26, No. 18, April 19, 2007
the job: Elizabeth Eades
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
photo to enlarge
by L. Brian Stauffer
| Elizabeth Eades
is the office supervisor for the Service Office in Facilities and Services.
During Elizabeth Eades’ 18-year career in the Service Office of Facilities and Services, she’s handled thousands of calls, ranging from routine requests to locate utilities to a request to locate a deceased man’s next of kin. Eades began her career as a routing dispatcher in the Service Office in June 1989, the year after she graduated from Monticello High School. Eades later became chief clerk, and for the last 10 years, she’s been the Service Office supervisor.
What does the Service Office do?
The Service Office comprises two full-time employees and me. We are contacted by all campus units as well as outside contractors and utility companies.
We route work requests to the proper trades, and then input the requests into our work-order system. We process utility and equipment outage requests and coordinate the scheduling of the outages with the departments in the buildings that will be affected. We receive requests from Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE) to help locate utilities and determine if the work sites fall within the grids that we subscribe to.
We process an average of 1,400 requests to locate utilities a year. Each day we process about 200 work orders and approximately 150 e-mail and online service requests, and handle 75 to 100 phone calls.
What’s the most unusual call you’ve gotten?
The strangest call I got was back in the early 1990s. I got a call from the county coroner asking for help locating a man’s next of kin. A UI employee had died on the job, with only a UI ID badge on him. It took about four hours, but we finally found his family.
What was it like in your office during February’s blizzard?
I was the only one able to make it into the office Feb. 13-14. As you can imagine, there weren’t a lot of normal work requests from the departments; the main requests were for snow removal. There were a few problems with building systems that also needed to be addressed, and F&S was able to take care of the majority of the problems.
What is the most challenging and the most rewarding about what you do?
Same answer for both – the people. I think that people who understand our processes and how to get work orders completed consider it easy to get things done. But there are others who are not as familiar with it and need some help getting work requests in.
The people in our department are a good group, and there’s been very little turnover in the last three years.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re
I read almost everything – fiction, mysteries, autobiographies. Right now, I’m reading “The Innocent Man,” by John Grisham.
My fiancé and I like to go antique shopping when we can find the time. My fiancé collects old garage items. Right now, he’s looking for antique gas pumps from the early 1900s. I look for antique furniture and glassware.
What else do you like to do?
I also like to do the typical summer outdoor work in my yard. Now that the flowers I planted last year are sprouting, I’ll be looking for help identifying them; I can’t remember which flowers are planted where.
I also have a 9-month-old grandson, Travious, who keeps me very busy.