They call me “janitor,” “custodian,” “housekeeper,” and other designations that describe my function of emptying trash and cleaning up behind people. I prefer to focus on who I am, and what I actually do for them.

I am just like you in that I have a life, a family, a history and I believe a very important job. I like what I do for a living since it brings value to not only myself but also to the whole world. I am proud to be on the front line of providing a clean, healthy world that most people can take for granted. Although I have never saved a child from a burning building or pulled one out of the way of an oncoming car, I have saved many childrens’ lives simply by doing my job correctly and stopping contagion before it could spread.

I am not only needed for what I do but am trusted in schools, bank vaults and even the White House. Although I am usually invisible to those around me, I smile, am courteous and do not take offense. In fact, I expect to be taken for granted.

I oftentimes put my own life at risk to accomplish daily tasks that many would find beneath them. I have to know how to clean up blood spills, handle needles and glass, avoid injury from chemicals and at the end of the night, leave the area I service attractive, clean and safe for the next day’s use.

Most of the time I am not even noticed until I am not available for even a short period of time. There are companies that have had to eliminate an entire layer of management due to cutbacks and changes in the economy. Unfortunately for those people, the company goes on and they are not missed after a brief time. If I do not show up to do my job, I will be missed immediately and each day thereafter. If my position were eliminated, trash would collect, restrooms would go unclean and disease would spread rather quickly. Yes, I do more than simply empty trash. I protect, defend and serve just like an officer of the law. I am the janitor.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 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