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Brooms, Mops, Dust Pans Oh My

The in-and-outs of being a Janitor, and the conflicts that may come along with it.

“If you don’t do well in school you’ll become a janitor.”

This is a joke that has been made by many people in this modern society. This joke has been a subconscious reminder to people who do the jobs and take the responsibility of being the ‘caretakers’ of the building.

Janitor–often misconstrued with a negative connotation– has a new meaning at South.

Larry Jones, a Former Ford employee, is now a Janitor. Some might believe that Jones downgraded completely, and must’ve spiraled into some kind of downward crisis, which is why he has the occupation that he does, but Jones thinks rather contrary thoughts.

“I’ve worked with Ford for most of my life, and retired after I believed I got everything I could from that job.I took a year off to play and came back to ultimately start working in custodial services,” said Jones.

Many people often believe that janitors are janitors because of some unfortunate circumstance and also because they can’t find other jobs. Jones is one of the many outliers, and has not really followed the stereotype that many people give janitors.

“I just wanted a little more added income to my retirement, and it’s fun being around the kids, they keep me young.” said Jones

Dana Boschert, another well known Custodian at  South says she got the job because she wanted to be close to her kids and she just loved the district overall.

South has been known for its warm and welcoming environment, and the custodial staff here says they definitely feel it.

“It’s (Park Hill South) pretty laid back… not a whole lot of stress to the job.” said Jones.

“The Park Hill School district is great to work for, the staff is awesome and the kids are great,” said Boshert.

Some people believe that Janitors don’t have their own lives, outside cleaning the school and maintaining the building, but Jones and Boschert once again has proved that they are one of the many contradictions.

“I go cycling, and I also really enjoy running, just doing lots of physical activity,” said Jones.

“I own a bakery, we make custom made wedding cakes there, its called Dana’s Sugar Rush.I just loved getting the opportunity to do something I love, while still making some extra money on the side here.” said Boschert.

The students continuously know that the janitors do a lot of work to keep the school functioning, but have they stopped to question what the janitors actually do on a day-to-day basis?

“We’re here about a quarter to six, we unlock the building, turn the lights on, and then we just keep an eye on the commons area, making sure it’s clean. After that we just do smaller jobs like delivering mail, helping teachers out, all kinds of things,” said Jones

One of the biggest reasons why the job title janitor has such negative connotations is because of the many stereotypes people often assume, Jones says those particular stereotypes don’t really bother him, and he continues to do his job because he knows who he is. Boschert also generally feels like there is a stereotype, but she avoids it as best as she can, and continues to the do her job to the fullest.

Janitors are more than just people that keep the school clean, they are well rounded in all aspects of their lives. Now when you think about making the joke

“If you don’t do well in school you’ll become a janitor,” think about the things they do everyday, why they have the job and maybe that might change your thinking.