Monday, February 8, 2021

Quadruple Bottom Line: Patience, a Hotel Housecleaner

Patience, a 33-year-old mother of three from Northern Ghana, has been working as a hotel housecleaner for the past four years.  “It’s hard work,” she says, “but I’m blessed to work for someone who is a Christian and who frequently reminds us that our goal is to be a blessing for the customer.”

When Patience’s church began a workplace ministry identifying the importance of recognizing the quadruple bottom line for every Christian, she began to reflect on how that would relate to her job.  This is what she came up with:

  • Economic – I have an opportunity to help my business economically in large part by how I treat customers.  If I am rough or unkind to customers, even in a slight way, they will not come back.  If I fall behind in my time schedule and their room is not prepared on time, they may go to another hotel.  If I am not thorough, the customer may complain.  My work is very important to the economic bottom line.  However, I also can have an impact economically by how liberally or frugally I use the cleaning materials, whether I let the water run while I clean, and so on.  And so, I have to remind myself that even if I’m not in marketing or management, I have to do my work to the glory of God, as if He is my customer.  I can help the business economically, which is a witness to God, and as the business grows, it provides an income for me and my family.
  • Environmental – Keeping the grounds of the hotel clean is one thing that I do to help the environment.  I have found that when people litter, it invites others to litter as well, so keeping everything tidy contributes to others doing the same.  I have talked to management about the chemicals that we use for cleaning.  We want things to be clean and sanitized but there are products that we can use that are less harmful and toxic than others.  We have talked to others who clean about using the right amount of cleaning agents.  At our hotel, we offer guests the option to not have their bedding and towels cleaned daily in an effort to not use too much water and soap.  We are also looking into alternatives for finding replacement for single use plastic, especially in water bottles. My manager has asked me to make a proposal for other options.  I’m excited about this!
  • Social – Loving customers is easy for me because I genuinely love people.  There are some who are difficult though, so I have to remind myself that I am there to help them flourish, even if they are unkind to me.  There are a couple of regular guests who are very nice to the manager and owner, but harsh and unkind to those of us who clean.  I have decided to pray for them by name and ask God to heal the part of them that causes that unkindness.  Praying for them in that way has made it easier for me to be kind to them.  There are also two young ladies who are cleaners with me and I am having a hard time with them.  They don’t like hard work and are on their phones every chance they get.  Sometimes I have to do more because they are off hiding and less visible.  I have been asking God to help me find things about them to love, so that I can concentrate on the good, and build a relationship that can help them see their work as an opportunity to help others flourish, not just a way to get money.  Praying for them has again helped to soften my heart toward them.

  • Missional – I have mentioned that I am praying for some customers and employees, but I believe the biggest missional bottom line for me is to pray over every room as I clean it.  I pray that the person sleeping in the bed will have good and peaceful sleep.  I pray that the person bathing in the bathroom will be healthy.  I pray that the peace of God may greet each person in the doorway and that He may whisper to them through His Holy Spirit as they wake and sleep.  I pray that each room is a holy sanctuary for each person.  I see this as an important calling!

We thank God for the people like Patience in this world who do their work as an act of worship, with the goal of seeing those around them flourish!