Letters to the Power Plant #81 — Things are Happenin’ 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 eighty first letter I wrote.

8/7/03 – Things are Happenin’ at Dell

Dear Sooner Plantians, and other less significant people (in the eyes of the Sooner Equipment Support Supervisor),

I hope all of you are having a nice cool summer sitting around in the shade of the boilers sipping on some refreshing Lemonade, and watching the dust devils drifting across the coal pile — Remembering those days when Walt Oswalt used to drive the big dozer back and forth pushing coal around before he left for his retirement.

Yes.  I still remember those days.  I remember once when a big black dust devil kicked itself up on the coal pile and grew to the size twice as tall as the smoke stacks (about 1,000 feet tall), and headed right down the 10 – 11 Conveyors and went right between the two smoke stacks.

It was on a Sunday afternoon in 1980 when I was a summer help, and I was out watering the mud so that someday we would be able to mow some grass around that plant.  There was a Pinkerton Guard riding around in his jeep, and he stopped his vehicle and sat on the hood and watched the Dust Devil glide across the Intake.  It was poetry in motion.  Unless of course you happened to be one of those pigeons that was floating around up there when that thing came barreling down on the plant.

Note to Reader:  To learn more about when I was watering the grass and saw the huge dust devil see the post When Power Plant Men Talk… It Pays to Listen.

Well.  In a couple of weeks I will have been here for two years (August 20).  I think they feel like that was long enough to be treating me like the “new guy”.  Actually, they stopped doing that after I had been here about 3 months.

I’ve told you in the past about how fast paced they are around here.  Well.  It is still that way.  Right now I’m on three different projects all at the same time.  I’m supporting an application while another guy is on vacation, and this darn program keeps messing up. (Who wrote this thing anyway?  —  Not Me!!).

I’m allocated 50% of my time on a project where I need to rewrite an application that is in ASP, and I need to make it in ASP.Net, and C#.  At the same time, I need to add a whole bunch of new stuff and make it more secure.

I’m allocated 50% of my time on another project where we are upgrading an application because it’s old and doesn’t run on the new operating systems.  For that project I have to go to about 2 1/2 weeks of training.  Then I have a project that I have allocated 50% of my time where I have to rewrite a program so that it no longer pulls data from Oracle, but from Teradata (which are two types of Databases).

Then I have to spend about 75% of my time babysitting this guys application while he’s off on a cruise in the Caribbean.  So.  You can see.  I still have time to stop and write a quick letter to my buddies up in Oklahoma (and beyond).  — Life is sure rough.  —  Oh wait.  I only have allocated 225% of my “time” for these projects.  Not 100% of my “soul” like some Equipment Support Supervisors demanded.  —  Isn’t life swell?  —  Thanks for cheering me up guys.

I better get back to work now.  I haven’t heard much from you guys lately.  If it’s anything like it is here, everyone’s gone on vacation.  —  Well.  That’s what’s Happenin’ at Dell.

Your Friendly Dell Programmer,

Kevin James Anthony Breazile


Kevin J. Breazile

Programmer/Analyst III

Dell Inc.

(512) 728-1527

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