26, No. 7, Oct. 5, 2006
the job: David Jones
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
photo to enlarge
by L. Brian Stauffer
equipment service supervisor for Campus Recreation.
an equipment service supervisor, and his staff members in the Division
of Campus Recreation say that if a fitness equipment manufacturer
wants to test their products, the company should place the products
in Campus Rec facilities. According to data collected by Campus Rec,
more than 88 percent of students utilized Campus Rec facilities at
least once during a recent academic year. Jones, too, was put to
the test a few years ago, when the company that had employed him
as a photocopier service technician for almost 29 years downsized,
leaving him without a job, shortly before Thanksgiving Day 2003.
Despite the upheaval that transition caused, Jones said he is “tickled
pink” with his position at Campus Rec, which he began in October
2004. It enables him to spend less time on the road and more time with
his wife of 35 years, eight children and eight grandchildren. Jones
earned a degree in electronics service from Franklin Technical Institute.
We have two daughters
currently living at home, but who are out of high school. For holiday
dinners, it’s common to seat 20-25 people – including
family members and a few friends – around a table. It’s fun.
In my spare time, I enjoy singing in the choir at church, working with
my wife researching our family tree and hunting for geocaches, “treasures” that
people have hidden for other people to locate with global positioning
Tell me about your job.
I supervise the fitness equipment maintenance operations for Campus Recreation.
I supervise a staff of four people, who repair a vast amount of strength and
conditioning equipment – treadmills, elliptical trainers, bikes, steppers,
free-weight strength equipment and selectorized equipment, which allows the user
to select the amount of weight.
Currently, Campus Recreation has a combined 20,000 square feet of strength and
conditioning space at CRCE (Campus Recreation Center East) and the east wing
of IMPE (Intramural-Physical Education building). When the IMPE remodeling is
finished, the strength and conditioning space will total 42,000 square feet,
making it the largest in the country for university recreational facilities.
This will allow us to drastically increase the amount of cardiovascular equipment – to
about 60 treadmills, 80 ellipticals, 50 bikes, 30 steppers and numerous other
pieces – and to offer about 10,000 square feet of space for free-weight
CRCE is open from about 6:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, and is
busy from opening to closing. About a month ago, we had nearly 6,000 students
come through in one day. We have one treadmill at CRCE that logged more than
15,000 miles in roughly 18 months.
My staff members and I have been trained and certified by the various manufacturers
to service the equipment.
I’m in the process of building a database of the equipment repairs and
the associated costs to help determine reliability and cost effectiveness of
the different brands.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Coming to work and finding new challenges. What dignitary might come through
our doors today? Just recently, the architect that built CRCE brought a group
from another university to tour the building. We strive to maintain what is known
as the “wow” factor. If freshmen walk in and say, “wow!” we’ve
done our job.
What are your interests away from work?
One word: family. There’s always a phone call: “Hey, grandpa,
guess what?” My summer was filled with preparations for our son’s
beautiful wedding. I’ve viewed all my work as a means of serving people,
most of all my family.
At my previous job, I learned about the downsizing on a Thursday, and that next
Sunday I joined the leaders of our church, First Christian Church in Champaign,
for prayer before service and asked that God would put me exactly where he wanted
me to be, wherever that was. I interviewed three or four dozen places, and took
numerous Civil Service tests at the UI. Nothing seemed to pan out, but then on
Sept. 30, 2004, Campus Rec offered me a job.
A few months later, a family member was diagnosed with a serious illness and
that next year was filled with surgeries, treatments and recuperation. I am thankful
to have a job that allows me to be close to home.