I'm a janitor at one of the biggest party colleges in the country. I've seen some shit. AMA.

My Proof: http://i.imgur.com/BRB7Bzy.jpg

EDIT - Quick lesson in vernacular. Janitor is someone whose job is to primarily clean his area. Custodians are responsible for cleaning and maintenance of the area. The more you know!

I gotta go, everyone. Thanks for keeping me company! Please do me a favor, and thank your local janitor. It's a thankless job, and they work really hard. Have a good night!

EDIT 2 - Wow, this blew up. I'll do my best to answer what I can, everyone. Bare (or is it bear) with me.

FINAL EDIT - Okay, I think the thread has lost its muster. If I see any more questions on here I'll answer as best I can, but I'm no longer going to be spamming F5 in anticipation of more questions.

May your porcelain ever sparkle.


Comments: 481 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

waiting_for_rain193 karma

Did you put this penny in the door?

clarque_171 karma

If I find out it was you... I'm coming for you.

I'M LOOKING AT YOU, /u/zachinoz!

waiting_for_rain39 karma

I'll see you in 8 seasons.

clarque_97 karma

Yes. 8. Not 9. 8. 9 does not exist.

MysteriousBob133 karma

What's the nastiest and/or weirdest shit you've had to clean up?

Edit: To clarify, I don't literally mean shit (like poop), unless that shit is the weirdest shit that you've had to clean up.

clarque_542 karma

Sit down, young Robert. Let me regale you with a story.

When I was just a young buck, nary at my job for a month, I encountered a snail trail most peculiar. I follow this trail to a study cubicle where I can only guess a woman was mutilated. The chair was covered with dark, sticky blood. Strange, I thought. I followed the trail the other way. As you might have predicted, the trail led to the restroom. Inside, I found what can only be described as the aftermath of the Elevator Scene from the Shining.

And the SMELL. I cannot even describe it. The handicap bathroom had no ventilation to speak of. In the middle of the carnage was a single pair of women's panties. The kind you wear when you expect to get laid.

I closed the door, went calmly into the men's room, and cursed the world for my cruel fate. Then I got my cart, a mop bucket, my PPE, and got the fuck to work because that's what I get paid for.

TL;DR - Some girl got an insane period and left a snail trail to the restroom, where I can only guess she exploded.

MysteriousBob165 karma

Jesus. This did not disappoint. Especially the part where you knew I like to crossdress to get laid!

clarque_136 karma

We janitors see all.

billjitsu115 karma

How does one become a janitor?

clarque_649 karma

You must make a perilous journey across the Yellow Sea to a remote village that has no name, talk to a one-eyed man who will give you a branch to a sacred willow tree. You then will climb a mountain three days west of that village and find the tree that branch came from. That is where you will claim your Mop of Glory.

Or you could apply somewhere and say you don't puke when you see gross shit.

nexus_ssg139 karma

This is absolutely the best AMA I've read in a long time.

clarque_99 karma

Thank you! I tried my best. :)

pm-me-weird-stuff115 karma


clarque_477 karma


When they shower they'll pull their tampons out and throw them all willy nilly to some forgotten corner, only to be discovered hours later by some janitor who only found it by smell.

They shit in the showers WHO EVEN SHITS IN THE SHOWERS ANYWAYS and don't even bother waffle stomping it.

They're barbaric.

xness151x70 karma

I agree with this statement. Women bathrooms at my college are harder to clean (and take longer too)

clarque_113 karma

Absolutely. I'm sure these girls are fun at parties, but they're worse than children when it comes to bathroom etiquette.

xness151x25 karma

Do you work in housing? I know that before I transferred to a quieter area, the building I was in was high traffic and bathrooms took way longer.

clarque_43 karma

I used to. I'm currently at the Rec Center, which is the ideal place to be in our department.

