At the Registry, Jason is IT!
He readily admits to spending very little time at his desk on a regular basis.
That trait might work against most people but it was a winner for Jason Waterman, who was recently named Employee of the Year at the Registration Department.
It is his love for solving problems, which keeps the IT Support Officer III away from his desk so often; and he believes it helped him to the award ahead of more than 200 other staffers scattered in different offices and parishes.
His colleagues have taken to calling him Employee of the Year, and even though the award on his desk is a constant reminder of his achievement, the 32-year-old is still getting accustomed to the idea.
“I actually didn’t expect to win the award. Thing is that there are actually a lot of hard-working people in this department, and I’m just lucky to be one of them . . . . A lot of our employees go beyond the call of duty,” Waterman said.
People like Senior Legal Assistant at the District “A” Magistrates’ Court, Shirlene Yearwood, who won three awards on the night; legal assistant in the High Court, Clarine Fields; and Registrar Barbara Cooke-Alleyne (if she were eligible) could easily have won, Waterman said.
So that when Cooke-Alleyne announced his name, he got emotional. This is even after the description of the person who was pursuing a Master’s degree gave him a slight clue it might be him.
“I actually planned to say a few words, but couldn’t because I was in tears ’cause I won the award. It feels good to be appreciated by my department. It just means that some people in the department recognisemy hard work. I just try my best to help out people.
“I see persons as persons, and not employees; so everyone feels comfortable talking to me and coming to me about their problems and stuff,” the Wildey, St Michael resident said.
In 2009 he was awarded the Great Attitude Initiative Values and Excellence (GIVE) Award, for assisting with the move of the department from Coleridge Street to its present location.
He’s a gem
The criteria for the 2017 award were punctuality, attendance, integrity, commitment, initiative, deportment, attitude, confidentiality, industriousness and meeting of timelines, which he did; but Cooke-Alleyne was moved to add that Waterman was “a gem and well deserving of this award”.
Here is a portion of the citation read by the registrar before the award was presented:
“His supervisor Mrs Marcia Thompson said of him that he is dependable, efficient, and punctual. He gives much attention to detail and is always willing to take on difficult tasks. His working capabilities are excellent, and he is always ready for new challenges. His perseverance is amazing and his conduct has been very good. Moreover, he can be a source of inspiration for other employees who want to get the best out of their job. On many occasions, he has worked overtime to complete work in the stipulated period. He has shown enthusiasm towards being a member of the unit; conveyed respect and appreciation towards the contributions of fellow team members, takes pride in being part of the MIS team, and actively contributes time and effort to help the unit achieve its goals.
“I agree with her statements and also add the following. Recently his long-serving colleague of many years left the Management Information Systems Unit and indeed the department and this meant that Mr Waterman had to fill in the gaps, which he did without complaint, and admirably. There were times when he worked 48 hours straight and even when I would inform him to go home and rest, he would go home and shower and return to work within a reasonable time. Not once did he complain; and this is while he was studying for his Master’s with commitments for his assignments.”
Waterman’s love for his job in the MIS department was even more evident when he passed up promotion, which would have taken him to another department.
“[He] came to me and said ‘I am in a quandary. I have unfinished work. I am working on three critical projects here and I cannot leave the department in a lurch’. Not many persons would put their office before self,” Cooke-Alleyne noted.
The man who worked as a front desk clerk before being transferred to the IT department in 2010, said his job was challenging at times, but rewarding. And because it involves solving problems, which he has a knack for, it is “fun”.
“I’m mostly responsible for fixing computers, fixing some database systems that we use; also talking to outside Government departments on ways that we can more effectively collaborate, especially the Electoral Department; assembling servers, installing servers, finding ways to solve problems in the department when it comes to IT, and also using IT to make the work that people in the department do a lot easier and to make the processes that they use to serve the public a lot more efficient,” Waterman explained.
When he is not working in the department, or doing assignments for the online course at University of Liverpool leading to a Master’s in IT systems management, Waterman works out at the gym and plays pool.
At the top of the list of people who inspire him is his mother Heather, whom he described as a “very hard worker”.
As the acting principal personnel officer at the Ministry of Education Science, Technology and Innovation, his mum has to work some weekends to make sure the tasks are done,” says Waterman. In addition to describing her as progressive in her thinking, he also singled out Cooke-Alleyne for leading by example and being one who embraces the technology.
“She is also a very hard-working. Sometimes when I leave around 6 p.m. on a Saturday or Sunday, she is here still working ever so diligently. She also lets her staff know that they are appreciated, and was involved in the planning for the Registration Department’s Sports Day (in which I won the 75-metre dash) and also the recently concluded awards ceremony for this department,” Waterman noted.
The former Queen’s College student expressed thanks to Thompson, his supervisor, and Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson.
Thompson’s gone but clearly not forgotten, and Waterman was full of praise for former registrar Marva Clarke, who passed away last month.
“She’s the one that encouraged me to go back to UWI to finish my degree,” he recalled. (YB)