Janitorial closet

For the Scrubs character, see Janitor (Scrubs).

A janitor, janitress (female), custodian "cleaner" or caretaker (British English (except Scotland)) is a professional who takes care of buildings such as hospitals, schools and residential accommodation. Janitors' primary responsibility is as a cleaner. In some cases they will also carry out maintenance and security duties. A similar position, but usually with more managerial duties and not including cleaning, is occupied by building superintendents in the United States.

Occupational tasks

Most of the work performed by janitors and building cleaners is indoors, sometimes it can be outdoors. Outdoors work mainly include sweeping walkways, mowing lawns, or shoveling snow. Office buildings are usually cleaned while they are empty, so most of the janitorial workers work during evening. The work can be physically demanding and sometimes dirty and unpleasant.[1] General janitor duties often include the following tasks:

  • Cleaning and restocking bathrooms
    • Sinks
    • Toilets
    • Urinals
    • Floor cleaning, refinishing, and polishing (sweeping, mopping, scrubbing and buffing)
    • Clearing garbage bins
    • Restocking restroom paper products and other supplies such as feminine products and air fresheners
    • Cleaning mirrors
  • Cleaning floors (mopping, sweeping, polishing)
  • Carpet cleaning (dry method, extraction, steam and bonnet)
  • Cleaning (vacuuming) carpeting
  • Cleaning stainless steel and other special surfaces
  • Clearing lunch room/kitchen
  • Cleaning tables in cubicles, meeting rooms, etc...
  • Emptying trash and recycling bin
  • Unlocking and locking buildings at the beginning and end of the day
  • Stripping and waxing floors using Floor buffer
  • Cleaning air-conditioner vents
  • Crime scene cleaning (requires being fully certified and pay scale starts from $300.00 to $700.00+ an hour[2][3]
  • Litter picking
  • Spot cleaning (generally spills - coffee for instance)
  • Sanitization
  • Room setups (college/schools, etc.)
  • Porterage (internal deliveries; movement of equipment or people in hospitals)

Pay scale

In 2010, the median pay of a janitor working in the US was $10.68 per hour. The yearly salary could grow by 11% according to the statistics of 2010.[4]

Office cleaning

Office cleaning staff perform many of the same duties as janitors. However the tasks are divided among different members. Additional tasks include:

  • watering plants (pruning as well)
  • cleaning sinks, refrigerators, microwaves and toasters in office kitchens; clearing recycling and garbage bins
  • dusting furniture and computer equipment (monitors and desk area, but excluding keyboards) and tables

Office cleaning often takes place after hours or later in the evening or even overnigt.

Outsourcing

Cleaning is one of the most commonly outsourced services. Some of the reasons for this include:

  • Basic cleaning tasks are standardised, with little variation among different enterprises.
  • The nature of the job and required standard of performance can be clearly defined and specified in a contract, unlike more technical or professional jobs for which such specification is harder to develop.
  • Some organizations prefer to outsource work unrelated to their core business in order to save additional salaries and benefits required to manage the work.
  • Some organizations may feel uncomfortable dealing with labour relations related to low wage employees; by outsourcing, these labor relations issues are transferred to a contractor whose staff are comfortable and experienced in dealing with these issues, and their approach can benefit from economies of scale.
  • If a janitor is unavailable due to sickness or leave, a contractor which employs many janitors can easily assign a substitute. A small organisation which employs one or a few janitors directly will have much more trouble with this.

Demographics

Between 17% to 23% of the total undocumented immigrant population living in the United States work in the cleaning industry[5] (and growing at a rate of 1/2% to 1/3% percent per year). In addition to this population offering an abundant source of inexpensive labor,[6] janitorial work is mostly undertaken at night, making it an appealing option for janitorial companies to employ undocumented workers[7][8] seeking clandestine employment. Many such immigrants have even started their own janitorial companies using fictitious business licenses[9] and false identication[10] [11] information.
In The Netherlands, the number of cleaning companies grew from 5,000 in 2003 to 8,000 in 2008.[12]

In popular culture

The idea of the janitor, often as a figure of ridicule or pity, has become a negatively stereotypical Black[13][14] or blue collar character in popular culture denoting ignorance, laziness, failure, exploitation[15] or even perversion[16][17] and have featured widely in film, television and pornography.[18] Not all the janitors below however share these traits.

See also

References

External links

fr:Concierge

gd:Neach-àire it:Bidello nl:Conciërge no:Vaktmester pt:Zelador

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