Saturday, February 23, 2019

Pretty Good! For a Bug Man!

By Rich Kozlovich

Many years ago I became friends with guy who was a manager of a chicken sandwich restaurant. This store was part of a very large franchise with quality people as their owners and managers. I never met one who wasn’t pleasant and well mannered.  I mention this to give impetus to what I am about to say.

A number of us were sitting in his dining room one morning having coffee, and solving the world’s problems, when I made some cogent observation that impressed him. He said to me; “Wow, that’s pretty good for a bug man”!

In turn I said, “Yeah; if I was any smarter I’d be a restaurateur”.

Was he deliberately being insulting? No, we were friends, but he just let slip his view of what I did for a living.  Not necessarily me, but my profession. We're just bug men.  How smart could we possibly be?   It is unfortunate that some people have such a low view of exterminators and I often wonder where this comes from. 

One of the things I've learned over the years - there's a lot of really sharp people in the pest control industry.  Not only are exterminators sharp, but exterminators are among the most adaptable group of people I've ever worked with.  The pest control industry of today is substantially different than the industry I came into 37 years ago.   The ability to adapt simply goes with the territory.  Products change, techniques change, regulations change, chemical companies and products disappear, and this is happening on a regular basis.  We have to adapt to those changes, and we do!

In Ohio a number of years ago they wanted to give teachers tests to see if they really were qualified to be teachers. I told one teacher at one of my accounts that I didn’t understand why they were so upset; after all, this test was geared to fifth graders. I went on to say that we (exterminators) had to study, take tests and then take continuing education classes in order to be allowed to  continue to do our work. She snorted and said; “That’s ridiculous! You could take anyone and tell them to mix this with that and then have them spray it around”. In other words….any stupid person could do what you do! I thought this was particularly ironic, since I mentioned this conversation to the Vice Principle in passing....and it turns out the Vice Principal thought she was an idiot.

Currently Paradigms and Demographics is getting over 30, 000 hits a month and P&D peaked some years back at over 47,000, and from all over the world.    I know that's nothing compared to the big blogs.  I don't do sports and I don't do Hollywood unless it has something to do with social commentary or geopolitics, and I try to focus on those things that will draw serious readers and thinkers to my site.  No one is working in the background to promote my site, and I'm not aligned with any larger organization that makes P&D more accessible, so I'm pleased with the response.

P&D has only one staff member - me!  However, over the years I've had the privilege of making friends with a number of prominent scientists and writers who have allowed me to publish their work, and in some cases, they've published my work on their sites. 

Not bad….for a bug man! If I was any smarter I would be a _______ Oh well, you can fill in the blank.

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