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The Janitor

These two strips are from that “Truth is funnier than fiction” department.  In early 1985, the university re-negotiated its janitorial contract with a new service provider. One of the universal constants of every bureaucracy, however, is that they never equate the “lowest bidder” to the “worst service”, and, in 1985, ERAU was no different. Thus the lowest bidder was selected to take over all of the janitorial services for the entire Daytona Beach campus, and the previous service provider was released. Immediately after this contract was implemented, however, some strange stuff began to happen on campus. Waste baskets routinely over-flowed, and rest-rooms were always a mess, something was indeed amiss.

Students who work on campus newspapers have this habit of hanging around campus late at night and long after the normal students have gone home. This is mainly because the newspaper staff members have no social life to speak of and thus find the needs of the paper a good excuse for never leaving the campus. Cartoonists are even worse because the truly do not have a life and thus tend to live in the newspaper office. Late one night while hanging around in the Avion office, because I had no life, I wandered down to the rest room and noticed a man who resembled a local vagrant, lounged out on the chairs outside of the barber shop, sound asleep. Returning to the newspaper office I mentioned this discovery to the other staff members who were in the office... who also had no life. Subsequently, everyone had the chance to go down and see sleeping beauty. Campus security was called and later informed us that the man was one of the new janitors.

The following day the staff contacted the powers that be and raised the question as to why their staff were sleeping on the job. The newspaper was informed in the most forceful terms that there was no one from the janitorial service sleeping on the job. In fact, the new contractor was said to only employ only the best of janitorial professionals. They simply needed time to “get their act together”.

Why is it that contractors that suck always need the rest of the world to wait for them to get their act together? Is this so that they can REALLY suck later on? Apparently, that was the case for the new janitorial service at good old ERAU, because just a few days after we newspaper staff members with no lives had discovered the sleeping janitor, one of the other janitors was discovered in the engineering building with his arm hopelessly stuck in a vending machine. Apparently he had been reaching up through the door to rob some snacks when his arm became stuck. He was forced to sit there until the morning staff arrived, or he “got his act together”... whichever came first. So stuck was this poor slob that the paramedics from the Daytona Beach Fire Department had to be called in to free him. Shortly there after, the new janitorial service and their “professional” staff were also freed from their new contract with our university.

Avion Newspaper

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