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A multilingual customer service enthusiast – and Elvis sound-alike

James Philip header no image

Since landing his first job at UT Southwestern as a courier in 1987, James Philip’s stock in trade has been making people on campus happy.

“The most fulfilling aspect of my job is helping others,” he asserts, “and putting smiles on people’s faces.”

Mr. Philip recalls one incident in particular when a driver had a flat tire on one of the parking lots. He aired up the tire and discovered it still had a nail, so he recommended that she follow him to a local auto shop.

“I didn’t understand the impact I had made until she sent a letter of thanks to my department,” he says. “It made me realize that little acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed.”

That dedication to customer service is no surprise to his co-workers, who are quick to point out Mr. Philip’s commitment and the joy that he finds in talking to people. “I think my extroverted personality allows me to engage with people about any kind of matters,” says Mr. Philip, a Parking Enforcement Officer who prides himself on helping those in need.

That said, his greatest source of joy is his family. “I have a beautiful wife and two children – one son and one daughter – who make me proud every day,” says Mr. Philip. “It energizes me to know that I can provide for my family through this job, and that I learn something new every day.”

While he wishes he were an expert at playing pool, Mr. Philip is nevertheless just as happy with his skills as a singer and keyboard aficionado. A polyglot who in addition to English speaks fluent Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi, his ultimate claim to fame is his voice.

“When I sing ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’ some people say I sound like Elvis Presley,” he says with a chuckle in his voice.

Laughter also colors his strongest memory of 35 years at UTSW. “I was on South Campus once, walking through the bird sanctuary,” he relates with a smile. “Then, a landscaper jumped out of the bushes and said ‘gotcha!’”

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