Charles provides exceptional custodial services for one of Didlake’s AbilityOne Program customers in a high-profile General Services Administration (GSA) building in Washington, D.C. He is passionate about his work, which is apparent to anyone he greets with his infectious smile.
Charles joined the custodial night shift crew as a Janitor in 2011. About a year later, he was promoted to a full-time Floor Equipment Operator and continued to work the weekday night shift. In this position, he stripped and waxed floors, mopped, and operated the power scrubber and floor finishing machines. In 2019, he resigned for medical reasons. Betty Williams, Operations Manager, kept in touch with Charles following his departure. During one of those check-in calls, he mentioned he was looking for a job. She encouraged him to apply for an opening on the day shift as a Janitor and, in 2020, he rejoined the custodial crew. Charles now works the day shift on weekdays and is in charge of keeping clean all of the men’s restrooms on his assigned floor.
“Charles has been an asset to the day shift. He is a team player and has a wonderful personality. He’s always checking if his co-workers need any assistance. When he worked the night shift, he was quieter and kept to himself. During the day, you see a lot more interaction with the employees; he came out of that bubble,” Williams said.
Sandra White, Project Manager, echoed that sentiment. “He is an awesome employee. He gets his supplies and goes to work, and does everything that is asked of him. He has grown tremendously since he started on the day shift. He is always willing to help us out when we need help on other floors or anything.”
Charles looks out for his teammates. If he sees someone without lunch, he offers to share his meal. One day, he went to Walmart and bought watches for everyone on his team because he wanted to give back. Since there are no clocks in the building, Didlake gives watches to all employees so they can write down restroom cleaning times. He spent part of a bonus check that he earned for working during COVID to buy new watches as backups for whenever the batteries die or wristbands break.
At the end of his shift, Charles makes sure Gail, who is also a Janitor, arrives home safely. “He looks out for me when we go home because we catch the same bus. He makes sure I always get home safely,” Gail said. “He does his work really well and he’s a nice man. He’s very supportive and he’s a nice guy. He really deserves the award because he is a good person.”
Steve, a General Clerk, agreed. “Charles greets me every day. He always seems happy. He does a good job. I can tell he likes coming to work every day and he likes to be productive.”
Charles is so dedicated to his job that nothing will stop him from getting there. If the bus isn’t running and he doesn’t have a ride, he will walk or run a couple of miles to get there. He arrives to work early every day and helps his supervisor, Cheryl Bowser, get everything ready for the day.
“He’s an excellent worker. He is a very good employee and a respectable person. He has been watching me work because he wants to learn about what I do. He helps me lay out all the supplies in the morning,” Bowser said.
In addition to assisting his supervisor, he takes the initiative to address any issues he notices or that are brought to his attention by a customer; for example, if a water fountain on his floor overflows. He also helps train new employees. “When we get a new hire, we pair them up with Charles until they can work their own schedule. He makes sure they know all of the processes, step-by-step what we do to clean a bathroom,” Williams said.
When he’s not busy working, Charles likes to spend time with his family. But, when he is at work, he is truly all in. He is dedicated to keeping the building clean and doing everything he can to make sure everyone around him has a great day at work.
“What I like the most about my job is my whole crew, my customers and all the workers… ALL of them! My team is always around when I need them,” Charles said. “I get myself ready and report early. Every morning when I get here, I say a little prayer for everybody in the prayer room. Then I wait to get my directions from my supervisor for my duties. This job has made me a better person. It changed my motives and what I want to get out of my life. To get through life, I need to go to work and be responsible for my duties.”