Archive for November, 2005

Maggie The Rabbit

      Over the past few months, there’s been a rabbit that is seen from time to time hopping around the neighbourhood. "She" is definitely not accustomed to humans, as she quickly hops away when you try and get near her. She was brown and white during the summer months, but is now just white, and likely has more fur as well for the Winter months. She is staying seemingly healthy, and is obviously content is sticking around. "She" must be finding food somewhere. Melissa and I named "her" Maggie.



Customizing Windows

Ever since I found out about, I’ve loved their free programs that customize Windows, or more specifically, personalize it. They have a few programs that I really like, such as BootSkin, LogonStudio, and ObjectDock. I haven’t used the latter as of late, but it’s still an excellent program. You can go to and download thousands of user-made Boot skins and Logon screens. Below are two images of what I currently have set as my Boot screen and Logon screen.
 My Boot Skin


My Logon Screen




Training Queue

      Today will be the last day of the first week of Training Queue at Dell. It’s been a whirlwind week with lots to learn and more to learn. There are three weeks left of TQ, however thing will change starting next week. The people we have spent the past month getting to know are not necessarily the same people we will be working with on a regular basis, due to our diverse schedules. This can be considered a good change of pace, simply as it will be what the actual job on the floor will be like, and it also gives us an advance chance to meet more of the people working at Dell.
      My biggest issue with work is my long call times so far, some of which have ranged between 2 and 4 hours each. As far as I could tell, most  of which deemed the long call lengths. That said, I can improve and shorten those call lengths. I asked my supervisors how to do that, and they suggested asking more open-ended questions throughout the call to get a better and quicker understanding of the main problem, as it is very easy to get diverted by a similiar issue or symptom. Also, I need to set out the objectives of the call throughout the call to create a better understanding between the customer and I.
      Although work has been tough this week, what was likely the biggest stress-inducer for me was having my car broken into on Monday while I was at work. The driver side window was smashed, and the car rummaged through, although the only thing that was taken was a couple of empty glasses cases. Go figure. I was able to drive the car home. I had plastic on the window the next day, and on Wednesday had the window replaced, which insurance is covering. Suffice to say, I switched parkades, and actually a safer one only blocks away, and it’s cheaper too.
      So, it’s been a long and stressful week, but a week filled with many learning experiences that I will never forget. All in all, I’m looking forward to my weekend, and I even have next Tuesday and Wednesday off work too.
Have a good weekend, everyone!


Two Weeks Since

      First of all, I am sorry for not making an entry in so long. My time has been taken up mostly by work at Dell, which as been a combination of a lot of fun and hard work with a lot to learn. I am not a morning person, but I have had to get up at 6am to be to work for an 8-5 shift for the past three weeks. Honestly though, it’s been worth it! I really like the way they do things at Dell, from the corporate attitude, to how they train, and how comfortable the atmosphere on "the floor" is. We start "Transition Queue" on Monday, which is the week in between training and being on "the floor". I think this is a great idea, as there is a big difference between being trained to do something and actually going out and doing it. This way, we have more confidence in ourselves and more familiarity with the tools of the job, and each other. As I mentioned, I love the way they do things at Dell! My shift for the next month, give or take, is 2:15pm – 11:15pm. Lets me sleep in, yay!


Extreme Home Makeover

      Melissa and I watched an episode of ‘Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition’ tonight. It was a wonderful episode, and it pulled at our heartstrings quite a bit. We try to watch the show as often as we can, although it is on every Sunday evening on ABC. It is truly a reality tv show that is based on reality, and one that we certainly don’t mind watching. No matter the kind of week a person has had, or the kind of people you’ve met lately, or anything, when you watch a show like that, it really gives you renewed hope in the human race! The fact that there are people left in this world that still go out of their way to drastically change a family’s life for the better, and all you’re left to say is "…Damn, that’s very cool!" is indeed just that! There isn’t a lot in this world that can make me emotional, as I’m just not the type, but nearly every time we watch ‘Extreme Home Makeover’, both Melissa and I get somewhat emotional, and the occasional tear does flow.
      "Extreme Home Makeover" is an extraordinary show that truly does change the average family’s life for the better in the truest sense of meaning. We strongly encourage each and every one of you to watch this amazing tv series, as the more people that watch it, the longer it will be on, and the more people ‘s lives will be changed, which I know is somewhat we all want to support.
     To help those in need on a more direct basis, I encourage you to donate to your local community organizations that are dedicated to helping those in need. Some examples are located in the "Charities" list in this blog.

First Week at Dell

      I have really enjoyed my first 40 hour week at Dell! There has been a lot to learn, but the pros outweight the cons by far! I’m still absorbing all of the information, which is ok, it’ll become second nature before too long! As for learning, they make it easy! Sure, some of the material is dry and boring, but any job has that, you just have to pay extra attention and make the extra effort to understand it, then it’s back to the more interesting stuff. That said, they explain things in easy to understand ways, and are more then happy to answer questions! They caught us off guard at first when they said they’d be giving us daily and weekly quizzes, passing mark being 80%. Didn’t we graduate and leave college to avoid tests?! Oh well, at least they care enough to make sure we understand what they’re teaching us! The tests have been open book thus far, so I’m in no position to complain, and even if I did, who listens to it nowadays anyway? Honestly, though, I appreciate the tests, they force us to make sure we understand the material, and they give us confidence each day, and most importantly, at the end of the three weeks of training!
       The best part of the training and job so far is that they keep it fun! All I can say is that rocks! If you don’t enjoy what you do and have fun doing it, then what’s the point?! Exactly.
      The people are fantastic, and the building is amazing, more inside then out though. It’s a massive building (32 floors), Dell is on the 26-29 floors. The view of Edmonton is breathtaking! Dell is in the process of building a much larger facility in Edmonton, which we’ll all be transferred to sometime next year.
      One of the things about the job that I have liked most so far is that they had us sit in on actual calls on Friday. That was the first time we could see the skills we’re learning in class being put to use in the actual Call Centre environment. I really enjoyed that. In fact, I’m enjoying everything!
      So there you go, a summary of what my first week at Dell has been like. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen in the future for what I hope to be many years to come!


My Frappr Map

      We’ve all heard and likely used website guestbooks. They allows users to leave comments and suggestions about websites, and provide a way for those who run the site to communicate with those who visit it. There is now a relatively new spin on this concept, in which you can not only add a comment or suggestion, but place a pin to show where in the world you are from. You can leave out specifics, noone expects you to put your phone number or street address down, but rather the city in which you live. The first place I saw this kind of a concept was at, at which I have a map. A new service called came about recently. According to the website "Create a map for your group. Share Group Photos. Get others to add themselves. Its easy and fun!"
The image below demonstrates my Frappr Map. See my map and add yourself here!


Kevin’s Calendar

November 2005
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