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Roger Macdivitt .

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Re: Some of me Poetry, from the heart
5/11/2009 3:11:50 PM


Great poem about a very up to date problem.

Sadly how true.

Things are never simple however even for the employer.

I have had the fortune to be an employer and know the other side of the situation.

It's true that some of these things are unacceptable but in some cases employee culture has forced companies to drop good policies that they once had.

Among our Supermarket companies in the UK we have one that, since it's inception many years ago, has always given shares to employees and in theory the staff could sack the CEO.

Don't let my social comments detract from your poem and observations. Both are relevant.



Kathleen Vanbeekom

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Re: Some of me Poetry, from the heart
5/11/2009 4:04:49 PM

You're right about a lot of things, Amanda!!

I can't stand up for more than 30 minutes...well I CAN but it would cause knee-pain for more than 24 hours, then if I have to stand for hours every day, that would become constant pain.  So many companies say that sitting isn't working!  How can they say that?  If we can do the job while sitting, then it sure IS working!!

Pets:  When we were buying a house a long time ago, we had a dog so we needed a house with a fence, we were lucky enough before that to find an apartment that allowed small dogs, then a rental house where the landlord installed a fence before we moved in, and then when deciding to buy, we only looked at houses that already had fences. Our pets really DO dictate the way we live and the decisions we make!

Amanda Martin-Shaver

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Re: Some of me Poetry, from the heart
5/12/2009 11:25:53 AM
Hello Roger,

Thank you for sharing.
My good friend Doffy (her nickname) who lives back in Oregon
is an English woman and it was from our mutual culture shock
that we became fast friends.  She worked as employee and struggled with her duties. 
I met her through my next door neighbour Karol who
complained to me about this english woman who was negative
about the tools she was to use to do her job, and other

I wanted to meet Doffy and I when we did we talked and I
finally had someone whom understood the challenges and
obstacles we both had been trying to overcome. She goes
home every Christmas to visit with her family so is up to date.

James did not understand what I was facing as he was living
'inside the box' at the time, but he began to see things a little more at a time from my perspective.

Now James is facing obstacles and challenges that have changed
his perspective, that make it difficult for him to perform his job
properly.  It was James complaining to me on the phone
yesterday that inspired me to write the poem from what I
experienced that working as employee is not easy for anyone
who thinks and wants to 'get er done' in efficiency. 

The guys whom unload his trailer are not efficient and take their time. Drivers are given a time to be there and if they are late
they get into trouble with their company and this depot puts them to the back of the line.  Whereby these unload/load
employees can do it in their own sweet time! Double standards.


Amanda Martin-Shaver

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Re: Some of me Poetry, from the heart
5/12/2009 12:51:57 PM
Hello Kathleen,

Thanks for sharing my insights, yet there are still so many
that do not or just put up with it.  Some of the conditions
employers expect from the employees are still so archaic.

My last employment in the workforce was with University
of Oregon in Housing, as Custodial which we did detail cleaning.
I started and was trained in the Apartments which I liked and sometimes was called over to the University Dorm rooms -
which I did not enjoy at all - too many stairs and I was working
another staff members halls and I spent too much time trying
to find what I needed because they had not stocked their
cupboards, or put it somewhere else only they knew where
and I would have to run down stairs to get more supplies etc.  Often I was done in before I had really started, running up and down 4 or 5 flights of stairs hauling supplies (no elevators) in
one hall then do the same for the second hall - each custodial
had two buildings to do each day..There list when I had to
do their examination was impossible to accomplish in a day
how it was written. Other staff members said they found
short cuts to get it all done.  I felt if you have to take short
cuts to get your work done, then there is a problem with the
list of chores!

I thoroughly enjoyed this detail work in the apartments as it
was more involved than just housekeeping, and there was a
great feel of accomplishment when the job was finished and
the compliments from students how clean everything was.

When I first started there was hardly any helping apparatus
e.g. scrubbing brush on a long handle to reach over the bath
to do the shower walls. You scrubbed by hand, so after prolonged use like this - no wonder staff were being injured.
 You used a screw driver and rag and lots of water in a squirty bottle to clean out the window runners.

It did not take me long to start looking around over the many
unused mobs, tools etc they had in the store-room to see
what I could improvise with to make my job more efficient and
easier on my back, knees, shoulders etc.  Because I knew I
could not be crawling around on my knees for hours at a time
before something would give! I got knee pads from the painter.
I brought over long handles scrubbing brushes, old paint
brushes and many other varied tools for the job I had found
and started using them.  Before long these were the tools
the my co-workers would grab up before me to use, so we
found more so we each had our own tools.

I worked hard.  One day I had to work at the apartments on
my own and there was always minimal two of us.  On Mondays
Wednesday and Friday we would clean out the laundry rooms,
take the lint out of the driers, clean the washing machines of
their gunk buildup from spillage etc. Wash the floor. There was
a lot of walking as they were spread out in various areas..Plus
on Mondays we cleaned out the community common room which was huge. About a 3 hour job for two.

We could detail clean an apartment in one and a half days with two of us.  After the painter has done their work, we go back
and just do a clean over and wipe surfaces down with disinfectant, wash floors. Which is then ready for new students.  Takes about 2 hours.

During the summer they hire about 300 temp staff to help
with the Dorms and Apartments
, and staff from the Dorms
are sent over to help us, they hate working the apartments
and they do not clean as well as we do so often we find the
ovens not finished and white stuff left, they have not pulled
out stove and cleaned behind etc etc.. It takes us longer when
we go back to check after the painters have been in. 

One Monday I was to work on my own.. I was given quite a
long laundry list of things to complete - do able when there is
two if everything goes well and nothing unexpected found.

I did the laundry rooms and the common room which nearly
took me to lunch time.  Then I went to finish off the apartment
we had started the week before.  Then I had two apartments
to disinfect after the painters.  It had been done by one of the
staff from the dorms and I found lots that had not been
cleaned so this took me almost up until the end of my work day.  I did not get to the other apartment and I was also tired.  I had to pack up the equipment down the flight of stairs and load up
on the trolley (several trips) and get back to base.  Clock off.

Several days later, our second in charge supervisor Roger came out to see me and hauled me over the coals why I had not finished the list.  From his perspective it looked easy to get it done in a day.  He was not nice about it and very sarcastic man behind his smile to many staff members especially if he thought he could get away with it.

I defended my work and explained the obstacles and challenges
faced that day.  He has never done custodial work and has no
idea what is involved so I reckon people cannot tell another
how to do a job or expect certain results from a list when they have not it.  I wrote to the supervisor in detail what I had done
after this talk with Roger - at least she has done custodial work
I think Roger was inclined to pick on me because I do respect
people but I will stand up for myself which probably not many

Roger Macdivitt .

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Re: Some of me Poetry, from the heart
5/12/2009 5:48:20 PM

Frustrating indeed.

These things are particularly good subjects for poetry but are often overlooked. If we can remember that whenever strong emotions surface we have not just a chance to chill a little by writing a poem but, we also have an opportunity to record our emotions and produce something positive.



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