I certainly did not! So how did I end up in this industry? A 25-year-old lad spending my days being given the run around by the little (occasionally massive) terrors that are Rats and Mice. It is quite an interesting story, not quite the standard of Shakespeare or Dickens but hey, it is not too bad. How many of us grew up wanting to be a Pest Technician? I know I certainly did not! So, I think it’s interesting to find out we fell in to this wonderful and crazy world of Pests! So here is a little bit about me and my journey!
So here I am a Level 2 Pest Controller. It all happened in the blink of an eye. This time last year things looked very different for me and I never imagined that by February 2021 I would be working in the family Business and enjoying life on the road chasing Roland around (a Roland the rat joke there…. Bit before my time though but I have heard of him!).
So, let us go back to the beginning and by beginning, I mean my childhood and what I got up to growing up and what my aspirations where. Well I had a couple of dreams as a kid. The first being the generic one for most young lads I wanted to pull on the famous white and blue jersey and play for my boyhood football club Preston North end. Football is my first love; I will never forget my first time walking up the steps into Deepdale stadium. That feeling of excitement and anticipation which still lives with me to this day.
My second dream was completely different. Performing! Mainly singing and acting. I always sang around the house and my mum and dad actively encouraged me and never really told me to shut up which deep down they surely must have wanted to do because I never stopped. I sang a solo in my school church at the age of 7.
These two dreams I chased right through my childhood and adolescence. Meanwhile I was periodically exposed to an industry that I really was not interested in. PEST CONTROL. My dad had started a Pest Control business in 1988 and by the time I came along in 1994 the business was providing me with the ability to have a childhood full of great adventures. However, I was never interested in what my dad did as a job, I mean why would any child be interested? It was only when I got to high school and during the holidays when I came into my first real contact with the industry. Occasionally I would go out on the job with my dad and my brother who also works for the business. I saw it as nothing more than an opportunity to earn some pocket money to be honest. So yeah even though in my head I wanted to be the next football superstar or big Hollywood actor I was picking up little nuggets of information on what the job was and what it entailed.
Fast forward to late 2019. My dream of playing football ended before it even begun (because I was average at best!) My dream of performing lasted a little longer, I went to university and graduated with a first-class degree. However, my attempts to further myself by heading to Drama school failed so my attentions quickly turned to another career path which was Teaching. For the 5 years after University I had various teaching assistant jobs but for certain reasons I just fell out of love of teaching and performing. At that point now I am in a predicament. I am 25, No income and no idea what to do next? Also, by this time I had just bought a House with my fiancée so the fact I had no job really could not have come at a worse time. Quite frankly it was a scary time. A chat with my old man was needed.
“What have you got to lose Jack?” The words that my dad said to me about the prospect of joining the family business. Like I have said previously I had really no interest in this industry as my mind was filled with other dreams and aspirations. I had done my best to avoid it in all honesty. The idea really daunted me. I knew absolutely nothing about the pest industry apart from what I had been exposed to on occasions in my hunt for a bit of pocket money in the school holidays. It was going to be a complete change and change is something that I do not really deal with very well. However, the chance for a career in a business which has been established for over 30 years and working with family really did appeal to me. If I was to do this I promised to myself I would work as hard as I can to get the necessary qualifications and prove to myself that I can indeed potentially make a career in this industry.
So, I took the Plunge, I started in December 2019 working toward my BPCA Level 2 with the help of my family and by early February 2020 I took my test. Me and my brother who was also taking the test headed down to London where the test was taking place. It really did feel like this was a massive moment in my life. Passing this course would open so many doors for my future and more over I wanted to prove to myself that I do have the knowledge to be able to do the job. It was a long anxious wait for my results, in the mean time I am out getting as much on-the-job training as I can hoping that my hard work would pay off and that I can be recognised as a fully-fledged Pest technician.
Well much to my absolute delight I passed! We both Passed! It was a huge weight off my shoulders, I was so proud of my achievement to be able to pass the course in only 2 months. I was quietly confident I had passed but you just never know. Now the job really starts,
Fast forward to now and the mad world we currently find ourselves in. I am absolutely loving my job. Luckily, the pest industry in this Covid world has not been greatly affected and we have continued to work right through. My Pest Technician role is also intertwined with my role as a Clinical Waste operative which adds something different and helps break my week up a little bit. When I am out and about, I am basically my own boss which I love! When we get a successful outcome from a job and the customer is happy that is the best part. Knowing that you have solved a problem which absolutely nobody wants to have!
My journey has only just started in my new career but I look forward to continued learning and development and who knows, If ever I get up on the karaoke whenever that sort of thing is allowed again, I can put my name down as ‘The Singing Ratman’. Got quite a nice ring to it!