It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun and the last 3 months for me were really like a blur. I never really was ‘overly’ fascinated by insects growing up but here I was just engrossed with everything I was learning about this amazing new world I had stumbled across. Sure, as a kid I zapped a few million ants on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass on a sunny day but here, I felt like I was a part of something–people that were doing good, professionals serving the public and I in no way felt qualified enough to be there. Maybe that’s what drove me to want to show up everyday. Even though I knew every square inch of those break room walls and wouldn’t see the light of day for 8 hours at a clip, this was something I just knew had great promise for me. Maybe it was the vision of becoming a professional tech like the guys I saw every morning…I KNOW I wanted to experience some of those fantastic stories they all talked about every day…I don’t know for sure but I can tell you what ever these guys and gals had going on, I wanted in and I knew getting IN was getting the keys to that little ranger truck and zipping off into the city with bugs to kill and places to go…I wanted to run a route.
I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box (still ain’t) so I never put two and two together about the number of routes on the wall map and guys who showed up for work. Besides there were all kinds of people flitting in and out of the office everyday so maybe they had help from another branch until I was ready or the regular techs all took a chunk to make it work. Maybe the map hadn’t been updated– I couldn’t say at the time. Besides no one ever called me into the office to say my progress was too slow and there was never any shortage of tapes and books so I soon forgot about the disparity of numbers and just did my job…day in and day out.
There was a guy however that after awhile caught my attention. Not because he was there a lot but pretty regularly I guess. His red hair was like a bad extension of the standard issue orange ball caps we were all given. To describe him as disheveled might be an under statement– his shirt was always wrinkled, his green tie (if he wore one) was never straight, shoes untied, glasses broken with white tape holding them together and he always carried a stack of service tickets & what I thought were little white sticky notes in his hand as if he didn’t know what to do with them as he’d mope around the office with no real direction. I figured he was from another branch because he was rarely at the morning meetings and when he was there, he always seemed to end up in the branch or service managers office where it seemed the conversation was always one sided. He was the complete opposite of every other tech in the office. Once in awhile he’d venture into the break–eh-em, training room and pull the coffee pot out of the maker, flip up the lid and stick his nose up to the rim even though it was obvious it was empty. Opening the fridge he bent inside as if doing inventory. There was usually only two sodas and one paper bag lunch inside but he seemed to search it as if there may be more, maybe something he placed inside some time ago–I dunno. He never said two words to me but if the saying is true that a face can launch a thousand ships–than this guy’d be lucky to get a canoe off the dock. (sorry-that’s mean, but true)
I wondered how a guy like this could even get into such a prestigious position like professional pest control technician. It seemed like an oxymoron. All the other techs, although quite jovial in the office, seemed to exude knowledge and confidence while this guy could barely get the same color socks on.
Well, I never saw him enough to really worry about him, besides, the service manager had just informed me that I would be stepping up my training. I would be riding with him tomorrow.
AT LAST!!! Time to see what a real exterminator does on my first real job.