Q+A with new custodial head Bob Hargis

Clare Dierckman

Where did you work before you came to Carmel Clay Schools, and what were your roles and responsibilities?

Before I started at Carmel Clay, I was a pastor. I was an engineer for twenty years, I left there and went into the ministry. I got into doing custodial work to cover expenses while in the ministry, because obviously it doesn’t pay well. I left ministry work and came into Carmel Clay Schools.

What is your position called and what do you do?

I’m the custodial supervisor and I basically manage the entire building, all the complexes including the sports facilities, the wellness center, and the main offices. We’re responsible obviously for keeping everything clean, but also for a lot of repairs and setting up equipment for events. We get work orders in and those tell us who wants what, like for example, this one is asking for two desks to be put inside a classroom. We have about 50 custodians that work here and they come in on what are called “work orders” or emails and then I notify which custodian needs to do it.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

I’ve got five grandkids, and an incredible wife, and my favorite thing to do is spend time with the grandkids, my kids, and my wife. I also enjoy fishing. I enjoy pastoring at a small church I’m pastor at in North Salem. I enjoy hunting and just about anything outdoors, like camping. I really love going to Brown County, state parks and hiking. So, mostly family activities.

What are some interesting things that you’ve noticed about Carmel since you’ve been here?

Wow. One of the things that’s interesting is the number of opportunities students have for different things. The clubs, events, sports, there are so many opportunities available. I would say the amount of activities that are available for the students is probably much larger than I thought it was. There’s a club for just about everything, and there’s an event every day and every night, or something going on.

There are a lot of abnormal incidents here, for example the ceiling light breaking in the cafeteria. Has that ever really happened anywhere else?

I haven’t experienced a lot of crazy things here yet. I am sure that they’re coming. Even at the elementary school (Towne Meadow) where I’m coming from, there’s just things that you could never expect. We had a bird get in the building the other day and it was in a classroom, so i’m trying to chase it with a net, and I’m trying to figure out “how am I going to catch this thing?” We eventually opened a window and it flew out the window. A similar incident, we had a room, it’s a side office that I would come in about 2-3 days a week, I opened it up, and the entire room was filled with flying ants, like millions of flying ants. I mean, the walls were covered with them. And so, how do you get rid of flying ants? I haven’t experienced crazy things like I have at the elementary school, but I am sure it’s coming. 

What is it like to work in such a large environment with so many people? Does it ever get hectic?

Yeah, there are times, like yesterday we had about seven or eight trucks lined up waiting to deliver products. When they deliver, there’s so much material that comes in that we have to get out and get into places. Yesterday, it was just chaos for about three hours of trucks pulling in and unloading and getting custodians to deliver products, separate it off the carts, and another would pull in and it was the same thing. For major events and when we have to set up for that, SAT testing and so forth, we had three-hundred seats we had to set up. Everybody has to go at it, we can’t just use one or two people. When the big events like that come up, it gets pretty chaotic.