Stories of former Mormon Custodians
Subject: Somewhat 'brazen' item from ward bulletin today!
Date: Feb 01 16:17 2004
Author: Screw the MORG!

I didn't go to church, as usual, but I did see today's ward bulletin at a friend's house and brought it home. This one item on the back caught my attention:


Brother (So and so) has made mention that it is the responsibility of our sixth ward members to clean our Knight Street Church throughout the month of February. This will be done each Saturday morning beginning at 9:00 am and should be completed within an hour or two. Please make a point of being there. Brother (So and so)'s telephone number is (such and such) if you wish to contact him."

The thing that makes me laugh is the statement about how it should only take an hour or two to clean the building. Funny, when I cleaned it back as a paid custodian, I was busy all day, 8 hours a day and that included mowing and trimming the grounds and or/plowing and shoveling snow, depending on the seasons.

Morg buildings are disgustingly filthy now at best of times. Gone are the days when, if you had a slow day like Thursday or Friday, you gathered up the sacrament trays to the kitchen to hand wash them in nice soapy bleach water, then go around with disinfectants and wash doorknobs and light switches. Or the extending pole with duster at the end to clean the oak trim high up around the chapel and cultural hall and even dust the piano and organ and polish them up, along with the pulpit, with Pledge.

Wow, so they spend an hour vacuuming and MAYBE even cleaning the glass doors from fingerprints. Wow! I'm impressed. But hey, you get what you pay for.

Subject: This strikes me as so strange (cussing)
Date: Feb 01 16:29
Author: sg

I left before this became policy and I can't get my head around it. How weird is it that they can't paid for custodial services? I mean, how f**king cheap it that?

And the sheep just keep taking it. Passing strange.

Subject: The 'sheep' just keep paying tithing and blindly graze along!
Date: Feb 01 16:53
Author: Screw the MORG!
Mail Address:

I was finished as a paid custodian (that's another sickening story) before the ax fell on the rest of the church custodians. But I did hear of a divorced woman who was one of the custodians that was 'let go'. Her son had been out a few months in the mission field and no doubt she needed the job to help pay her bills as well as the monthly mission payment. She went to the ward for help and was flatly refused (of course) and she even pleaded with COB to let her have her job at least until son got home from mission. Nope!

So, she did what she could. She bought the son a plane ticket home (it was cheaper to do that than keep the kid out for the entire duration) because she no longer had a job. It's stories like that that make me feel ill inside. The Mormon Church is nothing but a cold, uncaring monster. Oh, and the dirty f(bleep)ckers would have expected her to pay tithing off her unemployment check!

Subject: Re: The 'sheep' just keep paying tithing and blindly graze along!
Date: Feb 01 20:13
Author: Claire

I'd like to hear your story about being a custodian. Please do tell.

Subject: My experience as a custodian!
Date: Feb 01 20:58
Author: Screw the MORG!

I'll try to keep this brief and try not to cuss and puke throughout. Graduated from BYU August 1989 and came home. Had to take a few Canadian courses (thanks to the now useless religion classes I had to take) to get my Canadian certification. Well, a 'blessing' was dropped in my lap when one of the custodians in town was on sick leave. I took his place. Then the head custodian that got me the job retired and I took over for him when the sick guy came back.

This was nice and I was making money. We got a new Stake Physical Facilities Representative in November 1989 (one of the high councilmen) who was a REAL prick. Liked to assert authority. Didn't like the fact that the three of us worked together as a team because we talked as we worked. Didn't have the guts to tell us himself, but we got lambasted the next day by the boss custodian of the stake who told us we had to now work alone.

December 1989 was the beginning of the Member Maintenance Program, the precursor of the eventual 'axing of custodians all together'. Head boss over church custodians came to Canada to check on things in all stakes. I remember being in a classroom with this big boss from COB, his two pals and the arrogant stake PFR. They knew I was a temp just out of university with loan payments now starting.

The SLC boss was nice and said that no lay offs would be happening and that I alone decided if it was time to quit, then it was up to me, but that he wanted me to have the job to repay the loan. So, I signed a contract and they all witnessed it and signed also. Even the stake PFR arrogant prick.

