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Staff Feature Friday - Alex Jones

Alex Jones was hired as a Real Time Captionist for the Department of Access Services just one month before the pandemic closed RIT down. His start date was not until April 2020. There was a lot of concern that the pandemic would impact his job offer since many companies were starting to lay off and furlough employees. Fortunately, captionist training is done at home. The entire captioning department began working from home full-time in March, so the job offer was not affected. However, the job itself was definitely impacted.

One of the perks captionists enjoy is walking to and from class assignments, ensuring breaks from sitting in front of a computer screen all day. After working at Paychex, Alex was really looking forward to this. Until we get back to campus full time, Alex uses his backyard for a quick walk with his dogs to simulate the walking normally done on campus between assignments. What a great idea!

Masks can make captioning challenging. It can be difficult to hear professors. Having to sit far away for social distancing exacerbates the situation. But overall, Alex is impressed with RIT and how the pandemic has been handled. He feels well informed and safe. Go RIT!

Despite a global pandemic emerging at the exact same time he was hired, Alex says he is enjoying his new career. He is grateful the pandemic did not impact his employment as it has impacted so many others, his wife included. He enjoys captioning in a variety of classes, and the exposure he gets to new and interesting topics. He has always enjoyed learning new things, and as a captionist is exposed to some topics that he never would have been otherwise. One example is Packaging of Metals and Plastics:

“At home I find myself sharing interesting facts about polystyrene, polycarbonate, or poly-vinyl chloride.Everyday materials that I now understand on a different level.”

Who would have thought being a captionist for RIT would create so many interesting and fun conversations for the dinner table!

Alex has been married for 15 years. He is the father of two children ages 14 and 12. He loves outdoor activities including golf, hiking, fishing, and bird hunting. Over the summer, he summited Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Congratulations Alex! What an amazing accomplishment.

Alex used to own and operate a landscaping business. He will continue projects over the summer since captionists have summers off. Recently he completed a project of his own for his wife: a patio and bistro area in the backyard. It was completed using only hand tools – no power tools. Alex is also a huge ‘plant guy’ with an interest in all things plant, from native outdoor varieties, to exotic and interesting house plants. His collection of house plants is upwards of 50.

Fun Fact: Alex appeared on an episode of The People’s Court with Judge Marilyn Milian.“I won’t go into details, to keep it mysterious and interesting.”

What is Alex most proud of? He is most proud of his two children:

“They are both very mature for their age and often complemented on their ability to interact and converse with adults.Things like looking people in the eye, shaking hands, please and thank you, etc.I often take it for granted that my kids do these things well.I often notice these interpersonal skills are lacking in their friends or even other young people I interact with.My wife and I do take some credit for this, however I think a large part of it is always including them in adult conversations and activities, even from a young age.”

On behalf of Staff Council, I would like to welcome Alex Jones to RIT! His employment began at an incredible time in our history. Despite everything going on in the world, he successfully completed the captionist training and is a wonderful addition to the Department of Access Services.