Thursday, May 16, 2013

25 Years At Pearson NCS

In 1985, two days after having a lump the size of a marble removed from my foot I ended up getting a temporary job via Kelly Services at some off road place called National Computer Service, a up and coming place that processed Pell Grants from needy students and of that matter other things.  Of course I started out in the dead of night, a horrible 11 to 7 night shift that gave me endless days of sleeping away and insomnia. Finally they moved me to second shift to which I would work for another year and a half before I finally convinced them to finally hire me full time.  And on May 15, 1988 the lovely Beverly Madden did just that.

Working in Pell was an interesting job to say the very least to I made some good friends along the way. Mike Davenport and I talked tunes all the time and then a most interesting hippie dude came along and became one of my closest friends, the immoral and legendary Dennis Pusateri, with him around we drove all the seniors batty. A one of a kind dude is still missed two years after departing this planet and probably riding on that endless highway on his motorbike.

And then from 1989 to 1993 I was part of Data Input, to where Greg Nutter was boss and we managed to get a band going to which started the classic period of the Townedgers.  Data Input was where we keyed up info after the scanning machines and printing machines would tear up the test scores that kids used to do. Iowa Basic Skills Test? Yep we processed them there in Iowa City

Beginning in 1993, I got hired up into the printing side of things, Denny Ballard and Sherri Chalupa hired me and I later would go to days for a couple years under the watchful eye of Danny Bowman (RIP). Printing moved from I.C to C.R and 1998 and later Kirk Hoeppner and John Allen became excellent managers as well.  With printing going bye bye to Owatonna Minnesota, I return back to Iowa City for a year.  But this week I celebrate 25 years of being at Pearson, a feat that even I couldn't believe would happen this far down the road.  The glory years with Pearson was the most fun, the last couple years have been trying, for the usual reasons.  It's tough to lose your family after all this time together but with scanning coming around the corner, it begins a new road to wherever it leads.  To all my co workers, you're the best and thanks for putting up with my rantings and screamings when things don't go as planned.   Y'all rock.

If I could be one person at Pearson I would choose Steve Rasmussen.  I know I tend to get on his nerves when I have my major meltdowns due to crappy machines but he's always had the magic touch of getting them going.  The quiet leader.  Bill Hawks, figures a lot as well into the equation, he helps me when things fall apart and Mr. Steven not around and was kind enough to give me his IPOD to which I have yet to figure out.  Hard for me to give up my outdated storage product like Cds and records.

Our printing family is just that.  We been though the Iowa City era, then moving up here in 1998 for the next fifteen years till the powers to be decided that Owatonna is the place to go, but it's not for me.  I'm sure Kenneth Stevenson will continue to provide excellent and valuable help when he moves up there.  Good and hard working dude that is Kenneth.

Tom Woodruff, hell his record collection could have rivaled mine and he gave me two big crates of his records a few years ago.  I kept the best ones, nevertheless Thomas has been a part of the NCS/Pearson family even before I learned how to drive.

The day shift Seniors the legendary Steven Murphy and Lyle Harp have been there for me when I was on days. Murph could be even more cranky than yours truly but like Steven, had the magic touch to "make it go".  Harp, is a non stop talking chatterbox who always found humor in some of my cranky ways, he still cracks up over a 1996 episode that I took a very late lunch and told him "I gotta hour for lunch fucker" and 17 years later he still cracks up over that.  He's a bro.

Marvin Anderson and I go way way back to the days of Pell of 1985 and Data Input a few years later and I followed him to Printing a couple years afterward. I guess you can say we're basically the last of the survivors of an old era.

The ladies of Printing have always been close to my heart, you worry about them as they do you.  Kathy and Linda from the other side is part of this too.  Even at times when Margaret Parsons drives me crazy with some of the things that she say, we still look after her like a protective brother when packaging complains about her.  We almost lost Margaret last year but she's still here and still being herself and yes sometimes I do find her at Half Priced Books or Goodwill, in the (naturally) book section. Who'll look after her once I leave for scanning I don't know.  But she's been a part of the NCS/Pearson Printing era.

And then there's Jenna Bruck.  Seems like she's always late, and always taking over the computer where I'm at when she comes around.  But like everybody in our department she's a sweetheart, that helps out whenever she can and always has a smile and greeting when she comes in.

And finally, out of all the people that I have worked with on a regular basis, the one that seem to understand me the most in time of crisis and being the shoulder to cry on, or to have to somebody to go rant and raving to, Sonya Madden has always been there.  I believe she knows me better than I know myself at times.  I've been to her wedding, and to her parties whenever I can but she's a people person, and most anybody that works at our place usually seek her out for talking about things.  How she manages to stay strong is beyond me, lesser folks would have cracked under pressure.  And she's helped me through some of my most trying times.  As a great friend, I just love her to death.

I have seen a lotta good people come and go and I know I forgot many of them but the ones that stand out for me remain in Printing, but I also gave thanks to the memories of  Sue Halverson, Thomas Lee, Danny Bowman, Jim Rogers, Glarice Kula, Boone Novy and Mark Lasack, gone but never forgotten in my book.  And of course, my partner in crime during the pell years Dennis Pusateri.  

I can't remember everybody but a shout out to Tony Woods,  Terry Carson, Maureen Schultz, Kay Starr, Teri Cortiso, Mike Davenport, Terry Ware, Tammy Smith, Jeff Harper, Mike Davisson, Ed, John Kubicek, Sherri Severing, Ken Smith, the countless folks that I worked in Pell, Data Input and Editing, Doreen Schenick, Beverly Madden (of course), Terri Fish and the countless temps that I helped trained in all departments and had secret crushes on some of them (I was younger back then, I thought I was something), Shannon Rogers, Debbie Smith, Ali and Chris in Warehouse, Bob Scneider, James Ditmar, Dan Moyer and the rest of the packaging crew.  I'm sure y'all won't be rid of me when scanning slows down and Ellen Cary Grimm, my old Pell senior and new second shift boss.  Seems like we're turning full circle again.

To sum it all up, I'm surprised that I have made it 25 years after being hired full time on May 16, 1988 (thought it was May 15 but close enough).  No I didn't think I'd be here this long, I thought I'd be either a famous musician or out in the street but  I kept hanging around and hanging around and here we are. I guess it's a miracle upon itself eh. As for the next 25 years....let's just take it one day at a time. ;-)

I still think the NCS years were the best part of my time but I remain glad that I have remain a part of the Pearson crowd, even though I've given up being employee of the month or even packie of the week.  But I still love y'all fellow coworkers.

Now go buy me pizza!

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