Below is a quote from the movie The Barbershop. I replaced the word “barber” with “janitor”.
“See, in my day, a janitor was more than just somebody who sit around in a FUBU shirt with his drawers hanging all out. In my day, a janitor was a counselor. He was a fashion expert. A style coach. Pimp. Just general all-around hustler. But the problem with y’all cats today, is that you got no skill. No sense of history.”
The Janitor. The person you pass in the hallway everyday. He (or she) is not exactly an international man (or woman) of mystery nor is he the ignorable ghost some treat him as. Don’t picture him as the person who dances with the dookie rather envision a vintage soul that posses a key to any problem and can polish up an issue no matter how grimy it is. From my experience it seems that status dictates the way a person is treated by others. Whether it’s the cleaning crew that details your Hummer H2, the CEO of your company or the concubine you practice making babies with every Thursday night; this mode of thought has been around ever since a social structure existed. Thus, people not having the courtesy to throw a simple “hello” to the custodian.
Personally, I didn’t always have this outlook on the janitor and janitor’est folks. Years of observing office politics gradually tuned my mind’s guitar. Office politics is a sad thing. Supervisors shining the asses of General Managers, regular office workers cutting each others throats for promotions, Corporate Auditors treating branch visits like a damn FBI raid. You would think this is Ancient Rome during a power struggle. It’s funny because in the office you can’t talk like a normal human being would. You have to hold your tongue if the person you’re talking to is known to be a snitch, a supervisor or an executive’s nephew. Who in the heck can I turn to for some normal interaction? You guessed it…The Janitor. He is the most unbiased person in your building and that is why he is the coolest person in the building. You could shoot the shit with no boundaries because he has no ties to your company. You want to throw a couple F-Bombs in your conversation? Sure, why not. Trading conversation with the janitor makes you feel like you’re on the construction yard. You need somebody to gripe to about how F’ing ignorant your boss is? The janitor will listen while he’s cleaning windows.
The janitor isn’t only an oasis of conversation, but he can also assist you during the days you are broke-or Ramen Days. If you’re running low on any bathroom supplies he is there to quarterback a few toilet paper rolls your way. If you don’t have enough money to take a girl out on a date the janitor can give you access to the roof so you could can set up a romantic candle light feeding bonanza. Bum a smoke, shoot some whiskey with him on your 15 minute break, ask him to pass a note to the cute girl/guy from the company downstairs, borrow cleaning solution when you spill ketchup on your tie. The scenarios are endless.
So next time you’re ordering a heart attack combo meal at the Burger King please be courteous to the help. It might be the deciding factor whether or not you’re going to be throwing your meal back up in a few hours.