I find Rob at the front desk of the Rosenfeld building smiling and nodding at the faculty and students who enter and exit. He’s busy checking IDs when I catch him and I sneak my questions in during moments of lull in the flow of people.
CL: What brought you here to Mailman?
Rob: Before this, I was floating around on campus doing Public Safety but I finally got a normal schedule to be in Rosenfeld from 8-4pm. I have always worked in public safety.
CL: How long have you worked at Mailman?
Rob: I’ve been here for about 3 years.
CL: What’s your position/role?
Rob: My job is public safety so I try to keep the building moving in an orderly fashion and prevent havoc.
CL: What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had while working at Mailman?
Rob: The most interesting experience has been meeting people from all over the world instead of people just from the five boroughs of NYC. It’s expanded my horizons and I’ve learned a lot from different cultures. (And as I pressed for stories of drunken students running up and down the street, Rob laughs and shakes his head.) We’ve never had anything crazy like that but it’s the little things that make my day interesting and make me laugh, for example pushing or pulling the door the wrong way. I also really enjoy how much the faculty members in this building have strong relationships with the students—that it’s not all business. I was working during a holiday party and faculty were dancing and mingling with students and having fun and showing how much they cared about the students outside of the classroom.
CL: What do you enjoy about working at Mailman? What’s the best part of your job?
Rob: I really like Rosenfeld, it’s a very homey building. It feels very family-oriented n the sense that faculty members and students work together. For example, we had admitted students day recently and everything went very smoothly due to the collaboration. I really enjoy seeing that.
At this point, we pause the interview and I watch as Rob simultaneously chases down a visitor to sign him in and answers a student’s question about parking outside the building. The smile never leaves his face.
CL: Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in New York City?
Rob: I grew up in Brooklyn and have lived in NYC all my life. When I first came here I felt a little alienated but then I learned how to treat certain people and got used to how things go.
CL: What’s your favorite spot in the city?
Rob: Definitely the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I love anything close to the water.
CL: What are some of your hobbies?
Rob: I love sports. I play basketball and am a huge Knicks fan. (Rob wouldn’t tell me who his favorite Knicks player because he say’s he’s an equal fan of all of them.) I’ve been watching Kevin Love of the Timberwolves for some time though. I also am really into electronics. I’m going to school to become an electrician and it’s always been a passion of mine. It’s very cool to be able to control an element like electricity. (As I ask him if he’ll leave us once he finishes school, Rob chuckles at my forlorn expression.) The plan is to explore as many avenues within security as possible to better myself and hopefully open my own security company someday. I guess all good things must come to an end right?
CL: What is an interesting fact about you that most people at Mailman do not know?
Rob: I’m a very down to earth guy and I can play video games with the best of them. (And again after I jokingly pry for what games he’s best at, Rob laughs) I’m good at boxing and fighting games.
I thank Rob for his time and walk away thinking that all this time, I’d been saying hi to Rob every day without barely bothering to have a good long conversation. It’s amazing to have people like Rob on campus to help keep us safe and keep the order, so I encourage you to stop by and say hi. You never know where the conversation could lead you. For me, this conversation is leading me straight to a day of exploring the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
-Interviewed by Chenxi Li, Communications Chair