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 one hundred and ninth letter I wrote.
11/5/04 – Dellections are Over
Dear Soonerites and other friends and Roomies,
Aren’t you guys glad that those elections are over? Boy! I know some of you must be licking your wounds, but all I can say is that “I’m sure glad that is over!!!” Most of you know that I’m a die-hard Republican (I didn’t talk to my dad for a month when I was 12 in 1972 when he voted for McGovern), so you have an idea how I feel. Now I can go get some sleep.
You have probably noticed that when I start my letters to you guys at Sooner Plant, that I usually mention that I am sending this letter to other “Friends”. You don’t see them because I send this as a blind copy because the list is so long that if you printed out the e-mail and I had included the names in the “To” section, the names would probably fill a quarter of the page.
I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that of all the friends I ever had in my life, I can pretty safely say that they are my friends today. — Well, there’s one guy that’s questionable, and I haven’t talked to him in over 18 years so I don’t really even know what happened to him for sure.
Anyway. The oldest (I mean “longest”) two friends that I ever had are on this e-mail list. I met them when I was in the second grade. They are still friends with each other and they live in Columbia Missouri where I grew up. There’s actually a third person who used to live in Columbia that is on this list that I knew from the 3rd grade thru College. We actually graduated together with Psychology degrees. She went on to become a computer programmer, and I went on to become a janitor.
One of those friends. I’ll call him Mark, since that is his name, was the first person that I met when I moved to Columbia when I was entering the 2nd grade. I think when you’re about that age, you’re finally old enough that your friends become more important to you than when you’re younger. I think that because I don’t remember having any friends before that age, though I know that I did have some.
Anyway, I went to school with these guys through High School, except for three years when I went to Catholic School. The one thing I remember about both of these guys is that they both were people that I didn’t have to think twice about whether or not I could trust them, because they always acted honorably. — I know that they may remember times when they might not have done exactly what was right, but I know that they were both really good people. — Better than I was. Anyway, I just thought I would mention them since they are always in my prayers, and I wish them both well.
Then there are those people on my e-mail list that work at other plants. There’s my ol’ roomie that I lived with in a trailer during a long Muskogee overhaul. Then there’s TOBEEEEEEE!!!! And a handful of others that I consider friends who probably hit the delete button before they even open my letters because they don’t see the sense in reading my long rambling letters. Then there’s my friend that we harassed down at Corporate Headquarters when Mike Gibbs and I were down there on the SAP project.
Note to Reader: To learn more about my friend from Corporate Headquarters, read the post Corporate Executive Kent Norris Meets Power Plant Men.
For all of you who don’t know about Sooner Plant and have been wondering who all these people are that I keep talking about: Sooner Plant is the best coal-burning power plant in the country, which probably means that it’s the best one in the whole world.
We used to get jackets and stuff each year because we had the lowest operating costs of all the power plants in the country. We could produce electricity cheaper than anyone else (despite the attempts of some people in upper management that tried to impose failure). Many of the people at this plant helped build the plant, and then were hired by the electric company once the plant was built in 1979 and 1980.
I started working there during the summers in 1979 and I was amazed at the diverse amount of hooligans that worked there. They were brash, irresponsible, petty and disrespectful. I got along with them real well and enjoyed every minute of working there.
An interesting thing happened during the years that I became an electrician and became married and raised a family. The people at the plant became a part of my family. They started becoming more and more responsible, and caring.
As each year went by, most people became a year wiser. — There were a few that were stuck in the pettiness of being an old-style manager and they couldn’t break out of that mold. That is why I refer to the Equipment Support Supervisor in less than “friendly” terms. Maybe he’s changed over the past few years since I’ve been gone, because every year he gets one year older and closer to his grave. Anyone who’s screwed with as many lives as he has, has got to begin to wonder what he’s going to be doing after he’s dead.
So, in case you were wondering about how I start my letters, now you know.
I’ll write later.
Your friendly Dell Programmer,
Kevin James Anthony Breazile
Kevin J. Breazile
Global Financial Systems I/T
Friends like that are treasures of the heart and soul.
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