you’re just “SOL”. —  No.  I really didn’t say that.  I did have to ask him what LOE meant,  and he told me it means “Level Of Effort” (bing….. Like I should have figured that one out on my own, I was thinking that it meant “Loss of Energy”, or “Look Out Edith!!!”).

I asked him to give me an example of a “min-traceability matrix”, and he did, so that question is answered.  I think we have a website somewhere that has a bunch of Abbreviations and their meanings.  I should make that one of my favorite places.

My daughter and I used to come up with new meanings for the acronym WWJD (Which usually means, “What Would Jesus Do?”).  Since my mom’s name is Joan, and my dad’s name is James, we would come up with phrases like “Where Would Joan Dine?” or “Wah!!  Wah!!! James!!!! Drive!!!!” or “WereWolves Just Drool”.  I never did come up with new meanings for the acronym OG&E.  But I’m sure you can think of a few for me.

My team works with Customer Experience Metrics so we have all sorts of abbreviations.  Our first one is:  CE, which means Customer Experience (pretty neat, huh?).  Then we have MWD, which means


which we are going to change to MWD&R, which will mean


You can see how we measure the experience of our customers.  We have a bunch of other Metrics;  STT, DTT, SDOTFTF, IFIR.  One of my favorites is the SDOTFTF.  It looks like a True and False Test.  Something Like:  “So Dumb One, True, False, True, False?”  But no.  It stands for:


So you can see what kind of detail we go to to measure our customer’s experience.  —  I think it’s pretty neat.  It’s the reason Dell has the number one Customer Service rating of all the computer companies.

Well, I better get started.  If I don’t see you guys on Monday, December 23rd, then “Have a Merry Christmas”.  If I do see you on Monday, well…. “Have A Merry  Christmas” also.  And a Happy New Year.

Your friendly Dell Programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile, esq. (which stands for “esquire”.  —  I only threw that in there because it was an abbreviation).


Kevin J. Breazile

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

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