Doing my job

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May 24, 2004 // UPDATED 1:45 pm - April 25, 2007
By: sue rich
sue rich

Jason Farrell, General assignment maintenance man, Hennepin Avenue South

On a recent warm spring day, Hennepin Avenue pedestrians wove through the usual sidewalk hazards: bicyclists, joggers . . . and a small John Deere tractor.

Jason Farrell, a Building Maintenance Management (BMM) employee, manned the bright green vehicle. With plastic water tank in tow, he hosed freshly planted palms in the Laurel Village-owned planters on South 11th and 12th streets.

The 27-year-old St. Paulite says he never knows exactly where he'll work next; he said BMM's client locations stretch from downtown St. Paul to Rogers, Minn. Still, he said, he finds himself assigned to care for a Downtown building "at least a couple times a week."

Between drags on his cigarette, the well-tanned Farrell said his ever-changing daily grind suits him "just fine." In addition to a wide range of work sites, his daily checklist includes "pretty much anything that needs to be done for maintenance," he said with a shrug of his shoulders.

When asked about his background, the reserved Farrell stated simply that he'd spent a few years working in light construction. And while those skills can come in handy, he said most of his workday is spent on more routine matters, "I spent the other day changing light bulbs over at the [Minneapolis] Convention Center," he said.

He said he doesn't know any light bulb jokes, nor does he care to -- "I'm so sick of changing light bulbs."

When asked what's the strangest job he's ever been assigned to, Farrell pauses, appears to scan the area from behind his dark shades and says, "Ride a tractor down Hennepin Avenue."