Life Lesson #12: Be Kind to The Janitor
When I refer to the janitor, I refer to a list of jobs where the people performing the task are ignored and overlooked. This category of thankless jobs should include waitresses, store clerks, bartenders, nurses’ aides, truck drivers, and anyone considered essential personnel during the COVID lockdown. For a brief minute, it appeared people were starting to respect the labor of others. These days people forget to be kind to the janitor.
I led the list with Janitor because Rooster worked for the physical plant at a local university for 25 years. After graduating, I took a clerk position at the same university. First, I worked in the bookstore, then moved to the Welcome Center. Finally, I ended up as a parking clerk and campus police secretary. It was not uncommon for these people to be invisible to those they performed their duties for.
Be Kind to The Janitor
One second-shift janitor had a reputation for knowing everything about everyone. If you needed to know something, he was the guy to ask. The guy was a walking encyclopedia of information. His nickname was the “Nighttime Chancellor.” Nobody knew where he got all the dirt, but I suspected I knew the answer. The man took out the trash. People didn’t worry about the stuff they threw away. They knew to destroy confidential and secure data but didn’t pay attention to their personal dirt.
Another thing this guy had going for him centered around how conversations didn’t stop when he entered a room. People kept talking when while he entered a conference room or office because the man was essentially invisible. The man might have made a fortune as a blackmailer except for the fact of him being a big gossip. If he knew something, it spread around campus like wildfire.
Be Kind to The Janitor
I write this post because those who do these jobs aren’t stupid. Most of them are honest people who work hard for their money. In the university where I worked, it was a known fact that you wanted the janitor to find your valuables if you lost something important on campus. One of my duties in the campus police office was lost and found. Every day, people on the physical plant team turned in items like iPhones, laptops, and money. One guy found an envelope with fifteen hundred dollars in cash. He turned it in without giving it a second thought.
You should remember to show these people some love even when no contagious disease lurks in the atmosphere. They do important things that make your life better. Be kind to the janitor and they might be kind to you.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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