|Dexter Craiger of the Customer Response Team cleans windows at the Student Publications Building. (Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services)|
Were able to clean up to three stories high, both inside and out, says Ruth Adamisen of the CRT. Once were up there cleaning, we check the window pane and seal to make sure theres no damage or leaks. If the jobs too big for the CRT, the work is contracted out to a professional company that has farther-reaching ladders and lifts.
But windows arent the only things this eight-person team takes a shine to. Members are responsible for all University walls, floors and carpets.
Thats what I like about the job, says Jim Van Diver. Were not cooped up inside one building all day long. We have the freedom and maneuverability to explore campus, and every day, its something different.
Walls are often the most extensive cleaning jobs, especially if theres a sewer backup. First, the team repairs the sewer, and then it washes the walls with a sanitizer. With a sewer backup or flooding, the CRT has to act quicklyusually within 24 hoursto decrease the risk of mold.
Carpets are another messy job, with winter taking its toll. The carpets in some buildings are cleaned as frequently as every three months; carpets with less traffic are done yearly.
Like other contracted U-M units, such as the Blind and Shade Operation Team, the CRT determines which windows, walls, carpets and floors to tackle based on work orders and requests. This team often works in conjunction with other maintenance crews, such as the blind team, so customers arent inconvenienced.
Because its easier to clean during off hours, the CRT often works in the wee hours of the morning.
Being part of the team is being on call and accepting responsibility for the late-night shifts, says CRT coach Carie Kloack, custodial supervisor. This team is really committed and goes the distance, says Nathan Norman, department manager.
CRT members say they like the flexible hours because they can spend the rest of the day with their families. The late-night hours are also a benefit to the University.
Sometimes were the eyes and ears to help public safety, Adamisen says. If we see any suspicious behavior, well call it in over our two-way radio.
Luckily, none of the team members have run into any serious trouble, but they have set off a building alarm or two.