Thursday, April 9, 2020

Microstory 1339: Doorkeeper

Security Supervisor: This may seem like a waste of time, but I do hope you take this interview seriously.
Janitor: I don’t think it’s a waste of time. You’ll be giving me keys to rooms that house confidential information, correct?
Security Supervisor: It’s a keycard, but yes.
Janitor: Then don’t feel bad about it. I understand the importance of discretion. And understand this, I do not care about the files you keep. I’ve never been curious or nosy. When I’m standing next to someone who needs to log-in to a computer to show me something, I always turn away. It’s my instinct to protect people’s privacy, even from myself.
Security Supervisor: Well, it’s good to hear that. But if you were a corporate spy, that’s exactly what you would say.
Janitor: It’s also what someone would say if they’re not...which is the case here.
Security Supervisor: Speaking of here, do you know what it is we do?
Janitor: I do not, and again, I do not care to know. It makes no difference to me. I will be stepping into the rooms to take out that trash, and clean whatever is required of me, and then leave immediately.
Security Supervisor: Okay, good. I do have some more questions for you. I’m sure you went over all this with your supervisor, but I am a curious person. It says here you attended a cleaning school in Switzerland?
Janitor: That’s right. Here in the states, cleaning work is treated as an unskilled job. In other countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, janitors are professionals, with full careers, and years of education and on-the-job training.
Security Supervisor: Are you from Switzerland, or were your parents in the military...?
Janitor: No, sir. I actually found out about the program, and moved there for four years so I could train with the best. This work is very important to me. I’ve always found it very cathartic and soothing, the physical labor itself. Wiping down surfaces, mopping floors; it’s tedious for most, but relaxing for me.
Security Supervisor: Well, your résumé looks very impressive. I imagine it’s tough to find work stateside that effectively utilizes your skills. We don’t pay our janitors very well. Or rather, other companies don’t. We see things differently.
Janitor: Yes, that’s why I applied here. Your organization has a great reputation in regards to your treatment of employees. You would be surprised, however, at how well a janitor can do. Average salary is probably higher than you would think, even for someone without the amount of intense training that I’ve had.
Security Supervisor: Did you apply to any of these other places then?
Janitor: I have some money saved up, so I didn’t put a lot of feelers out, or cast a wide net. I’ve been applying to one position at a time, and seeing it through, before moving onto the next one. This is the third job I applied to, and my third offer. I declined the first two.
Security Supervisor: My, my. Aren’t we the selective one?
Janitor: Employers sometimes forget that workers have standards as well. Most people aren’t just lucky to not be unemployed.
Security Supervisor: Of course, of course. Well, your background check went through, and everything looks good here. You will shadow your supervisor for the first week, and then she’ll shadow you for a week after that. After that, you should know that we’re a security camera company, so we have security cameras...and most of them are hidden.
Janitor: I have no problem with that. Thank you, sir. I appreciate the opportunity.

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