It's the exact same in Housing here. You have to work around the students. But sometimes you can't because of the traffic, and you have to close off a bathroom because there's not other way to get in there otherwise.

xness151x12 karma

Where I work, they make us come in at like 4 am for our rec center. It's easier to do floor resurfacing that way. Granted, the students are one of the things I don't miss at my current locale.

clarque_29 karma

I'm lucky enough to work third shift (10PM - 6AM). The students are there for only an hour when I get there.

xness151x13 karma

Mines the 5pm-130am shift. Super quiet.

clarque_24 karma

The best! Nothing better than putting some headphones in and not being bothered.

itsmebiscuits40 karma

absolutely... used to work in an airport cleaning at night so we would have to do the mens and womens in the area that were closed off and its soul destroying seeing that shit (literally). i gladly cleaned the mens after that!! almost everyone i worked with would say it too!

clarque_74 karma

You're a janitor as well? Or, were? This is your AMA too. Share your story.

2boredtocare13 karma

Oh jesus...as a woman (who never ever ever would think that is OK!) i apologize for my gender.

clarque_8 karma

It's alright. I appreciate the sentiment and understand that college is where a kid is supposed to go wild and come into their own. I just wish it wasn't so messy.

livious1112 karma

My fraternity housing committee hired a guy to come on weekdays and clean the house. We were one of the biggest houses and had a lot of parties, and this guy definitely worked hard and earned his pay.

I remember there was one party when I was a pledge, the next day he showed up to work, took one look at the mess, and promptly went back home. I can't blame him, it took 12 of us like 2 hours to clean it all.

Has there ever been something so disgusting that you were like "Fuck it, I'm out"?

clarque_183 karma

When I was located in the female dorms, there was a girl who would puke into trash bags whenever she showered. She would then leave these bags in the floor. One day I went to pick them up and they busted all down my arms and my front.

I can do shit. I can do urine. I can't do vomit.

The_Best_Avocado87 karma

Whats one of the most surprising things to happen on the job?

clarque_301 karma

A student walked up to me, shook my hand, and thanked me for doing my job. My school is a rich white kid school, where 95% of the kids are going on daddy's money and have never worked a day in their lives. For one of them to do that kind of surprised me. I won't forget it.

sock_face45 karma

that's cool, I once complimented the cleaners at work on doing a good job and the other guys at work thought that I sounded condescending, they do a good job I think I should be able to compliment them without sounding like I'm being a prick.

Edit: Found the right word to express myself fully

clarque_6 karma

I'll be honest, it's hard to distinguish the snarky from the sincere. But if I were in that janitor's shoes, I'd take what compliments I could get.

Daahkness78 karma

Who is your favorite fictional janitor.

And also what is your favorite episode of scrubs?

clarque_204 karma

Janitor from Scrubs, no contest.

The episode where Dr. Cox loses all three patients. Or the episode where Ben dies.

"Where do you think we are?"

dem8934 karma

r/scrubs in a single sentence.

clarque_24 karma

That's what I aimed for. ;)

RhoBautRawk7 karma

"Where do you think we are?"

Was that something the Janitor said to Dr. Cox? I don't remember that scene but I want to because often a "lower" or "jester" character will be more insightful than the main characters.

clarque_6 karma

JD said it to Cox when he thought they were going to the birthday party for Jack, but in truth it was Ben's funeral.

silchi5 karma

"Where do you think we are?"

That line makes me cry like a lil' bitch every goddamn time.

clarque_5 karma

Anytime I see Dr. Cox's armor gets pierced and he shows how vulnerable he really is, I get all emotional.

Ando3167 karma

How many sets of tits have you seen on campus during your time on the job?

clarque_158 karma


I was scheduled to clean the women's locker room and two students were taking showers that ran past closing time. I was already in there working when they got out.

It was a good day.

Ando3184 karma

That's it?!? I was expecting to hear that after the women saw you they ask you to join them in the shower, had an orgy for the next 4 hours, and then they finished your work...

