In honor of Facilities Management (FM) Appreciation Week, this week’s True Grinnellian column is dedicated to our hard-working FM employees. There was an FM Appreciation Breakfast in the JRC on Wednesday and posters were set up in the JRC for students to leave notes and thank the FM workers.
Scot Wilson is the FM worker for Younker Pit and has worked at Grinnell College for a total of ten years now: seven years with Security and three years as an FM worker. Wilson grew up in Grinnell, and has seen many changes occur on campus.
“Losing Darby gym was a really big change [when it was transformed] into the new student center,” Wilson said.
In addition, he has grown up with many of the professors’ children, who were his classmates throughout grade school and high school. “It’s kind of strange seeing them grow up,” Wilson said.
One of his favorite elements about the job is “being able to talk to the students.” Wilson mentions Commencement as one of the highlights during the year.
“During Commencement, it’s a little bit of a different aspect seeing everyone’s families,” Wilson said.
On Younker 2nd, Brian Blom serves as the FM worker. He has lived in Grinnell for 42 years and has worked with FM for six.
“My attitude towards the school [has changed] since growing up [because] working here has been totally different,” Blom said. As a community member, he also enjoys life in Grinnell.
“It’s a nice place to live where the crime rate is really low,” Blom said.
Growing up, he heard a lot about crazy stories about Grinnell students, including times when kids ran around butt-naked. Compared to his own experiences, “I personally haven’t seen anything too weird [or] too out of the ordinary,” Blom said.
Another FM worker, Troy Long, is in charge of Rawson Hall as well as Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. Long grew up in Iowa Falls but now lives in Malcom, and has been working for FM for the past seven years.
“The worst part of my job is Monday when I come in and clean up party messes, but other than that I enjoy my job. My favorite [aspect] is meeting new people,” Long said.
Having seen and spoken with a diverse group of students over the years, Long described his experience. “Most of the students I’ve had are really nice and I enjoy working around them. I haven’t had any problems whatsoever.”
Because of the positive experiences he has had in his career, Long hopes to continue serving the College.
“It’s a job that I would like to have for a long time because I enjoy doing it,” Long said.
Curt Cox is the FM worker for Clark Pit and 1st. He was born and raised here in Grinnell and has been working at Grinnell College for the past six years. “The culture has [become] more diverse now. I like that it is a small town. When you go somewhere, you always know somebody.”
As for the best part of his job, Cox enjoys the people he works with. “I’ve never really had any problems with students. They are pretty good to me, [so] I try to equal that by being good to them and let them do their own thing and do mine as best as I can,” Cox said.
He describes his time with Grinnell College in a positive light. “My experience has been great. I don’t really get to know a lot of students a whole lot, but the ones that I do, I really enjoy. I haven’t had a bad year yet—all the students are pretty good. They all seem pretty nice. I get along with my coworkers really well,” Cox said.
However, the end of FM Appreciation Week should not signal the end of our appreciation for our FM workers. Remember to always thank FM workers in our dorms, academic buildings and around campus!