Man who once worked as a cleaner shares why he treats everyone with respect

Man who once worked as a cleaner shares why he treats everyone with respect

  • A UK man who once worked as a floor cleaner has the internet buzzing after sharing his very inspirational come-up story
  • The successful psychiatrist remembers the dark days when no one used to greet him and now makes a conscious effort to treat all his colleagues with respect
  • Social media users headed to the comments section and many shared their passionate reactions to the post

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An accomplished British psychiatrist has come a long way since cleaning the floors of a company where no one even acknowledged him. Today, the Lebanese immigrant has made it his mission to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their professional position.

Psychiatrist, Cleaner, Work Environment, Respect, Colleagues, Twitter reactions
This successful UK psychiatrist once worked as a floor cleaner and is encouraging others to be more respectful of their colleagues. Images: @ahmedhankir/Twitter
Source: UGC

Heading to his Twitter account, @ahmedhankir shared his inspiring story.

The hopeful boy had moved to the UK at just 17 years old. His first job was working as a cleaner and Ahmed vividly remembers the utter devastation he felt when people would not respond to his warm greetings.

"My first job was cleaning floors. I remember how it felt when I said good morning to people and they wouldn't respond," he writes in part.

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Today, Ahmed works for the National Health Service as a psychiatrist and makes a conscious effort to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their role.

Social media users from all over the world shared their reactions to the touching post. Many thought back to times when they had experienced this form of "work hierarchy" and condemned the behaviour.

Check out some of the interesting reactions to the post below:

@Welshbeard said:

"I never trust a person who doesn't treat cleaners, serving staff and orderlies with decency and humanity. I grew up around people who were manual workers and cleaners."

@YankeeFiddler said:

"It's useful to remind people that if all the cleaners, orderlies, kitchen staff, waiters, all service staff disappeared, they would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle. There is no such thing as 'menial' work."

@freddymarshal said:

"I think in the UK, greeting colleague(s) implies you’re trying to patronise them. I told one elderly person at my workplace, it’s “un-African” to walk past elderly people, especially in the morning. At least, no Nigerian-trained person in his/her right sense would do that."

@Catman798 said:

"I was covering for my dad’s job when I was 17 and heard one of his “colleagues” tell him he was only employed from the neck down, broke my heart. 10 years later I was the boss of the guy who said it. Things did not go so well for him."

@DebraDommen said:

"Totally outrageous so sorry for your callous treatment. This sums up the NHS for me as such a hierarchical organisation. I remember how shocked I was when I first started working in the NHS by the behaviours and attitudes which are seen as acceptable when they are not."

@BigTallTweets1 said:

"I have made sure that as a teacher, I've great relationships with cleaners in school. Without them, school couldn't open. We're on first-name terms & talk daily. They're all people with stories,families, feelings just like me... & my late mum- a cleaner of whom I'm very proud."

@captainbpd said:

"When I was a nursing intern I asked the cleaning lady how her weekend was, she didn’t reply so I asked again and she said, “Sorry I didn’t think you were talking to me, the nurses never talk to us,” and it broke my heart. We are a team, the hospital doesn’t run without all of us!"

From car guard to MBA graduate: The inspirational story of Patrice Niyonteze

In more inspirational news, previously reported that a Rwandan national named Patrice Niyonteze fled civil war in his home country for South African shores. He worked as a car guard for over 17 years to achieve his goal of acquiring his Master's degree in Business Administration.

Now 17 years on, he has bagged his MBA and is planning to open his dream restaurant. The 180-degree turnaround in his life, however, did not come without challenges though.

Working as a car guard meant 5am starts daily to make a decent living and pay for his MBA obtained through MANCOSA. He would work during the day and at night hit the books.

Langa, Cape Town has been Patrice’s home for the last 17 years. He began pursuing his MBA in 2016 and money had been tough. He sometimes wonders how he was able to pay his rent, buy food and pay for his studies.

“It had been hard work and at times I thought I would need to give up my studies because of limited funds. However, he thought of how he had been a teacher and human resources manager back in Rwanda and knew he could make something of himself in South Africa,” said Patrice.

He recalled how difficult it was for him to introduce himself to fellow students when he first enrolled for tertiary studies.

“They were all in good, professional jobs while I was a car guard. However, I reminded myself there is dignity in labour and before long, I had many friends,” he said.

Patrice said the first semester was tough for him because he could not afford to buy textbooks. “In the second semester some colleagues helped me by sharing their electronic books and even paying for me when we had to have extra lessons,” said Patrice.

According to Patrice, it was challenging to work as a car guard and study simultaneously:

“Being a parking attendant can be demoralising. One moment you can be elated when a motorist gives you R20. The next moment you can be frustrated when you are given just 20c whilst expecting more, judging by the expensive car,” he said.

The 54-year-old said he was thankful to his classmates and colleagues who were helpful through this MBA journey. This experience had taught him that it is possible to achieve your goals, irrespective of it being a mammoth task.

He urges African people to realise that it’s possible to achieve life goals and never give up on their dreams, no matter how difficult it may seem. Now that he was capped with his MBA, Patrice is working on plans to open a restaurant. He is working hard to make his dream a reality.


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