Or maybe Penthouse forums is all lies....?!? :(

clarque_107 karma

I got some bad news for you... :(

DanielSox8756 karma

Is it odd to clean your house after cleaning for a living?

clarque_107 karma

It's actually pretty common for someone of a certain profession to avoid what they do at their job while at home. I think there's a term for it.

I don't apply though. I'm a neat freak at home.

nazmataz6 karma

I definitely am whatever this term is. Source: I am also a college janitor.

clarque_11 karma

Fight the good fight, brother!

Mr_enchanter53 karma

Do you have one of those "Brian from breakfast club" type of student friends who comes to you for advice?

Or maybe like the relationship in Ned's Declassified?

clarque_147 karma

I have to admit... I have no idea what you're talking about. But I think I get the jist.

I had one student who befriended me because I wore my N7 hat to work one day. We would talk about video games whenever he saw me.

He graduated last year. I miss him.

SevenGlass22 karma

You've never heard of Breakfast Club? I could get past not having seen it, but...

clarque_28 karma

I supposed I should have said I haven't watched it. :) I should get around to it though. I'm quite a fan of John Hughes.

SevenGlass9 karma

That's what /u/billjitsu was making a reference to in the first question you got asked.

clarque_14 karma

That makes sense now.

Mr_enchanter16 karma

That's what I meant. Did you have a student that you befriended and had a tight relationship with.

clarque_73 karma

Glad I got that right.

But yes, I did. Once... Long ago. [stares into the distance]

Enthused_Llama6 karma


clarque_5 karma


Enthused_Llama5 karma

I should go.

clarque_7 karma

[Dialogue Option]

Earthicus53 karma

Is Good Will Hunting your favorite movie?

clarque_129 karma

Do you like apples?

SevenGlass49 karma

Are you telling me this photo of Bruce Jenner is your resume?

Also, do you get the same benefits (reduced tuition, etc.) that administrative staff does?

clarque_42 karma

Yes, and yes.

SevenGlass9 karma

Does being a janitor at a university pay better/worse than say a high school or a large corporate office building?

clarque_27 karma

I honestly couldn't tell you. The pay is decent, and we get regular raises because of the union. I don't know how other businesses handle their custodial staff.

If someone else has an answer for this, I'd love to know as well.

SevenGlass6 karma

I'm guessing it's a general university employee's union as opposed to a janitor's union. Would I be wrong?

Also, thanks for being so responsive.

clarque_16 karma

You're correct. It's a union for all staff. I've never been big on the whole union debate, but they've done right by me so far.

And I'm happy to! :)

poseidonlieutenant37 karma

Are you happy with your job ? Do you get a sense of satifaction from it ?

clarque_110 karma

Are you happy with your job ?

Absolutely. Low-stress minus the obvious, good benefits, good pay. The university treats their staff well. If I'm there for 35 years I can retire with full benefits and pension. I stay out of the drama, gossip, and politics. That's where jobs start to suck.

Do you get a sense of satifaction from it ?

Yes and no. At the end of the day you sit down knowing you made the place look good, but at the same time you know that you'll just come in and do the same thing tomorrow.

I've been lucky enough for the students and staff in my building to realize how hard we work. So some days we'll come in to a few pizzas and a thank you note attached. Those are the good days.

SevenGlass22 karma

Your supervisor, (maybe not your immediate, but the first guy in the chain that actually never touches a broom) does he get super involved in managing day to day stuff, or does he just trust you guys to know your job and get it done? Also, is he someone with experience doing the job, or just someone with management type skills?

clarque_108 karma

My boss' boss is in charge of all Operations (fancy word for Janitors) in the building. One night we were redoing the floors during Summer Break. I work third shift, so my day started at 10P and ends at 6A. Anyway, he comes in in blue jeans and sneakers, gets shoulder to shoulder with us, and helps. He didn't even have to. He earned my respect that day. Most bosses won't do that, but he did. That means a lot to me.

tyrion932 karma

May i call you Doctor?

clarque_146 karma

Call me Dr. Jan Itor.

keep7730 karma

Do you ever feel like some janitor from a movie, when it's quiet and you're lost in unrelated thoughts? Is there a certain romance to it when the first people arrive in the morning as your shift is ending?

