At night, when everyone goes home, after a long day of work, someone else enters behind us to empty the trash, clean our nasty toilets, replace the tampon dispenser bags, wipe down the shiny chrome fixtures on the sink, scrub the urinals, and replace the forever important toilet paper.

Sometimes, I wonder if people assume there are actual fairies that clean up after us, because the janitor never receives many accolades, or even very many “thank you’s”. I often watch people step around our janitors, pretending they don’t see them by avoiding eye contact, or even becoming annoyed when the bathroom stall is “closed for cleaning” or a “caution, wet floor” sign is placed. Believe me, the janitor does not have an easy job — especially right now.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of industries are working twice as hard to keep everyone safe. As an owner of a commercial building maintenance company, a commercial carpet cleaning company, a pest control company, a commercial landscape and snow removal company, and a disaster cleanup company, I have seen our team accomplish miracles. It has been overwhelming to comprehend the enormous responsibility placed on our team and their families during this unprecidented time of crisis. Add a shocking 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Utah to this list, and it has been an unbelievable time in our company that none of us will never forget.

All 2,500 people, which we call our “work family” are placed right on the front lines of this war our world is facing. When most of the working world is winding down for the day, our janitorial teams are ramping up and heading out to work. They are the silent army behind the scene, who disinfects over 60 million square feet of commercial building space, including medical spaces, city and state buildings, privately owned buildings, and more. They are responding to emergencies, insuring our parking lots and roads are drivable, serving families and helping them rebuild their lives when they face fires, making sure we aren’t working with pesky critters, and fixing broken pipes that could shut down places of work. A lot of people have been ordered to stay home during this crisis, but our team does not have that choice.

I do not wish to highlight the janitors or other service companies to overshadow our health care hero’s, but we must not forget those unseen hero’s with less glamorous titles or public attention. Just like our health care providers, these serving souls enter the same rooms, the same hospitals, and the same area of quarantine day after day to minimize the chances of accidental transition of COVID-19 or any other threatening disease. 

I would like to ask if we could all join together, just for one moment. Can we cheer, applaud, bang some pots and pans together, and say some prayers, wherever we are, for all of the selfless people who are endangering themselves and their loved ones for all of our benefit?

I know that I am saying a lot of prayers right now, and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices being made on my behalf. Today I am choosing to expose the unseen heroes, my work family and friends that are rarely seen. I want to publicly share their bravery, if only for one moment. I want to request that they take a bow and let us all clap for their determination and work ethic, to do what needs to be done, no matter what. And please, if you see one of these tireless heroes in person, please let them know you appreciate their sacrifices. It will mean more to them than you will ever know.