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Hello Reddit, my name is Andrew. For the past 18 years I have been a janitor. I initially started working for my parents who had a cleaning company. When the time came, I took over the family business. I have had other jobs on the side besides this. I worked as a medical transporter, worked in a bowling alley. Construction, I even had a few years as a YouTuber, but I have never quit this job. I know there are a lot of negative connotations with this profession, & I hope that with this AMA I will be able to answer some questions about a job some people say they would never do.

Comments: 3036 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

Devliin6904 karma

So you find people treat you differently when they learn of your profession?

FlickFreaks11221 karma

Yes. I have had Tinder dates up & leave after finding out what I do for a living.

Jesteress1726 karma

My uncle stopped talking to my step mom after he found out she was a cleaning lady

People are jerks, cleaning is very hard work!

My dad always said that it doesn't matter what your profession is, as long as it's legal it's respectable

I've had people be jerks to me for working as "just a waitress" but joke's on them, I'm one of the lucky few that actually enjoy their jobs

FlickFreaks1010 karma

That’s great! Keep at it & screw the haters!

antwan_benjamin818 karma

How, exactly, do you describe your profession on these dates?

FlickFreaks2376 karma

I say I own a cleaning company. My rule is, if this turns out to be serious, I don’t want her to think I am ashamed of what I do, or that I was lying to her.

tejota3394 karma

How much do you make a year? Do you have other employees?

FlickFreaks3817 karma

$33,000 cash. Just me.

BLMdidHarambe2336 karma

By stipulating that it’s cash are you saying that you don’t pay taxes on it?

  • Totally not the IRS

FlickFreaks4484 karma

By saying I get paid in cash I mean when tax time comes around, I always owe a lot.

peebo_sanchez2973 karma

I applaud you. I've worked as a master of the custodial arts and people treat you so terrible, like you are beneath them. My question is have you ever freaked out on someone for treating you poorly?

FlickFreaks3876 karma

I have been fortunate enough to where the places I clean, the employees have always treated me with respect. I have a side gig as a film critic for local radio, so every week people ask me about the latest films in theaters.

That isn’t to say that there have never been assholes. But as the face of my parents founding company I try to keep those feelings in check.

peebo_sanchez1194 karma

Fuckin-A kudos man. Glad you're keeping up your family business.

I've always thought overnight janitorial work would be cool, because no one is there and you can work without having to worry about bothering other people

FlickFreaks1183 karma

That honestly might be my favorite aspect of the job.

--cheese--465 karma

What's the most interesting thing you've seen overnight when nobody was about?

FlickFreaks1401 karma

I think it’s hilarious that people will leave fake winning lottery tickets laying around on their desks to see if I’ll take it.

RambleOff141 karma

Are you kidding me?! That's fuckin cool! The custodial critic! You seem like you would be a local treasure, dude!

FlickFreaks310 karma

I work with the guys over at CinemaSins. I think that’s pretty cool.

TrickNeal7752 karma

What did you think of Captain Marvel?

FlickFreaks185 karma

I liked it. Not loved it. It was entertaining, but major flaws in the story & other negatives holding it back for me a bit.

pantsants33 karma

What were the biggest flaws in your mind?

FlickFreaks190 karma

If you have warp technology, why do you need a lightspeed engine.

Funky_fy2317 karma

Why do you hate J.D.?

Edit: thanks for the gold, kind stranger!

FlickFreaks3685 karma

Cause he put a penny in the door.

entendre_times_two1307 karma

I did this sort of work for a while as a kid. You see any job specific stress related injuries? Problems with joints, legs, hips, etc. I can literally still feel the weight of all the stuff id have to carry with me up and down stairs when I used to do this kind of work.

At Any rate, you're a bad ass for doing it as long as you have.

FlickFreaks2169 karma

I’m sure that any pains and aches I have had are no different than anything you will find with any type of blue-collar job. I have pains in my hands my back and shoulders. And I’m pretty sure I have the knees of a 50 year old man who has the knees of a 90 year old man. But as any typical Midwestern guy, if you ignore the pain long enough, you forget it’s there.

dangnthienphu970 karma

Hi Andrew, I am really appreciated your efforts for doing this.