More importantly, would you recommend your work to someone who spent the previous half of their life doing science, but got tired of the stress?

clarque_61 karma

Do you ever feel like some janitor from a movie, when it's quiet and you're lost in unrelated thoughts? Is there a certain romance to it when the first people arrive in the morning as your shift is ending?

Sometimes. You know that stereotypical janitor that's jamming too hard while someone is sneaking through the building? I feel like that guy sometimes, and have to look behind me to make sure no one is sneaking around.

EDIT: I'm not sure if romance would be the right word. More like I get a certain sense of schadenfreude.

More importantly, would you recommend your work to someone who spent the previous half of their life doing science, but got tired of the stress?

This job has its own stresses, but at the end of the day it's honest manual labor. There's something relaxing about just zoning out and letting your body do the work instead of your mind. So, I guess in a way yeah. I would recommend it to someone in that situation.

keep7713 karma

Romance probably was the wrong word, but schadenfreude might be a bit too off from what I wanted to hear. But if that's what you feel.

Thanks for replying.

clarque_17 karma

I think I understand what you meant. See all the groggy-eyed people coming in, wishing them good morning. It's a weird state of transition.

And you're welcome! I hope, where ever you are, your day is going well. :)

keep7712 karma

Yeah, something along those lines is what I meant.

I hope yours is going well too! May the toilets be cleaner than usual.

clarque_19 karma

So say we all.

Hermiesterberger23 karma

How many hypodermics do you pick up in a weekend?

clarque_43 karma

I've been lucky enough to only encounter one in the three years I've worked there. We're trained to not carry trash bags close to our bodies because needles might be in there.

lprether23 karma

Were you in The Fugitive?

clarque_60 karma

KIMBLE! [points gun]

esac_niner21 karma

Do people draw things with shit in your stalls? 2nd graders do... Just wondering how far it goes..

clarque_36 karma

Only one time. Someone wrote EAT SHIT AND DIE on the wall. At least they had a sense of irony.

esac_niner14 karma


Lol xD not as bad as yours I guess! Fight on brotha!!

clarque_10 karma

Thank you!

UCFknightfinmarlin20 karma

Making over 45k?

clarque_46 karma

Fuck, I wish.

CottonCandyTacos17 karma

What is the most awkwArd situation you've seen/cleaned up after?

If you didn't personally see it, is there one you were just confused about or assumed it was awkward?

clarque_46 karma

Last week.

Someone was running on the treadmills and shit themselves. Little rabbit pellets. The pellets would hit the treadmill and propel behind them. Naturally this person was kicked out of the Rec. Most of the pellets were cleaned up, except for two. Day shift put a wet floor sign over them.

CottonCandyTacos13 karma

I take it you didn't like cleaning up after that. Does the Rec get pretty gross?

clarque_57 karma

Sometimes, yeah. Students will eat meals, then work out too much and throw up. There are times when someone will get a nosebleed or something while playing basketball, and that's a whole clusterfuck because we're supposed to take proper precautions. You know the scene in Monsters Inc where they're isolating and dealing with the sock when it comes into the monster world? That's us with blood.

I can't blame them though; our school has a 20% STI infection rate. Wrap it before you tap it, folks!

gakbds14 karma

What's the deal with those little flaps on coffee lids? If you don't want to spill your coffee, you shouldn't be driving with it

clarque_36 karma

Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants. That's the deal with them.

Shifty_Drifter8 karma

How would your day-to-day change if your mop/broom came equipped with a bayonet?

clarque_22 karma

I will do this and report back to you. I'd rather give facts instead of hypotheticals.

