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Published January 17, 2011, 12:00 AM

It's My Job: Attending to business

Parking-ramp job allows man to relax a little
Even at 81 years old, Walt Seeba has no intention of leaving his job as a booth attendant at Fargo’s Radisson Hotel parking ramp anytime soon.

By: Heidi Shaffer, INFORUM

Even at 81 years old, Walt Seeba has no intention of leaving his job as a booth attendant at Fargo’s Radisson Hotel parking ramp anytime soon.

Seeba says his family of 10 grown children and wife of almost 60 years is what keeps him working the almost full-time job he’s held for 19 years.

After working as a corporate manager for J.C. Penney for 33 years, Seeba was ready for a job with fewer pressures.

After reaching retirement age, “I thought, ‘Oh, to heck with it. I’m getting out of working hard,’ ” Seeba said with a laugh.

The Parking Services job allows Seeba to keep up on at least three daily newspapers and other reading in between his booth duties, which require more than just taking tickets.

Seeba is often one of the first Fargo faces visitors see after arriving in the area, and he sometimes serves as a liaison to the city, offering directions and maybe a quick story or two.

Many of the ramp’s permits go to daily users, who know Seeba by name.

Do you meet a lot of interesting people at work?

Yeah, I do. I’ve met people from my past in here. I saw (former Minnesota Gov.) Rudy Perpich. I saw Kevin McHale, who was a great pro-basketball player from Hibbing (Minn.). He came through here many, many years ago when the Timberwolves came through.

What is your favorite part of the job?

People. When I got through my real life of work, I was tired of corporate management … I thought, I don’t want to do it anymore. I’ve had my fill of pressure. I thought I want to do something that’s damn near like not working. This is the closest thing I could find. I don’t lift anything heavy. … I just sit here.

Is there any part of the job you don’t enjoy?

When you disappoint people and say, ‘You can’t park here.’ It isn’t that I don’t like you or you’re not our type or anything. It’s just that we have 250 spaces, and there are 250 cars in here. What can I do? So that’s kind of the only downer.

When does your day start?

I gotta get the doors unlocked by 7 o’clock. Then I go get a cup of coffee, and I sit here until about quarter to 12; then I go over to the Sons of Norway and have lunch. … Then I go home at about 1 o’clock to my little darling wife and get my nap at 2. The two of us have our dinner around 5, 6, and life goes on that way. It’s not bad at all.

What is the busiest part of the day?

Usually the busiest things are when we have a wedding reception in the hotel. Those generally occur on Friday or Saturday nights.

Do the cold temperatures ever get to you in the winter?

I’ve got the heater on maximum. You can feel drafts, but I keep my dear old Bison jacket on, and I need that to keep warm.

Do you ever kind of feel like the Fargo welcoming committee?

In a way I do. So I try to be positive because I’m a salesman for the hotel, and I’m a salesman for Fargo.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511


To submit an idea for “It’s My Job,” e-mail businessnews@forumcomm.com.

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