For 30 years, Joe Garey has worked in campus Shipping and Receiving; each day, he greets students with a smile as they come in and out, with packages in hand.
Garey originally joined Deerfield’s staff as a custodian in 1988, following his active duty in the Navy.
Born here in Greenfield, Massachusetts, he and his family moved around, first to a small village in New York, then to Ohio, and then to California, before eventually returning to the Greenfield area. When a position in Shipping and Receiving opened up, after Garey’s first year at DA, he was sure he wanted to transfer departments.
The prospect of “moving up the ladder” greatly appealed to Garey when first joining the team, a small one at the time.
He said, “I knew there would be advancements in the job… I knew I would be the third one in line, so eventually I’d move up, and that’s how I became supervisor.”
In detailing a normal day at Shipping and Receiving, Garey expressed that mornings typically consist of emails, work orders, and calls from the finance and post office.
“UPS, FedEx and Amazon come between 11 and 12, and that’s why we have swing lunch shifts because it is during lunchtime,” he explained. “At 3PM, we pick up the outgoing mail to bring to the post office. The times in between all of this is spend processing outgoing packages and taking care of students and faculty when they come in for the packages they have received.”
When asked about his personal life, Garey enthusiastically spoke about his four children, Amanda, Curtis, Aaron, and Breaunna.
“I used to have pets. I don’t have any pets that live with me now… when I was married with my kids, we lived in Colrain, Massachusetts, we had 3 dogs and 3 cats and we just loved animals. We had sheep, we had chickens, we had pretty much a farm. It’s almost like we had one animal for each kid as far as cats and dogs and the rest were just because.”
For a part-time job, Garey has enjoyed umpiring basketball, softball, and baseball for 16 years. He explained that his interest in umpiring connects to an affinity for sports and the outdoors.
“I like being outside. I love sports. I played football, basketball, baseball. I did some track in junior high. So I’m a sports guy. Definitely a sports guy. ”
He added that he likes to read, Christian devotional reading in particular, and to build prototypes, like the model planes displayed in his office.
“[Building things] takes my mind away from everything,” Garey said.
He related the reason behind this passion for models to the reason behind his fondness for the workplace: “My favorite part of the job is associating with the students and faculty, and making people happy,” he said. “ When students and faculty get their packages, they’re happy about it. It takes them away from the classroom environment.”