Toilets Flush. Lights On.
“I make sure the toilets flush and the lights come on.” This is the way I described my job to the Girl Scouts who visited Target headquarters for career day. I am sure they were not overly impressed with my job at first. After I explained the technical planning that goes into making sure the plumbing and electrical systems work properly, they nodded in agreement at how important this role is for Target.
My name is Renae, and my team is responsible for the maintenance strategies for the plumbing and electrical systems at nearly 2000 stores. Nearly everyone who shops at Target will recognize the systems we manage; the exterior signs, the lights inside the store, the neon that greets you when you walk in, the hot water used to make the coffee, the restroom fixtures like toilets and hand sinks. We also manage the systems that go un-noticed to most people because you don’t see them when you shop the store; the water piping from the street to the building, the sanitary sewer under the slab, the water heaters, the conduits and power wiring and the emergency generator that starts up during an interruption of utility power.
I admit… this still doesn’t sound like a glamorous job at the trend-setting, fashion-forward company we all love. But someone has to do it. And that’s me, along with a talented team of analysts, program leaders, and technical experts. We also rely on our service providers and technicians who support our teams’ strategies at the store level.
I came into this role as an operations manager after being in the engineering department for nearly 8 years. I am a mechanical engineer by education and experience, and designed the plumbing, heating, cooling and fire protection systems at several Target stores in urban locations like Brooklyn, NY and Atlanta, GA.
I love my job and am excited to use this blog to share my behind-the-scenes stories of managing the operations side of the plumbing and electrical systems at Target.