The Help (Janitors): Weekend Poll

by: wheatmeister

April 27, 2013

We’ve been cleaning the chapels in most areas (except where it is not feasible) for many years now, although most of us remember a day when the church employed professional janitors to keep the building sparkling.  With so many people out of work, should the church change back to professional help?

Should the church create jobs by employing janitors again?

  • Yes, people need work, and the church is well to do. Plus, members do a poor job cleaning compared to professionals, and it is a strain on many families to clean the chapel. (71%, 98 Votes)
  • Church cleaning should be paid work done by families in the ward who are on welfare. (16%, 22 Votes)
  • No, assigning members to clean keeps them invested in keeping the church clean all the time, and it's not a burden. It also saves tithing money for more important things. (14%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 139

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15 Responses to The Help (Janitors): Weekend Poll

  1. N. on April 27, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    If tithing isn’t (also) for the building and upkeep of church buildings, I don’t understand what it’s supposed to be for. Just for what I alone pay in tithing, I could pay for a 2-3 person professional cleaning crew to come in 4 hours a week every week and clean the building. I’m neither rich, nor the only tithe payer out of dozens of active families in the building.

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  2. anita on April 27, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    This does not seem to be very effective as I’ve observed it for the past decade plus in our ward. Chapel is often dirty; cleaning scheduling is complicated.

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  3. heather y on April 27, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    When I was a kid we had a husband and wife janitor team who worked full time keeping two meeting houses clean. They did a great job and when the church changed their policy, they were out of luck.

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  4. Douglas on April 27, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    I didn’t like having to “pick one” since both the option of families receiving Church welfare (if presumably able) should “earn” their benefits, either with the regular maintenance or special upkeep tasks. Look, Property Reserve’s Facilities Management Unit could bid out the job, I’m sure there’s enough enterprising young families (or able seniors looking to supplement retirement) that could give the Church a good value on the free market. There are probably overall employment costs and liabilities concerned with having wage-earning employees that factor significantly into the upkeep of the meetinghouses. Same with the temples. Part of the reason that the Church has built a multitude of smaller, less ostentatious temples within easier reach of the far-flung membership is that there’s an expectation that the local membership could participate in their upkeep. It’s much like why have Church farms and or canneries? These tasks could themselves be contracted out, or even the properties sold and the funds used for other purposes (like more meetinghouses and temples). There are more benefits by local membership participation than “free” labor. It’s personal accountability in upkeep of the Lord’s house that you regularly attend. I’ve served as the cleaning schedule coordinator, and having more than a few times taken my turn. It’s been an honor and blessing to care for the Lord’s house. I suspect that if enough members take it likewise to heart, the upkeep of the several meetinghouses will not be a problem.

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  5. KLC on April 27, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    It is a constant hassle in our ward. Asking people to sign up, pleading for people to sign up, threatening people to sign up. And I’ve said this before and know that many don’t agree with it, but I don’t live on Kolob and harping on people to do these constant, neverending tasks only makes them less likely to sign up for the really important things. There is such a thing as volunteer fatigue.

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  6. Douglas on April 27, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    #6 – Yes, there is! I had to go check up on our ward building constantly when I had the job. Not everyone followed through. Yes, there were times that I had to watch the Giants game later as a DVR recording due to filling in an impromptu shift. It’s not that I’m going out of my way to volunteer again, however, but if, say, once a month I’m inconvenienced on a Saturday, is that so bad? Remember WHOSE house it is. Be assured that He gets the back of those that get His.

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  7. KT on April 27, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    It would be socially responsible for the Church to employ people to clean ward buildings. Whether it’s to ‘teach member’s respect’, or to save a dime, it’s ultimately a greater good to employ people to do it.
    It also seems to be a huge hassle getting people signed up and doing it. People have enough going on with other volunteer time given to church.

