On my walk back to the office from lunch, my co-workers and I were stopped by this really large protest. It even blocked traffic coming from off the freeway – sorry Los Angeles drivers and bus transit riders. It turned out to be a protest for Justice for Janitors, emphasizing more affordable healthcare and fairer wages.
A protest like this gives reason to pause and more than just for the inconvenience of traffic. A few minutes of protest is nothing compared to where we would be without our janitorial services. Why do we then pay people who work this difficult job poorly? Why do we then shrink on their healthcare? Try going a week in this city without the people who help maintain the offices of government and corporate America. It would be pretty darn terrible for everyone all around.
The janitorial staff at my building are some of my favorite people. They don’t seem to judge me when I work late at night (sometimes when I’m singing aloud to whatever I have playing on Pandora) and always say hello and ask me how I am as they go about their jobs after office hours. There is a janitor that maintains the glass doors and reception area of the building during the morning, who I see almost every day. When I arrive really early to work, he comments on my change in routine. While I may not be working on projects with this staff and while there might not even be a sharing of our names, I really appreciate their presence in my life and what they do. This place would fall apart without their efforts, as I’m sure all the other buildings would too.
People who think they run the world because they make business decisions are wrong. That’s only part of the process. There are other people who keep this world running too, and one of them is likely the person that pulls in a squeaky-wheeled trash can to sort out your office recyclables.