Classy Lady

I just learned of the passing of a real classy lady and I want to share with my nieces on the Johnson side of the family one of my first meetings with their Great grandmother.  Mary Jane Johnson will always stand out as one of my favorite people.

One of my first full time jobs was in a Phillips 66 station in Wichita.  We were only about four blocks from the Office of Phillips 66 in that area and we were often visited by one of their people.  As the lowest totem on the pole, it fell to me to keep the bathrooms up to snuff.  Don't let anyone tell you that women will help keep their bathroom any cleaner than men.  The biggest difference was that most of the women didn't clean their hands with solvent, then hand cleaner and wash in the bathroom sink.  Because it is so close to the time I finished breakfast, I'll skip the details of that adventure and move on to the next phase of the story.

Because my Brother-in-Law moved way the heck and gone south in Wichita, I went to the station where my other Brother-in-Law worked and applied for a driveway attendant job at Rock Road and Kellogg.  If you were anywhere near then, you might recall it being called the Standard station with a round house in the middle of the drive.  I hustled cars there for a couple of years but it was my first meeting with Mrs. Johnson that comes to mind.

One thing I hated about the Standard station right from the first was the low standards the guys there had for cleaning the toilets.  The men's restroom would have passed for a barnyard had there been a goat or two.  The women's restroom was a little better but not much.  Near the end of my first shift, I looked at the bathrooms and just charged in and cleaned them up.  I know it took some really strong chemicals to remove the layers of grime.  After a thorough cleaning, I waxed the floor to help make it easier to clean the next time.  The men's restroom because of the heavy traffic was still way below the Phillip's 66 standards but at least you didn't come out of the bathroom and feel like you needed to scrape your bots and rewash your hands.  The women's restroom was gleaming and I don't think it had many faults.  It might have even passed a test by Phillip's 66 people.

I was working on the drive the next day and Ace and Mary Jane stopped in the station.   I wasn't paying attention to what they did because there was a driveway full of people needing gas.  I was pumping it as fast as I could.  Somewhere about 10 minutes after they arrived, Mary Jane came out and hollered to all of us, "Who cleaned the Bathrooms?"   I stopped what I was doing and went over to confess that I had done it.  I was sure that I fell short in some important item or two. I didn't have the key to the sanitary napkin dispenser and had no idea if it need refilling. She heard me say I did it and she gave me a hug.  She said that the women's restroom had never been that clean and she was proud of how much work I had put into that cleaning job. 

Guess who earned himself the job of cleaning the bathrooms for the next couple of years?  The good news is that I never had her complain about anything I did the rest of the time I worked there.  She was a nice person to me and I am sad that my nieces and nephews in the Johnson Family lost their Great grandmother. 


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