Manual Labor is not for Sissies

Because I just couldn’t wait five more days to move into my dorm on August 26th’s official moving day, I had to sign up for a pre-orientation program. But not just any pre-orientation program… Dorm Crew. The one program that involves work. Oh, I could’ve done FUP or FOP or FAP or FIP- all with cutesy wutesy acronyms- but I didn’t. I picked the Fall Clean-Up, which we can’t even acronymize because FCU sounds quite offensive when said out loud!

FUP: Fall Urban Program- do-gooders making the Boston community a better place

FOP: Fall Outdoors Program- crazy campers living off very little food

FAP: Fall Arts Program- artsy kids put on a show

FIP: Fall International Program- helpful transition period for confused foreign kids

So while everybody else is a Fapper, Fopper, Fipper, Fupper, we are just “the Dorm Crew.” But since we work so hard, we deserve the distinction. The Dorm Crew is in charge of cleaning all the dorms before students arrive. And before you get your panties in a bunch, I would like to clarify- we get paid to do this, so it is not child labor…technically.

Starting off in DeWolfe, one of the upperclassmen houses and one of the few with air conditioning, we piled into our “headquarters” supply room to pick our poison- bathroom, kitchen, or rooms duty. Luckily, I managed to avoid both bathroom and kitchen duty and stick with the simple but time-consuming rooms duty. Bathroom duty involved washing mirrors, mopping floors, scrubbing toilets, bathtubs, showers, and all the other lovely actions required to make a bathroom sparkling clean. Kitchen duty workers were also unfortunate, finding food mushed up in the sink, empty beer cans in the drawers, and sticky substances on all surfaces.

We started off rooms duty by “trashing” each room- going through and picking up trash, gathering forgotten items, and my favorite part: pulling out every single drawer, turning it upside down, and thumping it to make the dust puff out. So when there are six to eight suites per floor, three or four rooms per suite, two desks and two dressers per room, and four drawers per desk and five drawers per dressers, it obviously takes quite awhile to complete this task. Not to mention, these are the types of drawers that easily fall off their tracks and a very difficult to jam back in to their slots. Perfect situation for some good ol back pain. Oh! And DeWolfe has 6 floors. You do the math.

After finishing”trashing”, we moved on to “wet dusting.” Rags were dunked into buckets of watery-chemically solution and wiped across any and every horizontal surface: bed frames, doors, windows, desks, dressers, shelves…they were all fair game. Less heavy lifting, more pruney fingers.

But we weren’t done yet! We then started on vacuuming and furniture-moving. Most of the chairs, desks, beds, and dressers were piled up in corners so we had to set them up for move-in day, which meant dragging a bed from Room A to Room B because some idiot decided to put three beds in one room and only one bed in the other despite the fact that the two rooms were the exact same size.

All in all, we worked from 8 am to 4:30 pm, with a 30 minute lunch break. And we’ll be doing this for the next four days. But it was fun! And I’m picking up some tips for how to keep my dorm room clean during the year.

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