Towers Talk is a WVU podcast featuring Residence Hall Coordinators Angela Delfine-Mechler and Patrick O’Donnell. Each week, the hosts bring you an interview with different members of the WVU community to help you get adjusted to your new campus home!

Join our hosts RHCs Angela Delfine-Mechler and Patrick O'Donnell as they interview Tammy Thomas and Nancy Smith from WVU Facilities on the Evansdale Campus. Nancy and Tammy will share some info about the semester with students and share what students can do to help make their jobs a little bit easier. Listen here!


Hi, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Towers Talk. I'm Angela. I’m Patrick. Welcome back to another week. Towers Talk podcast is brought to you by Lyon and Braxton Towers. Towers. You can live anywhere, but when you're here, you're home. All right, folks. Welcome back. So today we are joined by Tammy Thomas and Nancy Smith.

Tammy is the operations coordinator for Towers, Oakland, East and West and Lincoln. And Nancy is the assistant supervisor for WVU operations for the Evansdale complex. So welcome Tammy and Nancy. Thank you for inviting us. Yeah. All right. So first thing that we want to ask you about, we start all of our interviews with this question is, can you tell us a little bit about your educational background and how you both ended up working here at WVU?

Okay. So I originally am from Ohio and, um, I wanted, always wanted to move back here to West Virginia, have a lot of family here and I actually. Came straight from high school to a secretarial position down at Arnold here at WVU. And, um, just through the years, uh, was promoted up into my position now. And just have learned a lot along the way and, and just really enjoy being part of the department.

And I started in 2008 as attempt and I worked my way up to supervisor. Awesome. Thank you guys so much. So can you talk about any changes that facilities is implementing this semester? We are making one, a pretty big change and that's with our bathroom schedule. I really liked having set times. So the students knew when to expect us so that we can get in and out of the bathrooms without, you know, being so we wouldn't be in each other's way, but because of just, you know, staffing issues, um, with.

People being off for different reasons with, you know, being quarantined or, you know, just different things going on. Uh, it seemed like we weren't able to stay on our schedule. And so we were often getting a hold of you all to let the students know that we were not on schedule. So. We thought this semester, we would just go ahead and plan on letting you know, all the students know that we're going to be cleaning the bathrooms before 10:00 AM in the morning.

That gives us a little bit more leeway. If we're short in one building, we can pull to another building and still be able to get all the bathrooms done by 10:00 AM. And so we think that we'll be more efficient, um, and be helpful for everyone. Yeah, I definitely agree. I think it's a great idea. And you know, you all and your staff work.

So hard. Um, so definitely giving some flexibility, I think will help everyone out and I'm sure the students appreciate and understand that situation. So thanks you guys. Okay. So you kind of touched on this with the answer to the last question, but feel free for both of you to, you know, supply an answer to this one, as well as, but what, what were the greatest challenges you had last semester when it came to COVID-19 and dealing with all of that and.

We had less that less staff and because of employees had, had sent them, some has to be off some employees for quarantine and then just some people have left. And then we started hitting touchpoints more often. So it was kind of like we had less staff, but higher expectations and more need because we had to hit those touch points more often we had to go into suite bathrooms and just inspect.

Um, you know, just, we had to do more with less and, um, it was, it was very challenging. Uh, um, But the staff have been really good team players. And when they're here, they're willing to do whatever it needs done. And, um, they've been also helping in other buildings where there's shortages there. So it's just, uh, got, I got a great team of people working here and we've had some student workers too that have been a wonderful help.

Yeah, we actually have had, uh, four student workers, uh, last semester. They're all coming back this semester and they have all really been great and so helpful to help with some of these shortages when our staff can't make it in, uh, for various reasons. So that's, that's been great. So their work study.

That's awesome. Do you guys want to give a shout out to those four students? Yes, definitely. So we have Erin Johnson, she's an office worker for us, and then we have Kimberly Moore. That's a student custodian and also, um, Annalise trying to rent Malik, which I know them all by their first name. I'm trying to remember their last names.

And then we have Tabitha what's happened this last deal. Uh, so, um, the last three were all custodians, uh, or I should say campus service workers. And the first one was an office workers said, Hey, have just really been so dependable and hardworking. And we really appreciate them glad that they're all planning on being back this semester.

Awesome. Awesome. Thanks so much. Yeah, definitely. And, um, you know, you all your staff, um, I love, uh, our custodying staff in Lyon. I'm sure Patrick loves his staff at Braxton. Um, you all work so incredibly hard and I know that just checking in, uh, I call it the girls call them the girls, uh, you know, our custody's in the building in Lyon, but, um, I love just chatting with Ava and Belinda and, and, uh, They bring a smile to my face, but I know you all work so very hard.

