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So, you know, we’re going to be covering 10 characteristics of the work ethic of great pest control field service technicians. And this is based on my own personal things that I’ve observed, that I’ve experienced and that I’ve been talking to people about and figuring out field service technicians are a different job. No matter if you’re HVAC tech, if you’re an I.T. tech, if you’re a pest control tech, if you’re an electrical engineer in the field, if you’re doing cabling and wiring, these are pretty much across the board characteristic because all of these fields have similar and the type of person that can do this job and not everyone can do this type of job.
What is takes to be a Pest Control Field Service Technician
Not everyone is wired. To work unsupervised in the field and be, work autonomous and have the responsibility that field service technicians have, I mean, field service technicians pretty much have to have management experience or management capabilities. They are managing. Think about this. I mean, the average tech does anywhere between 150 and 300 thousand a year somewhere. The average is gonna be somewhere around two hundred and fifty three hundred thousand for a field service technician and revenue that he’s producing. And that’s the equivalent of most small businesses.
So he’s got to be a manager to be a good field tech
He’s got to have. These attributes are characteristics that are not technical, the technical part is the training, but this stuff has to be either learned or be part of their character. In order for them to be successful.
And when I’m interviewing people, you know, we have a three step initial phase interview process that we use to determine if the person is going to have a chance of making it. Ninety nine percent of the people that apply will never have a chance of making it as of a pest control technician. They’re coming into this with the view of how hard can it be to spray something? And, you know, because they they live in an apartment and they see the guy coming in who’s charging a dollar fifty to three dollars a unit, spraying the floor in the kitchen, in the bathroom while he still has roaches. And he’s telling him he has roaches. Yeah, yeah. This will solve it. And he thinks, well, that must be what being a pest control technician is like. And they don’t understand that. It requires a lot of personal character.
To be a great pest control technician. It doesn’t matter if you can kill a roach or not, is can you have the right soft skills? Let’s call them soft skills, which is what they are.
In order to work in an environment that your ethics. Have to be above. Reproach in most times because. You’re going to be looked at if something happens as the guy who caused it because you’re dealing with chemicals, we don’t realize that you’re handing a mobile chemical factory to somebody and you’re telling them you got to drive carefully and be responsible. And it’s about the branding and the image that you represent when you’re out there and that they are the face of your company. And how they drive and how they behave and how they talk to people and how they interact, and we covered a lot of this in the last podcast.
Your first job builds work ethic
So we’re talking about work ethic and the problem that we’re having with work ethic in this country is that the people that we need to do this job. Is somewhere between 18 and 25, and the majority of them have never had a serious job to begin with. That qualifies them to do this job because they haven’t developed work ethic. I’m going to just give you an example of why us that are the way we are very successful at this and what people that want to get into this business really need to think about. Is the fact that. The the word ethic or work ethic comes from the Greek word ethos, meaning habit or custom or a disposition of character. This is something that is both.
Part of your DNA, your hardwire. But it is also something that is developed. If you have some of the other characteristics, some of these can be developed. Some can’t. And what I look at is when I’m hiring somebody is I’m looking for all these soft skills first because I could care less if they know anything about pest control. If I see that they have. The work ethic. I can pretty much work with them to train them to do anything.
To take you back to a personal experience. If you are the child of a baby boomer. Or even going before that. If you didn’t have a job, a summer job, by the time you were 16, there was something weird about you not having a summer job that you didn’t want to work, that you were lazy. Going from Gen-X to millennial to now Igener. This is getting later in life where kids don’t even have a job until they graduated from college and wondering why nobody’s wants to hire them. And I got news for you. I just had this conversation with one of my techs who is studying to be a physical therapist, and he has a part time job with me. Great kid. Ethical, you know, he works hard. He doesn’t complain. He’s but he’s hasn’t had too many jobs and many experience. And he had one job for four years with a lot of responsibilities. So he’s different. And I said, look, you really need to focus on your career and getting into a field that when you graduate. You’re already going to be in an environment where you can start moving up laterally through that environment and moving upward. Because unless you graduate the top 5 percent, the top 1 percent of your class. The chances of you still getting a job when you get out with no experience in that field is going to be very tough. And what’s best for me right now. This is short term.
