Saturday, July 14, 2007

janitor in a previous

It's just another diatribe (because less than two tribes, going to war, would be a monotribe).

What's the story? I held court with my peers (the janitors at corporation X) today and wowed them with my wit. James, floor 1, who has one eye and responsibility (sole ownership) of our one-and-only wide broom (oh, how he lords it over us as he trammels dust and cartons towards the janitor's door in reception, his reflection as smug as he) was fairly impressed - enough so I saw his teeth at one point.

So I was saying (with plastic cup of coffee and home-rolled cigarette) something good in my estimation (I am young and marking time in this big corporation, with its polished floors and eye-level beyond my level executives striding through, elevator bound, before I take the next step post-college) that made my older, condemned, colleagues smile (or show teeth anyway). We (the cleaner unter-mensch) have a room, just off reception, next to the fifteen elevators, where we congregate in concierge communion, for a smoke, a coffee (from an unlocked vending machine we've hidden, and only wheel out on days the suppliers come).

Everyone is there at one time or another, even Butler, who responsibles around the top floors, the executive washroom, and is therefore the king of all of us; yet he is thick as two short planks and does not realise quite how much we take the piss.

But I have a room of my own, it's on floor 12, it's an elevator maintenance room that's neither top nor bottom of the elevator's run so is little used. It's where I keep my magazines, tea-making facilities and detergents. It's where I retire, and sit on my office chair (purloined from the engineer's floor, where those geek twats wouldn't miss it) and listen to the windings and Radio 4.

The thing I like about my room is this: it's the real deal with this building, there's no truth-to-materials architectural bullshit here, no maple and granite, glass and steel, it's poured concrete imprinted with the grain of the plywood forms that framed it, steel-fixer's marks still there. Because you, Mr. Important Executive or Ms. Shithead Client were never meant to see this maintenance alcove, so the ersatz cladding of bronze and polarised glass is neglected.

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