Custodians important part of campus life
Letters to the Editor
Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 23:10
In today’s society, outsourcing and saving money is more important than the daily relationship between the custodians and college personnel. How will contracting custodians measure to the current ETSU custodians?
My rewarding moments and memories as a former ETSU custodian were made in the hallways and class rooms, and the interaction between ETSU personnel.
Friendly joshing, comparing working environments, and interactions with new employees broke the daily routine for the day.
Many long-term employees were willing to take the new employees and teach the tricks of the trade. Occasionally, jobs had to be performed as a team.
As a custodian, memories linger when performing extra duties at ETSU sports arenas.
Many days were filled with greetings from fellow co-workers that presented a sense of belonging to a team — working outside in sub-freezing temperatures removing sheets of ice from dorms and stairwells, or when outside water lines freeze and break.
At the beginning of each working shift, we would check out the restrooms for cleanliness, supplies and restock at the end of each shift.
Seasonal events, such as window cleaning, stripping and waxing floors, slipping and sliding on wax stripper added many unusual and strange dance movements.
The ultimate goal is preparing the classrooms for fall semester — we did our best to give the students a safe, clean, and serviceable working environment.
Interacting with administrators and staff support built trusting relationships in the duties of custodians.
Furthermore, learning the administrative personnel paid the physical plant for the services custodians provided, it created a concept that needed to go an extra step to perform better service.
Working relationships between student and some custodians were commendable. Occasionally custodians are willing to take foreign students on road trips to visit our surrounding areas, myself included. Some students stated they where confined to ETSU and Johnson City areas.
For a short period of time, these students were introduced to our lifestyle.
Many local citizens were willing to initiate special effort to explain to foreign students what task they were performing and why the task worked.
Accomplishing each daily task was routine service.
Custodian pay was minimum wage, and pay raises were adjusted slowly.
In some instances, the work was unrewarding with very little or no recognition for some jobs well done.
As a custodian, the work was performed with pride, satisfaction and giving our best in any working situation.
Thanks to ETSU custodians.
Professionalism results in daily effort.
— Gene “Mean Gene” Morgan