When an 8-year-old wrote a heartfelt “thank you” card for his classroom cleaners he had no idea of the effect the sentiments it contained would have.
The boy’s hand-written card, left for CrestClean’s Kumaran Nair and his wife Reshmi, spelled out his gratitude for the couple’s work at Christchurch’s Westburn Primary School.
Receiving glowing compliments about their work from customers is not unusual for the couple. But receiving a note from someone so young was touching, says Kumaran, who is also a Regional Induction Trainer for CrestClean.
“It’s so cute the way he wrote it. It gave me a big surprise that a small kid is saying nice things about our work.”
Kumaran keeps the card in his van and shares its message with CrestClean’s new business owners on completion of their training. He says it’s a great reminder that good work gets noticed by all customers – whatever their age.
“When new franchisees finish their training I show them the card. I tell them, ‘if you do a really good job you’ll get this sort of compliment as well’.”
The card, which was signed “from Jack”, said the school’s cleaners work “very hard”.
The youngster also recognised that cleaning was a physical job, saying: “I hope you don’t get a sore back from picking up our rubbish.”
Lisa McWilliam, Westburn’s Deputy Principal, says the card was a result of classroom project about gratitude. It aimed to give pupils a better understanding of others, she added.
“They learn to take their eyes off themselves and put them on other people.
“It gives them an appreciation that everybody has a role in your life and that it’s important to take time out to acknowledge all that is done by everyone who walks alongside you.”
Westburn pupils also left “secret thank you cards” for the caretaker, parents, sports coaches, and Scout and Guide leaders.
“It’s really important that they appreciate the work done across the school and that everyone at the school has a role to play as part of the extended community,” added Lisa.
Lisa says Kumaran is a great cleaner and she was “delighted” to discover he was looking after Westburn when she joined the school.
She first me the couple when she taught at Merrin School. “He and I used to talk and share family photos. My classroom was always sparkling clean.”
Cleaners can often be the “invisible people” who seldom get any recognition for the important role they play, she says.
“I’m always encouraging my staff that when they come into the room to take time out to say hello and acknowledge them.”
Gina Holland, CrestClean’s Christchurch South Regional Manager, says Kumuran’s customers appreciate his professionalism to the job.
“I’m so proud that Kumaran is a part of the Christchurch South team.
“He has a great relationship with his customers and goes above and beyond what’s required. Kumaran’s commitment to his work is fantastic.”
We like it when you clean our classroom. I hope you don’t get a sore back from picking up our rubbish. Thanks for cleaning our classroom and the toilets. You make our classroom a tidy classroom and when we come into the class it’s very tidy. You work very hard on cleaning the classroom. I appreciate you!