When asked what he most enjoyed about his decade at the University of Michigan, Ed Grant, facilities assistant, replied, “Gosh, this is a hard one to answer. There are so many things. Number one: the people. Two: getting to meet people from around the world. I got quite an education.”
Grant spent 10 years working at the Kraus Natural Science Building. At the Plant Operations Call Center, they called him Ed Kraus. When he called in a building related problem, he would always say, “Hi, this is Ed. From Kraus. They shortened it up a bit to Ed Kraus.”
At Grant’s retirement party, many guests wore Hawaiian print shirts in his honor. Grant and Gary Phillips, technical services supervisor, celebrated every Friday by donning Hawaiian shirts. Grant wore a Hawaiian shirt every day of his last week on the job.
When people from outside U-M ask him what he did at the U, Grant answered in one word: “Grease. My job was to make everything run smoothly related to the operation of Kraus.”
On being retired, Grant says retirement has “its own way of thinking. Gone are the push days when you are on a timeline. Now I have time to do things I want to do or need to do. I am still very busy doing things I enjoy.” On the day of this interview, he had just bought 150 tulip bulbs that needed planting.
In a letter to his trusted coworker on his last day, Phillips wrote, “I am not sure how you did it over the years, how you were able to bring a bright smile to all of us every day. That is just one of the many things I am going to miss.
“Not only have you been a coworker, but you have been a friend. In a way you have also become a mentor to me. I can't tell you the number of times that I have watched you handle a delicate situation and said to myself, ‘I need to learn from that.’
“Thank you for your help, your wisdom, your patience, your humor, your smile, your stories, your gifts, your ideas, your strategies, your lessons on life and most of all your Hawaiian shirts.”