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 tenth letter I wrote. Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.
10/23/01 – Inside Dell
Dear Sooner Friends of Dell,
I hope overhaul is going well for you. If my memory serves me right, you should just about be done. The other day my manager gave me a new project, and he said the due date for it was October 2nd, three weeks ago. I told him that I had heard that Dell was a fast paced company but I was going to have to be a little late getting that project done.
He said, “Welcome to Dell”. He said he would take me to Starbucks and buy me a Cappuccino or something to help me with my nerves. I wasn’t sure what he meant, so I took the next step in the Quality process. I asked him, “My nerves?” He replied by saying that after gulping down a few Espressos from Starbucks I’ll be all tuned up and ready to work on this project, and before I know it, I will have had it done three weeks ago. Starbucks by the way is located just past the lobby and past the bank. Next to a gift shop.
This morning all of the IT group, (that’s me and 1,800 others – or is the number 3,000 I don’t remember) here in Austin are going to an “All Hands” meeting. That’s the meeting where last time our CIO Randy Mott gave the guy $100 for asking a question. I’m supposed to leave here in a few minutes, and that is why I’m taking the time to write a letter.
We all get in buses and go down to some performing arts theater, and they put on a big show about what sorts of projects IT rolled out in the last month. I think one of my projects was rolled out this past month, so I might get to stand up and present it to the group. I would tell you what it is about, but since I haven’t written it yet, I’m not sure.
I was told the other day that I am considered an Inside Trader at Dell. That means that I have access to financial information that is confidential and I’m not allowed to buy or sell Dell stock at certain times of the year — Like now. I’m also not allowed to give anyone advice about trading Dell stocks. — So don’t ask me. All I will say is: “Don’t buy Compaq, or Hewlett Packard, or Gateway.” They don’t have a chance.
Most of the time while I was working at Sooner Plant I was the only “Kevin” there. When you called me on the radio, all you had to say was “Kevin”. Here at Dell, there is a lot of Kevins. They are everywhere.
One out of 10 of the new recruit’s names were Kevin. I checked the directory the other day, and we have 226 Kevins working at Dell. I feel like that Italian joke about Luigi. Someone yells, “Hey Kevin” and 30 heads pop up over the cubicles. (I think they call that “Prairie Dogging” when the heads pop up over the cubicles). — Actually, people don’t yell around here.
All you usually hear are the sounds of computer keyboards tapping away. Maybe a groan now and then, (when someone’s program didn’t work the way they thought it would). And People saying, “Did you hear what Kevin said the other day? No, not THAT Kevin, that other Kevin.”
By the way. Our Senior Vice President and probably all time favorite friend of Michael Dell’s name is Kevin Rollins. I think he’s behind the Kevin Conspiracy at Dell. I think he’s grabbing up all the Kevins he can find in order to take over the Kevin Market.
That doesn’t quite explain the Flores situation. Odd as it seems, Noe Flores for years has been the only “Flores” at Sooner plant. You can say “No Way Flores” (since his name is Noe Flores) and everyone knows exactly who you are talking to. Dell, however, has 36 Flores’s. So, Noe, don’t be surprised if you get a call from someone at Dell asking you to come down for an interview. I think they might be trying to move into the Flores market as well.
Well. I had better go catch the bus to the All Hands meeting. “Impulsive” — That was the fourth Imp. Impunity, Impatience, Improvising, and Impulsive. — I’m surprised none of you replied back with the answer. That is a good sign I guess. That probably would have been Impulsive.
Have a good week, and BE CAREFUL!!!!!
Kevin J. Breazile
Programmer Analyst II
Dell Computer Corporation
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 sixth letter I wrote. Keep in mind that at the time, I didn’t intend on it being posted online when I originally penned this letter.
09/28/01 – Meeting with the CIO
Dear Sooner plant,
I went to a meeting with Randy Mott this morning, our Chief Information Officer (CIO), who, by the way, was named “CIO of the Year” in the world this year. I think it was a productive meeting. The first thing that I noticed was that his cubicle was TWICE as big as mine. Yes. He does NOT have an office. He works in a cubicle just like everyone else. Even Michael Dell, the CEO of the company has a cubicle. Michael doesn’t even keep a chair in his cubicle, He works standing up at a drafting table. — And Dell is more than 20 times bigger than OG&E!!!!
Anyway, back to the meeting with Randy Mott. He told me that he thought I would have to stop doing the mouse in the sock thing because it was shocking my coworkers. I told him that I thought they would get used to it, and that they might even start doing it themselves. He said, “No, I don’t think you understand. You are “shocking” your coworkers!!!”
Apparently, by rubbing my socks on the carpet when I move my mouse around, I am putting a static charge on the cubicles, and when my coworkers lean against their desks, they are getting shocked. — It was at this point in the conversation that I learned that our CIO was named “CIO of the year” and that Randy was rather proud of this accomplishment (which he should be).
I thought about telling him that if the cubicles were properly grounded this wouldn’t happen, but I decided not to mention it. So I suggested that maybe I could wear grounding bracelets around my ankles to bleed off the static charge. He told me he knew I used to be an Electrician, but that I should find some other way to manipulate my mouse, or that I should learn to use the “hot keys” like most programmers do. (You see, Randy Mott used to be a programmer at Wal-Mart where he worked his way up to CIO, so he knows about those sorts of things — this was something else I learned about Randy in our meeting).
Why of course!!! Hot keys!!! That is when you press the CTRL-C to copy, and CTRL-V to paste, and things like that. There is a “Hot Key” for just about every operation. The advantage of that is that you don’t have to take your fingers off of the home row keys, and it doesn’t slow you down. — So I returned to my cubicle feeling rather foolish and put my unused scissors back in my drawer, and pulled my socks off of both mice and slipped them back on my feet.
Then my Vice President came by and said, “Hey lets go out to lunch!” So he took all the new guys that were under him (6 of us) out to lunch. We went to a Mexican restaurant named, “On The Border”. I was thinking the whole time, “Oh No, not another one of these torturous meals where we get so stuffed that we can’t move, then we have to do some sort of physical activity to make us barf it all back up again.” — But that didn’t happen.
We spent so much time talking that we didn’t eat that much. So even though we sat there for an hour and a half, and kept eating chips and salsa, we didn’t get too stuffed. — When I got back to work my whole team and a couple of other teams were all throwing a football around in an area in our building across from our cubicles that is the size of the entire maintenance shop at Sooner, except without any furniture. I realized that if I had eaten too much for lunch this activity would have been devastating and I was wondering if that had been intentional.
They were handing out free root beer, so I drank some of that. — I also found out that I had missed their breakfast this morning because I had that meeting with Randy Mott, but I had lunch and they didn’t, so it kind of made up for that. It turns out that every Friday they have breakfast for us and they call it “The Breakfast Club” and everyone dresses any way they want and they call it “Casual Friday”.
Anyway. That is how my day went. The weekend is here, and I am done for the day, and my Manager just walked by my cubicle and said, “Hey I thought I told you that you could leave early.” So, I suppose I should go home.
I would still like to hear how things are going up there, so keep me informed. I sent this with the mailing list as a blind copy, that way you shouldn’t have to have a header with everyone’s name listed on it, let me know if that worked. If anything it may have Ray’s name listed on it, since I don’t have him on the long mailing list, (mainly because I never heard back from him when I was making it – but I thought he would appreciate the reference I made to Walt Oswalt in the update from last week). — Is Ray doing ok?