Every other month, Random Profile spotlights a stochastically chosen staff member. This month we profile Tamra Eubank, housing and relocation coordinator with Human Resources.
Tamra Eubank. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)
What she does all day:
Tamra helps visitors and their families to find housing in Boulder for periods of a few days to a year or more. Well before each visitor arrives, Tamra is in touch with them, finding out what they need in the way of square footage, location, and the like. She consults her own file of housing listings (many of them offered by UCAR/NCAR/UOP staff) as well as newspaper ads, then serves as liaison between the landlord and visitor-to-be once the right place is found. "It usually takes several weeks to locate a place and finish the negotiations." Most visitors end up leasing a place sight unseen, although a few get to town first and then seek housing.
The best thing about her job:
No broken pipes to deal with. Tamra worked in property management for a spell before she joined NCAR in April 1997 as an administrative assistant and then became the housing coordinator early this year. "This is like the fun part of property management"--the negotiations and the matching of client with property, as opposed to maintenance tasks. "It's a fantastic job for me."
How much is "whatever the market will bear" these days?
Typically, a short-term rental that's fully furnished will start at $500-600 for a room in a house, $700-900 for a one-bedroom basement setup, and $900-1300 for a one-bedroom apartment. "It goes up from there, depending on how nice it is and how close it is [to the UCAR facility hosting the visitor]. I always try to give people a full range of choices. Most of the time when people see the price difference they say, 'Oh, I don't mind sharing a house.' The hardest thing in summer is that we have a lot of families--one or two children, sometimes a pet."
On the road:
Tamra's had wanderlust since childhood. She grew up in north Denver, close to Westminster ("what used to be the suburbs"). "When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was travel and get away." Tamra worked at a travel agency for several years before meeting Chuck Eubank, a scientist at NOAA. Then her real travels began, thanks in part to Chuck's involvement in ozone field campaigns across the Southern Hemisphere. She and Chuck went to Tahiti for their honeymoon and to Australia and South America for field work. Tamra also joined Chuck during his three-year visiting scientist position in Germany.
Not exactly swimming with dolphins:
After a field campaign near Punta Arenas, Chile, Tamra and Chuck took a holiday in Brazil. One morning, while swimming in the Amazon, they noticed fish that looked distressingly familiar. "Aren't those piranha?" they asked a local. "Oh yes," he responded, "but they don't bite unless you're bleeding."
The biggest party she's ever attended:
Germany during reunification. "We were there when the Berlin Wall came down. It was awesome. The whole mood of the country was just insane. There was some major partying going on."
The years of living entrepreneurially:
In 1992, shortly after Chuck completed his master's degree in electrical engineering, he and Tamra founded Cetek Systems. "We did circuit board design and assembly. He did the design, I did the assembly." The experiment lasted three years. "It was great being self-employed, but neither one of us are great businesspeople. He decided he was ready to get out of it and get back to NOAA."
Tamra loves reading, mostly philosophy. "I've just started rereading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance [the 1970s classic by Robert Pirsig]. It's one of my favorite books. I try to reread it every couple of years." To help keep her German brushed up, she's also reading a bilingual version of Faust.
There's no place like home:
Tamra is happy to be near family in the area where she grew up. "Living in Germany and Florida really helped me see what was important. My grandfather is getting older, and my parents aren't going to be around forever." Tamra typically joins her folks for dinner at least once a week.
Error in predicting her own matrimony:
Twenty years. "My husband and I both said we'd never get married till our forties. I got married at 22. We both wanted to join the Peace Corps, but I didn't have a college degree, so I couldn't get in except as a spouse." Then Chuck's stint in Germany put the joint adventure on hold. "Now we're thinking of the Peace Corps as our retirement plan." Bob Henson
If you have a room, apartment, or house that you'd like to consider renting to a visitor, contact Tamra at ext. 8719,
firstname.lastname@example.org. The greatest demand is during summer.