Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Boss - "Carl, did you hit CTICU?"

Carl - "Yeah."

Boss - "Because it looks like you didn't hit it."

Carl - "I hit it."

Boss - "It looks like you didn't."

Carl - "I'm sorry it looks that way.  I was there about an hour ago."

Boss - "Well, when you get done here, can you just run a vacuum through it again for me?  It looks like it just needs a quick zoom through."

I have been a custodial manager for well-on 4 years.

I didn't have any dream of being a manager of any sorts, much less a custodial manager, but sometimes you don't choose your job; your job chooses you.  This, my friend, was my fate.

My employees might not agree with my policies.  They might call me hard-nosed, a micro-manager, a real fucking asshole.  Well guess what?  The hospital is a clean, clean place, and that's all me.  Well, it's not really me, as I don't do any of the actual labor, but it's all me as far as making sure I tell someone it needs to be done.

And done, it gets.  "A clean home is a happy home", my mom used to say.  She was a really, really sad lady, regardless of how clean our home was, but I think the intent really stuck with me.  To this day, I say that to each of my employees, who I personally meet with 15 minutes earlier than their scheduled shift time in order to get them properly pumped for their 10 hour workday.

"I'm exhausted!", "You're taking this job too seriously!", "I have a family I never see!" they say.  Bullshit.  This is a hospital.  We got enough nosocomial infections running rampant, and I ain't got time to clean up any more.  You see this suit?  I got this suit at Zara.  Zara?  It's a fancy European store that sells fancy European suits on Michigan Avenue, where I am comfortable enough with my heterosexuality to admit I shop.  It cost me a lot of money.  Money I wouldn't have made if strains of dangerous flora was flittin' around in this hospital.  My ass would've been fired, and I would've been back in a Junior High, slingin' a mop around for unappreciative shithole teens, whose main purpose in life seemed to be makin' it in the 2 South section of the library and pissin' me off.  I used to pray.  I'd pray so hard.  Just pray and pray that even one of those little pricks wouldn't see that wet floor sign.

I'm getting off topic.

Sometimes things are handed to you that you cannot change.  Sometimes things happen that you do not like.  Sometimes you find yourself handed a bowl full of lemons, and those lemons are your job and every single person you work with.  And you can sit around and say, "Poor me!  Why do I have to work this hard?  Why do I have to be the only cool person that works here?".  What's all that fuss gonna do?  Where is complaining gonna get you?  Nowhere, unless it's over a bowl full of lemons that have tears on them, because you've spent all day slumped over them in self-pity.

That's not how you work the system, friend.  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  But in order to make lemonade, you have to get off your sorry ass, head to the market, get sugar, maybe a pitcher to hold it if you don't have one already, then you gotta trot back home, look up a recipe, mix in some water...what I'm saying here is that you have to work.  You have to work for it.

So, Carl.  The moral of the story here is: if you're not going to get your ass back to CTICU with a vacuum in one hand, SOS pad in the other, and a duster coming out of your ass, I'll give you a reason to call me a real fucking asshole.

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