25 Reasons Why I Dreamed of Being a High School Janitor
This janitor is really happy in his work
I remember Archie
If you think that this is a comedy offering, you are sadly mistaken. If you have followed by “Journey Through Hubville,” then you will automatically-realize that most of my works have hidden values, dreams, and unconfessed intent of the heart. It just requires a little work from the reader to find them.
I have, not all of the time, but some of my time on earth, dreamed of being a janitor. Not necessarily a highly-paid janitor, and not necessarily a janitor who works by the shift in some huge automotive manufacturing plant, but a lowly, obscure and mostly-overlooked school janitor.
Am I calling this job correctly in using “janitor?” I know that some years ago, garbage men wanted to be referred to as “Sanitation Engineers.” Okay. That fits well. I went along with their request. I mean who in their right mind wants to attend their 20-year high school reunion and answer the always-burning question: “What do you do, Mr. Kenneth?” “Uhhh, well. I am not a famous rock musician. I am in fact, a janitor.” You see back then, I had what you call dangerous youthful pride, the type of pride that will lead to destruction.
Neill Flynn, janitor on Scrubs
John Kapelos, "Carl," the janitor in "The Breakfast Club"
An obscure worker, but very important to the company
My dream of being a janitor surfaced in the 11th grade
Honestly, I do not boast of this fact, but I do not have “that” brand of pride anymore. I have a peaceful, subtle sense of taking time to look carefully at jobs such as janitors, train conductors, and produce salespersons—all noble jobs and all worthy of God’s blessings.
When I was in high school our janitor’s name was Archie Channel. He was a quite-spoken man who did his job and did it very well. All without any fanfare or special recognition in the homecoming parade. Archie simply came to work at 7 a.m. and left at 5 p.m. Hardly anyone, including myself at times, noticed him being on the school property.
I would watch Archie each opportunity I was afforded, mostly while in Literature class, because what Archie was doing make a heckuva lot more sense than me sitting in a cheap desk listening to a teacher speak in a mundane tone of voice about people I would never be asked to name before I could apply for a job. I mean it was a requirement to take Literature, but did it have to be so low-down boring and ridiculous?
To make my point, this was during the early era of journalism genius, the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, who covered and discovered the mockery of American politics in the late 60’s throughout the ‘70’s, and this time I speak of just happened to be set in 1971. Oh, the teacher, a Mrs. Idealla Young, who has dementia now and hardly knows her name, would catch me watching Archie, and would never scold me for my lack of interest in her teaching.
Cleaning what others have soiled
My lack of interest was not her fault.
It was all mine for I totally-enjoyed the grace and motion of Archie pushing his mop back and forth on the tile floor and then with one fluid-motion, he would prop the mop against his yellow mop bucket and grab a hallway garbage can and empty it completely in his bigger janitorial garbage can. Now there is a job for you. “And what do you do, Mr. Kenneth?” “Uhh, well, I am not a wealthy journalist, I make big janitorial garbage cans.” And even this vocation is a noble one.
I suppose I had my reasons for dreaming of being a janitor. I learned early-on in life that one must have a back-up plan just in-case their “Plan A,” “goes south.” That was my thinking. To fall-back on being a janitor if my career as a late-night rock and roll DJ fell through. But if I had confessed my dreams of janitorial work to a psychiatrist, he or she would probably written it off as some deluded sexual fantasy and charged my parents the going rate in 1971 of $75.00 per hour.
Find the janitor in this photo
More images of janitors and their work
But there were other reasons. All total . . .
“25 Reasons Why I Dreamed of Being a High School Janitor”
- 25. I love the obscurity of being a janitor. Hardly any stress, and low risk of heart attack or stroke.
- 24. There is nothing illegal or dishonorable about being a janitor.
- 23. Janitors can work at a normal pace as opposed to meeting sales quotas and tough deadlines.
- 22. Janitors make great confidants. I mean, we could tell Archie, our high school janitor anything.
- 21. I would love the idea of wearing a colorful uniform with my name stitched in red over my left pocket.
- 20. Janitors are very seldom accused of crime of any type.
- 19. Janitors always get to see the basketball and volleyball games for free.
- 18. If I wanted to take a fifteen-minute break, I could do it without being reprimanded.
- 17. Doing janitorial work is great exercise for the mind and body.
- 16. A janitor has to possess organizational skills as well as people skills.
- 15. A janitor always gets his photo in the school yearbook without all of that cheesy wearing a tux and tie.
- 14. Some women think that being a janitor is very hot as opposed to working in a slaughter house.
- 13. “I” would be the subject of this hub if I had chosen to be a janitor. (See Einstein’s “Time and Event’ writings).
- 12. I would not have to be able to speak a foreign language.
- 11. I would not have to be able to type 60 words a minute.
- 10. My lunches would always be free.
- 9. I would always know what my duties would be the next day.
- 8. If I were to see some illegal act by students, I could make them sweat by threatening to talk to the principal.
- 7. I would be like the cool “Carl,” the janitor, on the John Huges classic, “The Breakfast Club.”
- 6. I would never have to sweat-bullets over a mid-term or final tests.
- 5. Worrying about showing my parents my report card would be the last thing on my mind.
- 4. I would be considered a county or city employee, thus I would receive a retirement pension.
- 3. I would always have the cute comeback, “I’m cleaning up,” to nosy people asking what I do for a living.
- 2. The principal couldn’t paddle me or expel me for going against school policies.
- 1. I would never have to worry about being late for class.