September 2008

My job rocks

TVA employees are on the job 24/7, keeping the lights on, running the river system and supporting TVA’s operations. In this column, you’ll hear from TVA employees who can say, “My job rocks!”

photo

J.R. Russell

Property Maintenance Worker, South Central Facilities Management, Chattanooga Office Complex

J.R. Russell, 45, has taken care of the Chattanooga Office Complex grounds for nine years – three as a contractor and six as a TVA employee. He and his wife, Phyllis, have been married for eight years. He also has two grown children: Kristen, who’s at Chattanooga State, and Russell, who’s finished high school.

“I like my work. I get to work by myself. I come in early and get off early. It’s all good.

“I was a contractor for three years as a custodian working nights, and then I was hired on full-time, and it’s the best thing that ever happened.”

What he does

“I do everything – trimming, mowing, weed eating, pulling weeds, mulching, pressure-washing. In the summer it’s pretty hard. I spend half the summer running from bees. When it’s hot, I drink so much water and Gatorade that I hardly have room to eat any lunch. Sometimes I just have some crackers.

“I’ve had Crohn’s Disease since I was 19. But I look around and see people a lot worse off than I am, and I feel fortunate. I also have another job – I work 15 hours a week cutting meat at Bi-Lo. I’ve worked there for 21 years. My pills for the Crohn’s cost a lot, and that helps me pay for them.”

When he isn’t working

“I love to fish, and I love to watch the Washington Redskins. I’ve been a fan since third grade. I have DirectTV. You can’t beat that – HD and everything.”