I just want to ask what motivated you to start on the side jobs?

FlickFreaks959 karma

A combination of money and the curiosity to try different things. I started as a medical transporter to see if the medical industry would be something I would find fascinating and want to pursue a career in. Same with construction and content creation. But all of those jobs proved too stressful for me.

skudgee256 karma

Is your YouTube channel still up? I'd love to take a look at any content you created, even if you don't do it anymore.

FlickFreaks361 karma

Yep. Flick Freaks

FlickFreaks792 karma

Turn off the coffee machine when you leave for the day. Make an effort to put trash in the trash can. (Sounds obvious but you would be surprised) & the big one.... flush.

RicktimusPrime666 karma

I just wanted to say I really appreciate what you’re doing.

I’m 21 and started working a cushy desk job 3 days after I graduated high school. In July 2018 our head facilities manager asked me to work for his cleaning company. I’ve been cleaning a public works building for almost a year and I live in Maine. The floors are fucking rough in the winter, but luckily they’re getting better and hopefully our last bad snow is this weekend.

I’ve learned over the last few months that this is not a thankless job like I thought it was. I used to think of my school janitors as cool guys, but never really had any sort of profound respect for them (certainly no disrespect.) There’s a third shift at the buildings I clean and over the course of the winter, over a dozen men have thanked me for my cleaning and say I’ve the best they’ve had.

Honestly at first I was just in it for the money. But it has taught me integrity in the way of doing a good job because it’s the right thing to do. No point in cutting corners, that will upset everyone and likely cost you the contract/job in the long run. This job has also helped me create better habits and has increased my general productivity.

I personally think that janitors are typically the nicest folk in a company, and they all deserve to be treated the same way people treat coworkers or even the CEO. If your company doesn’t have a janitor and they hire contractors, be sure to thank them if you see them on their way in/out!

My question to you would be: what interaction with an employee of a company you have cleaned for has stuck out to you the most, positive or negative?

FlickFreaks483 karma

I agree about cleaning during winter being awful. That road salt gets everywhere & is a nightmare to clean up.

I did briefly work for a place that kept asking for us to do extra work beyond what we agreed on. I would say I am happy to do it, but we would need to renegotiate our contract, but they refused, saying it shouldn’t be a big deal to do extra work for no pay.

Brianfiggy618 karma

How big is your key chain/ring?

FlickFreaks763 karma

7 keys

TheDevilsAdvokaat461 karma

What are your plans for the future?

FlickFreaks2182 karma

I’m looking forward to breakfast. Plan on getting french toast, bacon & eggs.

Deplete1414 karma

Can I ask you a question? How does one become a janitor?

You wanna become a janitor?

No, I just wanna know how one becomes a janitor, because Andrew here is very interested in pursuing a career in the custodial arts.

Oh really? You guys think I’m just some untouchable peasant, a servant — peon? Huh? Maybe so. Following a broom around after shitheads like you, I’ve learned a couple of things. I look through your letters, look through your lockers; I listen to your conversations. I am the eyes and ears of this institution, my friends. (...) By the way, that clock’s 20 minutes fast.

FlickFreaks202 karma

Great movie

0rangeoa334 karma

Is the pay good for a janitor? Do you see yourself working in this profession for your whole life? Any other aspirations you have or had?

FlickFreaks1117 karma

The pay is not great, but is long as I can pay rent and buy food for me and my dog, I’m set. I’ll never own a new car, but is long as I have one to get me to work I am more than content.

bbbberlin175 karma

How do you deal with your dog and the job? Does it have a dog door that it can use during longer shifts?

I'm just thinking about this now, as I consider getting a dog. I think I can bring my dog to work (sometimes at least), but I guess at a cleaning company that might not fly, haha.

FlickFreaks255 karma

Dog door

nilestyle75 karma

This is a genuine question and I do not mean for it to sound negative at all, but is there any part of you that wants to do “better?” In 20 years do you think you’ll have any regrets for not trying to reach higher and be able to get more out of life?

FlickFreaks257 karma

I sometimes worry about that. But my favorite quote of all time is, “You need not die happy, when your day comes, but you must die satisfied. For you have lived your life from beginning to end.”

