On the Job: Head of Housekeeping Sees that University Looks Good

Posted: April 22, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

Martin Myers
Martin Myers
Photo by Catherine Ferraro

Although Martin Myers’ day begins every morning at 2 a.m., the housekeeping director at Mason has no objections and takes great pride in the work he and his staff perform.

“I think we do a pretty good job, and we don’t get a lot of complaints,” says Myers. “Satisfaction in housekeeping is a fleeting thing, because after a housekeeper sweeps the floor it just gets dirty again, but we do our best.”

Myers has more than 30 years of housekeeping experience, 11 of them at Mason. He ensures that the university is ready to go every morning for Mason administrators, professors, students and staff. Myers is responsible for housekeeping on the Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William Campuses.

The housekeeping department operates on three shifts every day of the week for 24 hours a day. During the day, Myers and his staff perform what is called “policing” — patroling the campuses and cleaning restrooms, hallways and any other areas that need cleaning.

After the university closes every evening, Myers and his staff work through the night to meet their 7 a.m. deadline. Some of their responsibilities include straightening desks in classrooms, cleaning offices and conference rooms, erasing blackboards, making sure the trash cans are empty and cleaning out the pencil sharpeners.

“Although the work we do is repetitive, it never gets boring. There are never two days that are the same,” says Myers. “The challenge is being able to get the job done while working under so many deadlines.”

Myers’ in-house staff consists of three people who work on special projects. The actual cleaning throughout the university is performed by employees of a contractor. The current contractor, LT Services, has been working with Mason since 1985.

Some of the special projects Myers’ in-house staff are assigned include washing windows and providing support for various functions and conferences taking place on the campuses. Another important task they are assigned is identifying areas that might need more cleaning depending on the amount of light. According to Myers, housekeeping is different during the day and at night because certain areas are seen differently depending on how the light shines.

When Myers is not overseeing his staff and contractors he is busy at his desk scheduling inspections for various buildings, reviewing daily inspection reports, processing work orders and invoices, meeting with department heads and building managers and gathering feedback on the performance of the housekeeping office.

“People tend to look down on housekeeping and don’t realize how hard the job actually is,” says Myers. “I’m extremely proud to serve the university and sincerely appreciate the people with whom I work.”

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