How many of us often feel unappreciated or overlooked at our jobs? We all work hard and do our best, but sometimes it feels like it’s still not enough. Perhaps people do take notice of our work, it’s just that they’ve never said so. Such was the case for this janitor working at a school in California.
Rocky Lopez worked as a custodian at the Los Primeros School of Sciences and Arts in Camarillo for years. He’s known throughout the campus for his friendliness and caring personality.
“It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it,” Lopez told The Acorn. “The way I work comes from the heart and that’s the bottom line.”
And it does show in Lopez’s work.
“When’s he out on campus, he’s always greeting the kids and joking with them. He knows which kids like which football team and he talks to them about that,” Katie Burchell, the school’s principal, said. “He gets to know the kids and he cares about them. He’s a wonderful guy.”
Lopez’s love for the job and hard work didn’t go unnoticed by staff and students.
In 2014, inspired by the dude. be nice. campaign, students wanted to honor someone from their community, and they knew exactly who to choose—Lopez, of course.
Working in conjunction with the dude. be nice. company, the Associated Student Body, Builders Club, Dance Chair, and Yearbook Committee worked to plan the event, according to The Acorn.
“We have been working since October for a big surprise to honor someone in our community and we chose Rocky because we thought he doesn’t get nearly enough credit as he deserves,” said Allison Martinez, who was an eighth-grader at the time. “All of us came together to do something special for him.”
When the big day came to surprise Lopez, Brent Camalich, the founder of dude. be nice. apparel company, was present to help out.
“The reason he’s so nice to you guys is because he wants you to live a life where you treat people the same way he’s treating you,” Camalich said to the crowd of students gathered.
Camalich didn’t come alone. He brought along a special guest for Lopez—Adam Snyder, who played 8 years with Lopez’s favorite football team, the San Francisco 49ers.
When the preparations were all done and students and staff were gathered together, they called Lopez to the auditorium to help clean up a fictitious mess.
As soon as Lopez stepped inside the room, he was showered with a basket of chocolates that he loves to eat. The whole room erupted cheering and chanting “we love Rocky!” Lopez was floored; he couldn’t help but smile and laugh by all the attention and appreciation he was shown.
Later, the students took a group photo with Lopez, who was teary-eyed by then.
“I’m a man of faith,” Lopez said. “The Lord has a purpose for everybody and you make the best of what you have before it’s too late because time is so short.”
Watch the heartwarming surprise here:
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | DUDEbenice.