Feeling Unappreciated At Work

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Sausage
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Jan 2022 14 20:08

Feeling Unappreciated At Work

Hello Everyone, first post from me and quite a negative one. I have been at this school as a first time caretaker for six years now after being involved in engineering for over forty years.
I am one more bad day from walking away and possible retirement, I know I am The Caretaker but the Litter in the school grounds is absolutely off the scale with the tennis courts caked in Rubbish, bottles, popcorn packets, masks, crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, chocolate wrappers and even more masks everyday after lunch time and breaks.
I can spend hours waking around every morning only for it all to be back strewn everywhere when the kids return to their classrooms to make as much mess there as in the playground.
The teachers don't care and nothing is done about it from anyone higher up and after moaning about in my early years I have given up and just go through the motions now and try and do as little as I can get away with.
After lockdown when the kids were staying in their classes for most of the day the class rooms were just the same with the cleaners having to brush out piles of rubbish even though each class room has a large bin in each room and it is still quite bad even now.

I get on well with all the teachers and like all of you do all sorts for them but from now on I am cutting down from going the extra mile as they say, I used to get in early and put the heater on in every room but most of them can't even get you a few beers at ---- (The word only permitted in December) ----. I know none of us expect anything but the one teacher who went out of his way to buy me a box of beer and write out a really lovely card made me feel appreciated when the rest of them couldn't be bothered.
I bought all the cleaners a present along with quite a few members of none teaching staff but as far as I know not one teacher gave any cleaner a little thank you for cleaning their rooms all year round.
The cleaners who are on buttons compared to the very well paid teachers clubbed together and gave me a £50 voucher and also wrote out a card that they all signed for mucking in with them every night.

I can't speak for all of you but after fixing blinds, mending tables, cleaning white boards , fixing doors, changing locks, moving netball heights, locking and un-locking toilet doors and a million other jobs and feeling like you are just taken for granted by a bunch of teachers who are not in the same class as the salt of the earth cleaners.

My wife says to me "They are not all like you, you would get a couple of quid off every teacher and get The Caretaker a crate of bitter, just get on with it. They are not worth it.

Sorry for moaning, but just a nicely worded card goes along way and now since ---- (The word only permitted in December) ---- they are coming into cold class rooms and they can put there own heaters on in the future with the rooms heated up just in time for the litter bugs to arrive..
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Stiggy
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Jan 2022 14 22:46

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

I, and I'm sure many many others here feel your pain, have you written an email regarding the litter to your Head and teachers?

I'm fairly lucky in that the kids and parents love me (I'm the biggest child in school) and at ---- (The word only permitted in December) ---- I tend to get more cards from the kids and drink from the parents than I know what to do with. The staff are pretty oblivious to my existence unless they want something, today was my school birthday, Ive been here 4 years and no ody cares, yet one of the girls 8n the office gets a little teaparty for being here 6 months. Unfortunately the lot of a caretaker is to remain invisible and ignored unless something is broken or dirty.
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Sausage
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Jan 2022 15 08:31

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

Thanks Stiggy for your reply, I have been up since early with my body clock kicking in. I have sent long text messages to all concerned but have now given up after very little being done about it. They have sent out a few kids on detention now and again who end up just sitting on a wall and the previous caretaker told me that it got so bad at one point that he went to see the Headmaster and was told in so many words " Get on with it, I have more important things to think about than litter.
The previous caretaker actually told me he left six months earlier than he really wanted to because the litter every day was getting to him, I could do so much more around the school but spend an awful lot of time litter picking and with all my other duties do 18 to 20,000 steps every day.

The damage and vandalism to toilets, taps, doors, ceiling tiles, lights and the general behaviour is appalling but maybe this is the way society has gone and when kids have been caught next to nothing is done about it, when over fifty chairs were cut up by the string off the masks last year not one kid was caught or punished.

Just going back to the unappreciated at work story, in my first year at the school the other caretaker who has now gone went on the sick for just on twelve months after not receiving any thanks for all that he used to do. I am convinced that he would still be here now after bumping into him while shopping about a year after he had left, he really went out of his way for everyone and spent his lunch break helping out with various clubs, he would come in on Saturdays and Sundays to open up toilets when there was a football match on for no pay and he was just nice fella.

On the very first day back after ---- (The word only permitted in December) ---- he came up to me and said " Did you get anything off The Head or any of the teachers this year, I said No, not really, the head of sports gave me a packet of biscuits that she probably got that off a kid.
I got nothing he said, not even a thanks for all that I do. He then went off sick later that afternoon and never returned and the school lost someone special.

I know some people will say " Fancy packing in a job just because you didn't receive a thank you or a few beers but if you are that way inclined I really think it could be a tipping point if there is something else going on in your life or you can afford to leave and you can't be bothered with them all anymore.
I fall into that bracket, I left my previous job for a so-called less stressful life only to find the politics and demands of being a low paid caretaker is much more stressful and less rewarding than my old job and if anyone reading this has other options I wouldn't recommend life as a caretaker in a large high school in modern day Britain.

