Community Voice: Janitor’s Rant

A Tale of Two Cities, a left-foot sneaker, a wilted rose, the periodic table, a moldy sandwich, a graphing calculator, wads of already-chewed gum, Brinkley’s American History: A Survey, smelly T-shirts, Eastside issues, countless pens, pencils, erasers, scraps of paper, a cell phone, malodorous socks, Romeo and Juliet, report cards, crumpled tests, sweatshirts, jackets.

The list goes on and on. What do the aforementioned items have in common? The above list includes my regular findings. As your custodian, I encounter these items on a daily basis, and carry out the appropriate procedure, fitted to the item found. Old papers get recycled, clothes go to the lost and found, books go back to classrooms, and miscellaneous refuse goes to the metal, cylindrical files. This part of my job becomes fairly routine.

But occasionally, the things I find are truly unusual. In a stairwell, I once found an elaborate system of pulleys cleverly concealed behind the staircase, used to transport backpacks that outweigh the human weight-bearing capacity. I’ve also found numerous species of stuffed animals. The other day, while emptying trash cans several hours after school had ended, I heard muffled voices coming from somewhere. Following the sounds, I came upon a group of students huddled around several opened books, and when I asked why they were still in school, they only muttered something that sounded like a jumble of chemistry, biology and physics.

As a custodian here at East, I never know what (or who) I may run into.