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What do you call this job position?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:05 am
by Stevenloan
Hi everybody! What do you call a woman or a man who is hired to clean toilets, tidies up offices, makes tea or coffee for employers, prepares water for meetings in a company or a building, and works from 8 am to 6 pm or from 9 am to 5 pm?

Your answers will be greatly appreciated.

StevenLoan

Re: What do you call this job position?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:09 am
by Erik_Kowal
Janitor (Mainly US)
Caretaker (Mainly UK)

The hours worked are incidental, i.e. they are not relevant to your question.

Re: What do you call this job position?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:52 pm
by Shelley
In my office building, and in many New York office buildings, the hours are not incidental, because the crew who cleans offices and maintains bathrooms (i.e., cleans the toilets) usually works at night or, at least, after 6:00 pm or thereabouts. That's so they can do their jobs without interruption, and without interrupting the jobs of the people occupying those offices.

Generally, the people who are hired as a cleaning crew are totally separate from the "office support staff". Office support, known by many titles, is more likely be called upon to set up meetings (including water, coffee, and such), and would usually do those tasks during business hours (i.e., 9:00 am to 5:00 pm). Depending upon how big an office is, there might be a few levels of office support staff -- managers, assistants, administrative assistants, secretaries -- the list goes on.

Who makes the coffee? Hmmm. Good question. Now, with individual coffee-making machines (Keurig, for example), everyone can pretty much make their own. Usually, the first 12-cup pot is made by the first needy person who arrives in the morning. Nobody's asked me to make coffee since the 70's (hear me roar).

Re: What do you call this job position?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:35 pm
by tony h
I pretty much agree with Shelley that the roles are split in most offices and that the making of tea is no longer a service generally available. Erik's Janitor and Caretaker are much more about the looking after the premises with cleaning as a part of that.

In the old days, as my children refer to times before they were born, we had charladies. They did clean and also brought round the trollies (4' by 2') rattling with cups and saucers and a rack of buns or sandwiches three times a day. The tea was poured from two gallon tea pots - no coffee … ever!

In these days of disparaging gendered terms I note (OED) :
Charwoman 1596
charfolk 1661
charperson 1881
charmaid 1882
charman 1888
charlady 1895
Charboy 1902
chargirl 1932

Re: What do you call this job position?

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:41 pm
by Shelley
In 2019, the person who heads the cleaning crew committee would be called the "Char."

Re: What do you call this job position?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:50 pm
by tony h
Shelley wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:41 pm
In 2019, the person who heads the cleaning crew committee would be called the "Char."
In the abbreviated version of char I would expect a domestic servant substantially equivalent to cleaner. A char would never live in. Some households of my youth had butler, cook and char, alternatively a butler and maid. But mostly a cook, housekeeper.


In order of social acceptance by the mistress of the house it went : skivvy, char(woman), maid, housekeeper, au pair, companion.

Re: What do you call this job position?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:40 pm
by trolley
The Char recognizes Shelley's comment.

Re: What do you call this job position?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:45 pm
by Shelley
Thank God! I've had my hand raised for hours!

Re: What do you call this job position?

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:20 pm
by Stevenloan
Thank you all so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

StevenLoan