No happy ending for a beloved janitor

Bobby Carroll, a janitor at the University of Massachusetts Boston campus, is a symbol of America’s working stiffs.

He turns 63 on Christmas Day. He makes $51,000, which doesn’t go far in a city like Boston. If he can hang on for two years, he can retire with a nice pension and health insurance that will help him deal with his mental illness, the Boston Globe says.

He’s worked for the school for 30 years.

Thirty. Years.

Last fall he was honored by the university’s chancellor.

“Even the snow and the ice shiver and they shake when he shows up with the tools of his trade,” J. Keith Motley declared. “Nothing stops Bobby Carroll from facilities from keeping our walkways passable and as pristine as they could possibly be.”

That earned Bobby a standing ovation. Janitors don’t get a lot of standing ovations.

Sweet story.

Happy endings to sweet stories are getting harder to find in America.

Last week, school officials told Bobby he’s getting laid off on January 13.

His union will allow him to “bump” another employee into joblessness but he says he doesn’t want to do that.

He was sweeping a sidewalk the other day when a reporter talked to him and got a State of the Union speech in one sentence.

“You give your best every day and that’s the reward you get?” Carroll said.