Q&A: Anibal Basilio, custodian lead

Anibal Basilio
Masked and gloved, Anibal Basilio is ready to work. Marc Studer

How has work in Facilities changed since remote operations began at UW Bothell? Anibal Basilio, custodial supervisor, answers a few questions from Director of Communications Maria Lamarca Anderson.

Q. What would you normally be doing now and where?

A. My job is primarily supervising the employees who keep the campus clean and safe. My days are very similar to before people started working remotely, because I have to be on campus in the physical plant building to do my job. I cannot work from home.

I start my day making a work plan for each employee, and go over it with each of them when they begin their shifts. I make sure they complete the self-attestation that all employees have to sign when they come to campus, no matter their job. Before they go to their work area, we verify together that they have everything they need, which now includes personal protective equipment.

Q. What are you working on today?

A. Our work is the same as before — keeping the campus clean and safe. But now, in addition to general cleaning, we disinfect all areas, all the time. Even with very few people on campus, we still must disinfect everything, especially high touchpoint areas such as doorknobs, tables, chairs and computers. We don’t know where people go, so to be safe, we clean and disinfect thoroughly every weekday.

I appreciate that campus leadership has provided the best eco-friendly chemical products for us. That says a lot about their commitment to the environment and to us as employees.

Q. What adjustments have you made to complete your responsibilities?

A. One of the main adjustments is employees are working on their own instead of in teams. We now wear PPE to protect ourselves and each other, and we maintain the required physical distance from each other even if we’re working in the same area.

I have modified the schedules to have fewer people working the same shift, and we make sure to take lunch and breaks at different times. Not being able to eat together and talk took some getting used to.

Q. What are you doing to care for yourself or for others?

A. At work I greet each coworker every day and check in to see how they are feeling. It’s a good time to connect before we disperse throughout campus.

I walk about 18,000 steps four times a week, which is a good thing because my daughter is a pastry chef. She’s working on starting her own business so I’m eating everything she makes. I guess in a way enjoying her cooking is how I take care of myself, but it could also be a bad thing if I didn’t get in those steps.

Q. Do you have a change of perspective to share – about life or work?

A. I’ve come to realize even more how important and valuable it is to spend time with family. Now that I can’t travel to Mexico to see my mother or even just visit friends nearby, I see that I took that time for granted. I won’t do that again.

Q. What other thoughts or feelings do you want to share?

A. Even now, almost five months later, I haven’t adjusted to the limitations of what we can do and where we can go. I really miss being able to see my loved ones.

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