SDSU Wecota Hall First Floor

The SDSU Wecota Hall basement janitor left me a note today saying, and I quote verbatim “If you have to dump your partially drank coffee in the waste basket…please wrap in these and save both us a mess??” He left the message on my desk together with 10 small disposable bags.

Never mind the grammar, but the note is a threat to my existence at the basement. He specifically picked me when I am not the only one drinking coffee in the room, neither the only one throwing coffee cups in the waste bin.

For the past weeks, I have been complaining about the cleanliness of room 008. I have never talked to the cleaning guy, but the Center’s secretary. Although, I am pretty sure the admin has already been informed regarding the problem, it looks to me the guy has not done anything about it (yet) for weeks now since the complaint was raised.

The issue sprung from the cleaning guy not mopping the floor, nor sweeping it. What he does every night is to throw the garbage out. Throwing means dumping the contents of our small bin to his much larger collection bag. He does not change the plastic bag of our waste basket, even if how dirty it is — leaving it smelly at times. Unlike the late cleaning guy Gary (may his soul rest in peace) who, without fail, did two cleaning rounds each night (sweeping the whole basement first, then coming back the second round to mop the whole area with water), this new guy seems to have been paid to only collect the garbage. And he is doing it lousily!

And now I have to be careful on what to throw in the bin? It should have been his responsibility to make sure the waste bags are changed all the time — without questions asked. What about the bins in the other floors where they are filled with coffee cups? Did the other janitors also left notes to those who used the bins?

When I was in the Netherlands for a two-year study, my colleagues and I were asked regularly to rate the cleanliness of our room. We had the opportunity to tell the cleaning company about the service we are getting through the regular evaluation. Unfortunately, here in SDSU, we are not given that liberty. In fact, the cleaning guys (I am isolating this basement cleaning guy) seem to act bossy.

Never in my entire life have I been asked to mind what I throw into the waste bin, until now. Now I have to think if I have to throw a banana peel in the bin (or do I need a sanitary bag for that?). Now I have to buy and keep sanitary bags on my desk. All these, because of a note from the old cleaning guy!

This makes me so afraid as an international student. Failure to comply from the request may provoke him. And I feel threatened especially that I often work at night.