Things changed over the course of a few months and now three of us were required to clean the town's stake center (the second largest stake center the church owned at the time), another chapel in town, the seminary bldg AND the chapel in a town 5 miles away. We worked our butts off, I'll tell ya!

Come spring, another custodian got fed up with the bullcrap going on and was at the age to retire, and so he did. Now, there were two of us doing all those buildings. Can you imagine that? But, it gets even BETTER!

The custodian who I'd initially taken over for back in the fall had accumulated 6 weeks of vacation time and decided to go visit his mother in France for July and part of August of 1990. So, here I am, trying to clean all the above mentioned buildings myself. (Why the dirty sots didn't quadruple my wages is beyond me)!

Anyway, I persevered and the other custodian came back from his vacation. About one week later, mid August, I was brooming the floor in the huge cultural hall when I looked up and saw arrogant stake PFR guy fingering me over to go with him. Oh ya, this guy was also our home teacher previously, you know, people that are always 'there to assist you and take care of you'. LOL!

We go into the high council room to chat. With no thanks for my work or any words of encouragement, he bluntly informs me that I was 'finished' at the end of the month. No reason or explanation. I was just 'finished'! I asked him why and he didn't give me an answer. He just said, "You're finished at the end of the month so you'll hand in your keys to Moyle!" All this only took less than a minute and he got up and told me to get back to my work.

As he walked down the hall I called after him that I wasn't finished yet and had some questions. I asked him for my contract and I wanted it NOW! Without stopping he said that there IS no contract. I said, "There IS a contract. You saw me sign it along with the head boss from SLC!" He said again, "There is no contract!"

I said, "Well, I'll get to the bottom of THIS. I'm going to phone Salt Lake and see which one of you is the liar!" He looked back at me and told me that I can phone Salt Lake all I wanted, but I wouldn't get anywhere. Then I made the remark, "Well, I suppose the church will still expect me to pay tithing money off my unemployment check!

So I did phone Salt Lake and got the head boss over custodians, on the phone. Turned out to be a NEW guy. I told him my name, explained the contract situation and the promise that I was the one to quit the job when I decided.

This guy said, "No, we have no record of you being an employee and there is no contract for you!" I told him that it's sure odd to sign contracts with witnesses and be told promises, only to have my ass kicked out the door. And I asked HIM who the liar was and slammed down the phone.

God, to think I went on a mission for this pissy church, then played the organ for this pissy church and taught primary for this pissy church, even AFTER all this happened. But, this is one of the things that puts me where I am today as far as 'church' goes. Every time I've been screwed over in life, and dealt dirt, it's been by a f(bleep)cking mormon. You know, the ones that sing in the choirs and have temple recommends, those worthy righteous ones that will sit in the glory of God! Ha!
I'd love nothing more than to see this pissy organization brought to its knees. It's the biggest load of filth and lies I've ever seen in my life. And they have the gall to get up and speak the name of Christ and use his name in their official church name.

Subject: Church of Jesus Christ of Saturday Paints.

Subject: My mom was a custodian...
Date: Feb 02 00:52
Author: Ladybug

She worked for the church for many years. I think it was early 90's they started phasing out the custodians. She initially had one building all to herself. She did the inside and outside work.

Then they hired other members to do the outside maintenance. One ground man was responsible for many of the buildings so rotating daily or weekly which one got attention. My mom was never happy about how the yard work was done. Her complaint was that if the flower beds started getting weedy, it might be next week before the outside guy to get to them. She really did take pride in making the church clean and shiny and often did the outside work herself.

Because the outside work was being taken away from the custodians, many were moved to part time status. My mom, being divorced, and raising children, could not afford to only work part time. So, they had her go to different buildings to clean. Most were 30 or 40 miles apart and she never felt like she could do a building justice. On Mon, Tues, she would be at one. Wed, Thurs another etc.

Luckily for her, she got remarried (to a really great TBM), and was able to retire shortly after that because a few years later they got rid of the custodians all together.

Subject: Ya, the bureaucratic bullsh(bleep)t really became pathetic!
Date: Feb 02 01:12
Author: Screw the MORG!

