School custodial staffers are some of the most undervalued people working today.
Without them, our kiddos would go to school in terrible conditions, and far too often, they aren’t paid enough and are looked down upon. Being a janitor or custodian is hard work and it involves dealing with some of the most unpleasant aspects of life.
In a school setting with unpredictable kids, this can be an especially difficult job. I don’t think anyone would question it if a custodian wanted to complain about the puke or other bodily fluids they have to put up with on a daily basis, but one janitor wants the world to know why he actually loves his job.
One of the students Harry sees every day asked him how he can deal with the grosser aspects of his work, and he had the perfect answer for her.
The full text of his post is so inspiring. He writes:
My name is Harry, I’m the Head Custodian at an elementary school in St. Louis, MO. This is the conversation I recently had with a sixth grader waiting in the carpool line with her mother.
Little Girl: ‘Do you like being a custodian?’
Me: ‘Yes, I love it!’
Little Girl: ‘But, you have to clean up puke, that’s so gross. How can you do that?’
True, that isn’t the most glamorous part of my job, but I do love it. We’re there to do so much more than clean! Building relationships and providing the kids with a safe, clean, and friendly environment is my favorite part of the job.
I’m reminded of a few weeks ago when a child had a meltdown at lunchtime and was laying on the floor crying. The principal was sitting on the floor trying to convince the child to get up and get to a calmer place with no luck. As I walked by the doorway, I saw what was going on and tried to help. Not quite sure how but, it worked. I got the child to come out into the hall with me and then walk with me up to the conference room. (Child is blacked out to protect their privacy). I later found out our principal snapped a photo.
This is the reason I love my job. This is the reason what I do matters. I’m here for a reason.