A career based on a love of cleanliness
Custodial Supervisor Bryant Evans looks back on 17 years of cleaning up
Published: Monday, May 28, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 01:05
Bryant Evans raised two kids, paid off his 2006 Dodge Charger and can afford to take a nice vacation once a year—and he does all of this with our garbage.
Evans is CSM’s Custodial Supervisor and has been keeping the campus free from garbage and dirt for 17 years.
Evans has been doing this since he was a kid, and frankly he’s addicted, he said.
“I’ve got that love of cleanliness,” said Evans, 48. “Of taking that little Hot Wheels car out of the box, all nice and clean and it should stay that way—new, like it just came out of the box.”
Evans’ father had his own custodial company and he dragged his kids along to help after school, one of them being a 16-year-old Evans. That is where he learned his machine skills — waxing, carpet extracting, buffing and much more.
“When you start off young doing something, you don’t know anything else,” he said. “It’s in your blood.”
A San Francisco native, he grew up in the Haight and went to Balboa High School. After graduating, he worked several custodial jobs including the Presidio Officers’ Club, the old Galaxy Theater and the UCSF Medical Center before ending up at CSM.
He started as a custodian and eventually got promoted to lead custodian and then custodial supervisor.
“(Evans) is always positive, takes a personal interest in his team, and works hard to insure they have open lines of communication with him and each other,” said Karen Powell, CSM Facilities Operations Manager.
As custodial supervisor, Evans works Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight with most of his staff.
“In my job I have to deal with people all the time,” said Evans. “I have to train and communicate with different personalities and I see their mood before I present myself.”
He creates schedules, assigns tasks, trains his staff and plays his part in the dirty work — cleaning up classrooms, restrooms and hallways and emptying trash and recycling.
It can be hard work, not having the staff you need to clean the entire campus, but Evans said his custodians get the job done.
CSM has 18 custodians paid on average of $3,836 a month each, costing a total of $69,048 per month.
“His energy is through the roof,” said CSM lead custodian Alex Gordon, who has known
Evans for 30 years. “The vibe he puts off wraps right around us.”
Evans simply likes to clean. “He’d rather his work show him off, then to show off himself,” said Gordon.
Evans’ is motivated to come to work every day to pay his bills, he said.
“But what I live for, why I love to come here is the graduation commencement every year,” said Evans. “The relief of fresh air — I can say ‘We made it again you guys.’”
Evans is also motivated by his faith.
“I live by the phrase, ‘love thy neighbor,’” he said. “Anyone I run into, I pray for — I don’t have to know them.”
Evans has a Christian background and was ordained as a deacon seven years ago with the Word Assembly Baptist Church in Oakland.
“The pastor saw a people person in me, helping people and saving souls,” said Evans. “He thought the energy that I have could help him help people.”
He just went through a training boot camp. He obtained his certificate on April 29 as a full-time deacon.
“Now it’s official,” said Evans.
He recently did his first reading and opening with prayer and hopes to do more, he said.
Evans has been married to his wife Palkina Evans for 27 years.
“It’s nice that I don’t have to worry about cleaning because he’s always right behind me cleaning up,” said Palkina.
Evans and Palkina have been dating since they were both 13 years old.
“We believe in the same things,” he said. “Once you pass trust, love and financial, there’s nothing else to fight about — the rest is easy. You can be successful in marriage.”
They have two children. Their son, Bryant Evans Jr., 24, works two jobs in security. Their daughter, Kina Evans, 18, is about to graduate from high school. She just received the Principal’s Honor Roll and plans to go to CSM.
“He’s got this glow to him — he’s so kind no matter what someone says to him,” said Palkina. “He’s always positive and so easy and comfortable to talk to.”
Evans’ family inspires him because they are working hard, he said.
“Communication is important — at dinner we talk and see what’s on the kids’ minds,” said Evans. “They aren’t afraid to speak to us about anything.”
Evans’ hobbies include watching football, dancing, skating and bowling.
“If I bowl 175, I’m having a bad day,” he said.
When he retires, Evans plans on traveling.
“I’m praying to god that I can retire and buy a big RV and cruise the world,” said Evans.