This is not what’s best for you. And I would have wanted him to stay with me another year or so, but we had the discussion. I said, I think the best for you and for me to move on with somebody else who would want to make this a career is beneficial for both of us. And but when I was a kid, you know, and now I’m going to give you my experience of. I grew up without a father. My father died when I was five. My mother raised me by herself. And I saw my mother work every day. She was not a welfare mom who stayed at home and used me as an excuse. Is a woman who worked in a factory who then had to come home and cook and clean and take care of the house and take care of me. And at the age of 10, I came down with cancer until I couldn’t work, literally until almost I was 18, until I was given the all clear. It took about eight years for me to get an all clear. And I live my life from chemotherapy and in the hospital to work, get me home schooled because I lost my remission three times. But in between that time. I was not a kid that wanted to stay home and use it as an excuse either. And my mother knew where to find me because at the age of 12 and 13, I would go to across to the corner gas station and hang out there with the guys and help them change tires.
And my mom would go and find me and the owner would say, I don’t know what I’m going to do with him. He comes here every single day and I can’t have him here. He’s gonna get hurt. And I don’t know what to do with him. And to my mom, to you can’t go to the gas station and work is afraid you’re gonna get hurt. So then I would go to the corner grocery store, the little Latin grocery store, and offer to stock their shelves after school for like two hours. And I would learn how to stock shelves and price merchandise. So I was working all my time in these little jobs trying to do something because I’d was not a normal kid who sat down and watch television, if I ever if my mother ever caught me home on the couch watching television, she would take my temperature and give me Tylenol because I was definitely sick. I was out there hustling and trying to work at a very young age. When I got my first job and I interviewed for my first job, the guy who interviewed me told the manager at the store, don’t hire this kid. He’s 19 and don’t hire me. He’s never gonna make it in this company. Six months after that, they were already looking to make me an assistant manager, which they did. And within six to eight months after that, because I already had.
A year of college in computer science, and because I already had a certificate and computer operating, because I had already worked Epson and computer building computers by the time I was 18. You know, they said, you know, do you want to be the next technician for the company? So by the age of 20, I was already working 55, 60 hours a week, going to college. And. Managing the computer system for 20 stores by the time I was 20. This is the responsibility and work ethic that I had because I had that wired into me, not because somebody taught it to me, I never had a role model growing up, ever. There was no such thing as a mentor and a role model for me. These guys want. I was lucky enough to land at a company where the guy who ran the shop where I was, the parts guy who the boss told me not to hire me. I ended up. He was Air Force, a former Air Force, retired Air Force. I mean, he was, I think, 30 years in. And this guy, you know. You know, it was a no-nonsense guy. And I ran the parts department. I understood what it took to help process work orders and get everything done in that shop. Because I already knew parts. I mean, I had rebuilt my first carburetor by the time I was 16 and it rebuilt my first engine without a Google manual.
By the time I was 18. Something was hardwired into me that you cannot teach. Somebody saw it and said, yup, hire him anyway. Well, the manager that said Don’t hire me ended up was the one that I worked under when I became a field service tech. The second guy who hired me was the assistant manager position. He was also Air Force. And he made me into a great manager because he knew how to lead. He knew how to say, here’s how you get things done because you’re highly disorganized, right? I mean, I was highly disorganized and he showed me how to be highly organized. That wasn’t something that was in me, that was something that was taught to me. And he said, if you want to be successful, you’re going to have to be highly organized. And here’s how you organize yourself. He gave me a yellow pad and he said, I want you to walk through the entire property everyday, find out everything that needs to be done, write it down, whatever doesn’t get done that day. First thing on the schedule the next day. Then he would ask me at noon time, where’s your pad, and I said, I don’t know where I left it. So. So this was in me that I was not the most highly organized person ever. Today it’s everything in its place and a place for everything. And if it isn’t there, I lose my freakin mind.
My wife thinks that organization is stuffing stuff in drawers and hiding it from me and taking it out of the way so she doesn’t see it. To me, that’s not organization. That’s just chaos. And I go nuts when something gets hidden that I know where it is and I know where I put it. Every single time on my truck, everything had a place. You know, she would make fun of me all the time saying, you know, you’re so disorganized at home. You know, your shoes. You leave them in the in the in the living room. And you know where we think on your truck. I bet if I go in your truck and I touch something, you would go nuts because you know where everything is on that truck. Yup. And I admit to that. So.
Drive and Hustle cannot be taught
Going forward, as me getting ahead is because I had hustle. Because I make up for a lot of my inability to be brilliant because I’m not with hard work and hustle.
A lot of the time, you can’t teach hustle. That’s something that’s in you, you can’t teach, drive. You can’t teach determination.
