Melissa’s Cleaning Adventures/Experiences: Stations

Thank You for reading my last part, Graffiti.

This is about my time working at stations.

My 1st nightshift was a Sunday night. As I had never worked at night before, decided to keep drinking coffee, which was a big mistake, as I was unable to sleep until early afternoon the following day.

N.B. I have now learnt the following:

The night before I go back to work, I set my alarm for 2am, then stay up for around 6-7 hours, before going back to sleep. This may not work for everyone, but is a suggestion.

When I arrived at work, there was the handover with the afternoon cleaner and night supervisor, informing me about what needed to be done. The supervisor also had several other stations to look after, and thankfully I was left alone.

I began by ensuring all platform bins were empty, with fresh bin liners. I then went to put the bins on the street ready for emptying early the next morning.

Next, I started cleaning the offices, which included dusting and vacuuming. I started in there as the staff were on the platforms attending to services and passengers and preparing to close the station once the last service departed.

Once the station was closed, I then set about mopping the concourses, this is not using a standard mop and bucket, no it was using a scrubbing machine, which performed the clean very quickly.

Next I started on the lavatories, which were disgusting, but I knew I could clean them. These were unisex and individual.

Once I was done there, I moved up to the platforms and mopped them, then cleaned the platform lavatories too.

Thankfully, it soon reached 3.45am and it was time for a break

During my break, the station opened and the 1st service arrived and departed. I expected the platform to remain fairly clean, how wrong was I?

I walked out to find coffee spilt, along with food scraps and rubbish. Some was less then 2 metres from the bin.

I cleaned it all up, then prepared to head home.

The morning cleaner and supervisor arrived for handover, once that was done, I went to board my train home.

I enjoyed my time there.

1 Friday evening, I arrived to be advised me and the other cleaner would be training staff. We were allocated 1 person each. I had the female, whilst my colleague had a male, who was gay. During the shift the trainee came to me crying, saying his trainer was being nasty towards him.

My trainee was not comfortable working with my colleague, so I made a call to our supervisor advising them of the situation. I was told to deal with it.

I did. Asked my colleague if he wanted to clean the Eastern Concourse including the stairs, whilst the rest of cleaned the Western. He agreed, then disappeared.

Whilst we were cleaning the stairs, I could smell smoke, which disturbed me, until suddenly the female said, “Look at that.” We looked up to see a train carriage on fire. This was the last service of the night.

I screamed about the fire, which brought almost all the station staff running.

Once the doors opened, several of us boarded to spray the fire.

We saw it was a build up of papers, placed against the guards cabin, then set alight. The guard was in another carriage, thankfully.

Emergency services were called, and this service got delayed by almost 45 minutes.

Most of the passengers complained about the delay, however, the fire department had to conduct their preliminary investigation, and helped lock the 4 cars, then they were split so the rear 4 cars, became the operating service.

The fire damaged set was sent to a maintenance centre for full investigation.

Several weeks later, I was invited to become an acting Team Leader at a city station, something I was excited about. I later heard it was because of how I dealt with both incidents as mentioned above.

I loved working there as it was a fun team, not only cleaners but station staff too.

1 night, I had just started my nightshift, when the fire alarm sounded. This shocked me, but also I had no idea what to do.

Thankfully the cleaner son duty were displaced station staff who all knew what to do. That was to ensure everyone evacuated safely.

I later found out someone had lit up a cigarette in the lift/elevator.

Thankfully there was not much damage, which was easy to clean.

A short time after the station reopened, someone tried walking through with a lit candle, which I saw this person and advised them to extinguish the flame. This person tried arguing with me, but I refused to allow them to enter the validated area. Thankfully the incident was caught on CCTV and security were dispatched. This person was denied transport from this station, however, was followed by a plain clothed security officer.

They tried boarding a bus but was denied access. This person then decided to extinguish the flame and came back down to the station, however, was seen and denied access, unless the candle was confiscated. They agreed, although hurling profanities, which then caused more trouble.

I disappeared because I knew how nasty this was becoming.

My team and I had work to do.

Thankfully at 1.25am, the last service went through, then the station was closed.

This allowed all nightshift staff, including station staff to perform our nightly cleans.

