When students return to school on Thursday, they’ll be chitchatting, jostling and sizing each other up. They probably won’t notice the shiny floors beneath their feet, not to mention the freshly scrubbed bathrooms or newly painted banisters.
But that doesn’t bother William Fuller, a cleaner at P.S. 314 in the Bronx. At 52, he has been cleaning schools for 18 years.
“We all take good pride in our work,” he said. “When you have kids, you try to make sure everything is good for them,” he added, noting that he now has a daughter and two grandchildren in city schools.
Fuller and his colleague, Anna Fuentes, are among several cleaners who posted photos of their efforts on a Facebook page connected to their union, 32BJ SEIU, which represents around 5,000 New York City public school cleaners and handypersons. Under each image, fellow workers have added comments like “Great job, brother, nicely done,” and “Awesome seal on the gym yo!!!”
Carolina González, a spokesperson for the union, said she stumbled on the photos, which the cleaners posted on their own. She was impressed with the obvious pleasure they took in a job well done. “I never thought that this was the kind of thing they would fixate on – ‘I have the shiniest floor.’”
But their floors are, indeed, a sight to behold. Check out a few samples below before the back-to-school scuffing begins.