Behind the Scenes

Theresa Hathman at work: “You have to be positive. Life is serious enough. I don’t want my job to be.”

Photo courtesy of the geography department.

Geography’s hidden gem

Theresa Hathman may be small in stature, but she is BIG on clean.

The 13-year university employee is a custodian for Campus Facilities, and she scours the basement and second floors of Stewart Hall from 4 a.m. to noon weekdays.

“I’m cleaning up after students, the classrooms, do floor care, the entryway, lab … ,” she says. “I love the hours and I also like working alone. I used to do office work and dealt with people all the time. I’m more of a loner.”

When questioned about what she likes least about her job, she says, “I really don’t have a least. Well I have a least, but I will not tell you. It’s disgusting stuff. Ha. Ha.

“But really, there’s nothing I don’t like about my job.”

Before becoming a custodian, she kept late hours, staying up until 2-3 a.m. Now she gets up that early. And happily so. Despite driving from Centralia 44 miles a day roundtrip, she is awake and eager to start her day — with a positive attitude.

Hathman feels valued and appreciated for her work. “Very much so in this building,” she adds.

When asked about what she does in her free time, Hathman laughs: “I enjoy my pets and home projects. Ha ha. But I work seven days a week.” She has a second job cleaning during the weekends at the nursing home in Centralia.

“I just enjoy life. And you never know what’s going to happen each day. You have to look at life like that. You have to be positive. Life is serious enough. I don’t want my job to be.”