Anonymous 5m 1,148
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The sanitary department, also known as the janitor, in schools may not be the most glamorous job in the world but you can sure have a little fun. The school was run tightly by a young new principal, who had a short temper and no tolerance for school jokers. I was also new to the school but I quickly saw the structure. The principal was such menacing presence, when he would appear in the halls kids would suddenly stop talking and get out of his way, even the teachers feared him.
One time I was mopping the floor outside the teachers lounge, and suddenly out of nowhere the infamous principal appeared. He walked down the hall with his nose up in the air, with a fast passé not even looking where he was walking. Actually it was pretty amazing that he could even see in front of him, his nose was so big that you’d think that he can only look left and right. Anyway, he was walking down the hall, and like everyone else I put my head down and stood to the side. He continued to walk down the hall coming up to the teachers lounge and as he extended his had to try and open the door, he suddenly slipped on the wet floor. For a moment there was complete silence in the hall, and finally one kid couldn’t hold it in any longer and started laughing at the top of his lungs. And like dominoes one triggered the rest and they all started laughing, some even imitating his fall. The laughing was so loud it filled the whole school.
The students were all running to see what all the fuss was about. That short moment lasted for what seemed like hours as everyone was trying to get a hold of themselves and stop laughing before he got up. And as the laughing started to die down, and the principal tried to get up and reached for the door handle, a teacher trying to see what was going on outside, opened the door and hit him so hard that it almost knocked him out. The laughing spread again even faster then before, it caught on like a forest fire, even the teachers started laughing. As much as I disliked the principal I couldn’t help but feel bad about what happened to him, I mean I was the one who was mopping the floor, I should have said something, but I just stood there scared of a man, a man just like me. I started to feel even more bad, so I decided to help him up.
I gave him my hand and helped him get to his feet, he had a brose on his forehead but other than that he seem fine, except for his ego, I imagine that was hurt pretty bad. I helped walk him to his office and when everyone saw that, they felt a bit of remorse for laughing like that. As I walked him to his door he suddenly mumbled something out. I couldn’t understand him at first, but then he mumbled again. This time I caught on what he was trying to say. He was asking if anyone saw him fall. A sympathetic smile ran across my face as I helped him to his chair. He asked me to sit down, which at first I declined but after seeing that sad look on his face I couldn’t help it. He asked me again if anyone saw him fall in the hall. He seemed so sad, not like the arrogant man before, I couldn’t bring myself to tell him the truth. I weakly muttered no, and he seemed to brighten up a bit. I saw a chance to get closer to find out why he was so arrogant and merciless all the time.
The fear from before in the call started to come back, but I couldn’t succumb to it now, my curiosity and will to help this, man, out started to take over. I gained the courage and asked, what was his problem, why he was so arrogant all the time. He gave me an angry look and reminded me he was the boss, but just about when I was going to back out and leave the office he started to cry. It was very uncomfortable, to this day I can remember him trying to hide the tears. After seeing that, it was already too late. If he was going to fire me then so be it, but a grown man doesn’t cry if nothing’s bothering him. So I decided to ask him again why he was so arrogant. After a short pause, he looked at me, saw that I wasn’t going to go away without an answer and he started to pour his heart out to me. He told me that he didn’t want to be that way, but he was fighting for his fathers approval, who happened to be the principal of the best run school in the state, and the only way he thought he could get it was if he pushed and pushed everyone to be better. That was all that he truly wanted.
It was amazing to see the man who seemed unbreakable pour his heart out to a janitor. We talked for about an hour after which I left the office a different man. After that I decided to help him out, I had worked in the school in which his father was the principal and I decided to pay him a little visit. He didn’t even know who I was at first, but as we started talking he found out that I was telling the truth about who I was and the pain that his son was going through.
After that, I didn’t see the principal nor his father for a few days. But then as the week had passed and everyone had forgotten about the principal’s accident, and Monday had just come and school had just started, I saw the principal. He was like a changed man. There was a smile on his face as he came to greet me, he thanked me and said he would call a meeting to apologize for the way he had been behaving while he has worked here.
In a few weeks he became the most loved person in the school and I’m proud to say that he also became a friend. That just goes to show you, you can never truly judge a person, who would have know that inside he was just a little boy searching for his father’s approval, and who would have known that a little janitor could have helped a distinguished person like him. We should never be so quick to judge people, especially our bosses.