April 24, 2019

My Days at O&G: Lynn Robotham, Time Artist

“My Days at O&G” profiles employees around the company working at unusual jobs every day.

She had left O&G after temping directly out of college. She did not intend to return. But when, a few years later, having worked elsewhere, a recruiter told her about a great position at a construction company in Torrington that would utilize her skill set, she just had to laugh and head back.

Robotham is a contract administrator for the Building Division. She works in a second-floor corner office, spacious and light, with a view of Troy Brook passing a pencil’s throw away. She shares the space with fellow contract administrator Joann Schleker, performing a passel of behind-the- scenes tasks that keep the Division’s projects orderly and in compliance with regulations.

Her contract administration duties are steady year round, even when projects slow in the winter. Weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports issue from her office for her share of ongoing jobs in the Division as well as those in the Special Projects Group, the Industrial Projects Group and all general construction projects. Certified payroll, processing payments to contractors, dealing with insurance agents, reviewing contract bonds, reviewing the insurance compliance of contractors, handling bids, setting up budgets and schedules of values for every project, change orders, reimbursements, backup for project managers in the field – “We’re just all-around help, it’s what we do,” she says. (Administrative Assistant Lynn Besanceney is an indispensable support to Robotham’s productive little department, as is after-school, part-time temp Tabitha Stadler).

Last March Robotham was selected to represent the Building Division’s interests in the herculean Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)   conversion – the changeover to a computer system that will integrate the management of all of O&G’s ventures. While she insists that her part was not as large as others’ it nonetheless required that she further finely slice her available time. Much of her involvement, outside of planning and meetings, meant combing through (validating) all the project data entered for the Building Division. It would be key to launching her portion of ERP with accuracy. She was pleased with what she didn’t find. After validating 127 pages of vendor data, she spotted only two errors. And now that ERP is launched she is eager to master her piece of the new system and is anticipating more gains in efficiency.

And then came Christmas. Leading a small but merry band, Robotham heads an annual toy drive, soliciting, reminding, tallying, collecting and delivering hundreds of Christmas presents: this year over 500 were given to 130 children and young people through the Torrington Area Youth Services Bureau. In 2010 she jumped in, mid-stream, when the annual toy drive at O&G lost its coordinator. “The gifts were coming in, there was no stopping it, so I picked it up and ran with it,” she says. Every year since, with corporate blessing, she has run the toy drive. One of “her guys,” Pete Yablonski in Bridgeport Repair and Maintenance, wanted to break his record and took 30 names this past Christmas. She’s working on finding more guys like Pete, who oversee the employees Robotham cannot readily contact, to get the word out so all O&G employees are able to give. “O&G people are so generous,” she says. Her heart’s desire is to see that every needy child and teen gets something at Christmas. “I’m just here to help provide,” she says. Indeed.


Lynn Robotham, who has worked under the same job title but with increasing responsibilities and in expanding capacities since she began with the company, for the second time, 20 years ago, is an artist of managing her time.