Those Glorious Days of Cleaning Toilets and Mopping Floors

Monday, October 19, 2009 | | |

I love talking to people about all the jobs they've had in their lives.  I find it a little bit interesting that as folks tick through their job descriptions the roles get a bit more "boring" as they approach the current day.  It's amazing to hear what people did for money back in the day.  For some reason tonight I got thinking about a job I had in college.  Life was simple then, I had no idea just how simple, and I was proud to be a "lead custodian" at the university library.  For the first year or so of this not-very-prestigious gig my main task was CLEANING THE BATHROOMS.  Let's be clear, the restrooms of a huge university library can be frightening places, in much the same ways that restrooms frequented by my toddlers can be.  I'll leave it at that.  For some reason though I really liked cleaning those bathrooms.  (To my wife's extreme disappointment, my desire to clean bathrooms was something I left at college)  I was the master of my porcelain, tiled, mirrored, domain.  I was shocked to learn that forimage reasons I still don't understand, the women's restroom had a huge adjoining "sitting room" complete with a raised ceiling, couches, mirrors and carpet.  I can only assume that this area was for people with serious bladder-control issues or something.  Otherwise, why in the world would you want to spend hours on a couch in a BATHROOM?  I just can't imagine why anyone would want to meet up with friends IN THE BATHROOM.  But I cleaned it all dutifully and woke more than a few girls up who were sleeping on the couch in the BATHROOM I was trying to clean.  Trust me, that was super-awkward for everyone involved.  The girl goes to sleep knowing that she's in a "secure female area" and is awakened by a funny-looking dude with earphones and a dripping toilet brush.

During my porcelain polishing days I started dating the future Mrs. HTF.  She wasn't the least bit bothered by my chosen occupation.  In fact, she would very often come visit during those late night hours while I played with chemicals and danced around a bit.  These visits were AWESOME!  Since I never knew where I'd be she'd have to hunt all over the library for me - no one had cell phones back then.  Don't tell my former boss, but sometimes we'd lock the door to that palatial women's sitting area and "hang out."  More often than not this consisted of her watching me perform manly duties like changing the toilet paper and buffing the floor with a huge rotating brush and lots of sweet smelling chemicals.  But we'd pass hours like that moving my cleaning cart from bathroom to bathroom.  Talk about a way to kick up the romance!!  I know it sounds just a bit odd, but she kept coming, which was a clear sign of her tolerance of me (this is a trait that has served her well during the last 11.5 years of image marriage).  After a while if she didn't show up some night I was devastated (you know that feeling).  Actually, I remember a few nights where we had some of those serious relationship "talks" that guys dread so much right there in some bathroom.  In all likelihood I was wearing rubber gloves when we decided to have a more serious relationship.  But it still worked somehow and in a very real way I miss those days (except for a few parts that are even too gross for a guy to blog about).  I now have a job that most folks would consider a lot better, by which I mean there’s more money and less need for plastic goggles.  But I'm glad I had those nights spraying windex and sliding around the soapy floors at the Harold B Lee Library.

PS – Just realized this is post #300.  Wow… not sure whether I should cheer or apologize to you.  Thanks for reading along though!

7 comments:

  1. agm says:

    Congrats on your 300th post!!! Sounds like those were great times!!

    I don't think I could relax enough to fall asleep in a sitting room off of a ladies' room. I always tried to nap in a private study room. Even if there was a couch in the ladies' room, I think I would rather silently drool on some study carrel in a quiet corner instead.

    Oh, & to the Beckinators - the CM gets all the credit for the PMP!!

  2. JJ says:

    Congrats on 300!

    I am beating you in Fantasy Football. Now, having said that, I just went and looked at the matchup, realized that only 2 points separate us AND you have Denver's defense tonight. Pretty sure I'm going to get crushed. So much for those "Projected" points...

  3. Emmy says:

    Loved this post!!
    And you have to know by now that girls go to the bathroom in groups and don't always go use the facilities. So the couches are perfect and a necessity.

    I must admit, I would not want your job, in fact I haven't cleaned a bathroom in the last 8 years. I might be getting you in trouble here, but my husband has always cleaned the bathroom since we got married. I won't tell your wife though.

    Oh wait, I just posted it--sorry ;)

  4. bspeck says:

    Are you telling me that you guys made out in the 4th floor women's restroom just across from the reference desk?!

  5. Traci says:

    Fond memories I will never forget! Even though I came every night, I still liked your look of surprise every time you saw me walk through the door. Funny how I would never go straight to the floor you were cleaning, but usually had to hit 4 floors of stairs before I found that bright yellow sign. And I don't care that you don't clean toilets anymore. But I have to say I was impressed that you did. You still impress me...with your dishwashing skills! :)

  6. Spot On Your Pants says:

    Wow...300 posts. I was just having coffee with two bloggers yesterday (Anti-Supermom and Marketing Mama) and they confirmed it takes two years to find your "voice".

    I had a job in a genetics lab one summer...cutting apart pig intestines. It seemed normal at the time (?). Then there was the time I volunteered for the "aid station" at the marathon and got assigned to Vasoline. Don't ask! Hang in there!

  7. CM says:

    I've read 300 of these things? Crikey, I need to get a LIFE!!

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