“Affordable Pest Control” is a small pest control and lawn service agency located in Rexburg, ID. The business is run, managed, and scheduled by the owner. He runs the business and works himself and every year depending on the amount of demand will hire two or three employees. Our main service was pest control but occasionally we would also spray lawns and trees for various types of bugs. Most of our business was residence but we also had a contract at the INL to spray for weeds. Our services mainly consisted of spraying the inside and outside of homes for ants, spiders, and wasps. Once in awhile we would get special requests for box-elder bugs or other annoying pest. It is hard work. For most of the day you carry either a 3 gallon back-pack sprayer or a pressurized canister. There was no door to door selling involved in this particular job. All appointments were made the prior visit and most of the clients have been yearly cliental. It would be useful for a teen interest in doing something similar to raise money during the summer to start looking for such a job in the month of March. A PCO must be state certified which takes time because of the tests to be taken and the paperwork to be processed. Employers will probably not be willing to hire someone at the beginning of the summer when they are already in their busy season.
How I got the idea / found the employment:
At the time I was working as a Rodman for a surveying company but because of the lull in the economy my hours were being cut. I was offered this job by a friend of mine – a member of the bishopric – and was told that I would be paid fairly but as soon as I got certified by the Idaho Department of Agriculture that they would increase my pay. I was considering going home to California but decided to stay in Rexburg and work and I am glad I did. Even though I only worked there a couple of months it helped me grow as an individual and as a better communicator, and responsible employee.
Challenges I faced, and how I overcame them:
The first challenge I had in obtaining employment was that I was in the wrong industry. At the time I was working as a Rodman for a surveying company but because of the lull in the economy my hours were being cut. I was offered this job by a friend of mine and was told that I would be paid fairly but as soon as I got certified by the Idaho Department of Agriculture that they would increase my pay. The tests are challenging and it took me a couple of attempts in order to pass. The hardest thing for me was not knowing what to expect on the test. If you can find someone who has already the test and can help describe the layout and sample question you will be able to perform much better. Make sure you put plenty of time into studying the appropriate material at least two weeks prior. Much of it is common sense but a lot of it included terms that I was unaware of.
What I learned:
Make sure you know how to drive a stick-shift. I was unaware that I would be required to drive stick and had to teach myself the first day on the job – that is not a fun experience. I hope no one else has to go through that. When you are hired to perform a service for someone they expect you to know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Make sure that keep up to date on the products you are using and do not be afraid to admit that you do not know or that you could be wrong. Always look to your superior but do not always depend on him to be there to save the day. When performing an at home service such as pest control or any other similar service, never leave until you have made an appointment for the next visit. Your boss will be very pleased with you and you will always have work. This was a very good experience for me because it taught me hard work and also allowed be to hone my intrapersonal skills. I don’t consider myself a shy person but good communication skills are a must in today’s world.