How did you get your start in the cleaning industry?
I started working at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI, in 1977 after earning an associate’s degree in early childhood education.
My first position was assisting instructors in the child care program, and I then worked in the day care center, providing care to children ages 2-3 for approximately 10 years.
I moved into the college’s Facilities Department as a custodian around 1987 and, in 1992, became a custodial manager.
What does your job entail?
My duties include custodial staff supervision and training, furniture purchasing, interior decoration, office planning, and signage.
I supervise 15 full-time employees at the Appleton Campus (approximately 675,000 square feet) and three full-time employees at the Oshkosh Campus (approximately 135,000 square feet).
I also supervise the contract cleaning of the Outreach Centers in Waupaca, Wautoma, Chilton, Clintonville and Neenah.
The custodial staff does a variety of tasks besides cleaning, including: Room and activity set-ups for special functions, ceiling tile and light bulb replacements, relocation of staff and sites, modular furniture installations, deliveries to Outreach sites and signage installation.
Do you have any special training for your job?
I’m always looking for and attending training related to supervision and custodial technology.
For example, I’ve earned a certificate in management from the American Management Association, and attended sessions on issues like team training and leadership, Green Cleaning, and facilities management.
What do you find most challenging in your job?
The task of keeping college buildings clean, providing a high level of customer service with less staff, and meeting all the requests from college staff, which are sometimes conflicting.
What is the most favorite, and least favorite, part of your job?
My favorite is project planning and remodeling.
I love organizing all the detail and seeing a positive outcome at the end of the project.
My least favorite part of the job is having to deal with performance issues.