Nearly everyone talks to the HelpDesk – at least once. We often only take time to troubleshoot and fix issues at hand. So, let’s take a moment to meet Jermaine Long who started in January 2023 as Associated Asphalt’s IT Support Technician.
When Associated Asphalt is Family
Jermaine feels like he has always known about Associated Asphalt because his mom, Janice Grigsby, was an independent contractor who cleaned the Roanoke terminal. Starting at the age of 16, she continued with the Roanoke terminal as her client for decades, returning to work even after receiving a lung transplant.
Jermaine recalls coming to help her when she didn’t have a sitter. He would often empty trash cans and do other small tasks. One evening, Janice told her son to find an office and draw until she finished working. Jermaine wandered into an empty office, climbed in the desk chair, and started to draw. As children often do, he signed each of his pieces as he finished them. Janice soon called for him, and then left for home – the signed masterpieces left on the desk.
The next morning, Bill Kirk, who was President of the company at the time, came out of his office holding pieces of paper, asking if anyone knew who Jermaine was. This story is now embedded as company lore. At a recent employee event that Jermaine attended, Mr. Kirk immediately recalled who Jermaine was and shared the story of the little boy who played in his office one night.
Interests in Problem-Solving and Helping Others
Originally, Jermaine thought his interests would take him to a career in music. After a short run of working out of a studio in his basement, Jermaine enrolled in ECPI University and graduated with an Associate’s degree in Information Technology.
Jermaine came to the position at Associated Asphalt with 10 years of experience as a Technical Support Engineer. He considers himself a people person and enjoys the challenge of troubleshooting computer issues.
“It’s man versus machine,” said Jermaine, “and man wins.”
Working at a help desk is always interesting as one often is solving problems in real-time, and issues need to be addressed quickly to keep business moving. While answering his very first call on his first day was daunting, everyone has been very patient. Jermaine appreciates the encouragement from not only his management and IT team, but also every individual he encounters regularly.
Opportunities and Life at Associated Asphalt
Jermaine now works side-by-side with a number of people, including Danny Moran, Director of Sales & Logistics; and Daniel Palmer, Roanoke Terminal Manage, who he got to know as a child when visiting the Roanoke terminal with his mom. There is value in relationships you build over a lifetime, and there is satisfaction in helping a frustrated co-worker overcome a technological challenge. These are just some of the reasons Jermaine Long appreciates his role as IT Support Technician here at Associated Asphalt.