‘LIFE AFTER DELL’ a story from a #egfdell survivor

 

LIFE AFTER DELL

Presented by; Mike Culliney

Life after Dell began for me in late March 2009.I suppose to put this in perspective I must give you a sense of what life was like before, during and after Dell. I worked for Banta Global Turnkey representing the company in the Dell manufacturing facility of EMF3. For eight and a half years this facility played a huge part in my life and sometimes it tended to take over to the detriment of other aspects of my life.

                                         Life before Dell for me consisted of dividing my life between time spent with family, studio time and my involvement with the education system. I trained as a fine art printmaker at Limerick School Of Art And Design qualifying with a bachelor of arts honours degree in 1992. Straight away I was invited back to the college as a visiting lecturer in analytical drawing in the first year department. My week was broken up between two days in the college, 3 days working as a community artist with Limerick Corporation and my own studio work. Towards the end of 1998 the funding for the community arts program was pulled and the program ceased to operate. The hours with the visiting lecturing position started to get less and less. It was time to make a decision. Do I return to education or emigrate? I chose to return to education, receiving a Higher Diploma for art and design teaching in 2000. Returning to education meant that I had to acquire a student loan from the bank and with a lack of employment in the education sector I decided to go into the factories. Hence began, for what I taught would only be 3 months, my life connected to Dell.

                                          As I mentioned the intention was to work for 3 months in the factory to clear a student loan but within this initial 3 month period I recognised the possibility to learn and progress within the company. After 6 months I was offered  a  permanent  position which meant financial security for the first time in my life. One of the huge advantages of working within the Dell complex was the opportunity to be exposed and learn about different cultures and countries. The huge drawback of working there was of course the unsociable hours. We worked a swing shift of a week of nights followed by a week of days. At times we could work from 8am to 8pm and 8pm to 8am. This had a huge effect on my body clock. It took over a year for my body to get back into a regular routine. The benefits of having a regular fulltime position were enormous. These included financial stability, the ability to visit countries that I only dreamt about and the ability to raise the quality of my own life.

                                           All of this came crashing down at the end of March 2009. All though the redundancy package was a softener to the blow, it seemed as if the carpet of security was pulled out from under my feet. Life once again became occupied with problems. Amongst them were the initial problems with the social welfare system and the need to move house for more affordable accommodation. The complete lack of alternative employment forced me back into the art studio. This part of my life had suffered hugely while working with dell and now 2 years later I have reached a level of confidence in my art work that had not existed since before entering the factory. I have now returned to education yet again which is fantastic. I am currently studying Web Promotion For Business which can be followed under #egfdell. At last my brain, my body and my outlook are once again in union. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but at the moment all is good with Mike Culliney.

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