I know everyone are not like me and the old caretaker and we take things to heart too much, the other caretaker in my school does as little as possible and spends more time in his room watching old cricket matches on a DVD, doesn't care about anything and gets away with it and for some reason our manager thinks the world of him. I am going to pack it all in soon and take early retirement and live on my savings until my Government pension in a few years.
There really is something in the saying, " the more you do for some people the more they expect and appreciate less because it is always me they come to and the other two caretakers are left alone to watch old Ashes test matches and Loose Woman..
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Dragonrider
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Jan 2022 15 09:36

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

I'm afraid I cannot blame you for considering packing it in early. I had to do the same, not because of the kids or litter, but the new Head and the board of governors who made my life there hell.

When the job affects your health, then it is time to get out for your own sanity.

One thing I would say is to make sure you have sufficient funds to see you through to your pension, I thought I did, but it got pretty borderline before I took some financial advice and found out I could take a couple of my personal pensions early which made things better until I could take my last personal pension, a year before my State Pension kicked in last year. If you only have your State Pension to look forward to, then bear in mind you will only have some £600-£750 a month to live on for the rest of your life, unless you can find a job to give you some spare cash.
After 28 years in one school, moving on to a new start and new lifestyle, Headmistress free! Double Stroke survivor.
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Leatherface
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Jan 2022 15 09:44

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

Hi sausage. I tried to write something while I was awake around 4 this morning. Nothing seemed appropriate. It seems to me that you are in a bad place mentally, and in this modern blame culture, your line manager, whoever that may be, has a duty of care over you. Many schools are signed up to a wellbeing programme, and you may be able to get some free counselling. Its not for everyone but it might help you to focus on whats right for you.
In the meantime, the advice on here has been constant and sound on this sort of thing.
1 set your priorities
2 identify issues you can and can't deal with
3 email the boss. If that's not the head, copy him or her in, with what the issues are, why you can't deal with them and what needs doing to rectify it.
4 deal with what you can while you wait.

In short cover your --- censored word --- and do the important stuff. I'd say personally that you could throw that comment about more important things to think about than litter right back in his face.

If you can change your mindset a little, you might be able to keep your job, your sanity and your savings.

Oh and keep personal copies of your emails

Good luck
I have zero problems with social distancing. I've been practicing for years.
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Sausage
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Jan 2022 15 14:13

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

Thank you lads for the replies, I am already receiving a pension from my previous employment so me and my wife are fine regarding money, it is also a reason why I can just walk away, this job was to do a so-called less stressful job which I thought I would enjoy. I am quite a passionate person who takes things far too serious, I care more about the damage to the school than the teachers and not just because I have to fix it.

When the toilets got trashed again a few weeks ago, I said to a senior teacher "Come and see the damage that's been done now, I believe you she said. I don't need to see it. I just stood there and looked at her.
Regarding my mental health, I am absolutely fine and just browed off with people, I come from a background of giving and even at my age I have to realize that most people are takers and don't really think of others.

I was just hurt that after putting on these heaters all winter for years and even getting in early to do it when the other caretakers won't do it because it takes too long and staying after my finishing time because some are still there when I am due to go home and all the other things we all do that is taken for granted..
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Handyman
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Jan 2022 16 21:45

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

Sorry to hear about your situation and I can't blame you for how you feel.

With the litter, I had a HT with a similar attitude towards litter. However it suddenly became a top priority - I'm sure it had nothing to do with the visitors in expensive suits he was trying to impress literally having to wade through litter that was ankle-deep in places in an internal courtyard after a particularly messy lunchtime. [Big grin.png]

Don't know if your staff are aware generally how little the other caretaker does? I felt unappreciated either because of negative comments about how I was taking a fair while to get jobs done because of lack of support from the rest of the 'team', or held in contempt and being tarred with the same brush because of what staff saw them doing instead of working.
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Stiggy
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Jan 2022 16 23:12

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

There definately seems to be a huge difference between primary and secondary schools, I dont think I would last a week in a secondary.
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untyull
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Jan 2022 17 06:37

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

I must be the lucky one. Like stiggy said it must be the difference between Primary and secondary schools. 2 of the cleaners here work a secondary school cleaning on an evening. They say its a s**t hole compared to here and the schools are only 500 mtrs apart so its the same kids but a year older. The teaching staff like to make a fuss on birthdays so I thought lets see what happens on mine. Blinking heck, I almost had to do 2 trips in my car to get presents home and I had only been here 3 months. Apparently the previous caretaker did NOWT.
Keep batting sausage, dont let them grind you down. Try to keep a smile on your face because it worries them and they dont know what you are up to.
LIVING THE DREAM
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Bigbear69
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Jan 2022 17 07:05

Re: Feeling Unappreciated At Work

Mate, get retired, if you dont think you have enough try different part time jobs but dont stay there if your unhappy
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