It just reminds me that if in the moment I am happy, it isn’t wasted. But if a day comes when I feel I need to do something different I will give that 100% as well.

JebbieSans187268 karma

  1. Worst mess ever?

  2. Guys or gals are dirtier?

  3. MCU or DCU?

FlickFreaks656 karma

  1. Whenever the sewage backs up in the industrial plant bathrooms.

  2. In most of the places I work, there are few women in the fabrication business. So the plant bathrooms are primarily dirty guys. But in the front offices, there are a few women. I’d say the front office bathrooms are about even. But in the actual office section I notice that the women tend to have more clutter on their desks than some of the guys. There is one particular lady Whose office I clean who I swear could not put trash in her trash can to save her life. It’s as if she just drops it on the floor next to the trash can & says, “Close enough.”

  3. Marvel movies, DC comics

FlickFreaks268 karma

Not really wanting to be in those kind of situations. When I was a medical transporter, part of my duties was to take the recently deceased to the morgue. Least favorite part of the job.

Remoru260 karma

you are hot. what's your chest tattoo?

FlickFreaks261 karma

Thank you. & it is a bunch of geometric shapes I designed.

Remoru105 karma

any chance we could see it? and #respect if you don't feel comfortable for job reasons

FlickFreaks162 karma

My instagram is also flickfreaks

1stevelation224 karma

How often do you lie about your occupation when others ask, because it’s got degrading connotations?

FlickFreaks623 karma

I have definitely exaggerated to an extent of what I do. There of been times and social gatherings where you stand around and people talk about what they do for a living, and when it gets to me I see that I work as a co owner of a corporation in the industrial district.

EdwardDM10220 karma

Had anyone ever mentioned that you look like you are built as per the proverbial brick shithouse?

FlickFreaks181 karma

I guess it’s just a flattering picture. I’m really not, lol

unclephilibuster195 karma

Are you happy?

FlickFreaks517 karma

I am bipolar. But right now. I am very happy.

ONlICHAN116 karma

Hey man! I remember you from your FF7 reaction video on YouTube! Just coming through to say it was the best reaction I've ever seen. Hope you have a nice day!

FlickFreaks131 karma

Thanks man. Always cool to hear from someone back in the YouTube days.

TacoBell380125 karma

I am also a janitor. What do you do when your company you work for does not provide the essential tools to clean all of your areas in one shift? Also, how do you stay positive? It's a lonely job in my experience.

FlickFreaks211 karma

It does get frustrating when the building forgets to order toilet paper & they ask why I haven’t refilled them.

I don’t mind the solitude. Less stressful.

charactarantula111 karma

I am a lady janitor at a steel fab shop. I work with mostly men and they act like I'm their fucking maid. How do I get some respect?

FlickFreaks208 karma

In my experience, you can’t fix stupid. & misogynistic assholes definitely fit that bill. If it becomes harassment, take it up with their employer. If they do nothing, contact the better business bureau.

YOU_DIDNT_EARN_THIS88 karma

My last comment got auto-modded because they said I didn't have a question, but I for sure did, it was just buried - will this one get auto-modded too?

Dude, first off, you're an entrepreneur who took over the family business and didn't run it into the ground, that's killer, to the idiots lower down who are downplaying it on some "just a janitor" shit, fuck that. That's a lot harder than people might realize.

People just getting up in the middle of a tinder date after finding out that you're a successful entrepreneur is insane (Success is relative, but getting your bills paid and keeping busy and having the freedom of not having a boss = success, full stop.) Like, literally insane of them to not realize that you've got a very impressive skillset that goes far beyond mopping up her nasty snail-trail as she crawls off in search of a doctor or a lawyer.

What's your reaction to people who have the mentality of, say, throwing their garbage on the floor becasue "If I picked up after myself, the janitor wouldn't have a job..." I remember kids saying that in school, for instance. I'm guessing maybe it's a bit different when you run your own business as opposed to the school janitor who is there for 8 hours a day regardless?

