I would imagine some of you are intrigued by the title of this post. Were you wondering what a "JUST A" is?
Over the course of the last few weeks, many of my conversations have been about people's lives, what they do, and who they are. And, many of them start with "Oh, I am just a janitor." Or, I JUST work in retail. "
When you hear something like that, what do you think? I think that the person who is saying those things does not feel very confident in their chosen profession, or does not feel "good enough". It is as if a job working in retail or a job cleaning is not good or important enough in the world.
Where does that feeling and belief even come from? Without that type of job, many companies and households would have very dirty spaces. And, how would shopping be without any employees around? They would not be able to shop. period.
Why are some jobs deemed more important than others? It is true that many jobs do require a college degree and more studying, so is that what makes it more important? The amount of education and learning that one has?
Those in janitorial work serve others. Their job is to meet the needs of others in public facilities, public restrooms, work offices, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants. Without them, so many spaces would be pretty filthy. They are a part of a team that as a whole, serves the public. For example, in a hospital, the doctors and nurses are giving high quality care to their patients. They depend on a clean facility so their patients will be kept safe.
The same goes for retail employees. They are in their positions to serve the needs of the shoppers and assist them in any way they can. And, they are just as hard working as many others in different positions.
So, why in the world are they a JUST A?
I remember when I went to work at a local YMCA many years ago in the janitorial department. We were struggling financially and I had already taken on two part time jobs but it was not enough. I was trying to continue home schooling my children so I took on three part time jobs that worked around their schedule.
One day I ran into a parent that had a daughter on the same gymnastic team as my daughter. He took one look at my shirt that read "YMCA janitorial staff", and said, "What? Really?" And walked away in disgust.
Well, gee. Someone has to clean the toilets! Doesn't sound like you want to do it, and doing this does not make me any less of a person.
So, this is my beef. Why is there that stigma about certain jobs? Why do people put their noses in the air and treat employees of certain jobs with disdain? We are all just people and humans that are trying to work through this thing called life. And, no one is better than another based on who they are as people or what job they hold.
So, if you work in retail, in the janitorial industry or anything like that, hold your head up high the next time someone asks you what you do. Don't say, " I am just a janitor." or, I JUST work in retail.' Say, "I am a janitor that makes sure all the spaces that people work in are clean so they won't get sick or have to work in unhealthy environments." Or, say, " I work in a boutique store that offers a great shopping experience for the public. I work in retail!"
One of my favorite lines is in the movie THE HELP.
You are important. You are valuable. You are loved.
Remember that the next time someone asks you what you do. To us, we believe that all families and people are equally important and valuable because of who they are, not because of what they do, and we would love to showcase that. Families need to see the love and connection that exists and often it is through portraits. Contact us to see how we can do that for you.