Skip to main content

I admit, one of my favorite jobs ever was working as a custodian for a very large child care center. When something broke, I fixed it. When a child puked masticated bile scented Crunch Berries on the floor, I was the guy who came out with the magic sawdust-clay mixture to soak it up and take it away.

When the center was short handed in the infant room, I got pulled into the infant room. When they were short handed in the 3 year old room, I got pulled into the three year old room. And when the kids finished their lunch, I was the guy mopping up vast amounts of wet, sticky rice from the floor, sanitizing the tables, chairs and high-chairs, and washing the dishes.

I sanitized doorknobs. I filed down jagged parts of metal that somehow, every once in a while, stuck out from steel door jams and bathroom stalls. I hauled out dozens of bags of dirty diapers Every Single Day...and yes, I cleaned up an unholy amount of poop from a dozen itty bitty toilets.

Incidentally...these are many of the things Newt Gingrich believes should be jobs for poor children in our public school systems. Perhaps you haven't heard Newt Gingrich's suggestion that we shit can the union custodians at our schools and hire poor students to do the work instead.

Cleaning up vomit. Cleaning feces off of toilet seats. Handling cleaning solvents that can eat right through latex gloves. Washing dishes with an industrial dish washer that heats the water over 180 degrees, enough to scald young skin...I can't tell you how many times I burnt myself in that water. OUCH. Plunging toilets plugged with diarrhea and toilet paper, then sanitizing the toilet seat for the Non Poor students.

Newt Gingrich wants our children cleaning blood, mucous, feces, urine, dried snot, vomit loaded with God-Knows-What pathogens from floors and walls and door knobs with chemicles that can eat the skin right off your arm or cause permanent blindness if it splashed into the eyes or loss of smell if some Janitor Kid jammed his finger up his nose...which kids never do, right?

Never.

Because an 8 year old is going to observe strict safety regulations, right?

When tasked with removing the rusting nails from the wooden playground equipment that has been discovered on the playground, that child janitor is of course going to be mindful he doesn't pierce himself....or when an errant ball sends glass and fluorescent mercury filled lightbulbs shattering to the ground, we're absolutely certain that nine year old girl is going to be so extremely careful not to slice herself open, expose herself to mercury, or for lack of attention span leave shattered slivers of glass on the shelves that happen to house the flatware and plastic cups for lunches and snacks. We're sure she'll observe proper safety procedures when removing snapped off electrical prongs from outlets.

We're absolutely sure little Kayden is going to be mindful enough to shovel the sidewalks and keep the entry ways salted to prevent people from slipping, and that he'll be sure to winterize the water systems and change the furnace filters, make sure the soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, toilet paper rolls, hallway hand sanitizer cartridges, and, of course, cherry scented urinal cakes made from hazardous quaternary ammonium compounds are well stocked and pubic hairs removed from the edge of the piss coated urinal edges. Right, kiddies? Make sure to get those black curlies off of there.

And surely those very custodian children will be on hand for the monthly to weekly deep cleans that take place late into the nights when most lucky children are at home. Meanwhile the poor kids are polishing the floors. Dusting the vents. Changing the light bulbs on ladders 20 feet in the air in the massive gymnasium.  

But maybe............just MAYBE...... Newt has no idea.

Maybe he doesn't actually know what janitors do. Maybe he imagines there's a routine to the job. Go in, wax on, wax off, mop the floor. Done.

DONE. Clean and sanitary. Every day is exactly the same. In Newt's mind, this master custodian he's talking about will have plenty of time to watch over the children as they clean the grease trap in the kithchen. He'll follow them around as they use the high torque 110 pound floor buffer, which, incidentally, one of my teenage co-workers at the child care drove through a wall at one point. He'll be sure they're not leaving the mopped floors covered in soap, and watching over them to be sure they handle toxic chemicles with proper care at all times.

I can't keep going on talking about this.

Newt is a fucking idiot who clearly hasn't worked a day in his life, and if he has, his decades of corruption have stripped away any working understanding of what it means.

He should be embarrassed for suggesting we make poor children clean our schools. There is SO much wrong with that statement and the most irritating thing is, he doesn't even know WHY.

