By Meagen Lish, Editor in Chief
Imagine having a giant castle with only one maid to clean the entire thing, just like Cinderella was required to do.
CNCC custodians Shirley Kell, Pamala Sherman, and Jan Heilmann are responsible for cleaning the campus every single week, and there may be moments their workload doesn’t feel much different from that fairytale character.
Custodian Shirley Kell has been cleaning here at CNCC since 1989, which turns into 21 years of service to the college. When she started, there were eight custodians and three part-time custodians, as well. Now there are only three custodians, due to budget cuts and retirements, to cover the same amount of work in the same amount of time.
Tresa England, dean of Enrollment Services, says that the school is trying to hire another custodian to work half-time. It is difficult to hire, though, because there are state requirements that have to be met, and it can be a long, drawn-out process.
On the Rangely campus, 20 buildings need cleaned, and “cleaned” means vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, mopping, washing windows, cleaning bathrooms, etc. Many times, there just isn’t enough time to do everything, so the custodians will clean the main areas that are used the most, such as the bathroom, and lightly go over areas that don’t get as dirty (like offices).
“The job is very strenuous,” Kell stated. “I work from 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.”
Prioritizing what has to get done and what has to wait all depends on what activities are going on. What areas get the most attention also depends on the number of people using them and frequency the space is used. Oftentimes, custodians help each other out if they get their work done early.
It is difficult to work around students as well as teachers because the custodians do not want to disturb them. But at the same time, they still need to get their work done.
Because there is a shortage in custodians, the women are required to cover a lot of area. Kell alone covers Weiss, Hefley, Blakeslee, Allsebrook, Striegel, and the Airport. The custodians work an average work week, 40 hours a week and eight hours a day.
Jessica Olsen, a freshman softball athlete, helps do her part in cleaning.
“The school is pretty clean,” Olsen states. “If I ever see any trash in the hallways, I pick it up.”
In past years, though, students have been known to leave gum lying around or spit chew in the showers and on the carpet. This year has been better, and custodians hope that it continues.
“This year has been a fairly good year,” Kell continues. “Students have picked up more than they have in previous years.”
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