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Behind the Scenes at Randall: Custodian speaks out about her job

Vicki Day cleans the cafeteria during first lunch.

Natasa Dobras, Staff Writer

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The hallways echo with the sound of wheels sliding against the cold tile of the building, a typical sound that normally accompanies the absence of students in the cafeteria who have returned back to class. While this sound may seem irrelevant to students, it is a part of janitor Vicki Day’s daily responsibilities.

Day spends the majority of her day cleaning and maintaining the school in order to keep the condition of the school looking presentable. This rather important act may go unnoticed because most of the work Day performs is out of the eyes of the students. However, there is much more to Day than just her line of work.

“I work ten hour days,” Day said. “I’m shorthanded so I do a lot of the cleaning in the morning time.”

According to Day, her daily responsibilities consist of cleaning the tennis courts, the field house, and the wrestling and the weight room all before lunch time. During lunch, Day cleans the tables and picks up trash left behind students in order to maintain the condition of the cafeteria. This is Day’s first year working in the west building. In previous years, she has worked in the east building.

“Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming,” Day said. “(The west building) has a lot more stuff going on. Sometimes you’ve got three or four things going on at one time and it gets a little frustrating.”  

Day previously worked at Bonham Middle School as manager of the cafeteria for 12 years before switching to work at Randall for 15 years. In total, Day has had 27 years of experience working with students.

“I enjoy the kids,” Day said. “Sometimes when the ninth graders come over here from Westover it’s a big transition for them because there’s a lot more freedom, but they’re not rude, they’re good kids.”

According to Day, both the staff and students treat her well. Day said students like to ask her how she’s doing when they pass her in the hallway, and the staff is impressed with the work she does on a daily basis.

“The hardest thing is students get rowdy and bring in drinks from outside and we get spills,” Day said. “(The students) need to be more careful and pick up after themselves. I’m here to maintain the building, not to be their mother.”

Last year, Day had scheduled to retire, but she decided to continue working in order to save more money for her retirement. Day said as long as her body “holds out” she wants to continue working because she enjoys her work and the people she works with. In addition to her own cleaning duties, Day is the supervisor over other custodians. 

“I don’t have any trouble with my custodians because I work just as hard as they do,” Day said. “They see that I am willing to help them do whatever they need to be doing, so I don’t have any problems.”

While Day enjoys her job, she said she also enjoys a variety of hobbies outside of work such as reading, playing the Yahtzee game, and traveling to either Oklahoma or Denver to see her son. Day is similar to the students in a way because she, as well as many students, was born and raised in Amarillo. Students and staff have both expressed their admiration for Day which she said makes her feel humble.

“I think the best thing in life that you can do is to do the best job you know how to do,” Day said. “Be motivated to help people in whatever they need help with.”

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Behind the Scenes at Randall: Custodian speaks out about her job