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Convenient That You Want To Be Productive NOW

, , , , , | Working | December 9, 2021

I’m a school custodian. During the summer, the crew and I deep-clean the entire school — cleaning furniture, shampooing carpets, replacing damaged ceiling tiles, everything that goes into preparing the building for the next school year.

One of my coworkers, [Coworker #1], is not fun to work with. He wastes a TON of time playing games or watching videos on the office computer instead of working, and when someone does try to help him catch up, he criticizes their work instead of thanking them for the help. He also “reports” all of his criticisms to our supervisor, who largely blows him off but doesn’t actually do anything disciplinary. Here’s a recent example.

[Coworker #2] and I have removed all the furniture from one classroom where the summer school teacher works. This is pretty much the only day all summer when we can do this particular classroom because, otherwise, it’s in use for summer school. Everybody in the building knows this, including [Coworker #1].

As we always do, [Coworker #2] and I have stacked all the furniture from the classroom in the hallway so we can shampoo the entire carpet in one go. We leave a walking path so people can still get down the hallway, but otherwise, there’s not much room. About ten minutes into the shampooing job, [Coworker #1] pokes his head into the classroom.

Coworker #1: “Hey, guys, you can’t just stack everything in the hallway like this. I need to vacuum the hallway, and I can’t do that with all this stuff in the way.”

Coworker #2: “Well, you’re gonna have to wait until tomorrow. This is the only day we have to get this room clean, because [Summer School Teacher] has class tomorrow again.”

Me: “Aren’t you supposed to be working on [his own actual assignment in a completely different part of the building] today anyway? Why aren’t you down there?”

Coworker #1: “I’m waiting on [whatever] before I do that. I’m vacuuming hallways until I can get to it, but I can’t vacuum with everything out here.”

Me: “[Coworker #2] and I can do the hallway tomorrow when we put everything back in the room.”

Coworker #1: “Well, vacuuming hallways is part of my job, so I’d like to get that done myself. I can’t do it every day, but I have time now, so…”

Me: *Interrupting* “NOT TODAY! You’ve heard [Coworker #2] and me saying for weeks that this is the only day this summer we can get this room done because they have summer school classes every other day. Either wait until tomorrow or leave it for [Coworker #2] and me to do it later.”

[Coworker #1] sulked a bit and made a grand show of vacuuming the lone walking path between all the furniture before disappearing. Later that day, when [Coworker #2] and I were on our break, we walked past our supervisor’s office and heard him chewing out [Coworker #1] for getting in our way instead of working on his own assignment.

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