Keepin’ It Clean

Shezal Padani, Staff Writer

Born and raised in a traditional Mexican family, head janitor Jacob Ortiz Osorio moved to America in Dec. 1999 with his ultimate goal to move back to his home country.
“[My goal is] to finish my house in Mexico, save as much as I can and move back to my country,” Osorio said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it [in America]. After all, it was only my wife and I [living here].”
Osorio said his experience of moving to a completely different country was not as difficult as he thought it would be.
“I already knew the language,” Osorio said. “I just had to adapt to this new place and a different way of thinking.”
While working at Andrews Elementary, Osorio got an unannounced call from his supervisor and was promoted to the Senior High level, where he has been working for four years.
“I love every single minute of it,” Osorio said. “The best part is the fact that I know that we clean this place for you guys.”
Osorio said being the head janitor can sometimes be difficult.
“I’m friends with most of the other janitors, but also I have to keep in mind that I’m in charge,” Osorio said. “Sometimes it’s hard to keep that line between friendship and being the boss. Some of them I have on my Facebook, so I’d say that overall we are friends.”
Osorio said the carelessness of the students is a major problem.
“Most of them think that because we are here they don’t have to pick up after themselves, Osorio said. “This school could be a whole lot better if some of the guys helped out.”
Although Osorio said he is committed to his work, he also said his life outside of work involves his family life as well as other leisure activities.
“It is a small traditional Mexican family,” Osorio said. “Me and my family spend a lot of time together. My goal is to be there for my family and to provide for them. In my free time I like weightlifting, spending time with my daughter, and I love to surf the web.”
Osorio said spending time with his wife and his 2-year-old daughter is his favorite part of the day.
“My daughter and I love to go to the park, read and have tea parties,” Osorio said.
Osorio said he enjoys his family and life outside of school, but he said the students have brought meaning to his life. Recently, the orchestra cluster concert raised money for the janitors at the school in order to acknowledge their hard work.
“The orchestra surprised me with presenting me with gift cards and stuff,” Osorio said. “They called my staff and me and surprised us with a round of applause and a big signed thank you poster as well as a gift card. I wasn’t expecting it because we just did what we usually do. It gave me a huge shock. It was rewarding, and it felt good. It makes me feel proud and satisfied, because I know that what I do is important for everybody.”