I’m pretty sure I’m not any more paranoid then the next guy, you know, the one over there who’s been following my every move for the last hour. So I’m sure I just imagined all those times that the customer dropped that $10.00 bill behind the dryer or that folded up piece of cardboard really is to help keep the closet door shut and not alert anyone the doors been opened. I mean what would anybody have to gain by setting me up? They would never want me to get in any kind of trouble would they? Whenever this happens I never know if I’m just being insecure or if my client is suspicious of me for some reason. 9 times out of 10 when I hand them their money I found it’s almost always met with a chuckle as they exclaim “that darn husband of mine is always dropping money.” It’s then I realize they didn’t even think twice about anything nefarious. People by in large are trusting souls and I’m proud to say that all the pest control technicians I know, for the most part are also worthy of that trust.
After 27 years of pest control service I think I’ve had just about every scenario of this happen. I’ve found lost jewelry, wallets, papers, money and on and on. But I must say, I don’t believe I’ve ever been ‘set-up’ to test my integrity on physical items per se. I have however been set up without a doubt in major sting operations by crafty conniving clients who in their own conceits wanted me to fall for way more than $10 bucks.
Before I go much further left me clearly define what I am describing are conniving people who for their own gain, will purposely set out to harm you;
his conniving brother planned the whole dirty affair scheming, cunning, crafty, calculating, devious, wily, sly, tricky, artful, guileful; manipulative, Machiavellian, disingenuous, deceitful, underhanded, treacherous; informal foxy.
If you own your own business and this hasn’t happened to you in some degree then count your blessings. This recently came up in my mind because an account was increasingly complaining of roaches when according to my tech, shouldn’t have been. Long story short is I went along for the early morning service just last week and both the owner & the night maintenance man were there waiting. (they have never been there that early) It seems this one staff member either has a friend in the business or doesn’t like my tech or just whatever but he has been bending the ear of the owner for weeks about out of control roaches. The owner has never seen any bugs of significance but perhaps weary of the non stop chatter, the two of them conspired to surprise us by being there with us as we first walked in. All the
way up the sidewalk this janitor exclaimed how he sees hundreds every night and it was as if he was part of one of those ‘Hidden Camera’ shows and somewhere along the line he was gonna yell “Gotcha!”
When we walked in he purposely stood waiting by the door as the owner, my tech & I all fumbled ahead in the darkness. The owner sounded a little unsure of himself and disgruntled as he had to yell “Ok” for the 2nd time and that’s when all the bright lights flooded the room and it was like going outside into the sun after being in the dark. The panting maintenance man came running up behind us eager to see the carnage of feasting roaches. You could clearly see the disappointment on his face as he reached the end of his 10 yard sprint out of breath. At that moment I realized what my sleepy mind had not yet grasped. These two set us up to make us look like fools and planned this early morning coup to have one over on us rather than just approach the situation (perceived or not) like adults. My little cancelation antenna went up immediately & I was surprised that this good account was doing this. I really could have rubbed it in and been a jerk when all we saw was a dead earwig, a dinner roll and a couple roaches near the drain but I realized there was more at stake with the account. I’m not sure of the motivation but my paranoia proved true when this morning I went with the tech again and we found sticky traps in places only an exterminator would go. Sticky traps with a competitors name and # proudly printed on the flap and I needed no more proof of the devious event.
Has This Happened To You?
Over the years I’ve had people paint over termite tunnels, hide damage, change my reports with white out, sweep dead bugs into areas they weren’t. An 80 year old lady crawl under the house with me in disbelief of my findings and burn rubber out the driveway when it came time to pay. I even once had a lady excuse herself while I was examining some previous damage only to come back around the corner with a old style video camera with the big flood light a blazing and the little red microphone eye blinking to let me know every word I said from then on was etched in stone for all to see. In all these instances I walked away in disbelief that people would be so underhanded and that their motives were really to hurt me, my business and ultimately my family. (at least I took it personally at the time) Why would someone sit up late at night and plot out such plans? Who schemes in their heart thinking “this is the most important thing I need to be doing right now?” All over a bug or a situation where they don’t want to hear facts or even accept restitution if the case warranted it. No, they have their conspiracy all thought through and it’s as if half the thrill is just carrying it out.
It’s funny but my favorite of all time movie (besides Predator) is The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. That’s where I learned about the alert system using the cardboard in the door trick. 😉 You really were never sure just how that story was gonna come out and who’d end up on top. Games were played and traps were sprung and you were convinced all was lost more than once. One things for sure however about the use of the cons I saw in both the movie and in my business life. It takes some work and forethought to try and pull one off and to be really successful the ‘Mark’ would never know what was happening. BUT I say if you’re that conniving just to get your way, prove a point, avoid responsibility or to right some self appointed wrong– It seems to me that you’re already on the losing end and you’re the one whose already been stung.