Melinda J.

CUPE 606, Ladysmith Secondary School

Caretaker, 23 years

I’ve been working with the school district for 23 years, and it’s a reflection of you. So, if you can’t get your work done and people come in and they look around at the garbage cans – or see that you haven’t been able to get to that wall where there’s a smashed apple –you see it. But because you’ve been doing a, b, and c, you haven’t been able to get to it. And people may think that you’re not doing your job. That brings morale down a little bit because it feels like you’re not able to do what you take pride in doing.

When you can’t give the best that you want to give, that wears on you. When you don’t cut the corners and you do those little extras, we tend to hurt ourselves. We overdo it and even though we have our sick time, we still feel guilty when we take time off. It wears and tears on the body and on the mind when we can’t get our work done.  All the cuts have been really hard on us.

You don’t want to let the kids down.  Our kids all go to these schools, people’s grandkids go to these schools. You see these little beings and you want to do the best for them. How can we do our best? When you aren’t able to do your best, you definitely take it personally, wishing I could do this, this, and this. Without proper funding there’s not much we can do about that.  We just keep trying to do our best. Trying to keep our morale up around here.