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  8. Hedgehog on April 28, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    I’m kind of conflicted on this one. When I was a child, my father was at one time employed as custodian of our church building. Later there was another great guy in the ward, who worked amazingly as custodian for many years, and was (and still is) well respected by the ward members. We were all brought up to look after the building because Bro. ___ had the job of caring for it, and we shouldn’t make things difficult for him. Our building was used for the annual custodian gathering (I think it was a lunch), and apparently our custodian got the ‘Super Custodian’ award. I was away as a student when the change took place, and I gather he found work as a plumber or some such, but I do remember feeling very worried for him at the time.
    In my current ward there is an incredible couple who have the calling to oversea the building, organise the cleaning rota. They both have limiting physical disabilities, but are incredibly conscientious. The building has been amazing since they took on that task. Basically a rota goes out with assignments already made, and either people liaise with them and help out or they don’t. They are incredibly grateful when people do their assigned task, but if people don’t they are understanding about that as well. The toilets are great, clean, welcoming. There are health and safety notices in the kitchen. The YM get pulled up about cleaning and draining the sacrament trays. They are very big on hygiene, and know all the legal stuff. We even had a fire drill one Sunday last year (and I’ve never experienced that before). They have the pianos tuned. They must be forever on the back of the PFR. I don’t want to see them leave that calling. Should they be employed to do that? I can’t see why not, but I don’t know if their health and disabilities would make employer insurance etc. difficult, whether there would be ramifications for any disability benefits they get, what it would mean in terms of hours they put in or don’t as and when they feel fit enough, and they do need the members to help out.

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  9. dba,brotherp on April 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I chose #1 because if I can get a membership at a gym for $50 a month (which is used far more than a church building) we aught to be able to pay someone to clean.

    I didn’t chose #2 because is it truly charity if we require something in exchange?

    I didn’t chose #3 because only the same 10 people, who show up every week to clean, have anything invested in keeping the church building clean. Besides the church spent over a billion $ on a mall and if there were more important things (temples, etc) wouldn’t that have been a better place to spend the billion than on a mall?

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  10. LovelyLauren on April 28, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    This is a personal battle of mine. Our ward doesn’t let you volunteer, they put your name on a sign-up list and you’re “required” to come clean the church on a Saturday morning at 8 AM. I have never shown up and refuse to. Maybe it’s a petty battle, but it’s one I feel strongly about.

    We are one of the wealthiest churches in the world and I pay 10% of my income, but we can’t afford to hire someone to clean the church a few days a month? I don’t think people respect the building any more for having to clean it and I have that I am forced into doing so on my one morning I get to sleep in. Furthermore, in this economy, I think it’s an objectively “better” choice to hire someone who needs the work than force ward members to clean. And really, someone who was getting paid would do a much better job.

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  11. Will on April 28, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    They didn’t spend a billion, it was closer to 3 billion and it created thousand and thousands of jobs.

    Reagan once said ” the best social program is a job” the church should pay people to clean our buildings

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  12. whizzbang on April 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    I voted to hire out a cleaning crew as people on welfare is inconsistent so, to me, it wouldn’t get done regularly.
    Personally I don’t mind doing it however. My Bishop and his wife are on the same team. They are micromanaging gurus. They needlessly complicate everything and so I refused to dit and then they started up with the guilt trips and all that stuff, still refused to do it. Now, they do it friday night, call me AND email me and mark it off on the sheet what they did. I told him two weeks ago that if you mark it off on the sheet then don’t email or call me, I get it

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  13. Roger on April 29, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    The Age of Miracles is upon us!!!

    Will and I agree!!!

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  14. Toni on May 1, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Perhaps there would be that many fewer people on welfare if the church hired people to clean. (They still hire them to take care of the grounds, last I heard.)

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  15. Mike on May 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    I wrote this long tongue-in-cheek essay describing creative ways to “clean” the church. Sharing even 10% of it with your Bishop should get you released from this calling at least until the end of the millenium. If not I will come and do your cleaning assignment myself anywhere in north america and I doubt I will ever be invited back.

    People who actually want to or enjoy doing this “service” should not be hindered. But the rest of us do have other options if we think about it.

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