Getting to Know Rudy ‘Fearless’ Fernandez – A Coworker’s Perspective
A few days ago, I was put on the spot and asked what I know about my coworker, Rudy 'Fearless' Fernandez. After only a few seconds to think about my answer, I stated the obvious. Everybody who has worked with Rudy for more than a few months knows that he is an extremely energetic person, a man who puts high priority on family and faith, and has a soft spot in his heart for children. He also loves animals, has an impressive gun collection and tells bad jokes. In my answer, I also mentioned that he just bought a truck that is "ridiculous", but most people think it's the coolest thing in the world.
Even after I finished my answer, I kept thinking to myself, "What else do I know about Rudy? There has to be a deeper answer.", and there is. Here are a few things I've learned about Rudy Fernandez in the two years I've worked alongside him that many folks may not know.
Let's be honest. Rudy Fernandez has only one arm. Yet, despite this obvious fact, he manages to accomplish twice as much as me and many of his coworkers. He doesn't work faster than anyone, or more efficiently. In fact, some would argue that he's just the opposite. But he always finishes his work, spends time with his family, attends a couple fundraisers and follow all of that by asking "what can I do for you?". The only logical conclusion is that Rudy does not sleep, and you will never convince me otherwise.
There are people who are prepared for emergencies, and then there is Rudy. Rudy is emergency preparedness on steroids, and he is certain that he is going to need to utilize his resources at some point in time. If the characters in any of the Evil Dead movies were half as prepared as Rudy seems to be, the film franchise would be reduced to a short instructional film about how to re-kill dead people.
On a personal note, I'm very grateful that Rudy has assured me that my family and I are welcome to join him in his arms and MRE-stocked bunker. That's very sweet of him.
To me, this is probably of the most puzzling attribute to Rudy's complex - yet simple - personality. The man is a huge Wisconsin Badgers fan, even though he's never lived in Wisconsin. He's never shown that he is a huge sports fan. And there is no evidence around his office (no Bucky Badger coffee mug, autographed Barry Alvarez picture on the wall or Wisconsin trash can). Rudy also rarely talks about college sports.
But every once in a while, he goes crazy. He gets a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, and starts singing the Wisconsin Fight Song at the top of his lungs, or going off about how he ran into another hardcore Badger Backer at the Home Depot. Then five minutes later, he's back to normal, as if the conversation never happened.
I just don't get it.
Everyone on the north side of the Townsquare Media-Abilene building knows this to be fact. You see, when Rudy isn't listening to find the next hit country record, you stand a good chance of hearing the music of 'Old Blue Eyes' blaring from his office.
Hearing Rudy sing "My Kind of Town" or "I've Got You Under My Skin" at the top of his lungs over his already blaring computer speakers is a special treat.
If you've ever spoken on the phone with Rudy, you have heard one of the two ways he signs off. "Love you, mean it, bye." is one. "Ok, God bless, buh-bye." is the other.
It took me a while to figure out exactly what he was saying, because when Rudy gets ready to hang up the phone, his signature phrases come out more like "Loveyoumeanitbye" and "OkayGodblessbuhbye". All one sloppy word.
I've recently made it a challenge to beat Rudy to the punch and use his own goodbye's against him, then quickly hang up the phone before he can get the last word in. I can't tell if he gets a kick out of it or hates it when I do that, but I enjoy making fun of Rudy too much to care.