By staff writer J.M. Lucci
Today we salute you, Dormitory Janitorial Staff. All year long, you wage an endless war upon the wastelands we, the students, impose upon your warded halls. From all manner of bodily fluids to fluids of unknown origin, you mop, sweep, dust, and polish our living quarters without as much as a retort. You lurk in the shadows of the mid-morning hue, scrubbing down the showers so we may clean ourselves another day; our only alarm to your presence is the serenading hum of a vacuum cleaner pulling its way up and down our thread-bare hallway. You, the valiant custodians of cleanliness, are the unsung heroes of the campus lifestyle. So crack open an ice cold (brand name beer), oh usurper of used urinal cakes, and relax as I compose an opus worthy of your praise.
It’s five o’ clock, military standard. The sun has scarcely risen from its natural blanket. Streaks of amber and hazel pass through the windows of your designated dormitory. Your day has begun. Reload your spray bottles with pinks and blues, bust out the push-cart, crank up the industrial-strength wet/dry vacuum and have at it.
The hallway is perhaps the essential piece of the janitorial puzzle. When it’s clean, the residents are grateful for not having to sidestep the pools of vomit or beer (remnants of last night’s festivities). If dirty and stained, expect grumbles and grunts from half-dead alcoholics as they shoulder-surf down the walls. Ignore them—you are above pettiness from their kind.
Take pride in your care of the hallway, because it is the standard by which all other areas are judged. Foreign stains and solid trash are your foes. Execute Janitorial Justice upon the wicked and ensure a safe haven for students to traverse without fear of the unpleasantness they created. After all, no one wants to stomp through shit just to get to the shitter.
The Communal Bathroom
The second stop and guaranteed black cat of any janitor’s routine. The Hallway was a warm-up compared to the CB. Have no fear, janitors of lore, because you have the one tool that can vanquish the evil within: the mop. Yes, the mop. Slosh that oh-so-fragrant water/bleach mixture on the tiled floor and put your back into it. The water/bleach is a deadly weapon against filthy students’ fluids and waste. Whether it’s crusty urine, cheese-like vomit, blood, or just hair clippings from last night’s in-house rendition of Barbershop, the mop and bleach combo will cleanse the path to purity.
Showers must be scrubbed for mold, showerheads and faucets scrapped of mineral buildup, and sinks cleared of food that didn’t quite fit through the drain. Trash cans must be replaced with fresh bags, the old hauled away; their contents an insight into yesterday’s world. An endless waltz across once white floors—dutiful performances by you and your troupe of caretakers. Our standing ovation to this routine is the repetition of past mistakes and drinking to excess; after all, we don’t want you out of work.
Fear not, we have not forgotten your attentiveness to the stalls. Most dorm students have an unspoken consensus amongst themselves that there is one, perhaps two preferable, heavily trafficked stalls for the hall. These stalls are rarely, if ever, desecrated for fear the users may have to settle for a “shitty” stall.
Thank you for promoting this logic by doing substandard (a necessary evil) work on these “shitty” stalls and making spotless the preferred latrines of your residents. We would be lost without your guidance.
The Laundry Room
Nobody likes this place. Even your comrades-in-hygiene agree that this room deserves neglect for its inherent insolence. What insolence, you say? If you do not know, you are not a janitor (or a slightly insane writer).
The Floor Lounge
The last bastion of space and demi-comfort for the majority of dormitories. Depending on the financial standing of your university or college, this environment varies. Undoubtedly, there is at least one soft chair/couch in the room, a table, and perhaps a television. For you ushers of unpolluted unity, this room is the cool-down after a hard morning in the halls and bathrooms. Spray everything with the clear, lemony bottle, flip the cushions, and vacuum the Doritos out from under the three-legged table. You may have to bust out the purple bottle and touch up the jizz stains on the armrest of the couch from time to time, but it will be worth it in the end.
While they may not thank you directly (even eye contact with your illustrious ilk is discouraged by those pitiful lapdogs from the Student Government), the students under your care will nevertheless be beholden for the cleanliness of their dormitories. In closing, I personally would like to thank you once again, Dormitory Janitorial Staff, for all of the hard work you put into keeping our dorm looking just like it did when it opened—dull, uninviting, and completely sterile.
Viva la sanitation!