Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Employee Spotlight
Gary Gordon, Office Technician

Gary Gordon: Office Technician and So Much More
by  Patrick Chandler
Issue Date: 07/2009

If you have ever visited the thirteenth floor, you probably have met the very energetic and enthusiastic Office Technician, Gary “G.G.” Gordon.

In addition to working for District 7, Gordon is the spokesman for his family’s drag racing team, a vocalist in District 7’s Traffic Jam Band, and secretly a disc jockey (DJ Gemini G) all in one.

When thinking back, Gordon remembers the orange Caltrans truck that his uncle drove sitting in the drive way and his grandmother encouraging him and his siblings to get a job with the state. Inspired by his grandmother’s advice and his uncle’s four-decade tenure with Caltrans (who until recently worked as an annuitant), Gordon jumped at the opportunity to work in District 7 while he worked at the Department of Corrections’ Kern Valley State Prison in Delano.

On the Job

Gordon, originally from Bakersfield, has worked for Caltrans for over a year as an assistant to Deputy District Directors Dan Freeman (Maintenance) and Roy Fisher (Construction). Gordon is responsible for the administrative and clerical needs of Freeman and Fisher.

Gordon is no stranger to working with tough customers or people really in need. In 2005, he worked in an American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina call center in Bakersfield. “I remember talking to one family for three hours on the phone, trying to help them receive emergency funds, and helping them locate missing family members,” he said.

“What I have learned at Caltrans is that it is important to be multifaceted, maintaining a smiling face on the phone, and staying level headed especially when dealing with the public,” said Gordon.

Gordon attributes his positive outlook on customer service to his high school days when he worked at McDonalds, during his college days when he worked as a waiter, and the advice he received from his family members.

Freeman, attesting to Gordon’s ability to work with difficult callers said, “Gary is really good with irate people on the phone. Somehow, after they talk to Gary for five minutes, they will calm down and send me a nice email. He really has a lot of empathy for people when they are having a bad day.”

“He is great to be around because of his positive attitude. It is helpful to me, because it reminds me to be positive,” said Fisher. “Gary is an awesome singer,” he said.

On the Line

There must be a racing gene in the Gordon family. Inspired by their late father, Clarence Edwin Gordon, Gordon’s younger brother Galon “Flash” Gordon is currently a front-end drag racer. Even his uncle was on a pit crew for various racing teams.

Ever since he was five years-old, Gordon has had a love for car racing. “Growing up I can remember going to drag strips in Formosa, Ontario, Riverside, and several other cities,” he said.

Gordon supports Galon’s racing team in all areas and hopes one day to work as the Public Relations and Hospitality Manger for the team. When a sponsor wants to discuss business or when other duties require Gordon, he will jump in where ever he is needed. “Whether it’s packing parachutes or doing other tasks, I enjoy every moment of it,” said Gordon.

Gordon truly enjoys seeing his brother Galon, on the line, meaning that he is about to tear off from the starting line in his dragster. Gordon is there to support him on and off the track.

On Stage

Gordon is currently one of the vocalists for Traffic Jam, a band formed by District 7 employees.

Gordon got his start with Traffic Jam, when a group of coworkers heard him singing during his weekly Bible study and told some band members of his talents.

“When Gary came to audition for a spot on the band, everyone was really captivated,” said Xerxes “Shay” Banduk, the Region Engineer for the Maintenance Division’s South Region and the band’s rhythm guitarist. “Gary is very comfortable singing and is really good at telling the audience a story,” he said.

“Before I knew it, I was singing with Traffic Jam,” said Gordon. “I have really enjoyed every moment of it. Taking part in extracurricular activities at work is a good way of building positivity and improving morale,” he said.

Gordon’s first performance with the band was September 2008 for Diversity Day. In remembering how he felt during his first public performance he said, “I was nervous as heck. But you have to have this self-belief that you can do this.”

Even as a new member of Traffic Jam, Gordon hit the ground running and helped Associate Information System Analyst Margie Tolentino ease into her new role as one of the lead singer.

“He’s a great guy, no doubt about it,” said Tolentino, “I am new to the group, and Gary really made me feel welcome and he is great to sing with,” she said.

If you get the chance to meet Gary, he will definitely change your day in a positive way. 

Gary Gordon, Vocalist for Traffic Jam (left) Galon Gordon and (right) Gary Gordon at a drag race.