The following is a two actor script for a play that’s been running even longer than the famous and longest running production Cats. Due to a looming actors strike we’ve had to adapt and abbreviate the production but I’m sure you’ll get the flavor of where this is going because unless I miss my guess; This has happened to you.
exterminator (ext); cheerful>
Ok so I see you’re still having a problem with (fill in the blank here but we’ll go with roaches) let’s see if I can help. I see we’ve been out a few times, how we doing?.
homeowner (hm); agitated>
Twice and I’ve still got them running ALL OVER THE PLACE
— hm starts opening cabinets looking for live roaches to show ext, first 3 are full of dead ones, closes cabinets quickly… 4th drawer has 3 or 4 scurry she screeches almost in relief–
SEE SEE, look at em! I’m seeing tons of these things every night and nothing you’ve done is killing them.
ext; still calm>
Have you kept the…
I’m not a dirty person, I never leave dishes in the sink except today I got called in for work early but normally my kitchen is spotless- your man said I wouldn’t see any more after 2 weeks and it’s like you did nothing at all! Look another ONE!
hm now going back and forth around the crowded counter top moving things back and forth looking for more…
ext; barely still calm as he pulls out a wet rotting bag of potatoes from under the sink>
Looks like quite a few dead ones ma-mm. From your service card I see this is the 3rd time we’ve been out and it hasn’t even been a month, don’t you remember how I explained the process to you?
hm facing reality of more dead roaches then live but still upset>
Look I had a company years ago that came out ONE time and totally got rid of them, can’t you use what they did? I’m very clean my house normally isn’t this bad but I work a lot, I need this taken care of, I paid you a lot of money and I’m not happy with the results. When am I gonna be rid of these things?
The exchange goes on for awhile and while there are live roaches, even a pocket or two of substantial numbers the overwhelming majority are dead. The exterminator would love to just sprits about and get on with his busy day but he knows he’s got to get through to this customer or cut his losses. (that is the last resort with any route in any industry) The hm tries to lead the conversation and begins parading back and forth pointing out every spot she has see them almost as if she wants him to hose down each location with a high pressure rig. She’s upset because the house is NOT as clean as she claims it always is except for today and she begins blaming the kids while picking things up in a wild frenzy. Slowly the experienced bug man takes little chunks of control at a time but in the back of his mind he wishes she would just listen and wonders how she messed up his companies information- None of the techs say anything like she’s claimed and he was the first one out. He never promised over night success- There was no time limit or exaggeration what would come about. He reminds her (at the right time) of how she and her husband said they’ve bombed the place 3 or 4 times with no results. That he spent an hour and a half at this tiny 1100 square foot home on the initial. He shows her the dripping pipes under the sink, the pile of debris still behind the fridge and finds more candy and food scraps along with 2 dozen dead roaches in the couch where she sits all day and watches TV. He reminds her how she had to get up so he could bait and why he chose a dry bait more expensive per ounce then fine perfume and that it appears to be working.
As if this were some title boxing match in the 12th round her jabs are slower now and have less impact but she still keeps throwing them. This free complaint visit has now lasted 45 minutes and has revealed more problems of sanitation than anything else. Dead roaches don’t lie but still she refuses to be satisfied with how things have started. The exterminator is frustrated because he remembers specifics and details of what was talked about but it’s as if he said nothing at all. Still, he perseveres and tries one more time to educate the client and does his best to let her know-he’s on her side. This seems to melt the tension a bit and as some suggestions and information seems to be sinking in he makes his way toward the exit.
It’s now been 3 service calls totaling 3 hours at the price of one, does his company suck as bad as she thinks it does? Does yours? He hopes there is no curtain call.