Carol Copeland was an auxiliary caretaker at Weatherfield Comprehensive working under Derek Wilton. She was appointed to the nominal position in July 1993 from that of cleaner when Derek was given the caretaker’s post following the resignation of Harry Potts. Carol told Derek that as far as she was concerned it was a lot more work for the same money but if it meant that she had to do it to keep her job then she would do so. Derek was equally frank with her, telling her that he wanted someone with more experience as his deputy than a cleaner but they agreed that they had to make the best of it.
The following February, Carol chanced upon Derek talking indignantly to himself as he mopped a set of steps in a corridor. He had spent the previous night trying to get home after being accidentally abandoned at an M6 service station after a trip to London to see Miss Saigon and was moaning indignantly about his treatment at wife Mavis’s hands. He asked Carol how Roger would react if he was in a similar situation and had to remind her that Roger was her husband. He gave up on the conversation and she gave him the unwelcome news that they had sick to clear up from schoolchildren who’d contracted a bug and not made it to the toilets.
At the end of the day, a desperately tired Derek was fast asleep at the desk in his caretaker’s office and Carol woke him up clattering her bucket down before wishing him a goodnight. Derek fell back asleep and was woken up again several hours later when Carol returned with the police: the unlocked school had been burgled and all of its videos and computers had been stolen on his watch.
Derek was suspended for the incident and had to go before a hearing of the governors in March. Waiting outside Mrs Jeffers's office to be called in, Carol wished him good luck and added the coda that he wouldn’t need it as they must know what a good caretaker he was and if they didn’t, she would go in there and tell them herself. She further cheered him up by saying that they’d probably realised they’d overreacted in suspending him and he should give them hell.