Or apparently that’s what my company thinks of me and my colleagues.
Granted, being a pest control technician is not a glamorous position, and there are more than enough people doing this job who are never going to be pestered by the Rhodes Scholarship people.
But I am a professional, I take my job seriously, I have been with the company for nine years, and I’ve been running my route for 3.5 years. My customers have come to trust me and respect me for my job performance and my knowledge, and many of them genuinely like me for my personality.
As we were constantly reminded over the years, we are the face of the company to our clients; the person they let in their homes and businesses. We are the reason they stay with our service.
So what has Management done, in their infinite wisdom? They’ve instituted an automatic computerized calling program, to contact our clients and tell them, “Your service technician will be at your home on (date) to do your pest control service.” No time, no ability for the home- or business owner to respond, except with another phone call, which starts a round of telephone tag between me and them to reschedule.
Dammit, I know who to call the night before. I know which customers might need more flexibility. And I’ve been calling them faithfully and accommodating their schedules for months on end. More important, I know who not to call.
Yes, it’s a bit of an inconvenience for me to have to contact four or five people in the evening, but it’s only five or ten minutes in the early evening, and then the next day’s services are scheduled, or else I know who to skip and reschedule at a later date.
Most important, it keeps me in touch with my clients, gives my work a personal touch, and keeps me in charge of my route. And that makes me a better technician, because no one; not my manager, not the suits at headquarters, not the wonks who gave us our idiotic OS, not any other technician, not even God Himself can run my route as well as I do.
Because it’s my route. Don’t take it away from me.
I hope there are many angry phone calls from customers who hate the impersonal nature of this thing. I hope it falls flat on its ass. I hope it’s a debacle that wastes so much time with redundant phone calls that things practically come to a standstill in our office. Because things won’t come to a standstill where I am, out on the road. Pest services aren’t done from a behind a desk, morons. Don’t try to do it better than I can. You can’t.