NPR logo

Cleaning Crews Know Who's the Office Slob

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/18939028/18938988" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Cleaning Crews Know Who's the Office Slob

Business

Cleaning Crews Know Who's the Office Slob

Cleaning Crews Know Who's the Office Slob

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/18939028/18938988" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

What happens to yogurt containers, leftover coffee and white-collar trash you chuck into the can at work? Ask a member of your office's cleaning staff.

"We discard it and we hope not to think about it," says The Wall Street Journal's cubicle culture columnist Jared Sandberg. "They deal with it."

But the relationship between desk slob and cleaner-upper might not be as awkward as office workers imagine.

In his research for a column on office trash-makers and trash-takers, Sandberg learned that many office cleaners enjoy their work and wince at the thought of banging on a keyboard all day. "They think that sitting at a desk for 8 hours is boring and would be hellish," he says.

Office cleaners are not necessarily obsessed with your mess, either. "There's a cleaning lady in our office who wears a button, which I totally appreciate," says Sandberg. "'Don't worry, I don't remember your name either.'"

Whose work space is the biggest disaster zone at NPR's New York offices? Our cleaning woman declined to comment. Bryant Park Post Host Allison Stewart and Senior Producer Matt Martinez took an informal cubicle tour. Listen to this segment for their findings.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.