Farewell Dan (for now)

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Dan James for seven years, albeit in five minute increments. A night shift supervisor and microfilm specialist with Crowley Imaging, Dan, clad in his signature plaid flannel shirt, makes a quick round to lock the doors every evening around 6 p.m. On those nights I’m still at my desk, he’ll pop his head in to say hello. Dan is retiring next Wednesday and I will miss both the feeling of security knowing he’s in the building and those impromptu meetings which have led to the follow discoveries:

  • Dan has tamed the feral cats in our business park

    No picture of Dan (he’ll already hate that we’ve blogged about him). In its stead is the Mekel microfilm scanner, Dan’s primary tool of trade during his tenure at The Crowley Company.
  • As an animal lover, he no longer owns a dog or cat but “shares” his neighbor’s pets (kind of like being a grandparent – you get to give the kids back)
  • His career as an imaging specialist at Crowley is his second (that I know of). After retiring from his primary career as an engineer (hardware and software for the aerospace industry) and enjoying some time away from work, the idea of a night shift diversion close to home was an appealing prospect that has lasted a decade
  • He can build a computer from scratch (and plans to do so again)
  • He’s well-traveled and enjoys hiking and the outdoors
  • He’s one of a very few folks who have experienced the Crowley ghost (legend has it our building was constructed on an Indian burial ground)
  • He cobbled together a website in the early days of the internet that still holds its own today, complete with an up-to-date moon-phase calendar, pick-up lines, excuses and jokes (“Is it possible to be totally partial?”)
  • He was in a college garage band
  • He’s got a great sense of humor

While Dan eschews group gatherings and prefers the quiet of the evening shift, our conversations over the years have covered a lot of ground. My 6 o’clocks won’t be the same without him, nor will our night shift. Here are a few thoughts from co-workers with whom he’s spent some years:

Patti Matthews, Crowley Imaging Administrator: I will personally miss him very much. Because of our “Nighttime Dan” [as opposed to our “Daytime Dan”], the microfilm department has always been self-managed.  Despite his not wanting to officially manage the department, we all know the truth – Dan does indeed run the department.  I just have to activate a microfilm job and it runs without a second thought from me, ending up on the outbound rack done to perfection!

Kris Shekels, Crowley Imaging Project Manager: Dan has always been the guy to whom you can hand a project – difficult or not – and know he’ll run with it. Before I know it, he’s got the job done and ready to deliver. He has really made everyone’s life easier in regards to microfilm scanning in the service bureau and it’s where I’ll miss him the most.

Diane Hill, Crowley Senior Imaging Specialist:  Dan and I started a week apart from each other and from Day One he has been helpful. He doesn’t mind stopping what he’s doing to help someone out. Even if he has never worked a certain type of project before, he will take the time to help figure [an issue] out. Dan has really been a positive worker for Crowley and I will miss him. Hopefully we will see him in the future as a part-timer.

Pat Crowley, Vice President/Owner: Dan James has been among the hardest-working and most loyal employees we have had at Crowley. He is the epitome of that employee who requires little to no direction or oversight but who always delivers his best efforts. Dan goes above and beyond what is expected of him. He’s taken a genuine interest in not only understanding the equipment he is responsible for, but in also providing insight as to how to make our processes and scanners better. Many features that are currently in our Quantum Suite of software are directly related to his understanding of the systems and how to get the most out of them, as well as his desire to make us more efficient both as a service provider and a manufacturer.

Clearly I’m not alone in my admiration for Dan or in my well-wishes for his retirement. Farewell, Dan James. I hope you’ll miss us and come back a night or two – those five minutes were sometimes the best part of my day.

About The Crowley Company

The Crowley Company is a world leader in analog and digital imaging systems and services and is – to our knowledge – the only blend of manufacturer, distributor and service bureau in the industry. This dynamic combination allows Crowley to provide multi-layered solutions to the complexities of archival preservation and records management.

Cheri BakerCheri Baker, Crowley’s former Director of Communications, has retired but retains her love for writing and all things Crowley. With a career that spans newspaper, agency and corporate communications, her goal remains to dig behind the scenes and tell the story - whatever it may be. Find Cheri Baker on LinkedIn+

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