JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Saying he’s fed up with cleaning toilets for a living, local janitor Sean Ritchie announced Wednesday that he’s putting down his mop for good to join the Navy.
“I woke up the other day and just couldn’t do it anymore,” Ritchie said, visibly emboldened as a man taking charge of his life. “I’ve had it with the mindless tasks, with being looked at as the lowest of the low by piece-of-shit bosses, and with wearing my ass out for paychecks that amount to pennies. So I enlisted.”
Ritchie, 25, has been employed around the Jacksonville area in a variety of janitorial and maintenance jobs since graduating from Fernandina Beach High School in 2007. Though he initially enjoyed the freedom his low-commitment occupations allowed, Ritchie says the daily grind of “arbitrary, dehumanizing chores” ultimately left him hungry for the sort of adventure he’s sure he’ll find in his new life as a sailor.
“I've always wanted to join the military, but I never believed in myself enough to take that first step,” Ritchie told reporters, describing the “incredible pride" he felt just walking into the recruiter’s office. “Deep down, though, I’ve always known there was more to me than sweeping floors and chipping paint. My recruiter agreed. Said he had a real good feeling about me."
According to his orders, Ritchie will report in October to the Navy’s Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, where he’ll complete eight weeks of basic training before moving on to his first duty station, likely a ship, as an “undesignated” Seaman. Following his first duty assignment of about two years, Ritchie will select a “rate,” or job field, in which he will advance throughout his naval career. Though currently undecided on which rate he’d like to pursue, Ritchie’s confident he’ll find a good fit, given, he says, the virtual smorgasbord of exciting professional options.
“The recruiter was especially encouraging about advancement opportunities in the Boatswain’s Mate and Hull Technician rates,” Ritchie said. “I don’t exactly know what those are, but I'm definitely excited to find out.”
“To think," he added, "In just a few short months, I'll be on the open seas, the breeze in my hair, dolphins off the port bow, sailing off to Lord-knows-where and leaving this blur of bitch work long behind.”
At press time, Ritchie had quit his job as a janitor in apparently dramatic fashion, breaking a broom over his knee and shouting that he'd joined the Navy. "I'll call life's shots from now on," he reportedly boasted.