By Shim Keum-jo
The men that Ewha students often find in every building on campus are those most probably wearing a blue shirt. Yes, the janitors. Caught up in a conversation with a friend, or rushing to class, we sometimes do not notice the hidden efforts going on behind the stage. Taking a peep into the daily schedule of a janitor and his sleepless nights, we will come to appreciate all they are doing for us.
Hong Song-ha (56), a janitor in the Human Ecology Building who has been working at Ewha for about a year says, ? have two daughters attending university. All the students here feel like my daughters.?Occasionally, students and even professors pass by saying hello.
Hong clocks in at 7:00 a.m. and clocks out 7:00 a.m. the next day. Another janitor then takes the baton and looks after the building for the next 24 hour period. Hong does get some sleep during the night, but since the Alumnae Building has many laboratories, two newspaper teams, and even a small theater, many people in the building keep the candle burning deep into the late night.
From time to time, he checks each classroom, laboratory, research center and also collects the lost belongings of students. He tells of a time he was frightened when he was patrolling the building late at night. Noticing a laboratory with the lights still on, he went to check the room. ?he moment I opened the door, there were so many red eyed white mice staring at me!?These were, of course mice for experiments.
The biggest concern and responsibility Hong feels is the fear of some kind of accident, robbery of expensive equipment, or a fire breaking out. As tiring and difficult as the job may seem, Hong nevertheless smiles and says, ?egardless of whether it is a high paying or low paying job, it? a great feeling to wake up every morning to know that there is a workplace for me.?