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  • There are jobs that are done and the only way you know they are done is if you do them yourself or someone stops doing them for you and you are inconvenienced. Noemi G. has just such a job.

    Noemi G. and I work together at our elementary school. She is the school sanitation engineer... the janitor. Basically she cleans up everything from little pieces of paper lying in the halls to vomit that didn't quite make it into a trash can on down to the food that is thrown away at lunch into the garbage. She mops floors, refills paper towels and the toilet paper. She also smiles a lot.

    If you ask her what the hardest part about her job is, she will say "the hard work!"; meaning the lifting of heavy bags of trash to the dumpster and the constant moving from one miniature disaster to another within the walls of an elementary school.

    If you ask her what the best part of her job is, she will smile and say, "just being around the kids", then you will notice how the smile continues to stretch across her face after she stops speaking.

    See, the thing about Noemi is that she is always smiling, she is always the first to greet you with a "Hello, how are you, (insert your name, because she knows everyone's name)?". This is what I notice about her: not her job but how she does her job.

    If you ask her what she wished people knew about her job, she would mention that on the weekend, she works another job. She works the day shift at Hospice as a janitor. But, unlike her job at our school, she doesn't get the chance to get to know the people or their families very well... she will go in one weekend to work and get to know some families a little while tidying their rooms and the next weekend, they won't be there; someone else will.

    She would say that the sadness really gets to her, but is happy to come back to school on Monday, to be around so much young life.

    Plus, she is a firm believer in "statement earrings": her earrings are always magnificent, she has quite an eclectic collection. The little schoolgirls love her so much for that. In the pair she is wearing above, the picture doesn't do the turquoise beading justice.
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