The Janitor’s Guilt Trip

You were caught ̶r̶e̶d̶-̶h̶a̶n̶d̶e̶d̶, Soft handed.

It’s 3 PM on a Monday and you’re sitting in the break room. Normally the break room is a place you try to ignore, (because who actually takes a break at the break room? ), But today was different. Today, you were fighting fires from the moment you said, “Per my last email.”

You sit back on the couch and prop your feet up on the table like you own the place. You don’t. When much to your chagrin, in walks the last guy you want to see loathing in your self-pity: The Janitor.

He’s jaded. Cleaning up other people’s shit all day will do that to you.

He lumbers over, wheels squeaking, pushing a chemical cart that makes Breaking Bad seem like a third-grade science project. He looks somewhere between amused and disappointed, like a new mother eyeing down her toddler.

“Rough day?”

He twists the knife.

You bite your lip and try to ignore the fact you’re in his crosshairs.

“Yeah — I’ve got a lot of deadlines hitting at once.” You reason. “An extra Monday-Monday.

You silently wince at the prissy bitch you’ve become. An extra Monday-Monday? You hate yourself.

The janitor lets out a smile. He’s got you right where he wants you and he knows it. He points at your feet, still dumbly on the table.

“Are your feet tired?”

You swallow a smile and pray your shoes aren’t muddy.

“You know…” You drift off.

“I actually don’t; I didn’t realize feet get tired sitting all day.” He throws his arms up in fake disbelief and then points to his work boots. You nod like the little 37-year-old bitch boy you are.

The janitor wipes beads of sweat from his brow, still wearing his chemical-laden gloves. There’s a pregnant pause that’s not giving birth to a new conversation. So you do your civic duty and fill the void.

“So, how’s your day going?”

“Living the dream!” He sasses. “Never thought a guy like me would be so lucky! Only had two clogged toilets, and only one of my coworkers called off today.” He huffs.

“That’s a lot of numbers.”

You slowly take your shoes off the table so as not to tip him off.

“No, it’s great!” He booms. “Just the day I wanted.”

You nod a smile that isn’t happy because how could you be happy? The work hasn’t gone away, and the guilt has just arrived.

The janitor lumbers over to the seldom-used kitchen area and begins wiping out an already clean sink. “Yeah, everything here is sunny! Just like those fluorescents I get to change out later.” He points to the ceiling.

Right about now, you don’t know quite how to feel, but the break room certainly isn’t feeling like a break. So you stand up and slowly walk towards the door.

“Where are you going? You looked so comfortable.” He asks.

“I’m going to go take a shit.”

Checkmate bitch!



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21 thoughts on “The Janitor’s Guilt Trip

  1. Haha! So many have it worse than me. Gotta say, though, one of my favorite jobs of all time was night janitor. Nobody around to make those comparisons, just me and my mind.

      1. Here’s a good one. I was night watchman after a small town fireman’s festival (just a carnival), once. I stayed up and collected all kinds of money that people had dropped the night before. The carny kids were up by five and begged me to turn my back as they raided the donut vendor. I said “no.” But I told them I was going to do rounds at the far end of the fairgrounds and they should behave themselves. I still feel oddly guilty.

      2. Atleast you got a story out of it! Yeah that’s a tough one – but I’m sure they liked you – you told them not to do it – and you weren’t a prick about it

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