When a tornado virtually leveled his campus, Brad Johnson turned to a fellow in-plant manager to help him print his college's documents.
When the tornado hit, it hit hard.
Like a chainsaw, it tore through the once-serene campus of Gustavus Adolphus College, tearing up trees, smashing buildings and inflicting some $68 million in damage on the St. Peter, Minn.-based school.
When Brad Johnson got a look at the wreckage the next morning, he couldn't believe his eyes.
"I was in shock," recalls the director of printing services. "I've never seen anything like it. It was one of the hardest moments of my life."
Especially painful was the fact that the roof of his in-plant had been torn apart and the rain was pouring in, drenching his printing equipment—including a new Xerox 5800. Johnson knew that if he were going to save the shop, he and his staff of three full-timers and 14 part-timers would have to act quickly.
"We had to pick this whole shop up and move it—in a week," he says. Equipment had to be dismantled and then shuttled into warehouses. Rain-damaged supplies had to be thrown out.
"We lost about $30,000 worth of paper," Johnson laments.
And then came the toughest task of all—getting the printing done. That was when Johnson learned how important it is to have good neighbors.
Over at nearby Mankato State university, Doug Fenske, director of printing and photocopy services, had heard about Johnson's catastrophe. He offered to do the printing for Adolphus—on top of his in-plant's own workload.
Without a word of complaint, his staff of 12 full-timers pitched in to do the extra work. Fenske rearranged schedules to keep the presses running during breaks. He even ran the equipment himself at times—all in the name of being a good neighbor.