For The Place Whereon Thou Standest Is Holy Ground

Let me ask you a serious question- Do you respect your customers home? I mean if you broke something would you insist on paying for it-would you even speak up? Do you burn through the place with little or no regard as to how, where or why you are treating? Does this clients home mean anything whatsoever to you or is it just another account which needs to be put in your rear view mirror quickly so you can get done with your day and get to what’s most important- YOU.

Hey I don’t mean to be rude here but there is something I see in pest control all the time which not only raises my eyebrow but can quickly (I mean QUICKLY) infuriate your customer and at times can completely discredit you, your service and your company and there is just about zero you can do about it once it’s taken place. How do I know about this? I’ve gotten the calls and each time I do I want to just jump through my skin.

The Dirty Deed

When a service person comes to the door you don’t have to wait long to see if they have the level of respect I’m speaking of. Right there at the welcome mat is all you’ll need to see. Did they take their shoes off? Did they even check their shoes for dirt or mud. What? Not the earth shattering deed you were expecting? Let me tell you-this simple act or lack thereof exhibits for some homeowners especially the wives out there, all the same qualities as if you broke a family heirloom or kicked the cat. Nothings worse for some then having muddy shoe prints or other goodies tracked all throughout the house. Blood pressure of the lady of the house spikes instantly and she is immediately angry and begins to think the worst. From the tracks she knows just where you went spreading a mess and now she wonders if you were just as sloppy spraying chemicals all around her home. If you’re lucky all she’ll do is talk bad about you all night long or maybe even a couple of days. Most likely however, the talk goes to the neighbors, friends and relatives and you can bet it’s not to refer you. Worse yet your office gets the call and a huge fuss is raised and the recipient has little power to do anything but listen. Your image takes a huge hit and regardless of how many bugs you killed or prevented that day- you’re branded and that isn’t good.

As I said, I’ve preached on this subject sometimes till I’m blue in the face. I’ve lost contracts over it, been chewed out, paid or cleaned the floors myself, forced to switch techs promising never to send ‘that one’ again and made to eat crow over this more than once and no amount of apologizing ever made things right. You see a persons home is their castle, it’s their rules and just because you were hired to come in and deal with their pest control situation which at times I admit can be messy- you have no right to be a mess yourself.

You may have wondered what the title of this article had to do with my little rant and actually it is from the old testament scriptures. While it’s a stretch to say this was even remotely the context in the Bible the principle is still the same. Show some respect when in the presence of the Owner of the kingdom, it is the right thing to do.

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Exodus 3:5

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • Blueliner36

    In CA. we are not allowed to remove our shoes I get around this by carrying a second pair of shoes ( I tried the booties, but they tear on the work boot) that are clean, it takes time but it’s all worth it to make the customer happy! 🙂

  • Hey Blueliner,
    I had no idea about this rule in California– Wow, do you know the rationale behind it? I know some folks here insist I NOT remove my shoes so like you I keep an older pair (clean) in the truck. I guess it’s just bred into me and it sounds like you too– to be conscientious. Now I will say I do run into many accounts where I DO want to wear my shoes-crawlsuit, gloves and MASK…lol but that’s a whole other story.

    Thanks for your comment

  • Bobby

    i usually suss the situation out first, if its asian houses then you can see at the front of the door shoes everywhere so i automatically take my shoes off before they come to the door.

    ive knocked things over in shops with my bag and smashed them, i own up right away and tell the customer i will pay for it and just knock the price off my bill and 99 times out a hundred they just let me off…..honesty is the best policy……..

  • People appreciate that I’m sure.