Last spring (not too unlike this spring) my e-venture into the world of Pest Control took a twist. Angry and ready to put the role of Pest Control Operator behind me, I pitched an idea for a story about pest control in Portland to the Willamette Week. Long story short, it made the front page under the title - Kill Them All: An Exterminator's Experience in the Intersection of Wilderness and Civilization. In the midsts of writing the article I was hired by Pioneer Pest Management, which turned out to be the best of the companies I've worked for.
Trouble was, once they discovered the article...many of my coworkers were very unhappy. One guy, who I now have a lot of respect for, told me he would have fired me if he was management. It was not a good way to start my fourth role in pest control. After the dust settled, I decided to do my best to work hard, keep my mouth shut, and get along best I could. The company was going from what I call "the sweet spot" to becoming a sexually mature, full blown corporation. I might have survived at Pioneer for another year or two if I wasn't working 55+ hours a week, or ducking in and out of crawlspaces and attics - home to home - like a crazy person running from some invisible monster he couldn't see. Towards the end, which was May 19th, I was smoking again, living on fast food, and the contant time crunch of my daily servive route was seriously making me wonder what life would be like as a rat. I mean, really folks, rats aren't so bad. I never met a rat who wanted to hook my mind and body to the labor of bringing a corporation to life for the benefit of some guy I didn't really know. I did figure out that he liked the interjection "My man!" which he used at the end of sentences like, "How's it going? My man!" I know he was trying to stimulate moral or someting, but the reference to being "his man" cut a little too close to the bone.
I am a Pest Control Operator no longer. The time has come to Kill Them All No Longer!
"Be free my rat friend!" I cried into the night as I opened Peanuts cage. "We will meet again someday in the wild...where we belong!"