Time is the longest distance between two places.
From day one on the route you learn that pest control is a fast paced occupation. Get to a job, get it done and get to the next and repeat. All day, everyday. It’s always been that way and for better or for worse, I don’t see that changing.
Now whether or not that’s a good thing we can talk about later on. Also, I do recognize there are pest control pros out there who are not “under the time gun.” ie; commercial techs, inspectors/quality control and institutional techs who, lets say service a large campus or commercial complex (s).
Still, even if you do fall into this latter category–believe me, you can still use these tips to avoid sometimes agonizing ticks of the clock fleeting by when all you want to do is “get moving!”
I’ve ranked these time killers as my top 3 and yes I know—there are quite a few more. If you’d like to rank one not listed please feel free…. we could all use a time saving tip doing this gig.
#3 My 3rd most dreaded time is “The Reverse Order Of Things”
Like most of you I’m sure, I’m a creature of habit. Our regular visits include both inside & outside service. I always like to get the ‘inside’ done first. I start at the front door and with flashlight in hand I make my way around. Redeeming the time I make chit chat while treating. I call this ‘treatspections’ which I wrote about in a previous article. In my experience this gets the job done in a timely manner and suffices for the customers need to know that I’m engaged and care for their home. In all, I guess I’m inside for maybe 20 minutes give or take. They write the check & I head outside where with no need for inconsequential conversation, I’m around the place quickly & on to my next job.
Where the time killing comes in is when I’m asked to do the outside first. This could be because they’re not quite ready for me, maybe they just got out of the shower or just whatever. So, not wanting whip around the home & knock on the door to come back in in a blink of an eye. What usually is a 10 minute exterior service is now 20? 25?
I rarely get questioned about time or how fast I am except when I go in reverse order. It’s only then I get the quizzical looks or comments. “You’re done already, did you get the garage?” This is usually because the client was busy doing whatever else and doesn’t notice me doing my normal routine. So since I don’t want to show the client I’m rushing, I usually end up taking 25 to 30 minutes inside. So now instead of a 30 minute (give or take) visit that everyone was always happy with. I’ve now spent close to an hour getting the same job done.
#2 Last Minute Directions & Developments
I hate this one & I almost always end up in a bad mood when it happens. This one happens when a customer basically watches me do the entire service and then hits me with an “oh by the way” just as I’m filling out my ticket.
A lot of times it happens partly for the same reason number 3 does. They just aren’t paying attention. So, all done & as I’m filling out my ticket they hit me with all sorts of “quality control” questions and info that I really should have had at the BEGINNING of my service. “Did you get in the garage?–Oh let me show you where some earwigs were so you can spray there. Can you spray for fleas?” Arrrrrrrgh, that really gets to me.
So now I feel like I have to spend time justifying what I did & take time to explain what I saw and how I treated…..alas, it’s then I get that look and they want me to treat that area again. (although it’s not again to them)
#1 Let Me Show You Something On The Computer
This is the ABSOLUTE WORST time killer ever known to the pest tech. It starts with either they have a problem on there PC and you open up your mouth saying, “oh, it’s probably just such and such, easy fix.” Or they just want to pop up a web site or some pictures of their vacation. OMG when I see that coming I just want to run for the hills!!!
If you listen close you can hear me screaming inside my head–“Here, I’ve zeroed out your receipt and the service is free!!” Please, just release me from the hell I know is coming!!!!!
I have had times where I spent more than an hour trying to ‘help’ people with computer problems before and even more time looking at pic after pic of vacations to Tennessee or the beach. Each click of the mouse leads to another diatribe of where who what when and how and the client becomes oblivious that you may have anywhere else to go or any other thing to do that day. It’s as if the glow of the monitor has them captivated and since they are so enthralled, you must be too. It’s times like these I almost have to be rude just to get out there.
Please my pest control brothers and sisters—at all costs I urge you, avoid these 3 time killers!!!