By MARGAUX MASSEY, staff reporter
A student custodian walks into an apartment and finds a mannequin sitting on the bed watching him. This isn’t a joke, there isn’t a punch line, and it’s not even a scary story. It happened to Martin Sanchez, a public health major and one of the three graduating seniors who work for Central’s Business Auxiliary Custodial Services.
Over the summer, Sanchez was cleaning one of the on-campus apartments and walked into a room to see a very realistic mannequin staring at him from the bed.
“We kept it, we still have it and like to scare people with it,” Sanchez said.
Of course, working on a college campus cleaning the various residence halls comes with a collection of horror stories.
“I’ve had to clean a lot of nasty stuff,” Sanchez, who mostly works in Kamola, said.
He said he ends up cleaning anything from a flooded bathroom to scraping feces off a door. Once, he had to clean one of the elevators in Wendell Hill Hall that someone had peed in.
According to Sanchez, the worst thing he has to clean up, however, is all of the vomit in the bathrooms.
“It happens at night and they close the bathrooms so all the smell is in there,” Sanchez said. “It’s usually drunk people who don’t make it to the toilet.”
His co-worker, Mark Young, a graduating music major, has a different view on what is the worst mess to clean. The worst thing he has to clear up is the feces people smear on the walls.
“They must have had nice moms who cleaned up after them,” Young said. He went on to say that he doesn’t always have to clean up extreme messes, normally it’s just things like abuse of bathrooms in the dorms and people being slobs.
“A weird thing about it is how people are so comfortable in their own filth,” Young said. He said he has walked into rooms that smelled badly of marijuana. He was shocked that people who were smoking pot in a dorm room would just let a school worker come in like that.
Young said the worst part of his job is cleaning up after students who are getting their first taste of freedom in college and don’t care how much of a mess they make.
Both Young and Sanchez agree that the job isn’t all bad. Yes, it involves cleaning up after a multitude of messy students, but good things come out of it.
“You meet a lot of people,” Sanchez said. “You see them around campus and they will make that connection and say hi.”
Young said the job influenced his life as it is right now. He has made plenty of friends on the job, including his wife.
“A majority of the friends I’ve had through my college years I’ve met through this,” Young said.
Because the two are graduating, they have a few ‘parting shots’ for future students who take their place cleaning up around campus.
“It’s not a glamorous job and it’s only temporary but take it seriously,” Young said.
He said that a lot of people wouldn’t take it seriously, but the job is not just a means to an end. Not only is it a good job because supervisors are willing to work around class schedules, but it also gives students a greater appreciation of the people they will run into later in life who do what they do now.
“It’s not something you should be ashamed of,” Sanchez said. “It’s not dirty, keep an open mind.”
While most students would automatically turn their nose up at the idea of cleaning up after others, Sanchez said that it’s not a hard job and can actually be pretty interesting.
According to thecollegesolution.com, 23 percent of full-time undergrads who are 24 or younger work 20 hours or more a week, so why not work a job that works around your schedule and is reminiscent of younger days spent cleaning a messy bedroom?