Linda Roberts Retiring from TIMES

The sad news is true…Linda Roberts is retiring.

Before joining us, Linda was a member of the Houston Storyteller’s Guild. While there, she met Brian Herod. Brian was interested in Data Entry, and asked her if she had any knowledge of the field. What he may not have known is that Linda had been in that field since graduating high school in 1971. Brian was looking for a Data Entry operator, and he found the perfect one. On November 1, 2000, Linda came home to TIMES.

In the last 16 plus years, Linda has been one of the most invaluable employees to ever walk our halls. Her successes are too numerous to state here, but some of her biggest are the DP Tracking Access Database and the Dead Data Database. At the beginning of Linda’s tenure, all documentation for DP consisted of an Excel workbook that was used to keep a record of packet IDs. Linda saw the need for a more efficient and reliable documentation system. One of the Data Managers, Rudel, created the barcode log, which solved the problem of packet tracking. Alas, there was still a need for her to track her staff’s time spent on each task for each project, resources used for/by each project, amongst other things. After seeking out training for Microsoft Access, she created the DP Tracking Database. This system allowed her to track time and resources, like paper and machine maintenance kits, to better account for their use.

Because of this tremendous success, she was then given charge of the Dead Data Storage. When she got it, there was nothing but a graph of the room where the Dead Data was stored that had sections marked off for each project. Using her Microsoft Access acumen, she created the Dead Data Storage Database and the corresponding system for keeping the records.

She thinks it worked well, and we know that is a massive understatement!

Linda has many memories that she will carry with her into retirement. In her own words: “My co-workers here, many of whom have become friends, have seen me through the death of my father, a devastating divorce, a remarriage and the death of my spouse. They have celebrated with me at the birth of my Granddaughter, gave me great advice when she came to live with me, and supported my decision to let my daughter adopt her. I have celebrated the birth of several children amongst my co-workers, as well as marriages, and I have mourned with them at the loss of family and friends. We have celebrated the graduations of children, as well of many other accomplishments.” She also notes other memories that those at TIMES will also never forget:

  • The flood caused by Tropical Storm Allison and the aftermath of damp files to be scanned
  • Printing and putting together what seemed like thousands of binders, complete with paper on every available surface (including the floor), for a project
  • Printing more than 10,000 surveys and then processing them
  • The raccoon in the ceiling, making picture frames for the pictures with Santa at the TIMES holiday party and wrapping all of the books for the gifts
  • Using her supreme storytelling ability to tell ghost stories at the Halloween party.

Speaking of, many of us at TIMES will never forget Linda’s stories and the enthralling way in which she tells them. We can only hope that she never stops telling her stories!

In her retirement, Linda has many plans. She wants to become the ultimate C.R.O.N.E. (Creative Researcher of New Experiences), spend more time with her granddaughter and family, design and make her beautiful jewelry, travel to Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, and New Hampshire, take a cruise or ten, and in the epic words of Brain from Pinky and the Brain “Try to take over the world!”

Linda would like to add a personal note to everyone at TIMES:

“Thank you to Dr. Francis and Coleen for believing in me and giving me the freedom and trust to do my job and allowing me to feel valued. I appreciate that more than you will ever know.  Thank you to all the great people I have had the pleasure to work with. You all are the greatest bunch of people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with. I will miss you all greatly.  Thank you to The University of Houston and TIMES for giving me a challenging and deeply fulfilling ending to my career. I am proud to have been of part of this great institution.”

We at TIMES want to wish Linda the very best as she begins her retirement. We are optimistic that this is not goodbye, but see you later. We hope she will come back to visit as often as possible and regale us with more of her amazing stories.

Linda has said that TIMES is like a family to her.

Linda, the feeling is mutual!

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