Wednesday, October 3, 2012

National Custodial Workers Day

Yesterday was National Custodial Workers Day, according to my calendar of random holidays. This, and the recent actions of my ceramics teacher started me thinking about something my mom taught me.

My taught school for decades, including the years that we lived in Mississippi in a time when racial segregation was still frequently observed. Much of the custodial staff was black and often times overlooked by many of the white teachers and administrators. Mom, however, always spoke with the staff when they would come to sweep her room. She made the effort to get to know them. She let them know that she appreciated the job that they did and they respected her for that. This is when I learned the importance of appreciating all people. Mom never had a problem when something in her room needed to be fixed or moved, as the folks that would perform these menial tasks were willing to go the extra yard to help her out because of the way she treated them.

I recently saw this same attitude in my ceramics teacher. As we were walking to the classroom, we met one of the custodial staff at the school. My instructor introduced herself, made certain that she remembered the person's name, and apologized for the state of her room and thanked the cleaning lady for the work that is done.

I try to do that in the office as well. I try to smile at our custodial staff. I say hello and goodbye to them. I try and stay out of their way when they are in the midst of a task as they have a job to do. I think it is important that we acknowledge all of fellow humans on this earth as we all have worth.


Sara said...


Jay said...

Double Amen!! You learn real good, girl!!! And that was one of those unintentional lessons I was unaware of giving at the time!! Thanks!

Diane said...

I agree. everyone wants to be acknowledged and appreciated. I always say hi to the lady who cleans our office, I am sad to say I don't know her name.

Jane said...

Every one has to belong :-