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Anand Pandurang Misal, a janitor with Total Solutions Facility Management Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, narrates his learning experience and his cautious approach…

Training on site is essential for housekeeping staff and attending the morning briefing at work is all the more important as one gets introduced not just to the day’s tasks but some of the important officials at the site. It was day one at a site in Mumbai. Unfortunately that day, I reached the site late, thanks to Mumbai trains running behind schedule. As I rushed in, the introductory briefing by the senior officer was already half way through. Dazed and frightened, I hid myself from the supervisor. Caught unawares, I was asked to answer a couple of questions. Though nervous, I handled the situation very well.

Later I got engrossed with the errands of the day, but the morning briefing and the gentleman’s face were repeatedly going through my mind. Well, who was this gentleman? Finally, when I met the supervisor to explain the reasons for my late entry, I also asked him who the speaker for the day was. The supervisor looked sharply at me and so did my colleagues. “Were you not present at the morning briefing?” Of course, I was embarrassed. I was sure to be shown the door. But, at that moment conscience prevailed and I was quick to say, “Yes, I was there. I know it was the boss but I don’t know his name, I have not met him before.” Well, I was lucky this time, as the supervisor got convinced and told me that it was the Head Operations, who addressed the session.

Soon after, the organisation made it a point to display the names of the top executives along with pictures on the notice board.

Wise up

This was four months ago; after the regular morning briefing, I set off with my brushes to clean the washrooms. I reached out to pick up the R5 chemical jar as usual from the shelf. R5 is a washroom solution used to neutralise odours. As I lifted the jar, I felt something amiss! The jar was full to the brim, which is not the case usually. I peered again but it was the same jar and the label too was correct. I checked the fragrance to be doubly sure. No, it did not smell the same! I walked straight to the supervisor holding the open jar in my hand. “This does not smell the same, it smells different,” I blurted out holding the jar right below the supervisor’s nose. The supervisor was taken aback.

Instantly, there was a roar of laughter as my colleagues witnessed the ‘smelling’ drama. Embarrassed, I moved back and stood dejectedly waiting to be rebuked. Realising the seriousness of the situation, the supervisor looked into the jar and said, “Yes, it is not R5 but R6”, and I was praised for my alertness and cautiousness.

R6 is a cleaning agent applied on WC to remove the yellow stain, he explained. Apparently, the jar had been wrongly labelled. So well, it is better to double check the content of any container before its application!

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