General Services Lubbock is a very diverse department with 38 team members who provide copiers, mail, movers, pagers, printing, receiving, scanning, shipping, shredding, surplus, vehicle rental and vehicle fleet services. Our response to the pandemic was just as diverse.
Movers, surplus and pagers closed completely. Printing was available on an as needed basis. Receiving and Mail were essential services. As a strange twist of fate, these two areas combined into one in November of 2019. We spent the months between November and March cross-training staff on all duties involved in receiving, shipping, and mail. Then Coronavirus hit.
Setting the scene for Receiving and Mail: The week before was business as usual and normal volumes of items were being ordered and delivered. Departments were beginning to move into Pod D and had ordered the usual array of extra items from coffeemakers to refrigerators. Most of the institution transitioned to work from home during spring break week and immediately needed lots of new tech. For those working on-site, PPE and disinfectant became a top priority. Suddenly departments closed and for three days, we delivered to locked rooms. To enhance that eerie feeling, the institution placed barricades in the hallways and used only emergency lighting.
On Monday, March 23, Receiving and Mail transitioned from a delivery service to a pick-up service. We raided surplus and pilfered every shelf in the area to prepare for storage of incoming items. We offered departments options for mail that included scanning the outside of envelopes and/or opening mail and scanning the contents. We rented vehicles. We collected documents for shredding. We sold postage stamps, clinic roll labels, and lab coat patches. We provided paper and toner for the copiers. In addition to all of the usual duties of unloading trucks, using the forklift, and processing outgoing items. Speaking of outgoing items, we processed an unprecedented volume of diplomas, graduation boxes, textbooks, and PPE.
Ten team members accomplished all of these tasks. We split into two teams of five and alternated weeks on-site. The team members:
- Debbie Cate, Managing Director
- Arthur Pare, Assistant Managing Director
- Gage Bailey, Specialist III (Receiving and Mail)
- Jackie Bush, Specialist III (Receiving and Mail)
- Cliff Hayes, Specialist III (Receiving and Mail)
- Derek Moreland, Specialist III (Receiving and Mail)
- Corbin O’Cheskey, Analyst I (Departmental Billing)
- Thomas Gellene, Specialist III (Document Services)
- Roy Gollahon, Lead Operator (Document Services)
- Jerry Brown, Coordinator in Parking Services
Debbie Cate and Arthur Pare worked from home during off-site hours to coordinate a wide variety of projects including process changes and reorganizing workspaces while fielding numerous phone calls and emails about available services. We had to stay in constant contact to ensure both on-site teams function the same.
In the Printing Center, the following production people worked on-site to meet the institution’s need for printed material:
- Daniel Morales, Unit Manager
- Melynda Crouch, Manager
- Whitney Atwood, Specialist III
- Sandy Cain, Specialist IV
- Martha Garza, Specialist III
- Lisa Smith-Haigh, Specialist III
Melynda not only worked on-site as needed, but worked full-time from home when off-site and even arranged to meet several customers in parking lots in order to deliver printing.
The Graphic Design team worked full-time from home and not only kept up with current printing requests, but brain-stormed ideas for assisting other departments, and they still managed to clean the file system with years of electronic design files:
- Rebecca Leal, Coordinator
- Melinda Cavazos, Graphic Designer
- Shannon Gutz, Graphic Designer
Rebecca and Shannon also worked on-site as needed.
Three team members seamlessly transitioned to working from home and everything would have been great if they had been left alone so they could do “their” job. These three team members reprogramed the delivery system without being on-site to test, created a database for FEMA reporting, and coached the off-site employees on how to enter time or complete evaluations from a phone.
- Kyle Kyker, Programmer/Analyst II
- Dave McMurray, Unit Manager
- Mark Priddy, Unit Manager
Since most team members in General Services do not sit at a desk all day, there simply was not enough work to distribute to everyone. However, we‘d be remiss not to mention the following team members who accomplished everything they could from home:
- Corbin O’Cheskey, Analyst I (Departmental Billing) when he was not working on-site
- Tracy Overby, Coordinator (Swift Print)
- Russ Wardroup, Manager (Mail Services)
On Tuesday, May 19, we entered Phase 3. For us it meant that the entire staff returned to campus, but we would alternate weeks on-site. That lasted a whopping 8 working days. On June 1, we moved to Phase 2 and all team members returned to campus at the same time. We are performing all functions as normal as possible during a pandemic. We rearranged to allow a minimum 6’ distance between work areas including customer service areas. Surplus has moved to on-line viewing only. We encourage masks anytime two people are in close proximity to each other. We wear cotton gloves to avoid transferring bacteria from service to service. We clean and disinfect on a regular basis. Â We keep as many doors locked as possible to keep others from wandering into our areas.
It is awesome to have all of our team members back!
- Robert Castillo, Technician III
- Vernon “Butch” Castner, Supervisor
- Chamene Coffman, Senior Business Assistant
- Irma Deanda, Technician III
- Reggie Essix, Technician II
- Michael Finch, Technician II
- Michael Gamboa, Senior Business Assistant
- Noe Garcia, Tradesperson
- Julian Hernandez, Specialist IV
- Mark Hix, Specialist IV
- Lee Ann Hodge, Senior Business Assistant
- Darlene Mungia, Specialist III
- Michael Shelton, Specialist III
- Denita Williams, Specialist IV
- Patricia Dunn Wilson, Coordinator
Address:3601 4th Street STOP 6245 | Lubbock, Texas 79430-6209