Phil Jones: Onward + Upward

insight

Phil Jones: Onward + Upward

Sep 23, 2020

The DAVIS logo was created with the onward + upward ethos in mind. It is both our legacy and our vision for the future. We're interviewing 20 people in '20 to find out what onward + upward means to them (along with some other interesting details you might not pick up on at the jobsite). Keep up with this series to get more insight into the DAVIS team!

Meet Phil Jones, Yard Technician.

We sat down with Phil (over a phone call) to talk about his role at DAVIS, how much family means to him, and more! Keep reading to learn about him.

PHIL JONES

How long have you been at DAVIS? 
It'll be nine years on October 31. I started working in the mailroom at first, then a position in The Yard opened up about a year later, so I've been at The Yard for eight years. 

What do you do as a Yard Technician?
Mostly, I work around the shop fixing equipment. I also deliver materials to jobsites when they need them. 

You've got a lot to do these days, I bet.
I like to be moving around. I'm not really the "sitting at the office" type of person--I'd rather get out there.

After eight years in the Yard, you must know your way around the equipment pretty well.
There's always a new challenge--but I've always been a hands-on guy, and I like a challenge.Whatever the issue is, I'll get to the bottom of it. 

Spunky Woolfolk, the Yard Manager, showed me the ropes. He's been at DAVIS for 40 years, and he's a perfect role model.

What have you learned since being at DAVIS? 
How good it feels to take something on and get it done after putting in the work. Even if I make a mistake, I can see where I was wrong, admit that, and keep trying to figure it out. You've just got to keep a positive mindset and stay with it, and at the end it'll pay off.

How have you been spending your time in 2020?
I've been staying inside, playing a lot of Call of Duty and Madden. I'm used to staying busy inside--I don't really do the club scene or anything like that. I'm waiting for the bowling alleys to come back, though.

Oh, you're into bowling?
That's one of my favorite hobbies. I got into a league with my cousin six years ago and just fell in love with it. 

What's your favorite travel spot?
I also like to go to the casino and gamble, so Las Vegas. I took a helicopter tour out there, too. It was noisy, but I loved it.

FAMILY LIFE

What's your motivation when it comes to work? 
My daughter's my number one priority. She's my motivation to get things done.

Fatherhood means a lot to you. 
It's been a life-changer, and it makes you think differently. Having a little girl made me stronger. 

My great-grandfather was more like a father--he and my great-grandmother raised me, and he helped keep my mind straight. He ran his own landscaping business for more than 50 years. Even at 83 years old, he was still working.

Fifty years running his own business, that's incredible.
My family called him Ted, and every time I fix something, they tell me "Look at you, Lil' Ted."  I picked my motivation up from watching him work on lawnmowers, cars, anything. I do a little side work to stay busy--I'll look up a YouTube video and start working on replacing an alternator, radiator, whatever it is. I just finished my first hardwood floor alignment after four days of work, and after it was done I thought about how my great-grandfather had me out cutting grass.

My father wasn't really around, and my mother passed away. Having to go through that was tough on me. Through the ups and downs, though, I'm proud of myself for turning out the way I did. 

What does Onward + Upward mean to you?
Staying strong. Sometimes things get rough, but you just need to stay with it. That's why I love being at DAVIS, because we can get the work done, no matter what, and it still feels like a family.