Donald Davis keeps ARHS looking good: ‘I make it look easy,’ but ‘it takes a lot’

Donald Davis, the head custodian at ARHS, has been on staff for 30 years.

Donald Davis is the Head Custodian at ARHS, where he has worked for three decades. In addition to managing his custodial staff, he himself works tirelessly to keep ARHS clean and up and running. He was so busy on the day I met with him, I ended up interviewing him as he was walking to his office to complete a work order.

JW: How busy are you on this job?  

DD: Very busy. Every day’s a different day. You come in and you don’t know what to expect.

JW: What exactly is your schedule like?

DD: I come in around 4:45 a.m. I walk around the building, check for vandalism, make sure no doors are propped, report vandalism if I find it, and I make sure the school is clean and safe for the staff and students.

JW: How many people do you have on your staff? 

DD: I have a total of 7 staff. There are two shifts, one morning and one night. We staff 2.5 in the morning, counting myself, and then usually have 4.5 at night.

JW: How often do you have to clean the classrooms and the locker rooms? 

DD: Every day when we have a full staff.  If we’re short, usually I try to make it happen where we [focus on] hallways and bathrooms and make sure the trash is out.  

JW: What happens if a specific job cannot get finished on time? 

DD: Well, we try to complete the job. If a job doesn’t get done, we try to do overtime or try to find a good time to fit it in or do it quicker than we might normally do it. 

JW: What does it take to do your job? 

DD: It takes a lot to do my job. I make it look easy. 

JW: What happens if you need a certain supply that you don’t have?  

DD: I have a good amount of supplies. I just go through the closet and use whatever I have in each closet. If I can’t find what I need in a closet, I’ll go to another one. We’re never out of supplies. 

JW: What if you need to outsource a job, like needing the HVAC technician or a plumber?

DD: I put in a work order when the school needs to contract people outside the school to do some repairs. 

JW: What’s the most challenging part of your job? 

DD: Dealing with students vandalizing the building and the lack of custodial staff. 

JW: What’s your favorite part of this job? 

DD: My favorite part of the job is seeing the staff and students smiling. It’s seeing that everybody’s happy.