A couple of months ago we had a customer call in to schedule an interior service. He let me know he had just left town, and was going to be gone for a while, but that he had noticed some bugs inside before he left. He said he felt comfortable letting the technician treat inside without him being home. He gave me the alarm code for his house, and the code to unlock the front door, and just asked that the technician relock and reset the alarm when he was finished. We chatted for a bit, and he let me know that he had some steaks in the refrigerator that he wasn’t able to cook before he left, and they would go bad before he was home again. He asked that the technician please take the steaks out of the fridge, and he can keep them if he wants. He let me know they are really good fat steaks, and he would really appreciate if we helped him out with this. When I asked the tech to get the steaks out of the fridge he just laughed, but said they did look good and he wanted them. I just thought this was one of the oddest requests for pest control.
St. George, UT
During one hot summer in Austin, I was performing first time services for new Bulwark customers and training a new technician. It was getting late in the week and the two of us had performed several first time services, so I told the trainee to get started on the outside and I would go inside, talk to the new customer, and get started performing the inside service. I expected the trainee to come inside after doing the weephole screening and power spraying the perimeter, but after about half an hour, he had not yet come inside. I explained to the new customer that I was going outside to check on my partner and that I would be back inside in just a few moments. The hose was on the reel in the back of the truck, the weepholes were already meshed, but the trainee was nowhere to be found around the outside of the home. I didn’t want to start yelling his name and cause any of the neighbors to question the professionalism of the technicians working for Bulwark, so I decided to finish the inside service, and think about where the trainee could have gone. I completed the interior work and explained to the new customer, what I had done on the inside, what products were used and how they worked. After thanking the customer and in the process of walking out the door, the customer said very calmly and nonchalantly, “make sure the dog doesn’t follow you out the gate, she has a habit of escaping” and the customer followed me out into the yard. As we walked, I recognized the trainee, sweat dripping off of his face and petting a little dog in the yard. The customer then told the trainee, “I’m surprised you two are getting along, she’s quite an escape artist, anytime someone comes into the yard, she gets out”, to which the trainee replied, “oh no ma’am we pay close attention when there a pets in the yard, we would never let anything happen to someone’s pet”. The trainee and I left the home and hopped into the truck and asked him, “where’d you go, I was looking for you?” To which he replied, “That little dog got out when I was reeling up the hose, so I tried to catch her.” “I have been running all over the neighborhood for that last half hour. I couldn’t pick her up and carry her the three blocks back here because I’m allergic. So I caught up to her and fed her my sandwich to get her to come to me. I took off my belt and made a leash and the two of us walked back to the house right before ya’ll came out.” We laughed for a few minutes and I offered to buy him a Gatorade and something to eat. As we pulled into the parking place at the convenience store, there was an unmistakable “LOST DOG” picture and poster in the store’s window from one of the previous escapes by his new friend.
Branch Manager Austin
It was a typical hot, humid Texas Summer day. I had completed most of my schedule and I was getting into the stretch where every customer is home and needs just a little special attention to feel comfortable that their bugs will be gone. I pulled up to the next house on my schedule at the end of a cul-de-sac. I rang the doorbell. No answer. I knocked. No answer. I then went to the gate on the side of the home; I knocked loudly on the gate and began whistling hoping to attract the attention of any dog that may be in the back yard. I have not proven this, but I theorize that a dogs lack of colored sight cause them to view Pest Control Technicians as chew toys that must be gnawed on. No dogs came barking at the fence, or wagging a tale. I now felt safe to service the home.
I power sprayed the front exterior of the home and entered the back yard. As I came near the rear corner of the home I heard music from a radio. I came around the corner and found our customers kneeling on their back deck. I quickly put on a huge smile, raised my arm and announced myself to my customers, saying “Hi I’m the Bugguy”. In the next moment I understood why the customers where kneeling down. I was confronted with one of the most terrifying situations I have ever been in. No less than 6 small black puppies sprinted off the deck of the home and charged in my direction at what seemed to be 200miles per hour. I HAD LEFT THE GATE OPEN and the puppies where headed for it and me. I dropped my equipment and ran towards the gate hoping to close it before the puppies could escape. I was successful and hours of dog catching had been prevented.
As I came back around the corner of the home with the puppies nipping at every inch of me from the knees down, the customer’s were doubled over in laughter at the sight of a grown man fleeing for his life from a group of puppies with the largest weighing at about 6lbs. I didn’t try to explain. I only joined in the laughter and completed the service.
One day I was just finishing service at a home and was rolling up my hose when a neighbor walked up to the service vehicle. So I stopped and went around to the other side of the truck to speak with her. She wanted service later on that day. I discussed the price and what we do exactly and she wrote down her address and information on the service agreement. She even paid and signed it if I would come back that same day at 4 PM. I agreed and told her that I would see her at 4 and bounced my happy self back to the truck. I hopped in and put her service agreement in my clipboard. I had totally forgotten that I didn’t finish rolling up my hose. So I left, and soon I heard a humming noise and it was the sound of my hose coming off the reel very fast. I looked back threw my side view mirror as I turned the corner and saw the gun slide under a car tire and stopped immediately. The hose had stretched to pencil thinness and the gun was ruined. I had to go all the way back to the office to get a new gun and hose. So an easy day that I was running ahead ended at around 8 PM because of my laps of concentration. Lessons learned!
Mgr. Las Vegas