16 Dec Service Spotlight: Ralph Gehrung
When Ralph Gehrung interviewed for the maintenance technician position almost fourteen years ago, he assumed he would be working in the Payne Road building. This seemed like a good fit as he had previously worked for a large retirement complex. When Ralph returned for a second interview, he was taken out to see several of our homes and realized the magnitude of maintaining so many homes. Fortunately for New Hope, Ralph was hired as he had both construction and maintenance experience. He continues to be a dedicated, skilled, caring and valued member of the maintenance team.
One of the reasons Ralph has stayed for so many years is that every day is different, and he really prefers the wide variety of tasks. There’s never a dull moment in the maintenance world, although that might be a welcomed relief once in a while. Whether he is installing, repairing or removing appliances, “pushing” snow and salting ice, fixing a multitude of leaks and clogs, painting rooms and doors, helping individuals move, etc., Ralph is committed to quality service. As an example of what Ralph deals with, here are some of the items he has removed from clogged drains and toilets: sunglasses, dentures, deodorant, a glass eye, clothing and enough grease to supply KFC for several days. He understands and appreciates that this is part of the nature of our services.
Ralph also enjoys the individuals and associates he encounters and assists. He loves to make the clients laugh, especially persons who are non-verbal. He admits that loss of several individuals in recent years has been hard and he misses seeing them out in their homes. One of his favorite memories occurred on his first day of work. He was at the Frederic group home and when he entered the home, an individual screamed to him that he needed to get out of her kitchen and leave her home. He quickly took care of the work and left. After that, though, she was always happy to see him. He also has quite a few memories of snow plowing all-nighters. One in particular was a massive ice storm, which brought additional challenges to plowing. He truly understood the importance of keeping at it, despite the grueling conditions, so associates could make it in to work to serve the individuals in each home.
Ralph is married and affectionately refers to his wife as Miss Anita. His mother lives very close to the Payne Road building, so Ralph is able to stop by and see her after work and help with anything she needs. Ralph is an outdoor person and loves to backpack, camp and fish. He also enjoys woodworking, making birdhouses, cabinets and furniture.
Our thanks to Ralph for exhibiting New Hope’s core values in all aspects of his work to keep our homes safe, sound and pleasant. It can be challenging at times, but also rewarding for Ralph. We’re so glad that he’s a part of our team!