Each morning I wake up, dress in my fancy scrubs and drive the quiet few darkened miles to the hospital. Gathering together first with my fellow Environmental Service employees, before heading to the 4th floor to begin my eight hours of cleaning. Its a job. One that is growing on me more and more each day.
After filling our carts with necessary supplies, we knock the doors introducing ourselves, not by name but by the infamous words "housekeeping, may I come and clean?" I never introduce myself by name. Nor do many of my other housekeeping coworkers.
The other day I knocked as I always do, propped the door open, saying "housekeeping" before popping in and finishing can I clean. I was greeted by a giggle and "come on in!" in a cheery voice. As soon as the patient saw my face she quickly apologized "I thought you were my friend jocking."
"Nope, I am really housekeeping, do you mind if I clean?"
"Of course, thank you."
Walking the halls for the last few months, I have come to know many of the nurses and learn their names. However many refer to me as "the housekeeper." Which is fine, that is my job title. Though for some reason that makes me feel nameless. Sometimes unimportant. Most of the time unimportant.
Names are so important. As a matter of fact I watch many new parents struggle to find just the right name. I was even asked this last week, which name I prefered for their daughter, and they put post it notes tallying peoples' vote. Parents take pride in finding the right name, the right spelling, the best fit for their child. Once chosen, it is shared with pride.
I take pride in my work. Although it is difficult to feel a part of a team, of an environment when you go nameless.