In the 'good old days' you just kept the building clean and that was that! Then they had some pencil pusher in COB sending out time sheets telling you that it will take you 35.678 minutes to clean this bathroom, 37.425 minutes to clean THAT bathroom, 50.357 minutes to vacuum the main chapel area, 17.356 minutes to vacuum the overflow behind chapel, 3.567 minutes to vacuum classroom 5, etc. It was just stupid. Hell, when you clean a building, you have a plan of attack and who gives a darn about how much time it takes to clean THIS or THAT! It takes as much time as it takes.

So, some big wig desk job guy in a nice office got the gold mine and the custodians got the shaft. And this crap about having custodians traveling around to other towns to clean was complete and utter bullsh(bleep)t! Whatever is running the church, it isn't inspired of God. Well, if you consider 'greed' a god!

Subject: The phrase, "It is the responsibility of our sixth ward members to clean our Knight Street church" got me to thinking
Date: Feb 02 01:31
Author: Screw the MORG!

Just exactly WHY are the members of the sixth ward responsible to clean the building? They pay tithing already! It's the church's building, really, and the f(bleep)cking church took away the custodians. Therefore, let Hinckley and his b(bleep)stards come clean the building!

I can't imagine people in this day and age falling for this stupidity. It's SO shameful. I pity the fool that phones me to come clean the building. I don't think I'll get nasty and dredge up the past, but I do think I'll just say, "I'm sorry, that's when I have my morning coffee. And besides, I never go to church to leave it dirty!"

Subject: I wonder how faithfully the GAs perform janitorial duty in their home wards.
Date: Feb 02 02:40
Author: Lia Hornea

I wonder if they do it all the time or usually have "more important" commitments to take care of.

Subject: How many custodians went inactive after getting laid off?
Date: Feb 02 01:44
Author: Reinventing Grace

Anyone have stats or anecdotal stories about how various custodians handled getting laid off?

Screw--have you kept track of what happened to the other custodians?

Anyone--was your custodian a TBM?


Subject: By attrition??
Date: Feb 02 07:08
Author: alex

Gracie - I think the church has been getting rid of the custodians by attrition slowly over time. In most places I understand that they still use hired help to mow the lawns, clean off snow, real maintenance and upgrades/repairs. So they still need some hired help.

Now there is one corporation I'd hate to work for.

Subject: Are they doing this everywhere or mostly in the Mormon states?
Date: Feb 02 02:38
Author: Lia Hornea

I'm wondering because I know in places without dense Mormon populations members often live 30 to 40 minutes away from their ward church building. Add the commuting time to the cleaning time and sounds like a recipe for ruining the only day of free time many members get each week.

Subject: Re: Are they doing this everywhere or mostly in the Mormon states?
Date: Feb 02 02:44
Author: Ladybug

There are doing it in the Midwest...

Subject: Re: Are they doing this everywhere or mostly in the Mormon states?
Date: Feb 02 06:44
Author: XMO

"ruining the only day of free time...." Ha, that was funny. Do you think that they really care about whether someone's free time is ruined? What about the rest of the million things that are supposed to be done to be "saved?"

I wonder where church cleaning ranks up there--before or after irrelevant temple attendance?

Subject: Where are those tithing dollars going?
Date: Feb 02 06:52
Author: Hai Kolob

Back in the '70's my grandfather was ward custodian and it was pretty much a full time job for him. He hired me to come in on Saturdays to clean the windows so they would be presentable for Sunday. He took great pride in the building, always keeping it clean, waxing the cultural hall floor, polishing the pews, setting up chairs & tables for ward functions, (even putting a few "cushioned chairs" in the relief society room for the more elderly sisters), maintaining the furnace and A/C, filling the baptismal font for baptisms, he did it all and took great pride in that building. I spent many hours with my grandfather and know how much time and effort went into maintaining it and keeping it in tip top shape for Sunday services every week. I cant imagine even remotely the same effort could go into maintaining a building by assigning some people to be on "ward cleanup duty" in elders quorum meeting each week. Why has this turned into a voluntary effort rather than a paid position? Where are all those tithing dollars going? The Mormon church just keeps asking for more, more, more. Pay your tithing, but now, you must clean the wardhouse as well. We used to have full time custodians, but we let them go because you can do it for us for free.

