Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This Custodian Is A Doll - Or At Least His Creations Are

Trash is trash. Or is it? Not according to James Gallien who works for a university in Louisiana. He takes things that others throw away and recycles them into works of art. Doll art that is. This article goes into more detail, but it shows what can be done with what many consider to be garbage. What a great way to recycle and reuse!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Don't Poo Poo This Museum

As a custodian, I've cleaned up my fair share of feces.  It's not pleasant, especially when it belongs to someone or something else.  But the study of feces, where it goes, how plumbing carries it away to be processed and more is interesting. Now a museum in Japan has picked up on this sticky situation and has logged information at their exhibit.  And when you visit, you even get to wear a poo hat and ride a toilet slide!  I'd like to visit this museum.  Would you? Could you?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Interesting Mix of Social Media Use

Our last poll asked which social media networks were used to find information about cleaning. Facebook and Instagram had the most votes followed by Twitter and others. Some voters said they did not use any media to search for this information. In this world of technology and instant access to information, it's quite interesting to see what people are using in their lives to find the things they need.

Custodian Death a Reminder to All

Whether or not chemicals were the cause of a custodians death in a Boston elementary school, the warnings about chemical use is still of high importance. Always use ventilation when using strong chemicals. Avoid using chemicals that are unnecessary or extremely volatile or that off gas strong odors. Always read warning labels and use according to the manufacturers instructions. Wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when necessary. Be safe!

Boston Custodian

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Work Never Ends

I've posted articles in the past about custodians across the country that have been highlighted for their work they perform every day, year round. Many teachers, administrators, parents and students think that the custodians get the summer off like everyone else. Unknown to most of them, the summertime is usually the busiest time of the year for custodians as they clean everything from top to bottom and perform other maintenance related tasks as well.

This article from Georgia confirms this fact and shows that this group of people are the backbone of a clean and maintained building.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Personal Microbiome and Cell Phones

Cell phones are a part of daily life. They can do everything from take pictures, play music, surf the Web, make phone calls and so much more. Now scientists have found how much phones really say about us when it comes to personal microorganisms that we carry around and transfer to our cellular devices. The future of how this information might be used at some point down the road is highlighted in this linked article.

Floored Art Floors Floor Cleaners

When you clean a floor, it's preferable that as much if not all of the items on the floor be removed before doing so so that a good cleaning can be accomplished. Often custodians and janitors are required to move items that have been left sitting so that the floors can be cleaned properly. It is a cumbersome job, time-consuming and frustrating, but necessary.

Unfortunately, some janitors in Germany took it a step further. It's sad when an individual or group of individuals goes to this extreme out of spite and irritation because something was in the way. What do you think?

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Shiny

Refinishing floors is time-consuming and often messy. The end results though always are worth it. Clean, fresh, shiny floors. One of the biggest culprits in making a floor look bad are the corners and edges. If these aren't meticulously cleaned with a scraper, Doodlebug and cleaner, the end results are unpleasant to look at. Shiny dirt in the corners and along the edges doesn't give you any extra points when people see the work you've done or in this case not done.

This article gives some nice suggestions about floor refinishing and how to make your building shine.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Copper, Brass, Corrosion and Sweaty Hands

The close connection in preventing the spread of disease by various electrochemical means in copper and brass has been known for centuries. Now, however, more light has come to the fore suggesting that the salt in people's sweaty hands can actually inhibit this ability within an hour or so. This article found on the Phys Org website goes into more scientific detail on this interesting discovery.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Trigeminal Stimulation and VOC's

Trigeminal stimulation, volatile organic compounds, 2-butoxyethanol, alkylphenol ethoxylates, phthalates, and ozone-depleting compounds are all words that are associated with chemicals and IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)

VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) are common both naturally and synthetically. They can be harmless and harmful. Cleaning chemicals are often one of the biggest culprits in the release of VOC's. A press release out of Boise, Idaho has some great information on this topic and some things that can be done to reduce the harmful effects. Any custodian should be interested in this topic and do what is reasonably feasible to reduce VOC's in an IAQ environment.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chikungunya Cases Surpass 100,000

Those rascally little mosquitoes continue to share their pain with over 100,000 people now being infected with the Chikungunya virus. I posted about this virus outbreak a few weeks ago. Amazingly, it has spread quite rapidly in a short time. There is no known vaccine for this other than bed rest and pain medication. Maggie Fox shares a few more details in her article on this outbreak.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Caretaker and Pen Pal Has Students Beaming

Occasionally I post interesting stories about fellow custodians around the world. They are often inspiring and make you smile. The article I am posting this time will not disappoint. You'll be smiling by the time you get to the end. See if you don't agree. The story comes from Mequon, Wisconsin.

Mequon school custodian is a pen pal to the students

Nikki Robson, the head custodian at Donges Bay Elementary School, poses with the mailboxes she created for the school’s pen pal club.

Nikki Robson, the head custodian at Donges Bay Elementary School, poses with the mailboxes she created for the school’s pen pal club.
June 3, 2014

Mequon — Nikki Robson is not your typical custodian.
In fact, "Miss Nikki" dismisses her official title of head custodian at Donges Bay Elementary School. Instead, she refers to herself as the school's caretaker. After talking with her for a couple minutes, you will soon see why.
When a first-grade student accidentally knocked a base board off the wall, his teacher asked the young boy to write an apology letter to Nikki. The student wrote the letter, and Nikki responded with a letter of her own that applauded him for taking responsibility for his actions.
The student beamed with pride when he received the letter, causing Nikki to start a pen pal club with the rest of the students at Donges Bay.
Nikki's pen pal club has gotten so popular over the last three months that she now has 142 student pen pals. One day she received 62 letters. The pen pal club became so popular that teachers had to limit the students to writing Nikki once per week. Now, she said she receives about 15 to 20 letters per day.
If students leave her a note, she promises to respond that day. Nikki starts her shift 90 minutes early, uses lunch hour and stays late to ensure this happens.
The students write to Nikki about everything from their favorite school subjects to their favorite soup recipes to stories from their family vacations. They also ask Nikki to share a little about her own life, like her favorite food — pizza with pineapple — and her hidden talent, which is drawing. Once the students found out that Nikki likes to draw, they started asking her to draw pictures.
"I had 50 kids asking me for pictures, so I told them to give me three choices (of what to draw) and I'll pick," she said. "That way they're surprised."
Nikki ends all of her letters, with her signature sign-off of "Shine on Superstar! Love, Nikki." Now, the kids are starting to end their letters to Nikki with "Shine on Superstar."
Flipping through the huge stack of students' letters, Nikki smiles and laughs as she shares some of her favorite stories. The color of letters span the rainbow's spectrum, and are covered with glitter, smiley faces and drawings. Nikki started making faces out of the students' names, and the students have responded by making smiley faces out of Nikki's name.
"This is what is so awesome about this whole thing — the time it takes to invest in another person" Nikki said as she held up a particularly decorative letter.
Nikki has been with the school district for four years but was promoted to head custodian at Donges Bay in October. She started the Pen Pal Club after five months on the job. After three months of writing letters, Nikki shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
The doorway to Nikki's office is covered with colorful decorations from kids, and the sign on her door says "caretaker" instead of custodian. Because for Nikki, taking care of the building is just the beginning of her job duties.
"I don't know janitors or custodians who do what I do," she said.
ON THE WEB: Visit MequonNow.com to see a video of Ms. Nikki explaining the school's Pen Pal Club.