I turned 15 and altered my birth certificate year so I could start working. My 3rd day on the job at HandyAndy grocery in San Antonio my GM calls me to the men’s restroom for cleanup – duties of a porter.
With no hesitation I rushed from my stockroom cleanup duties to this unforgettable meet. The men’s toilet was jammed with toilet paper and what could only be described as hangover hell.
After quick and deliberate instructions, I returned with all the necessary essentials to clear the clog and clean the stall. On the way back, all I could think about was how I was going to hold in my lunch.
I walked in prepared and ready to prove to my boss that I could handle anything. To my surprise, he grabbed the plunger, carefully dipped it into the bowl and then went after it like a boss! As careful as he was to not create more of a mess, splashing was unavoidable. The smell was pungent and intense. After he struggled a bit, I asked if I could have a turn but he was quite determined to succeed. He continued.
The toilet was eventually clog-free and he moved on to clean the toilet and walls spotless and moping floor. The stall was cleaner than I’ve ever seen a public toilet. I was shocked and amazed but mostly inspired. I thought, man, this guy is crazy amazing.
When he was done, he looked at me and said, “what do you think?” Seeking confirmation that the task was completed. I said, “I could have done it, Sir.” He replied, “I know, but I wanted you to know that I would never ask you to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.”
From that day on, I cleaned like a BOSS and carried this same philosophy throughout my career no matter what the job. I also learned why grocery store GMs wear a short-sleeve dress shirt with a clip-on tie. LOL.
Find a way to inspire young minds through your actions.