Recently I read an online article on Chron.Com’s website written by Neil Kokemuller entitled “What are the Negatives About Being a Janitor”. I must admit after reading the article, I became emotionally saddened. My first ever job in the public service 32 years ago was custodial. While I was happy for the job to put food on my table at that time, I felt being a janitor was demeaning, degrading and embarrassing. I believed the way I perceived my job at the time was influenced by the way the general public viewed the role of “cleaners”. Generally people have established a set of stereotypical ideologies where janitors and janitorial staff are concerned. These ideologies suggests that janitors and janitorial staff have no formal education, they can be found anywhere and everywhere, they possess no specialized skill-sets, they are low income earners, they are unintelligent, they do the dirty stuff that most people scorn or disdain, they are most vulnerable to be infected with diseases, they are most likely to be excluded from company’s meeting and/or events and they are the first to be fired if something goes wrong.
What COVID 19 has demonstrated and what it has singularly accomplished to date, is to change the general perceptions of the value and importance of Janitors and Janitorial Staff. Janitorial staff worldwide are now praised and respected, catapulting the profession and esteeming it as a front-line defense and essential service in the fight against the Corona Virus. In fact, the government of Trinidad and Tobago publicly commended and congratulated front-line cleaning staff at our nation’s hospitals and healthcare centers. What is interesting is, during the mid and thereafter post-Corona Covid 19 pandemic, the emphasis and relevance and importance of janitorial personnel will triple. What we do know is COVID 19 will and already have caused many business organizations to take an introspective look at the quality of Janitorial services they engage. Firms that outsourced Janitorial Services will place greater emphasis on certification and a knowledge-based approach to hiring this type of service. Firms with in-house cleaning staff will focus on training and development and that’s where the IJCSA’s role as a reputable and experience-based association takes first place.
Try and imagine if you may what would this world be without Janitors and Janitorial Staff. A pretty messy and nasty world, isn’t it? Think about what our stadiums, schools, hospitals, restaurants, public buildings, health centers, play parks, the White House, cruise ships, hotels, public transportation, airplanes, airports, ambulances, train stations, shopping malls, cinemas, cities, streets, and this list can go on and on and on will be transformed into. The absence of janitors can be the break of several pandemic since without cleaners the fatality and mortality rate due to some other outbreak can be in the millions. How does it feels entering the restroom of a restaurant and the toilets are stained and filled, the sinks are unclean, the floors are dirty, the urinals are smelly and garbage bins have not been changed. The chances of returning to that establishment is unlikely. Janitors remove that unpleasant experience and make shopping, eating out, studying or visiting the hospital pleasant.
The line of defense Janitors and janitorial staff provides in the workplace cannot be sufficiently covered in this article. The methods, procedures and know-how to keep the workplace, residential or commercial space germ-free is not known by everyone. A great many sicknesses are associated with unclean and ill maintained spaces. Janitors work to ensure commercial and other spaces are clean, sanitized and disinfected so it is safe for humans to operate with a high degree of health and safety. I do not think people generally sit and ponder the contributions being made by janitors. Janitors are essential. Janitors make us smile, they make us comfortable to go out and sit and eat and play and have fun because they keep environments clean. Janitors promotes good health and they assist in the preservation of the natural environment. Janitors are lovers of life. Janitors help keep families and the general public safe from sicknesses and outbreaks. Janitors are people with feelings, with dreams, with families, with degrees, with homes and with time to keep all our private and public spaces clean. Without janitors we wouldn’t have the International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association. Finally, Janitors are professionals. They are essential. They are important. They are us.
Conclusively, if you are a newly registered janitorial company and are looking for other companies like yourself to help you craft your business strategy, towards greater competitive advantage, you can find reputable member Janitorial companies listed in the Janitorial Directory of IJCSA at https://www.ijcsa.org/Janitorial-Service-Directory-Find-A-Janitorial-Service-JanitorialServices.