So, so thank you all for that also. Yeah. Yeah. They're, they're wonderful. Um, you know, every, everyone in the, in the complex is wonderful. So what is something that the students can do in the halls to make your staff's jobs a little bit easier? I know, uh, students sometimes are messy, sometimes leave things in the hall.

And so I just wanted to get some of your feedback on, you know, what, what kind of things can they do to make your jobs, uh, simpler, uh, with everything going on? Especially I think one of our biggest issues is the room fresh. They would just put it down the ship that was making it so much easier for the employee.

Um, another thing is sometimes they leave personal items behind and, you know, we don't want to throw things out, but it's hard to clean around them. Um, sometimes they'll leave the dishes and the bathrooms are closed in the lunchroom. So, you know, not leaving their personal items behind is it's helpful as well.

Um, a few other things too, is. Uh, if they see maintenance issues, you know, go ahead and report those. And, um, the door's blocked for the bathroom. Just looked at her employees time to finish cleaning and cause we can get it clean faster. If nobody's been there. Then if somebody in there we're going to work around it.

Yeah. And back to, um, the changes there. So when we are in a bathroom, we will have our cart there and the door blocked off with a son. So, um, they can still either use the other half the bathroom or go on the other course, go on the other side of the floor. Um, but yeah, they can just try to pay a little bit more attention to that.

There's not that time, uh, that that would be really helpful. Um, and then just another thing too. Um, we, we appreciate suggestions and another set of eyes, if there's anything that we've missed or that needs attention, um, you know, please don't feel bad about letting us know or hesitate to let us know anything at all.

We appreciate that. We want to make things. You know, um, looking good and safe for everybody and, you know, w if we missed something, we really appreciate if anything's brought to our attention. Awesome. Thank you guys. And yeah, just, um, you know, for our students, um, our staff works hard and, um, I like to say they're not your moms and dads, and so.

Uh, you know, for, for the sake of making their jobs easier, uh, you know, y'all just, just clean up after yourselves and, um, you know, to our student listeners as well, if you have any, um, maintenance concerns or facilities, concerns, or issues or things that need fixed or cleaned, uh, please email your RHC of your building and they would be happy to follow up.

Uh, you can also go to your RA and checking with them as well. So thank you guys. Yeah. You know, sometimes too, just, you know, This W's will come to us sometimes, but they'll be like, this person was so nice and friendly, you know, just saying hi, saying thank you once in a while. Um, even though it's our job, they really, they, they strive and, and really appreciate those compliments and just the interaction, uh, with the students.

That's awesome. Um, that's really, that's really good to hear. And I think that that's important for our students to hear that are the people that are listening to this at least, um, to, you know, go out of your way and try and make somebody stay by mentioning that. Um, so you guys have kind of hit on this one.

Similar to the last question I had asked already. But the law, like the, well, not the last question, but the second last question we had, was there anything else that you wanted to share with our listeners, all the students who are going to be tuning into this, that you know, that you haven't had a chance to say already?

Um, just, you know, this, this, um, time when all the students were not here, this break was longer than we've ever had. Uh, it still kind of seemed like it went by really quick and of course, Yeah. There's a lot of holidays in there and some bad snow days and all, but, um, we were able to get more done than we have been in the past in, um, we really, uh, Just want to let the students know how hard everyone was working week while they were gone.

They, some of the stuff they can see, it's evident, you know, the forest got waxed, um, carpet Scott shampooed in the hallway and lounges. Um, but just so they know too, while they were gone, we did, uh, some deep cleaning in the bathrooms. You know, we were washing down all the hallway walls, uh, you know, and in the mileage is hallways, laundry rooms, you know, uh, we were working hard on all that.

Uh, just trying to get things. Uh, the top shape, whatever everybody came back. And, uh, we really look glad to have the extra time to do that. So, um, uh, hope that some of that is noticeable, but we did want to mention the stuff that you might not see firsthand or realize. So just wanted to mention those things.

Yes. It all looks amazing. The floors are so shiny. I love it. Thank you guys. So we'd like to ask a fun question at the end. Um, before we wrap up everything. Um, and we ask our, um, our guests every, every week. Um, so from each of you, what is one piece of advice that you want to share with our students here at WVU?

One piece of advice? Let's see, I'll answer it now. I'll let Nancy also answer that, I guess. Uh, and this is to, to all the students. For me, it's just, it's make the best of each day. Find something good about that day and, and, uh, just make the best of every day and live for today. Love that. Thank you, Tammy.

Nancy, what about you?

Just always work hard and go for big dreams. Also. Great advice, short and sweet. I love it. Thank you guys so much. That's a wrap. Thank you listeners for joining us this week and thank you so much, Tammy and Nancy for your time today. We appreciate you. We appreciate your staffs and everything that you do.

Yes, you're welcome. And we do appreciate the residence hall staff and all that you all do too. And the great communication we have. Thank you. All right. Let's listeners tune in next week when we interviewed another member of the WVU community.