Of all the interviews I’ve done for the HireQuest Direct News – this one was especially memorable – I found someone with whom I had tons in common. Clayton Harris joined me for an interview on a Friday afternoon after a long week of hard work. Although I hadn’t heard his name before, I already knew his face from walking to and from the car at work. He’s one of those guys who’s always got a warm smile ready for you, no matter where.
We sat down to business and I was curious about someone who had apparently really proven himself on one of HireQuest Direct’s longstanding job-sites: The new Omni Hotel downtown.
TLN: I’ve heard you’ve been working hard.
CH: Yeah, pretty steady. I got a repeat ticket (request to return to a job) and I’ve worked every day from July 2 to the present – with the same company – McKenney’s over at the Omni hotel. I work Monday through Friday and a few Saturdays too.
TLN: Yeah, I’d call that steady. What kind of work are you doing?
CH: I do mechanical work – McKenney’s doing all the heating and air conditioning at the Omni.
TLN: Was this your first job through HireQuest Direct?
CH: No, I’ve worked for HireQuest Direct off and on since 2008. In fact, I’ve known Natalie (Natalie Morton, HireQuest Direct sales associate) that long. She’s a good person. My real trade is roofing, (shy grin) and she will tell you I’m one of the best roofers there are.
TLN: Where are you from, Clayton?
CH: I’m from Greenville South Carolina. But I’ve been in Nashville since August of ’95… and did a short time in Atlanta.
TLN: What did you think of Atlanta?
CH: Overgrown. Not enough space for the people – it’s congested. No, I like Nashville. I love Nashville. Nashville’s laid back.
(apologetically) I’m not into the country music thing though – but I like the rockin’ country… and some hip-hop. But I’m more old school. You know what I’m saying?… but it’s all good.
TLN: Somehow it always gets into music! OK, “old school” – you mean some of that Detroit sound?
Ch: Yeah! You’re talking about Motown. Man, let me tell you something – every weekend, especially on Saturday morning, I love my Motown. I grew up listening to it. I like the Temptations, Gladys Knight, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas… and the J Five.
TLN: Smokey doing Tracks of My Tears is one of my all-time favs! So do you sing?
CH: (laughing out loud) No! But I can dance… I love to dance! Put me on some Motown…!
TLN: Hey, I can tell it’s Friday afternoon. Clayton, do you have a favorite quote or advice or something you want to share with our readers?
CH: (thoughtful) Yeah, sometimes you gotta crawl before you walk. And you gotta count your blessings. You know a lot of people right now would love to have my job.
TLN: Oh I know it.
CH: And here’s something else: HireQuest Direct is a heckuva place to work for. Never had any problem with them. The way I look at it is, you’ve just got to come to work and you’ll do fine.
TLN: Yup. Clayton, tell me about the Omni – I haven’t been down there yet.
CH: The Omni hotel is a 5-star hotel, top of the line. McKenney’s has the contract down there too … it’s said to be a big one. The hotel’s not open yet, but it’s getting close. When it does, it’s gonna be all right.
TLN: What else? I can see you’re wanting to say something else.
CH: Do me a favor and tell all your readers this. You gotta count your blessings. And tell Jolene she’s ‘cool and the gang’ with me. I’m just real people and I’m grateful to be working. I wake up every day thankful to have a job. And I have a conversation with him (he points upwards) each morning before I walk out the door. We have our conversations. I’m thankful for my VA housing too. He’s blessed me.
TLN: I didn’t know you’re a Vet!?
CH: Yes I am.
TLN: Then I’m especially honored to have met with you today. Thanks, Clayton.