Originally posted to Muskegon Critic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:34 PM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Kos Georgia.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Bob Johnson, Jill, Renee, frey60, Olds88, TXdem, northsylvania, Trix, Bill in Portland Maine, Chi, filkertom, BOHICA, Odysseus, jam, grollen, teacherken, Geenius at Wrok, badger, TrueBlueMajority, Outsourcing Is Treason, Bob Love, Sprinkles, TechBob, Emerson, karlpk, Shockwave, donna in evanston, mlharges, sam3am, mslat27, akeitz, celdd, xynz, devtob, elfling, Mumon, frisco, lesliet, drobnox, infinite jest, Just Saying, lady sisyphus, niemann, davelf2, regis, Heart of the Rockies, cinnamon68, opinionated, EvieCZ, bronte17, missLotus, Babsnc, BlackSheep1, kalihikane, djMikulec, CoolOnion, highacidity, Bionic, tmmike, KS McCann, Transmission, Aquarius40, mlecin, Clues, Fe, jennifree2bme, sngmama, bwren, ClickerMel, high uintas, revsue, Quege, Lilyvt, SneakySnu, Dube, MrSandman, danthrax, Kamakhya, Dr Colossus, jlynne, 2laneIA, TiaRachel, crankypatriot, cosette, JimWilson, texasmom, laughingriver, dwahzon, On The Bus, rockhound, riverlover, 313to212, DMiller, Cordelia Lear, Exurban Mom, Matt Esler, AllisonInSeattle, green917, zerelda, Curt Matlock, mungley, tomjones, lyvwyr101, Emmy, realalaskan, eclare, Josiah Bartlett, Maggie Pax, Armand451, TexH, Gowrie Gal, sb, G2geek, ExStr8, maybeeso in michigan, historys mysteries, Tinfoil Hat, salmo, TexasTom, denise b, greycat, deerskie, Unit Zero, el dorado gal, caul, CTPatriot, stlawrence, chimene, Flint, kitchen sink think tank, KatGirl, Kevskos, madmommy, fixxit, eru, owlbear1, farmerchuck, marathon, SaraBeth, Dem Beans, jimreyn, where4art, stevemb, Ice Blue, blue jersey mom, jane123, kaliope, LucyandByron, brentut5, noemie maxwell, zinger99, FindingMyVoice, sodalis, dazed in pa, LivesInAShoe, itsjim, Rogneid, xanthippe2, Snud, orphanpower, kathny, begone, Mother Mags, Knucklehead, K S LaVida, gwilson, stef, emperor nobody, Orinoco, irishwitch, tommymet, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Pinko Elephant, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, cybersaur, Mr Bojangles, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, Themistoclea, Cartoon Peril, rl en france, raptavio, cookseytalbott, kestrel9000, ruleoflaw, sleipner, jenthor, Albatross, anastasia p, fou, luckydog, oldmanriver, global citizen, StrayCat, Rosaura, looty, real world chick, happy camper, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, Zwoof, gabriella, myrealname, middleagedhousewife, onionjim, a small quiet voice, CA Nana, zhimbo, Blue in VA, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, suspiciousmind, Stripe, kurt, chapel hill guy, Koleppski, jjellin, kurious, bstotts, kml, Pandoras Box, SC damn yankee, Thinking Fella, ladypockt, pale cold, pgm 01, anotherdemocrat, dotsright, Cronesense, camlbacker, grelinda, Marcus Graly, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, rgjdmls, Duccio, jeanette0605, noofsh, daveygodigaditch, Matt Z, flumptytail, terabytes, Historicus, DWG, bnasley, RosyFinch, HCKAD, jedennis, gfre, World Patriot, SeaTurtle, millwood, Moderation, journeyman, leonard145b, skod, JML9999, bewild, on the cusp, rmonroe, VA Breeze, sand805, jwinIL14, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, Amor Y Risa, Ms Citizen, JeffW, hulagirl, OleHippieChick, Mr Stagger Lee, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, smrichmond, lineatus, wonderful world, VL Baker, Therapy, mikeconwell, monkeybrainpolitics, Deep Harm, Calamity Jean, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, demoKatz, alnep, envwq, mofembot, petulans, phrogge prince, CitizenJoe, mattc129, DixieDishrag, BYw, Karl Rover, adobedragon, dont think, Quilldriver, nb41, Robobagpiper, toom, enufisenuf, SolarMom, Stroszek, statsone, ZhenRen, hope4usa, Sarah Ann, multilee, bluemoonfever, rubyclaire, J M F, George Hier, Dirtandiron, litoralis, greengemini, Scott Wooledge, be the change you seek, Mislead, earicicle, BlueInRedCincy, mkor7, DefendOurConstitution, zaka1, moonbatlulu, paintitblue, kevinpdx, Question Authority, Lacy LaPlante, jfromga, angel d, deviant24x, collardgreens, catilinus, Larsstephens, dtruth, commonmass, RhymesWithUrple, Broke And Unemployed, Laurilei, trustno1, p gorden lippy, icemilkcoffee, TFinSF, gramofsam1, stunzeed, eb23, dminor9, Giles Goat Boy, Polly Syllabic, ATFILLINOIS, Focusmarker, gulfgal98, ramara, Egalitare, rfall, DiegoUK, sharonsz, LiberalCanuck, elengul, ericlewis0, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, nosleep4u, soaglow, not4morewars, slice, TheHalfrican, Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder, Onomastic, PaDemTerry, kerflooey, Bluefin, mama jo, speak2me, vintage dem, on second thought, gauchiste, vinny67, nervousnellie, Kharafina, Mr MadAsHell, freesia, m00finsan, Radiogabs, kiwiheart, stonedoubt, bookgirl, BirdMom, kevin k, CoExistNow, Ebby, dull knife, Cinnamon, grannysally, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, IndyReader, blw, SueM1121, seattlebarb, wintergreen8694, rexymeteorite, peregrine kate, ilovecheese, slouchsock, n8rboy, MinistryOfTruth, sound of progress, Vatexia, Hayate Yagami, SteelerGrrl, Book of Hearts, stlsophos, googie, DEMonrat ankle biter, drawingporno, IowaBiologist, The Janitor, 50sbaby, Thousandwatts, stormicats, Liberal Granny, anodnhajo, Flying Goat, Catskill Julie, Williston Barrett, greenbastard, Siri, wordfiddler, SilverWillow, LefseBlue, nellgwen, oldcrow, Philosoraptor, barkingcat, AnnieR, Joieau, Ultranaut, swampyankee, Nice Ogre, FreeSpeaker, Horace Boothroyd III, Lorinda Pike, Mr Robert, AmyU, TexDemAtty, Tyler R, belinda ridgewood, iTeachQ, reginahny, BusyinCA, MartyM, aznavy, doroma, qannabbos, Margd, Earth Bear, cassandracarolina, BreadGod, George3, wasatch, Marjmar, databob, mumtaznepal, maf1029, herbalina, Portlaw, Abelia, Fracturedchaos, koseighty, nuclear winter solstice, MarkW53, DamselleFly, NyteByrd1954, doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers, mrdreked, Illinois IRV, NinetyNineNorth, Late Again, Praxical, politicalmonkey

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site