Custodian sets her sights on excellent customer service
Custodian sets her sights on excellent customer service
Posted on 01/12/2018
Custodian sets her sights on excellent customer service

Her job begins when most people are going home for the day. She works diligently through the evening performing a multitude of tasks. While many may not notice her accomplishments when they arrive in the morning they certainly would if it didn’t get done.

As the night custodian at Fruitland Elementary Lola McNair is responsible for making sure the school is in top shape and ready for 580 students and more than 60 staff as they return to school each day. To name a few, her duties include cleaning all classrooms and bathrooms, making sure floors are clean, washing windows, and picking up and removing the trash.

School security also rests on her shoulders during her late shift. Every evening she performs a security check to make sure the building is secure. She checks every window and door to make sure it is locked. She walks the perimeter of the school to make sure there are no safety issues and that any children playing on campus are safe.

McNair is one of 80 night custodians who works tirelessly after hours to prepare 32 Puyallup schools before students arrive the next day. Director of Operations Bryson Bickler said it is important for the community to understand all the good work that happens after everyone is gone. “While most of us are home eating dinner, we have so many people like Lola preparing our classrooms for the next day. Without them we don’t have school,” said Bickler.

Fruitland Custodian

We’re supporting kids even when they aren’t here — so students and staff will have a clean and safe place to come to each and every day.”
Director of Operations Bryson Bickler

With all of the work to be done after hours, it may surprise you to know that McNair’s favorite part of her job is the people — and the excellent customer service that she provides them. “We are a family here at Fruitland. The staff is here for the kids and we all work together,” she said.

McNair has many opportunities to serve the public during after school events and community use of the facilities in the evening. There are many activities that take place after hours in schools districtwide. At Fruitland McNair prepares the room, opens the doors and greets visitors, makes sure they stay safe, and returns the room to its prior condition after the event.

“A lot of community members use Fruitland. It’s my job to make sure they are well taken care of. I can always come back to what I was doing — it’s more important to make them happy and to show them respect,” said McNair.

“I want to show them they are always welcome here at Fruitland. They have a lot of choices where they can go, I’d rather they come to Fruitland.
Fruitland Elementary Custodian Lola McNair

She has been with the district for nearly 20 years. Working at Fruitland for the past 12 years, McNair has also worked at Firgrove, Sunrise, and Stewart elementary schools, Kalles Junior High, and the district’s print shop.

When asked what she enjoys doing in her spare time, McNair shared that she has a second full-time job that keeps her busy. She is a building specialist at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma where she works from 5 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., then arrives at Fruitland at 3:00 pm.

Bickler said McNair’s dedication to students goes above and beyond, and the district is fortunate to have her.