William Payne cleans offices at the Barclays Center, but his favorite part of his workday has nothing to do with cleaning.
“I come in an hour early, at 10 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.,” says Porter, this year’s Porter of the Year Award in the outer boroughs. “I talk to workers. I try to help if they have a problem...I get a joy and reward by helping others.”
Payne, 69, who lives a few blocks from the Barclays Center, is a helpful guy when he’s not working, too. He is deeply involved in the Fort Greene community, where on weekends he volunteers at hospitals, nursery homes, at his church and the local police precinct.
Payne was a manager at the glove company Aris Isotoner for 30 years before he retired a few years ago. “I didn’t want to do nothing when retired,” Payne says. “I wanted to keep myself busy.” Payne became a part-time cleaner with Collins Building Services, working at Barclays Center. He works the night shift, with his weekly schedule dependent on events such as basketball games and concerts.
Payne says co-workers quickly found he would help any way he could, including speaking up on behalf of others who were having problems. “I would always speak up if I see something is wrong,” he says. “Some workers are shy, and some don’t know their rights. I started giving them my number, and my wife got mad at me that someone is calling the house every day.”