FlickFreaks134 karma

Idiots guarantee me job security. Also the fact I know I would destroy them at a trivia night makes me laugh.

super0nova74 karma

One question, how' you livin' brother?

FlickFreaks137 karma

So much fun it should be illegal.

xiaoming168 karma

You run a cleaning company, how successful is it?

FlickFreaks130 karma

Successful is relative. I would say we are reputable, but so much of that is accredited to my father who built this company & worked his ass off in order to be known as the best cleaning company around. We are not a large operation, but I feel if we were to contract out to another business we would have plenty of satisfied businesses recommend us.

jeremyhat154 karma

Do you have an army of stuffed squirrels?

FlickFreaks112 karma

No, but I do have a Raven named Sanchez

FlickFreaks49 karma

Over

JonasErSoed38 karma

I’ve seen you talking about the best aspects of your job. What are some of the worst?

FlickFreaks99 karma

Hard to have a social life when most everyone works a nine to five & you work nights.

FlickFreaks36 karma

Janitor in scrubs was great

s133zy32 karma

Hey, fellow Janitor from Norway here!

I just want to say that you are the man! I expect to see you on the next annual International Janitor convention, (date/location secret, of course, im sure you got the messenger pigeon.)

I was curious, whats your idea of job security? Do you think something like the #trashtag is bad for business?

Confidimus Puro, brother.

FlickFreaks30 karma

I didn’t even know about this trashtag thing. I just feel as long as humans are sloppy pigs, then they’ll need us. & it’s a good feeling to be needed.

Lobotomist24 karma

Andrew I had a roomate that started as janitor ( we were 19 years old ) , he went to opening a pub with money he saved with janitor work ( cleaning offices was profitable back than, and he saved all his money ) - The pub, went to club, club went to several clubs. He went to owning 2 Jaguars. 2 divorces and than to bancrupcy. Sometimes he says he will go back to being janitor :)

My question for you : How come you started at age of 14 ?

FlickFreaks59 karma

I wanted money & my parents said I had to earn it. So when they went to work at night. I started cleaning.

Mind you My sister & I were going with my mom & dad to these buildings anyway ever since we were little kids. My parents could not afford a baby sitter, so we just went to work with them. We’d stay in the break room & do our homework. Then go home & sleep.

Dirtyhippee15 karma

What are the perks, the things that non-janitor people don’t know about, daily or not, that you get from your job ?

FlickFreaks43 karma

Since the buildings are empty when I am there, I can sing to my heart’s content & not be ashamed.

dangnthienphu9 karma

Oh nice! So among those jobs that you have tried, besides the janitor one, which other you would like to pursuit or any other new jobs you also want to try?

FlickFreaks23 karma

Working in construction & building things introduced me to a fascination with wood working. To turn something like a tree into a work of art. I have always been artistic, drawing, acting, singing, so perhaps that would also be a factor in why I like it.

RobertThorn20227 karma

Thank you for doing one of the jobs that are helpful. My question: Do you know Roger Wilco? If not, you should.

FlickFreaks7 karma

Just looked him up. That’s cool. Might need to give those a look.

ndhrhrmle4 karma

I did cleaning services when I was in Uni to help friends cash in extra money. Cleaning is personally therapeutical to me so I didn't give much thoughts initially and went ahead thinking I'd have great time.

It was partially true though. My friend and I were aware of my OCDness but we didn't foresee the job would sometimes escalate pretty quickly. One house we did had just renovated so messiness was expected. What didn't and actually happened: used and wet diapers laying around floors, dead rats, kitchen area filled with cat urine odor etc - overall, it was horribly dirty and everything was a nightmare.

My questions, have you ever encountered scenarios so bad you had to exit for a while and resume back? And do you have any cleanliness pet peeves?

Also what's your favourite indie film?

FlickFreaks36 karma

Times I had to take a break & step back: the downside to this job is I am technically a contractor. Meaning I am not entitled to any benefits or time off. I am expected to do my job every day that business is open. One time, A building my families company had been cleaning for over 20 years moved to Mexico. Everyone there got a severance package except us. Even the temps got one so long as they’d been there over a year. Another time my dog died & it was the worst day ever, but I had to go to work. Luckily I was alone all night so no one saw me crying.