These are all things that are hardwired into you. And you’re wired for one thing. Are you wired for another? But it’s the job of the recruiter to figure these things out, find them in the people that he’s wanting and saying, this is the guy I want working for me, because this is the guy that has the characteristics that I need for him to be successful.
And all of these guys are applying for a job and wondering why I’m turning them down. And one of the things that you have to have, the number one thing that everybody wants. Is honesty. Honesty, here’s the biggest problem we have with honesty today. It’s a facade online of people who don’t understand a group of young people who don’t understand the difference between reality and fiction sometimes. And what they think.
And because of who they are on in this facade that they’re building to impress people and get likes and shares and be liked leading them to a life of disappointment. You know, depression and all the stuff that these kids are battling now that we never saw in our generation.
Because of the disconnect when you have 30 percent. Of America’s young people growing out without a literal father in the home because of divorce or separation or whatever. And he’s not existent. It’s a huge problem for our society.
We’re reaping the rewards in the workplace guys of a society that is not going to change, that is going to continue down the path it’s going, and everything is going to have to adapt to that. I don’t dilute myself and say, well, I just want to hold it back and keep it the same.
And you’re not going to change it. That’s just delusional. The next generation of workforce has a lot of good pros and cons to them. I think they’re going to have a better work ethic. Then Gen Xers, but it’s going to come with a price. Honesty is the number one thing. When I’m interviewing.
And I understand that everybody’s putting their first. They’re not being totally truthful about everything. In other words, why they’ve have five jobs in the last five years and they’ve lasted six months when they start with, well, it’s the company that I work for, it’s the management. It was this. They didn’t let me do this and they didn’t move me forward. And, you know, it’s it’s this blame game. They take no responsibility. For the fact that they don’t have any work ethic that nobody saw in them and nobody. Because when people see something in you, they’ll take a chance on you when they don’t see it in you. They’re not gonna take a chance on you.
And I know what a lot of you are saying. Well, it’s just, you know, the industry and you know how people aren’t appreciated. Look, if you are hardworking, you have ethics. You’re a hustler and you’re making things happen. Somebody will find you.
Somebody will see you. I’ve gotten more job proposals from clients in my life. I mean, I at the restaurant I used to manage, I must have gotten in one year, at least six serious.
Job offers, including to be a branch manager for an insurance company for a major insurance company, they were gonna train me in everything they wanted me because they eat at that restaurant for years and they knew how it was run. And then they saw me running it for six months and saw the difference.
They’re gonna find you. Believe me. The number two thing I think that is most important is the positive attitude in this can change back and forth. We have a generation with such a negative. Attitude. So many complexes and insecurities and things that they’re battling because they’ve been coddled. I think to death. By well-meaning parents.
You know, when I was a kid, I rode my bike six miles from home that I didn’t have a pager, I didn’t have a cell phone. My mother would scream out a window for me. And when she couldn’t locate me for three hours, she was waiting for me with a belt. And I would ride my bike to the dump, which was six, seven, eight miles away because it had these big, huge hills and I could ride my bike over there and roll down a hill in a garbage dump.
You know, I wasn’t exactly the easiest kid to keep still. Today I look at my son and I’m like, man, he’s me. He doesn’t sit still. Self-motivated. One of the things that I’ve noticed in this industry. Is that the best technicians? Are all self-trained. They were not trained by a university. They were not trained by. They don’t have a degree in this. They’re self trained. Those are the guys that read the published articles. The studies they do, the testing they buy, the microscopes they invest in themselves. I remember when my boss, I was sick and I told my boss I’m gonna work from home today. Yeah, but you can’t work from home because you can’t be productive at home. This was 20 something years ago. dude. I had a better setup at home office than I had at work. I had a computer. With a dot matrix printer, I had Internet. I had. A fax machine. I had everything set up at home to work, and I would say, I’m not going to work, I’m sick, I’m not going to work. I work from home. And it was like that was unheard of back then, 20 years ago to say you’re going to work from home because you’re sick. I was self-motivated, nobody had to tell me what to do.
I figured it out. I went after it like today, I got to go take a course somewhere. Somebody needs to hold my hand so I can get anything done and need even if you get the instruction, you still don’t know what to do with it. This is the problem that you have to face as a recruiter, as you’ve got to weed this out. Who is really the self-motivated guy?
