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Now that's what I call a perfect cleaner/client relationship: the cleaner is committed to doing a great job and is respected and appreciated by the building users, who chat to him, treat him as a friend and find out a little about his background. The feeling of 'belonging' and being appreciated for the effort put into the job, encourages the cleaner to go about his work even more enthusiastically, which in turn creates smiles and happy feelings throughout the facility and encourages those using it to do their best to keep it clean and thus ease the cleaner's load. It gets better...
The facility concerned here is the University of Bristol and one student is so enamoured with the cleaner's attitude that - thinking the cleaner and his wife might like to visit family back in Jamaica (but could never afford to on a cleaner's pay) he asks his fellow students if they'd consider joining a Crowdfunding effort to pay towards a Jamaican holiday for the cleaner.
Some 230 contributors quickly raise £1,500 and when the cash gift is presented with a note thanking the cleaner for his "positive energy" over the 12 years he's spent in the University's cleaning team, the cleaner is so moved by the gesture that he ends up in tears.
"You have brightened many of our days and we want you to know that we love and appreciate you," read the note.
How wonderful! I've substituted the Leader I'd prepared for today's Cleanzine, for this mention of the happy and constructive relationship between the cleaner, Herman Gordon, (whose mantra is to keep away "negative vibes" since the students need to be able to study) and the students, (who say Herman's "the epitome of happiness") because an experience I had last week has left me pondering over the relationship between cleaners, their clients (the building owners) and their clients 'once-removed' (the building users).
I've been wondering how we can put a stop to this whole scenario of the shameful abuse meted out by we, the general public, on our environment as well as on those whose job it is to clean it. You can read all about that experience in next week's issue. Herman Gordon's story has been all over the UK press this week but if you're one of our thousands of overseas readers who aren't familiar with it, it's worth a Google!
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28th June 2018