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Bronze sculptures, antique furniture, and sepia photographs quietly decorate historic Plant Hall.
But tucked away on the fourth floor: teddy bears, Mardi Gras beads, and tissue boxes adorn D.J. Eubanks’ cluttered work space. Visitors to this eclectic counter in the Bursar’s Office are greeted by her collection of knickknacks, sarcastic comic strips, flashy snapshots and school portraits.
” I have been perched up here for seven years,” Eubanks said. “I have no idea where some of this crap came from,” Eubanks gets most of the trinkets from students, coworkers, and friends. A ceramic jar labeled “Ashes of Wimps ‘ Whiners” sits in her niche of the bulky geometric partition that separates teller from customer.
“Don’t pull the top off of that jar. It is so full it will make a big mess,” Eubanks said. Dolls depicting silly old ladies oversee the important business that is conducted at this counter. Eubanks, an Accounts Receivable Service Representative in the Bursar’s Office, parades all of her 12 grandchildren across her desk in frames.
But she says dealing with money can bring the worst out in people. Eubanks and the other two cashiers say they use humor around the office to de-stress. “We get about seven to 10 criers during a busy week,” said co-worker Phil Sousa. He mocks a whining student. “But I didn’t get a bill.”
“The best one is ‘I know my dad paid that’,” Nancy Feliciano chimed in.
A moment of laughter relieved the afternoon grind. “This is actually fun and challenging,” Feliciano said.
“It is the most stressful, most fun office to be in,” admitted Eubanks with a smirk.
“She is totally not what you would expect from someone who has those kinds of sayings everywhere,” UT student Lisa-Gaye Shakespeare said.
“The lady with the long hair and the long fingernails is always so nice and friendly.”