And I find that the guys like me who did not grew up in this industry, was not trained by a major company, went to every class, paid for every class. I didn’t care what I was getting paid because I was looking at an improving myself. I got a lot of people say, oh, they just don’t pay me enough for me to do all that. And this is why you’re still stuck working for that company that nobody else is looking to pick you up, I get it. If you’re in a little tiny market and there’s only three pest control companies and none of them are any better. But for the most part, that isn’t the case. You’re making excuses. Self-motivated.
Field Service Technicians must have a positive attitude.
A positive attitude. Number three, a positive attitude. People with I meet more people on a daily basis with a negative attitude in that I wonder why they’re depressed, why they’re in the condition they’re in. Why there? And we I don’t understand the environment at home. I don’t understand the upbringing, but I know I didn’t have a great upbringing as a kid.
It was tough for us. I still have a positive attitude. And in the end, there’s and here’s the problem with positive and negative attitudes. You cannot overcome a negative attitude with a positive one. You just can’t replace it. The problem is not the attitude, usually the attitude has to come with negative thinking. And it has to come with wrong thinking, the only way you can correct a bad attitude is with right thinking. Training yourself to think correctly.
Because you’re you’re buying into misery loves company and you’re hanging around the people you’re hanging around with. That are negative and listening to negative things and without, you know, what are the things that I’ve learned is on positive thinking or or positive. Thinking right and thinking rightly. Is that whatever things are good, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are good name. Is honest think on those things.
It has to do with you having the correct thinking and thinking on the right things, the problem is, yeah, everybody is a crook, every politician is a crook. Every boss, you know, is an abuser. Every boss just wants to get rich off of you. When you have that attitude, you’re already going into a job with that attitude. And that attitude reflects upon you. Because when I interview you and I ask you pointed questions about why it is that you quit the last five job, it’s always the boss suck. The company sucked everybody around you sucks. And then when I give you an examination, I look at your self-esteem and your self-esteem is in the toilet.
You can not be successful at this job with a low self-esteem. You have to deal with too many people.
With people who you are supposed to put at ease all the time because they are nervous about this pest problem, they’re anxious, they’re there, you know, like, hey, you know what’s going on here?
Being a Team Player is a must as a Field Service Technician
That’s what makes a successful guy a team player. Number four. A team player. If you’re going to get ahead, you’re going to have to learn to play on a team. I got to tell you, that was hard for me to play on a team because I can only play on a team when I have people around me that are better than me, when I have people around you that are less than me as as a leader, my job is to train them and lead them and move them up. But I don’t have the patience for people that don’t want to move its lead. Follow. Get out of the way. And as a pastor where I’ve where I’ve had to lead people. I can’t be sometimes a cattle herder.
And you have to be a team player. You have to learn how you play on a team and what team do you want to play on. And until you know who you are as a person and until you know what you can contribute and what you bring to the table and you are honest and transparent with yourself as a this is what I bring to the table. These are the skills I have.
These are the abilities I have. Can I fit in your team? And one of the hardest things that. Small business owners. And the difference between companies that have a great culture. And investing culture is the onboarding process. What is known as normally an indoctrination process. And you say that sounds religious and cultic. It is. Most of the most successful organizations that have a cult following and that have people who want work for them are cultic in the way they bring people on and the way they deal with people in the team.
As a team Look at the greatest companies, Costco. I mean, look at Chick-Fil-A. Companies that with exceptional customer service, look at Hyatt. You know, look at the you know, the big companies that have excellent customer service. It’s it’s almost cultic.
Look at the companies that don’t everybody can work there. They’re just always looking for a warm body to fill a chair while the companies with the great team players who can come in and fit into that culture and not everybody’s gonna fit. And you got to create a culture that not everyone fits into. And it’s one that allows people to grow.
Dependability is a Trademark of Field Service Technicians
Number five, or the dependable. In other words, do they show up for work every day no matter what? And don’t make excuses like today, you know. You know, you don’t show up every Monday morning because you decided you’re gonna go partying on Sunday.
You’re not dependable. If you’re not dependable and people can’t count on you, you can not be in this business. That is just the biggest thing you cannot say. I’m going to call in sick today because I just don’t feel like going into work. I need to. I need a me day.
Because there are people who can’t run that route for you, that nobody can run that route. Nobody can do that work. It isn’t like paper that can just sit there for an extra day and it’s OK. No, this is we’re talking about customers who are expecting you to be there to service them. A company that is expecting you to be there to service them.
And the boss can’t necessarily jump on that truck that day. Because you decided you’re wanting to call in sick every other week. You have to be dependable. You show up on time. Are you there on time? Are you punctual? You have to be punctual.
