an update on the job. after more than two weeks on the job as an environmental services technician at the hospital, i am ready to update the xanga world about my job.
[edit: upon re-reading, this is a long entry with many different moods. sorry.]
So far, so good. I’m a janitor, which means that I clean a lot of bathrooms, empty a lot of trash cans, and mop a lot of floors. I have cleaned in the children’s hospital, ER, labor and delivery, neonatal, and on a medical-surgical floor. As the incomparable Julie Larson has pointed out, this vocation provides a nice mix between introversion and extroversion and she could not be more astute or correct in her assessment. I interact with patients frequently, but am also left alone to think, pray, or sing. All in all not bad.
There have been a few learning experiences. When working in labor and delivery, I learned than c/s on the whiteboard does not mean ‘clean and stock’ (which is what notifies me that I can mop the blood off the floor and change the blood soaked sheets–birth is a messy process), but in fact stands for a c-section. that’s an important distinction. here is a conversation i had today at work.
man: hey man, how you doing?
me: i’m doing good, just mopping your floor. how are you doing?
man: i would be doing better without this (points to foot wrapped in bandage); i’ve got gangrene.
me: that’s too bad, but i’m sure they will have you walking out of her in no time.
man: they are going to amputate my foot.
me: oh (shit).
my, that was some learning experience.
and though i am really enjoying it, i am glad it is temporary. i am look forward to my breaks, my afternoons, the weekends, and most of all north park in the fall.
in my more introspective moments meditating on covenant history, i think often of Zenos Hawkinsons articles about work. I find that quite relevant and they are starting to accurately frame my thoughts towards my work. Read the end of Anatomy of the Pilgrim Experience: Reflections on Being a Covenanter, especially his passages entitled I Will Serve the Work, He Satisfied my Strength with Labor and A Statement about Myself to my Fellow Pilgrims (a statement written for and directed at fellow North Park professors), if you want to know what i am talking about. Here is a sample:
often quoting Dorothy Sayers: “no crooked table legs or ill-fitting drawers ever, I dare say, came out of the carpenters shop in Nazareth”, Hawkinson writes: “So I think that one authentic Christian response is: ‘I will not make junk’.” In another essay he writes: “my war with the world (and with myself–and sometime with you) is a war against junk.” I feel that these lines, which he inherited from his father, are worth sharing with you.
God acts in many contexts. [God] satisfies
our physical hunger with bread,
our thirst with water,
our intellectual curiosity with knowledge,
our loneliness with loved ones and friends,
our sickness with medicine,
our weariness with sleep, and
our strength with labor.
Is this too serious a way to view a summer job as a janitor? most likely.
is this a symptom of an obsession with covenant history? probably.
but does a well mopped floor bring glory to God? absolutely.