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A Day in the Life – JEM Director of Maintenance – Ethan Barba

My day starts at 5:30am with the sound of a very obnoxious alarm. Generally, one or two times hitting the snooze button occurs, at which point I roll out of bed to start my day.

My day starts at 5:30am with the sound of a very obnoxious alarm. Generally, one or two times hitting the snooze button occurs, at which point I roll out of bed to start my day. My wife is usually still asleep so I try to be as quiet as possible (you don’t want to wake a mama bear). After brushing my teeth, getting dressed, putting my eyes in (contacts), and then putting on some deodorant, I’m ready. I then take time to pray over my family, and give my wife and son a kiss, before making my coffee. I don’t like to drink hot coffee, but I do make the perfect iced coffee, if I do say so myself. The key is getting the ratios right; 1 cup of coffee to 10 cups of French vanilla creamer.

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My drive to Sole Mia Lagoon is only 20 miles, so you might be asking why I leave so early. Well, living in Fort Lauderdale and driving to North Miami is not always easy with all the crazy Floridian drivers that we have, especially on 95. So, I give myself extra time as a buffer to ensure that I’m never late. I get into work by 6:30am and that gives me some peace and quiet before encountering what the day has to offer.

Depending on what day of the week it is, I will either have meetings, assist with operations, or do maintenance work. The maintenance at Sole Mia Lagoon, which is almost 7 acres and 14.5 million gallons of water, deals with a lot of cleaning. We also do preventative maintenance on our pumps, filters, and maxis. With Sole Mia’s amazing staff in place handling the day-to-day cleaning and being proactive, I have time to work on other projects that JEM has for the maintenance department.

JEM has three other locations that have maintenance—North Lauderdale, Chicago, and Denver. The leadership and their teams at each of these locations are extremely well trained and knowledgeable of their equipment, so rarely do I receive a call for emergencies or major issues. However, we are in constant communication through our WhatsApp chat. After the work day is done, a slightly longer drive home awaits with 5 o’clock traffic in North Miami.

Once I get home, I try to spend some quality time with my family. Sometimes it’s going to the park or just relaxing on the couch and catching up on our days. Maybe a little wrestling with Tommy, to get his energy out while Faith starts getting dinner ready. She is an amazing cook and we usually try to eat dinner around 6:00pm. I’m pretty basic when it comes to meals and always try to have a protein and vegetables for dinner. My favorite is actually chicken with smashed potatoes (yes, smashed) and a spinach mozzarella salad. After dinner, we always relax, typically with a movie or TV show, and Faith will either watch or read a book depending on what’s playing. Tommy falls asleep around 8:30pm and Faith and I continue our relaxing and quality time. I always take a hot shower before going to sleep to tell my body it’s time for bed. As soon as my head hits the pillow I’m out. The only thing that will wake me up is my obnoxious alarm at 5:30am the next morning. Then I do it all over again.

By: Ethan Barba

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