At Raymond, we have outstanding employees, so we decided to feature some of them on our blog. Our next Employee Spotlight features Alan Barton, Software Support Analyst with over 25 years’ experience in IT and 10 with Raymond. Alan is located at Raymond’s Orange, California headquarters but serves all Raymond regions. He is responsible for assisting Raymond’s construction and accounting software users, creating custom software, developing tools to streamline business processes, troubleshooting, and much more.
We sat down with Alan to learn more about him.
What brought you into the construction industry? I was working for a company called Cashcall as a Business Intelligence Report Writer and Analyst when I met Dan Huff, Director of IT at Raymond. At the time, and I would say even more now, Raymond was looking for change and I was able to provide it.
What do you like most about working in construction? I have worked in Contract Manufacturing, Healthcare, Money Lending, and now Construction. Construction has some of the best tools and the oldest practices. I love being able to put my meager skills to work in making things easier for my fellow colleagues. It is here in this industry that I have been able to effect the most change.
What have been the most significant changes that you have seen over your years in the industry? It is said time and time again – technology. I am the kind of person that likes to play with all the new toys in a car. I see a shiny, new gadget and think it’s the coolest thing ever. In construction, I have seen robots walk a floor and draw and update the percentage of completion on that floor per the plan. Slot cars that you can race with just your brain waves (and no I was not drinking when I saw this). Truly amazing!
Three words to describe Raymond: Family, Food, and Fun
What’s the best thing about your job? When I was around 5 years old my parents got divorced. My father was the typical every other week fun dad that was expected at that time, while my mother provided and raised me. I remember being one of the first kids at my babysitter’s house and one of the last to be picked up. My mother worked very long hours so that I would not want or go without. I respect and love her for that, but there was a part of me that was a bit resentful. As I got older and started to develop my skills, I saw many other mothers and fathers working hard to provide for their families. They had one thing in common. They all worked very hard and very long. I decided I would do something about it. I know the changes I have affected in my life are not massive, but I would like to think that what I have done over my career has made some small difference in a few people’s lives and made it so that the parents at the office can get home and spend just a little more time with their family.
What is the most challenging part of your job? In being an agent for change the most challenging part of it is the change itself. People are resistant to change. Change is painful and chaotic but once we get through the process it can bring about its own serenity and order.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you? Work smarter not harder.
What do you like doing when you’re not at work? I am a dreamer and a gamer. I create worlds and destroy civilizations. I entertain few and slay many. I enjoy playing games whether it be board games, video games, or roleplaying games. I find that when you exercise your creativity it allows you to think outside the box and develop solutions.
What show are you currently binging? My wife and I LOVE Yellowstone and House of the Dragon at the moment.
Before working at Raymond, did you have any other interesting jobs? The most interesting job I had was working at a trap gun range on the Chevron refinery plant in El Segundo. Sometimes, I would sit atop a chair above all the marksmen and when they called “pull,” I would launch the clay pigeons that would shoot out the bunker in front of them. After their shots, I would score them and await the next shooter. Other times, I was the poor sucker that had to load the clay pigeons onto the catapult in the bunkers for the marksmen to shoot. I am unsure how I still have hands as that catapult was very unforgiving for the slow and inattentive.
When you were a kid, what seemed like the best thing about being a grownup? Not having to get permission for things. I am sure you all remember having to ask for dessert or to go to a friend’s house. Asking to have some money so you could go to the store or local video arcade. I figured as an adult you could do anything you wanted without having to ask.
What inspires you? People. Everyone has a story to tell and lesson to teach. I enjoy listening to others tell their stories and I enjoy sharing mine as well. Thankfully, others’ stories are better and more entertaining than mine.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without? Donuts. Seriously the most perfect snack one could have. Now my doctor tells me I must swear off those sweet, sweet pastries but I tell you it’s not possible.
What is the best place you have traveled to and why? Amsterdam. It was like being in another world. Strangely similar but just a touch different. Being from Southern California I had never seen cobblestone streets or rows after rows of gabled roof houses. Never seen canals in the middle of the city used like highways. People living on boats on those same canals.
How do you balance your career and your family? Thankfully here at Raymond we prize work-life balance so it is not nearly as difficult as it has been at other companies.