I clean toilets for a living.
Some days are clean and some days are shitty.
Pun intended — Laugh with me.
At the beginning of the year, I found myself in a new country; with big dreams and no job. I’m a freelance designer — but haven’t yet built up the cliental to create a sustainable amount of income.
Then, unexpectedly, I got the opportunity to work from 5.00–7.00 am, 5 days a week as a cleaner; cleaning toilets at a fancy corporate office building. For a second, I was hesitant. Then I thought: No job is below you!
In a world of uncertainty, where jobs are few and far between — This is an opportunity; to create a foundation for yourself in a new country, earn a living, get a tax number, receive medical support, and get on the system. This isn’t forever. It’s not a career change but it’s good for now.
So here I am, cleaning toilets. Living the greatest plot twist of my life!
I’m aware no position is all daisies and dandelions. Every occupation has its pros and cons. But, I hope you can appreciate the comedy in my day-to-day chores and see your own responsibilities as, well, less shitty.
I have to say, I kinda like this job. I clean a total of 18 toilets, over 3 floors. It’s quick and easy. I have total autonomy over my duties and get to see the sun rise every morning. Plus free coffee! I use the time to listen to an insightful podcast or (most of the time) my favorite playlist — and end up using the mop as a microphone, singing, and dance-cleaning in front of the mirrors.
That's, of course, romanticizing it. BIG TIME. And that’s not what you guys wanna read. You want the nitty-gritty. The dirty little secrets. You want to know if it’s really as bad as it sounds. Well then, let’s get honest here:
My most stressful task includes cleaning around a motion sensor tap… Don’t underestimate how frustrating it can be to wipe down the basin when the tap starts running when you put your hand near it. Sometimes I giggle and sometimes I don’t — I do not recommend these little bastards.
I’m very grateful to work in an environment that has an abundance of cleaning products and PPE. But, no amount of sanitizer, soap, or cream can remove the scent of latex from my hands. For the rest of the day, my hands smell like a condom — But without the fun.
Now, when it comes to cleaning poo from the toilets — thank corona for mandatory masks! It doesn’t make the job more desirable but I much prefer the smell of my morning breath.
Sorry boys, but I have do you dirty here — 10/10 times my shittiest days are in the men's toilets —they just dump and dash. I knew that this was going to be part of the job but shame on you for leaving it for the next person. They don’t need to see (or smell) that. *Shoutout to the ladies for keeping things clean for others (and me!). Your acts of kindness are acknowledged.
Finally, (saved the best for last), a couple of times, in the same bathroom, on the same urinal, one generous gentleman left me a perfectly placed public hair on the edge of the bowl. I’m not sure if this is how men mark their territory, assert their dominance, or if it was intended as a gift for me. But I get the same feeling as when my cat brings me a dead mouse — I appreciate the gesture but it makes me gag and fills me with disgust!
All in all, my job could be worse (at least that's what I tell myself).
I’m extremely thankful to have a job and glad that I can find humor in it. It’s not the greatest or best-paying job in the world — but that makes no difference to my work ethic. And I take pride in that — I make that shit shine!