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The Janitor and the Madman
A Phone Call from Jaylene: 6:07 a.m., 6/14/2016
Jaylene was a good worker. She also thought I was a good boss and is among the handful of my former employees who, some six years after my resignation, still call me for advice on dealing with their current manager. So, at six this morning, while working Mister John's yogurt case in Harm County, I receive a call from Jaylene, at Cheapskates Are Us in Harm City.
"Mister Jimmy, I got some shit to tell and wonderin' how to compose it so Mister Mike don' flip the fuck out!"
"Okay, Jaylene what is the matter."
"Mister Jimmy, I got me this nasty somebody on da night crew who sneak back to the men's room while I'm picking up the carpets up front—I know it—I seen his nasty ass creepin' on back to do his business! Mister Jimmy, this bitch is about to fuck a nigga up! I'm gonna go the fuck off!"
"No you're not, Jaylene. You're a professional. Take a breath. You good?"
"I'm good, Mister Jimmy."
"So, what is the problem—not who, but what?"
"Okay, Mister Jimmy, you know how you got your nasty so-in-sos dat spray and just up en leave. Nasty as it is a spray bottle makes quick work a dat shit—but I done got myself a worser problem den dat—the Mad Shitter, I call him, is a nasty ass!"
"Jay—"
"I'm sorry, Mister Jimmy, but a nigga done drop some shit like dat on your morning en you'd be fixin' ta whoop dat ass your own self! Fifth day in a row dis shit has happened en I'm fed up. Da firs time I thought some crackhead had an abortion—look like a fetus—what kina muvafucka eat a loaf a bread en it come out, still a loaf a bread? How is dat shit even humanly possible? You know, Darnay said he be watchin' dat porn en the human ass—"
"Jaylene!"
[Silence.]
'"What do you need from me?"
"Well, dat shit is so ridiculous—I mean I don't need to be standin' in front a Mister Mike explainin' dis shit—en I sho as shit don't need to be breakin' dat shit up with the dustpan—the plunger wasn't gettin' it. So I fixed a dustpan up on da end of a mop handle with some duct tape—well, like I said, I'm sick a dis shit, so I took a picture and was goin' ta email dat shit ta Mister Mike—or you think I should email it to you first?"
"Raylene, the picture in my head is going to take long enough to erase. I don't need one on my phone. And as far as Mike goes, you know the only time he has to check his emails is while he's eating lunch, right?"
"Oooooooh, Mister Jimmy, you so smart. So what do I do about dis shit?"
"Speak to the mad man, politely, as a janitor—as a professional. Explain to him your technique for taking care of the problem, demonstrate it even. The thing about being a professional, Jaylene, is to take care of things at your level. Okay?"
"Oh, thank you so much, Mister Jimmy. You have a blessed day."
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