Cleaning pet peeves. Probably the biggest one is when the building doesn’t turn off the coffee pot over the weekend & when I get there it is a charred volcanic chunk I have to spend 20 minutes scraping out the pot.

Favorite indie film: Whiplash

OGWhiz3 karma

What do you put on hot dogs?

FlickFreaks5 karma

Ketchup, mustard, onion, relish, cheese, chili

FlickFreaks3 karma

I just lift.

lava120053 karma

Is there anything you learned working as a janitor that you think we all should know? Or interesting to know?

FlickFreaks6 karma

People use too much toilet paper sometimes.

Vladamir_Putin_0072 karma

What's your favorite aspect of your job?

FlickFreaks20 karma

That I can kind of start working anytime I like, so long as I finish all of my duties before the morning shift arrives. Also, I can turn on audiobooks and listen to them while I work as there is no one else around while I am cleaning to disturb.

geekshield2 karma

Don’t know if you’re still answering questions but I’ll ask anyways. How do you find better paying jobs being a janitor? I’m 19 and have been working a cleaning company for a while now. Great job but it’s shit pay with lots of overtime, no vacation, no sick days, and no benefits.

FlickFreaks2 karma

Yep. That’s janitorial work for you.

grapejuicecheese2 karma

The cleaning company is just you or do you have a team?

FlickFreaks6 karma

Just me

stuckonpost1 karma

What is the best way to mop a stage after your neighbor gets booed off stage? Is it back and forth or side to side?

FlickFreaks3 karma

Back & forth. That way you are actively scrubbing the floor. Side to side just leaves streaks.

slapshotbish1 karma

How are you happy with living life with just you and your puppy?

FlickFreaks5 karma

You obviously haven’t met my dog.

DiLisioMatrix1 karma

are you anything like the janitor we all know and love?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v2mEg9Cpvs&feature=youtu.be&t=87

FlickFreaks9 karma

I relate more to Scruffy Scruffington

gamrgy2271 karma

Probs asked below but what was the worst mess you had to clean and have you ever thought of leaving the janitor job behind?

FlickFreaks4 karma

Oh, for sure. But maybe it’s the fact I like structure & am not a fan of change that keeps me staying with it.

dvishall1 karma

Thank you Sir for your service. We bow in respect to you...Have you ever found a math or any other problem/equation scribbled on the board and solved it just for fun?

FlickFreaks3 karma

Math is by far my worst subject. Numbers & calculations are so baffling. Now history or art I am all over.

imperidal1 karma

How many hours do you work per week?

FlickFreaks3 karma

It varies depending on the time of year, how quickly I move, how much there is to clean. Most of the time around 40-50 hours a week.

TalkingBackAgain0 karma

What have you seen, Andrew? What secret do you have on someone that will ruin their career instantly? Share all the gory details!

FlickFreaks2 karma

I’m taking them to the grave!!!

Honestly nothing. I don’t look through people’s trash or read memos on their desks. That would be wasted time keeping me from my home & dog.

Kidxombie-1 karma

Being a janitor and owning your own janitorial business are two very different things. Maybe choose a more accurate title?

FlickFreaks1 karma

Either way, I’m the one cleaning the toilets

dreamtreader1248-2 karma

So when is your rap career going to take off?

FlickFreaks9 karma

I hope the world is never exposed to the horror that is my inability to rap.

[deleted]-2 karma

[deleted]

FlickFreaks13 karma

In the picture I am standing next to one of my mop buckets. Not sure what else I can do to prove. Never thought I’d have to prove I was a janitor.

ortund-20 karma

18 years as a janitor. Did you never aspire to achieve more in your life or were you incapable of actually doing it? Are your parents proud of you?

FlickFreaks18 karma

I for sure had plenty of things that I wanted to try doing professionally. From a young age I really wanted to be an actor. But as everyone knows it is an incredibly frustrating and difficult industry to get into. Also the fact that I have suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks my whole life, it has made it difficult for me to find employment in high stress work. There is something cathartic about the repetition of cleaning. You know what’s expected of you, & if you do your job To the best of your abilities then it’s not that stressful.