Normally an open door policy is a great thing but when you’re talking about keeping insects or vermin out of the house I can’t imagine a worse policy to have. Still there must be some great allure to leaving doors and windows wide open to the world because we see it all the time on our routes. Now I’m not saying you can’t have the windows open on a nice cool day or any day you choose for that matter. But if the screens are missing or in need of repair or you don’t even have a screen door on the front or back then it shouldn’t be a surprise if a bug or two makes it in.
Even though it would seem obvious that a bug could just saunter on in at any time through the open door people still seem amazed when they find a huge roach or spider on the kitchen floor. What’s more incredible is when we get the calls from sometimes angry customers demanding service to remedy the problem and pointing out the obvious is occasionally treading in dangerous waters.
It’s not intentional, (I guess) but I have seen accounts that leave the garage door open at the bottom for the kitty, the back slider cracked for the pup and the windows with bent and loose fitting screens open for that good fresh cross breeze and still somehow only get a scant bug or two in between visits; but alas even that is unacceptable. Like I said, I don’t think it’s intentional because when our truck rolls up the home owner isn’t scrambling around the house shutting all the windows and locking the dog out but instead they point to the dead bug on the floor and expect something to be done. While I’m sure more chemicals won’t make the bug any deader it is sometimes amazing to me that I have any trouble at all getting my point across about the easy avenues into their home for even a Mac truck let alone an agile roach.
As the customer is explaining about the ‘infestation’ and asking how this could happen since she has my service I find it so hard to not gaze over her shoulder at the back door that’s propped open with the lawn gnome so it won’t break should a gust of wind catch it. I try to weakly explain about the ability of a roach to squeeze through a crack no wider than a dime and how food odors can be picked up at great distances by their antenna. When I ask if there have been any other sightings and try to get away with just a quick kitchen service I hear the further explanation of the bug she saw last week in the garage and the gnats that have been in the master bathroom and pretty soon it’s clear to me that this is gonna be a whole house treatment while the cure is only 6 feet away and all it requires is shutting the door.
I suppose I could argue and forcefully put my point across or even search for even more tactful ways to explain the solution but at this point it really doesn’t get me anywhere and what do I win by being right? A mad customer who’ll be on the phone letting her neighbors know that her bug man can’t keep the roaches out and that’s about it. Instead I find it quicker to just go through the home with a duster and perhaps a bait gun and I always suggest a lawn treatment to try and halt the critters long before they set sights on the home.
Now it doesn’t always work out this way and thankfully more customers than not catch on to my non threatening hints of the open invitations their homes provide. What’s even more maddening to me however is while I can’t seem to speak up to the habitual few and educate them enough to stop this cycle of folly, I just cannot button my lip long enough to get out the door. Somewhere in between telling them there is no charge for the extra service and getting to the exit to leave my mouth goes into an automatic mode and the last thing that I just can’t stop myself from saying is;
“if you have any further problems just give us a call and we’ll be out.”
I guess I have my own ‘open door policy’ issues I need to work on.