I believe in janitors. The so-called “upper class” has such a demand for clean facilities that a full time position is necessary in order to fulfill the expectations of people who are “important.” We always mention how clean a place is. An establishment’s cleanliness often reflects its success within a society. But how often is the janitor thanked for keeping a place looking nice?
In reality, how clean an office building is has nothing to do with the quality of work that is done by the people working their. A clean office building means that the company employs one or more hard working janitors. The people wearing dress shirts and ties could be horrible at their jobs, but they are in business because the janitor maintains a clean image for them. When is the last time that a janitor got a raise as a result of a big sale that was made? I’ll venture to guess never. However, the overall cleanliness of the facility may have been the deciding factor on the opposite end of the transaction, and the janitor is owed a great debt of gratitude. It’s hard for me to believe that a man at a desk, wearing a tie, and dealing with paperwork all day is supposedly better than a man or woman who cleans for a living.
When we go to the hospital, we expect a clean atmosphere. A place dealing with sick people should be sanitary. To accommodate this need, janitors spend every single day mopping floors, scrubbing toilets, cleaning windows, and completing all of the seemingly menial tasks which make a hospital look as spot free as we, the patients, expect it to be. In a grimy environment, a patient’s surroundings play a great role in their recovery. Dirty surroundings can cause low moral and yield slow recovery. Yet, the doctor is thanked for a patient’s speedy recovery.
So, go to college. Read all of those books that you won’t remember. Go to parties and meet new people. Gain all of those experiences that come with higher level education, but when you get a job, and you’re working hard every day, don’t forget to thank the janitor for keeping your workplace looking so nice, and when you go home and spill coffee on your carpet or your sink gets clogged and you don’t know what to do, remember that the janitor can and will solve your problem without even batting an eye, while you stress out over paperwork all day.
Who is the real hero? Is it the American working man with an office job and a closet full of business suits? Or, is it the janitor, who has a closet for an office and a throng of jumpsuits for his wardrobe? If it was up to me, the janitor would be making a six figure salary, which he would never complain about, and the men and woman in the offices, with the suits and the ties, would be working overtime to make their cut, because they would never spend a day elbow-deep in chemicals to make their business look good.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.