My cleaners were amazing and knew what to do before I informed them, I learnt so much from them.

I enjoyed my time at that station.

I do remember, close to Christmas, I was checking the ladies lavatories and noticed the sanitary bins were overflowing. Several phone calls were made to try and solve this issue. Someone had forgotten to arrange for clean bins to be left behind.

I spoke with the Duty manager to find a way to solve this issue.

We soon did, we found empty cardboard boxes to place in each cubicle, then I grabbed a couple of empty 240 litre bins to be used exclusively for the discarding of sanitary products, although many people used the boxes to discard their rubbish.

I was praised for my ingenuity.

I remember 1 public holiday, when we were closing the lavatories early, due to the enormous number of people expected. There were portable lavatories provided.

As I was trying to close the ladies, 2 females grabbed the gate and almost crushed my hand. I was abused by both. Thankfully security saw this and came over to “Talk” with both.

Of course, they tried talking their way out of it, accusing me of offering them favours. They did not realise the entire initial incident had been caught on CCTV.

I had been taken to the 1st aid room to be checked over as my hand and arm were hurting me. Thankfully, it was determined all was ok, and advised to be careful for the remainder of the shift, which I was, but still did some minor cleaning.

This still causes me pain even over 11 years later, which I manage.

What happened to the 2 females, I have no idea, nor do I care.

1 morning, whilst working, my supervisor came to talk with me, asking me if I could work an extra 4 hours each day.

The reason was, then night Team Leader at another station had been injured and there was no one to replace them, therefore, I was asked to start at 2am, then head to my current station when the morning T/L arrived.

I agreed and it was decided for the next few days, for my team to start 30 minutes later, which left the station cleaner less for those 30 minutes, but we had no other choice.

Working 12 hour days was exhausting, but enjoyable as I got to see how another station operated at night.

1 morning, I was informed, the building next door had had a plumbing issue, which was causing a back. I did not realise, we shared the same plumbing system.

I was grabbed by a female leaving the ladies, who told me there was water on the floor. I immediately closed the ladies, for safety reasons, then notified the Station Manager.

I went to inspect the floor, gingerly, and found the drains were blocked.

Suddenly I heard the SM calling my name, I had locked the gate, but then unlocked it to let him in, then locked it again.

We noticed some of the bowls were full with water and other things.

He got the idea to try and clear the blockage, using a mop.

I went to get 1, which was still dirty from nightshift, then came back and he used the mop as a plunger.

I started laughing. He got abusive, however, I asked him to stand where I was whilst I started plunging.

He then started laughing too.

Suddenly there was an almighty noise and the water from each bowl suddenly rose up, soaking both of us. We both used the hand dryers to dry off.

We decided to close the men’s too, again for safety reasons. I decided to keep the disabled open, but locked, which meant if a disabled person wanted to use the lavatory, they had to let the gate attendant know, who would call me to unlock the door.

We placed a sign on the doors advising people. Of course, several tried scamming us, but we didn’t allow them to use them.

After each use, I gave it a quick clean, and checked to make sure the drains were not building up either.

My tenure was soon up at my station and was soon sent back to my appointed role in the maintenance centre.

Once my transfer came through, and I had cleaned in service trains for a while, I was allocated the 2nd station as 1 of the night cleaners.

I liked this, although there were several selfish, lazy twerps there.

At the time, I was still a male, and when it came to cleaning the lavatories, none of the other male cleaners wanted to clean them. I had no issues.

The first 1 was fine, it was messy, but not too bad.

The 2nd, well, I was shocked. I usually performed an inspection of them to see what needed doing 1st.

I looked in a cubicle and my jaw just dropped.

What caused this?

Someone had left a Roast dinner sitting on the seat, with the cutlery too.

I stood there for several minutes scratching my head and shaking it too.

I then called my Team Leader to find out what to do. I was instructed to discard the entire contents, including plate and cutlery, but to take a photo 1st, which I did.

The best part about this shift, I was teamed up with a great, experienced cleaner who I got on well with and we worked well together too.

Honestly, I miss them and think about them when I hear news of their favourite sporting team.

This now ends this part.

Please standby for part 3:

Contract House Cleaning.

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