JM28458 karma

"Janitor" is not the best title, may I suggest: http://youtube.com/watch?v=lxD8SLyOCHE

clarque_54 karma

A janitor cleans, a custodian does maintenance on top of cleaning. Due to weird bureaucratic jabberwocky, we're not allowed to fix things. Hence, I'm a janitor. :)

My TECHNICAL title is Building and Grounds Assistant. But who wants to be called that?

I guess that reply falls into the category of "being a dick about it". Let me get you an Abba Zabba.

dirtymick6 karma

Waste Management Artisan.

clarque_3 karma

Ooh, I like this one. Sounds rustic.

Darkpaladin1098 karma

Hmm..what was the scariest thing you ever saw while at work?

clarque_28 karma


I saw a ghost. A real fucking ghost. And I got a picture of it.

Two summers back I was working weekends by myself. I'd show up early (5AM-3PM) and work 10 hours on Saturday and Sunday. The building I was in was an academic building, pretty large and fairly new. I think at the time it was about 5 years old.

Not a lot of people come to class on the weekend, let alone at 5AM. One morning I'm making my trash rounds. The bottom floor of the building was actually in the basement. Why? I don't know. There is a corridor that spans the entire building, which is U shaped. I'm in that corridor, and I round a corner. Out of the corner of my eye I could have SWORN that I saw someone sitting on a bench on the other side of the hallway, but when I looked up I didn't see anything.

Flash forward a few months. The building is closed for renovations during the summer. There's equipment everywhere in the lobby, but the building is on lockdown for the weekend because no one was going to be there but me. I'm cleaning restrooms like a good little worker bee and when I come out I see, dead in front of me, a shape of a person sitting on a bench. Luckily I had my phone in my hand, so I took a quick picture of it.

I was scared to come to work after that. Not long after, I got transferred.

Zibeon915 karma

Have you ever witnessed or heard of sexual acts between teachers/professors, Inside or outside of the school?

clarque_22 karma

Nope. Even if I did, sticking my nose into it is not worth my job.

HAYD3N604 karma

Had a job as a custodian/janitor/IT helper guy since I was 15 (Stopped when I went to college). I always felt that wherever I went and met a janitor there was an almost immediate brotherhood because of the horrors we sometimes dealt with. And I also feel like if you meet a fellow janitor at a place they can sometimes hook you up with stuff because of that brotherhood (ex. I worked for a different school as a janitor than my high school but I was tight enough with the janitors at my school to have a master/elevator key that made things easier for me). Do you feel that same way when you meet another janitor? Like an "I've been though the same shit (sometimes literally) as you so were bros" type of thing?

clarque_11 karma

There's definitely a camaraderie. But that's because of the Order of the White Mop.

I've said too much.

CentreForward3 karma

Do you whistle on shift?

clarque_11 karma

Not me personally, but a coworker can do bird whistles and it confuses the hell out of students.

siyo43 karma

What's your favorite Kevin Spacey movie?

clarque_10 karma

Oh jeez. I'd have to say SeSevenen.

anali_viper3 karma

What can remove the nastiest of stains in your opinion?

clarque_8 karma

We have an acid that, if you leave it on long enough, will literally eat through the floor. I'd say that would do the trick.

iphoneluver3 karma

Have you ever caught any students in the act of destroying a bathroom? My freshman year I got super drunk and ended up puking in the student center bathrooms and once the janitor was in there (I got everything into the toilet at least), and as I exited the stall I saw him and he was giving me the 1000 yard stare. I simply said "sorry" and walked away sheepishly.

clarque_5 karma

No student has felt my wrath for catching them in the act.


P_R_E_D_D_I_T_O_R3 karma

Do you call the feminine product wastes boxes in the restrooms "lunch boxes"? We do in my building.

clarque_5 karma

No, but I will now.

[deleted]1 karma


clarque_5 karma

In the supply room? None.