the supposed-to-be-inspirational-but-really-just-gets-you-by poster

I’ve written and rewritten this opening paragraph a couple times, and I don’t think I’ve even come close to getting it right.   That said, I’ll just say what I wanted to start with.  I want to tell you about “vocation”, about one’s true calling, even if it’s not glamorous, or seemingly righteous; even it’s messy.  How it’s important, even if it’s boring, even if any trained monkey could do it.  Does your job suck, or is it actually you that sucks and the job is alright?  A little bit of column A, a little bit of column B?

One tired monday morning, a couple hours in an already stressful day, a voice said the following to me:


I know oftentimes you dislike your job.  I see your troubles, real and imagined.  Don’t Worry.  Please remember this, that your co-workers often dislike your job too, so cut them some slack.  Just do your best, regardless of those around you.  Don’t forget you work for me.

In my janitor’s “office” I have a large sheet of paper that I have written the following.  I guess it’s inspirational thinking, but a lot of times it’s just pithy sayings that get me through the day.


1.  This place is a mess -Clean it.

2.  Know what you can change.

3.  Work on making that change.

4.  Your co-workers, God Bless’em, are not gonna change –work around that.

5.  Praise more.  Punish less.

6.  Your co-workers sometimes hate their jobs, so cut them some slack

7.  Inconsistency is dirt’s friend.

8.  Let it Go.

9.  The quality of your work should be equal to the quality of your boss.  Remember your boss.

10.  It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile.

11.  You’re only as clean as your dirtiest corner.

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