A reader writes: “I have been a floor tech and janitor for over 40 years and am not impressed with all these changes and new policies. What’s wrong with the way we have always done it?”

First of all, I commend you for staying in this vocation, which has certainly changed a lot in the last forty years since you swung your first mop. Most of all, I appreciate your work ethic and taking pride in a job well done. As I jokingly tell my classes “I have hugged about as many toilets as you have and I was sober most of the time.”

I, too, have been in the “business” for close to 40 years and agree that some of the changes have not necessarily been for the best; especially if executed improperly by well-meaning people. The focus on “faster, better, cheaper” has caused a lot of angst when a low bid gave the customer what they were actually paying for. The ever-increasing rise in myriad regulations and standards has caused more than one cleaning service to fail under the load of paperwork necessary to be in compliance.

Having noted that not all change is good, I believe that many of the so-called “old ways” were not good either. You and I both remember 26 percent bowl acid, using bleach and pine scent to clean and hauling around a 60-pound vacuum cleaner that gave us both carpal tunnel syndrome. We both have a cough from breathing in too many fumes from strippers and carpet cleaning products that are now banned. We both have scars and skin rashes that are the result of chemicals that should never have been marketed to us in the first place.

We have to take the good with the bad and I believe that an attitude of embracing (good well thought out) change is a key to longevity and success.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net