Jeff Tolar

Name: Jeff Tolar

Position: Janitor

1. What did the first week of school closure look like for the janitorial staff?

“When I started hearing on the news about the virus, I and [other] coworkers started doing minor disinfecting which gave us a head start on what was going to happen. The 1st week we were closed we went through every room and wiped everything down, and after that, we began our regular cleaning. The day before we were told to stay home we went through again and disinfected one more time.”

2. How do you think this outbreak will affect procedures for the school in years to come?

“I don’t think our regular routine will change much, but I hope we can get newer equipment and somehow get back to (or near) the coverage we used to have.”

3. What have you done to prepare for the closure of school until next year?

“Not much has been done yet. Since the stay at home order, I have been the only one coming in and that is mostly once a week to check the building for any issues and disinfect any areas that may have been used. Once the stay at home order is lifted, we will start our summer cleaning procedures.”

4. How has your job as janitor changed so far, and what do you think it will look like next year?

“The only near change I see is our crew paying more attention to high touch areas. As for next year, my hope is new equipment and less of a turnover rate with employees.”

5. Do you feel more appreciated during this time?

“I think there has been more concern versus appreciation. We have always felt appreciated!”

6. Has this pandemic brought the janitorial staff closer together? Do you feel a sense of “we’re in this together” as a staff?

“I believe we were always close! We have always jumped in with both feet as a team whenever there is a need. I am blessed with an awesome group of hardworking coworkers!!!”

7. Has anything ever prepared you for something like this? Do you think this will influence more places/companies to hire janitors now that sanitation has become such a talking point? 

“I was involved in a similar situation with the SARS virus some years back. It wasn’t as intense as this one, but I think that experience better prepared me for this one.”

8. Are there any cleaning tips you can share for those at home?

“Disinfect your home once a week at a minimum. If you have anything delivered (even your regular mail), wipe it down before handling it, and wash your hands a lot. I pray daily that our students and staff stay healthy!!!”

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