Give me a f#cking break

Subject: For behold the chapel is dirty already to clean
Date: Feb 02 07:12
Author: alex

For behold the chapel is dirty already to clean; and lo, he that thrusteth in his broom with his might, the same layeth up in sores, that he sleepeth not, but bringeth boredom to his soul

Anyone ever read

Here are some of the joys of laboring in the kingdom that you exmos are missing.

3-hour meeting blocks every week (more on conference weekends)
Planning meetings and interviews for calling
Home teaching
receiving home teachers
30 min Book of Mormon every day
other scripture study and gospel books every day
pray unceasingly
do your genealogy (save those ancestors)
temple sessions
clean the chapel
splits with missionaries
ward service project assignments
clean the temple (all that holy sh*t in the toilets)
have tons of kids
Sunday - do not shopping, recreation, etc.
attend firesides and training meetings
attend baptismal services
10% of your gross income for tithing
more money for generous fast offerings
missionary fund donations
temple construction fund donations
perpetual education fund donations
church humanitarian aid donations
BYU alumni donations
keep a journal
grow a garden
be involved in civic affairs
family home evening
get your kids to all their church assignments and activities
daily family scripture study
setting example for your neighbors (so they can see how much joy the gospel brings in your life)
live Word of Wisdom

on living the Word of Wisdom I hear its important to get enough sleep at night so don't forget to obey this or you might lose the spirit

Subject: O those glorious ward clean up days bring back so many memories.
Date: Feb 02 12:32
Author: templelurker

This is "funny" on several levels. First of all, the building clean up days are on Saturdays, and for most of us that is the only free day we get with our kids, forget your rooms, let's go clean the chapel!!! YAYYYYY! And it never took a few hours, because no one came!

My husband and I would go to our chapel clean up days, and I remember waiting and waiting on the steps of the church for someone who had a key to the building to actually show up. And then when the building is open we all ask each other, "What do we do??" There was never a plan of attack!

There was always a lack of direction, and a lack of bodies. No one was in charge, and no one wanted to come clean up the building all morning. Heyyyy, I bet the next new wave of callings to be issued will be 'Building Cleaning Specialist'!!!

Subject: I'm sure he is referring to the weekly member cleaning.
Date: Feb 02 12:39
Author: Micki

My Dad does this as his calling. He only goes in and cleans from the week of evening activities. They still pay the cleaning company to come in and do the heavy work. He picks up and sometimes vacuums, it all takes about an hour or two and he does this on Saturdays. I have even helped him with this on occasion when I am visiting which is a really creepy experience.
Subject: This is what is so interesting about this board:
Date: Feb 02 14:31
Author: chanson

You really get to see all of the different perspectives.

I remember when I first heard that the LDS church was firing all the professional custodians, I wondered what would become of them and whether or not the LDS corporation was at all concerned about them. Here I can get the scoop from the people who lived it (and it's about what I had expected...).

Subject: Yup, one day you're a paid custodian, the next day...
Date: Feb 02 18:28
Author: Screw the MORG!'re laid off and they're asking you to clean the same building as a happy 'member volunteer' while paying tithing out of your unemployment check. I'd REALLY love to know how this impacted custodians the world over. But, as you know, "when the Prophet speaks, the thinking has been done". Too bad people didn't really know they meant 'profit', not 'prophet'. LOL!

Subject: There are still paid custodians, yes!
Date: Feb 02 11:29
Author: Screw the MORG!
Mail Address:

It's not like the church sacked ALL paid custodians. They do keep a skeleton staff, and I mean SKELETON. I know here they have a huge area to traverse to do minimal cleaning of buildings. So minimal that you never do see them at a church building for months at a time. They have to wear a sort of uniform of casual pants, belt and church provided shirt with a logo on the left breast of Church Maintanence and what area. Gone are the days when we lowly custodians had to drag around a big industrial vacuum. These guys have a little backpack vacuum. God!

Not only did we have to do the inside of the buildings, but the grounds as well. Now all outdoor work is contracted out to big lawn services. Makes me laugh to see a semi trailer sized lawn service company truck parked in the church parking lots. LOL!

And this is really dumb, I don't know if it still happens now or not, but I met up with a guy in Lethbridge who was kept on by the church. He told me that they had just finished mowing the Lethbridge meetinghouses and that the next day they were driving down to Medicine Hat to mow. Medicine Hat is 2 hours east of Lethbridge.

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