I'm a 'sanitizing butler' at a luxury community in Miami who gets paid to patrol the beach with a Ghostbusters-like backpack of cleaning solution and chat with residents

Christopher King has been a "sanitizing butler" for two months.ESPR
  • Twenty-year-old Christopher King has been working at Continuum on South Beach in Miami, a luxury residential community, for 10 months. He has been serving as the onsite "sanitizing butler" for the past two months.
  • King spends his days wielding a backpack filled with medical-grade EPA-registered disinfectant, which he sprays on commonly used surfaces like beach chairs and tables at the onsite pools and adjacent beach.
  • During his time working onsite, King has built relationships with the residents of Continuum and is proud of his position because he says he's working to protect people from contracting and spreading COVID-19.
  • Here's what a day on the job as a sanitizing butler looks like for King at Continuum, as told to freelance writer Molly O'Brien.
Advertisement

I've kind of lived all over the US. I was born in Hawaii, then I moved to North Carolina, then South Carolina, Baltimore, Orlando, Gainesville, and now here. My dad's job brought me to Miami, and I've been working for Boucher Brothers, which is the company that looks over the beaches of South Beach, for about ten months.

When this sanitizing butler opportunity opened up at Continuum, I thought it would be a good fit.

One of my goals coming out of COVID is to work to keep people safe. This felt like a way I could do that.

I work Friday through Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to around 7 p.m. I get here every morning around 7:15, and I take my backpack that's a sprayer — we call it "the Ghostbuster suit" — in which we have industrial grade CDC-approved disinfectant that we can dilute with water.
Advertisement
In the mornings, when I arrive, I start at the two pools at Continuum and then move onto the beach. I start with the north pool, and disinfect all the chairs and loungers the residents sit on. I disinfect all the tables they might put their food on, and any surfaces in the pool huts and all the main areas that residents would touch and interact with.

When I'm done at north pool, I go to south pool and do the exact same thing. By that time, it's around 8:30 a.m. and the beach team has set up, so I'll go to the beach and disinfect all the beach chairs, the beach cushions, and everything over there.

I have three main time blocks; there's a morning block, afternoon block, and night block.

For the pools, I disinfect at 7:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and at 7 p.m. when everything has closed. The pools are empty at 7:30 a.m., because they haven't opened yet.
Advertisement

At 1 p.m. everyone is cleared out at the pools and residents leave, because the pool tech comes in to do a pH treatment to the water and restore the pH levels — which is another way we prevent coronavirus and help to slow the spread of infections. I'll spray everything over there again — all of the tables and the chairs around the pools from 1-1:30 pm.

King at work.ESPR
The beach is a bit different. For the beach, I'm there as soon as the resident uses the item and leaves. I'll completely re-spray and re-sanitize the entire setup. I spend the majority of my day on the beach. It's not such a bad place to spend the day — you can't beat the view.

I would say one of my favorite parts of my job is just knowing that I'm keeping our residents and our people safe.

This is a very scary time full of unknowns — no one could have seen this coming, and it's very unpredictable. Just knowing that every day when I come in here that I'm making a difference is great.
Advertisement

The most interesting part of my job is meeting and interacting with all of the residents. Our residents are from all over the world.

I enjoy meeting and interacting with new people every day. We talk about our favorite sports teams — there are quite a few residents here I feel like I've been able to build relationships with. I'm a really big sports guy and I actually used to be a sports photographer for a couple newspapers in Gainesville.

I'm a big UF football fan — and well, we're in Miami over here so everyone is a [University of Miami Hurri]canes fan. I talk about UF and UM sports with a lot of the residents. A lot of the residents bring me articles talking about how well UM is doing this year. The Continuum has residents of all ages, and also includes families. It's a place that people will come planning to stay [a while].
Advertisement

I just think this job is really important. It's something that all properties would benefit from doing, because here the residents that I've known haven't had coronavirus — and as far as I know, it hasn't been transmitted here.

{{}}