The Custodian’s Secret Life

I’m not a regular reader of Cleaning and Maintenance Management — either the print or online edition.

Somehow, though, its editors found — and linked to — an article from Inklings, Staples’ award-winning newspaper.

An alert “06880” reader sent it along to me.

Staples head custodian Horace Lewis. (Photo courtesy Inklings/Nick Siegel)

The story — “The Custodian’s Secret Life” — details the many behind-the-scenes jobs performed by Staples’ maintenance staff.

Sure, they clean.  But they also handle small repairs, act as security guards, even organize recycling.

Horace Lewis — the head custodian — is quoted:  “The best part about the job is taking care of you students and the school, making sure you guys are safe during the day.”

I’m not sure how or why a story in a high school paper caught the eye of an industry’s national newsletter.  Maybe it’s because high school students tend to overlook the very important role custodians play.

Whatever the reason, it once again proves “06880”‘s tagline — “Where Westport meets the world” — true.  If there’s a story here, chances are there’s a national hook.

7 responses to “The Custodian’s Secret Life

  1. An excellent organization requires the pride of every office within it, and clearly Staples has that in Horace Lewis’ Office. Staples and its students are extremely fortunate to have Horace and his staff.

  2. Horace’s quote should be read very carefully and repeatedly by anyone in local government who thinks outsourcing maintenance and custodial services is the holy grail of budgetary savings.

  3. The Dude Abides

    Nice. The “Little” guy gets some attention. Used to have a custodian at BJHS in the 60’s, named George, who (for a penny), would touch his nose with his tongue. Great guy.

  4. Horace’s leadership was very appreciated at Long Lots Elem. Emergency Shelter before, during and after the by then Tropical Storm Irene. We need a shout out to the entire staff and the food service staff as well!

  5. Horace is amazing, and we’re lucky he’s at Staples. He’s kind and diligent and smart, and, best of all, you feel secure, knowing he’s in charge of the building.

  6. Horace was at Staples back in the 1990s when my son was there and I was active in PTA–he was a great guy then and I see he hasn’t changed. Our schools need more people like Horace in all areas–teaching, management, facilities, etc. So good to hear he has his 15 minutes–maybe more–of fame!

  7. Nancy Powers Conklin

    Had a janitor at Greens Farms Elementary in the 1950s just like Horace. His name was Calvin Bell. What a guy…always encouraged us and was funny and helpful. Saw recently, maybe within the last 8-10 years that he passed away. He must have been pretty young when he was at Greens Farms with us.