Every day ready to work. And if you don’t have that, you can’t make it in this type of business.
Personal accountability. Do what you say you will do if people can not count on you.
To keep your word. You can’t be in this type of business or pretty much in any business.
Field Service Technicians must be excellent Time Managers
Second is time management. We’ve got a serious problem with people wasting time. And if you’re a guy like me who’s into lean management. How can we always cut and the waste of fat?
You need people in your organization that have great management skills of time that understand the Greek concept of time. The time is life. But time is not money. And say, where are we wasting time, I can’t. You know, I can’t count the times that I’ll sit. Go to a store or restaurant or fast food place. And the kid behind the counter, while I’m placing my order, decides to take the phone out of his pocket. And text somebody back while I’m placing my order. I see that in a business. I’m firing that guy. That’s it. You ever pick that phone out of your pocket again while the customers in front of you. They’re either going to have to remove it from your body or you’re gonna have to leave.
You know, I mean, literally, it’s that pathetic, the time waste that people will spend two and three hours a day on Facebook. And social media. Wasting time. On company time. Time management.
You don’t have that luxury in this business. You’re one stop after another, stop after another stop after another stop into your work is done. You don’t get to have three coffee breaks during the day, usually. Most people that do this job don’t enjoy taking time off. They like doing this job. During the day.
Field Service Technicians Must Take Pride In Their Appearance
What are the things that is becoming harder as people who have pride in their appearance? They think everybody should accept them the way they are. Well, the reality is customers are not. Whether you want to hear that or not, that’s the way it is. You have to take pride in your personal appearance. I when I worked for my first manager. That he was sitting with Air Force employees would come in without a belt. Shirt not tucked in. And he says, go tuck that shirt in and go put on your belt. No, I left my belt at home. Clock out. Go home and get your belt. You’re not working here out of uniform. To this day, I’m still on top of guys. Hey. Belt shoes match. You know, black shoes or black belt. How you look and how you present yourself will do. People will judge you by your appearance. It shouldn’t be so. It shouldn’t be that way. Well, too bad it is that reality. People are going to judge you by your appearance, and when you show up to a home, you got to ask yourself as a manager, will your customer.
Who runs a Fortune 500 company? Who is an engineer, who’s a doctor? Who’s a lawyer? Let that guy into the home with his wife and kids are alone simply because of the way he looks. Well, he’s a prude. He might be, but he’s still the customer and he pays the bills. And that’s the reality.
Field Service Technicians Must Be Patient
Do you have patience and self-control? Patients in self-control go together. Patients people think I’m just being patient, sitting here waiting for something to happen, no patience is the ability for you not to change under pressure. Are you a different person when you’re under pressure than when you’re not under pressure? Do you have these mood swings? Well, you have no self-control where the guy cuts you off and you’re in a company truck. You’re going to stick your hand out the window and give him the bird because you have no self-control. This is a major problem because you’re in a truck driving in a congested city sometimes with rude drivers. And you have no self-control.
I had one guy that wanted to punch out a customer because the customer raised his voice at him. That I understand. And I’ll deal with that customer because I picked up the phone as a look. Don’t ever treat my people like that again. There no call for that. He didn’t do anything wrong to begin with. It wasn’t him. There was the other landscape company that was across borrowing all this product. All these leaves and all this stuff and just things got out of control instead of the customer treated my tech like my tech was one of their hired hands in their own country.
Because they you know, Hispanics have that mentality that, you know, we’ll treat the older one way, but we treat to help the other. I don’t have that mentality.
You Must Be Highly Organized as Field Service Technician
And then lastly, organization, you have to be highly organized. You cannot be throwing product and equipment.
And I have a fit about this when you’re like, really busy. There’s no reason why you can’t put that. You say, no, I can’t. I’m just so busy. And listen, I’ve been doing this for 13 years now.
I did it before you did it, and I’m still doing it, and you’re gonna tell me you don’t have the time to put that can back in its place. You have to be highly organized if you’re going to work in this type of environment, cause disorganization will get you fined. Can get you fired or even worse, get you arrested for being disorganized. And you have to be able to pay attention to detail. In this business.
So these are top 10, I think, characters. There’s more to come because we’re going to be covering all the characteristics that are required, hard skills. There are also required for this, and we’re going to be covering that other next podcast. Hey, folks, I hope you’ve had a great one. Until next time. Have a Pestacular Day.