In today’s busy life, we go to places as a routine – Bank, School, Shop, Mall, Restaurants… How often do we notice the guy mopping & scrubbing floors, emptying trash cans or cleaning toilets at these places? How often do we respond or even listen to them saying a “Good morning or Good evening”? Seldom! Is maintaining cleanliness & hygiene limited to the janitors alone. It’s sad that we litter inconsiderately but get irritated when a janitor does not pay enough attention to minute details while cleaning. Sunil Kethal, a janitor with Vema Hospitality Pvt Ltd working at ICICI Bank, Lalghati branch, Bhopal, shares his story.
“A resident of Vikasnagar, Bhopal, my janitorial journey began on January 1, 2007, when Liju Mathai, Director-Vema Hospitality took my interview. After asking a few questions on cleaning and maintenance, he hired me for the job of a janitor. This was the time when I could not even complete my matriculation because of the poor economic situation.
There I was, learning how to present myself!
For the first two months of the training, I was asked to learn the cleaning practices under supervision at the company’s office. Thereafter I was shifted to the ICICI Lalghati branch.
During the training, I was taught not only how to clean but also how to present myself and how to communicate with people.
Cleaning 300sqft floor of the bank takes only half an hour, but I have to be fully alert throughout the day as people visiting the bank tend to litter the premises. The daily cleaning involves dry mopping, wiping the floor using an aqueous solution of Hi-Lite floor cleaner in 1:50 ratio. A two litre solution is usually sufficient to clean the entire floor. Taski R2 is also used. Post-cleaning, we use Taski’s R5 air freshener. While working for a short span at Hypercity, Bhopal, I got the opportunity to handle Roots Machines – scrubber drier and vacuum cleaners.
My family is happy that I have chosen cleaning as my career. Currently, I am loving it and would continue in future too. Though, I do not have a good home, or resources to clean & maintain it, but my cleaning knowledge has certainly helped in putting good cleaning practices in place with limited resource. I have asked all my family members to clean and sanitise their hands after using the toilet or if their hands are soiled after doing something.
I have always been wanting to complete my studies. Thankfully last year, I completed my schooling by taking the Std X examination again.
Once I had to work at a Bank Manager’s residence as the janitor assigned was on leave. The manager was stickler for cleaning, usually doesn’t allow anyone even to enter his residence. But after seeing my good work, he sent his compliments directly to my immediate boss. It was small but did help and encourage me to better my performance.
However I have had some sour experiences; once cleaning a residence, I found its owner extra conscious about cleaning, the lady owner asked about our cleaning procedures. Unsatisfied with the response, she even asked to show our cleaning certificates. Despite having gone through rigorous training, we don’t get any certificates in cleaning.
I am happy with my work and the intermittent complements.