Genuine Vermont

Occasionally, I get an opportunity to interact with some of the staff here at Middlebury College. Staff are the custodial workers, dining services, facilities services, grounds keeping etc. Most students don’t even know that hundreds at the college are employed to keep the school running like butter.

Last week, the construction of a mini-roof overhang to protect an entrance to the house I live in meant that a facilities worker had to enter my room and do some work from the inside out. Mike ripped a hole in my wall to get to the circuitry that had been accidentally damaged in the roof process.

Today, he filled that hole in the wall with inflatable foam and left this message on my whiteboard:

“Ryan: do yourself a favor, do not touch the spray foam in the wall! It will come out some and explode if you poke it. I will come tomorrow to clean it up. Hope you had a good day. – Mike (cell 989-XXXX)” (X’s for privacy)

First, let me mention that the entirety of Vemont has one area code so I know exactly where to contact him. But secondly, I forget sometimes the genuine nice nature of the hundreds of people working to keep the school running. They suck up dealing with snotty students day after day. Mike has been here for 14 years and lives right in the town of Middlebury. We chatted about his two sons the other day. While I was out today, he consulted for my neighbor across the hall about how to make her room warmer without turning up the thermostat. Mike’s co-worker kindly called in a few requests via radio today about the house’s heating while stopping by to install something in our kitchen. The house’s custodian leaves frequent updates on the RA’s whiteboard.

If you’re in college, pay some respect to those behind-the-scenes. And if you’re a Vermonter, I’m paying respect to you in this post.