Photo courtesy of www.stepbystep.com

Photo courtesy of www.stepbystep.com

By Kaitlyn Wayman-Dodd, columnist

Last Wednesday, I spent far too long ranting to my roommate about how people were being disrespectful to our custodians. Coincidentally, the next day was Custodian Appreciation Day.

My floor was great. We got Tammy, our custodian, a gift, and several of us wrote her handwritten thank-you cards to go along with it. I know we all tried to be nice to her that day.

But we shouldn’t have to have a Custodian Appreciation Day. Appreciation should be present every day. I’m not saying we need to give them gifts all the time, but let’s try showing a little more respect. Our custodians are amazing people who clean up after us without complaint, and they do an excellent job at it, too.

Try asking them about their day or how their break was, and they might tell you about visiting their kids or seeing their friends. They are genuinely good people with lives beyond Illinois Wesleyan, but we don’t always seem to remember this.

Typical college students aren’t exactly the cleanest, most grateful people in the world. And while most of us start out being respectful, I’ve noticed more laziness from students as this year has progressed and they’ve fallen into this messy stereotype.

I’ve seen garbage in the breezeway, the lobby and the elevator. I’ve seen people stomp right through the pile of dirt that their custodian is in the middle of sweeping up. I’ve walked into the bathroom and found three out of the four toilets full of crap. Literally. How hard is it to flush a toilet?

I’m sure no one means to be rude. All we need to do is remember that someone has to deal with what we leave behind.

When you’re in the bathroom, please flush the toilet. Don’t forget to throw away your trash. We have garbage and recycling bins all over campus. If you’re in the elevator, please don’t stick your gum on the railings. If you see a custodian sweeping or mopping the floor, try to walk around the area that they’re cleaning. I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m saying.

I know I’m stating the obvious, but people keep doing everything I’ve listed and I know we can do better. Custodians aren’t our parents and it’s not their job to babysit us.

I’ve heard people say, “But they’re paid to clean up after us. It’s their job.” Well, our professors are paid to deal with us as well, but we still respect them. We should respect our custodians just as much.

This rudeness is probably the result of simple absent-mindedness, so let’s try to remember to show our custodians a little more common courtesy. They do a lot of work for us, and I’m sure we’d all be a little happier if we didn’t have to see what other people leave in the toilet.