Please understand that the following examples are composites and not focused on any one individual. The illustrations are extreme on purpose to make a point.

Mary B made the following comments: “I am NOT a janitor. I went to school to have a real career and emptying trash cans is certainly not on that list. During the downturn in the economy I have had to lower myself to performing menial work so I can feed my family. I do as little as possible and resent all these training sessions which are wasted on me. I know how to clean. I take as many breaks as I can and spend a lot of time on my cell phone texting to make sure my family is OK. As soon as something better opens up I am out of here.”

Tom C made the following statements: “I stumbled into custodial operations when I got laid off from my last job. When one door closes another one opens. I seem to have a knack for cleaning and have good people skills. I can see that over time, I can work my way into a management or trainer position that has a lot of potential. I love to take a mess and when through have a clean office or rest room or floor. I really like the idea that I am protecting other’s health by performing my tasks without cutting corners; especially when it comes to disinfection processes. Losing my old, dead end job may be the best thing that ever happened. I am excited about the future.”

What if I said that Mary B is assigned to the third floor and Tom C is assigned to the sixth floor of the same building with the same pay, benefits, training and management? Here is a graphic example of one person seeing the glass as half empty and other seeing it as half empty. We all have workers like this and the challenge is to encourage and promote the Tom C’s while trying to reach out to the Mary B’s. If she can’t change then she needs to move on to other opportunities since a toxic employee is an unnecessary burden on her manager.

Remember the formula: Altitude = Attitude + Action.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or