I receive a lot of feedback on my articles. Most are questions pertaining to a specific cleaning process. But every now and then, I get a comment about our industry as a whole. I recently received an email that could only be interpreted as belittling the work that we do in the cleaning industry.

This readers comment implied that I often make too much out of the work that we do. That janitorial work is as simple as “pulling trash, dusting a little and goofing off.” To this, I have the following reply:

I regret that you have such a negative view of a profession that goes back to ancient Greece and Rome. As I understand it name Janus was a god with a face looking in both directions at the same time. Janus is the word for door or gateway and was of great significance in Roman culture. An arch or gateway had two sides (faces) and it was considered good luck for the Roman armies to go through in a certain way for anticipated victory. We also get our month, January from this word since he was considered first of gods and he was celebrated January 8th each year. From this beginning he was considered the keeper of the keys in the Roman household and was responsible for the safety and health of that home. His functions included keeping the home clean and inviting for the owners as well as for guests who may visit.

For those of you who are just janitors, please consider the significance of your title and celebrate your place in history. You perform a necessary function that protects the health and welfare of not only this country but people throughout the world. We will never know how many lives have been saved over the years because you took the time to sanitize/disinfect a touch point, swept a floor or simply emptied the trash.

In paraphrasing Martin Luther King who is reported to have stated: “If you are going to sweep a street (or be a janitor – my words), do it to the best of your ability.” Thanks to all the janitors/custodian/service providers who show up every day for the rest of us.

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