Terminix / dishonesty of employees, rip off
My horror story began in April of 1990 in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was hired to service a pest control route. At first I wondered why the employees had morale problems, and why the company had so many upset customers, as Terminix seemed to have a higher than usual customer cancellation rate. I was soon to find out...My first few weeks there didn't seem too bad, except for the fact that I was required to work off the clock a lot, as Servicemaster does NOT pay any overtime to anyone in the company. All employees were required to cross out actual hours worked on their timesheet, and to initial it in front of the manager. I also noticed that whenever we ran out of chemicals the manager told us to use water. I can honestly say I never did that to MY clients on MY route. I cared about MY customers. When I asked management about getting me a MSDS and label book for my truck, I was told that I had to put one together on my own time. It took the better part of a day to do that, but I was glad I did due to an occurance that I will mention later. By the way, It is a state law that every vehicle carrying pesticides MUST have a MSDS /label book for each chemical on the truck (in case of an accident, so cleanup crew will know how to handle it, or for a medical emergency). I noticed that none of the other service vehicles had that book in their possession either. We were never issued first aid kits either. Also the branch manager routinely transported pesticides in the trunk of his Dodge Aries. A BIG no-no per state law, as something could spill, or explode, and then the driver could cause a serious accident. I was never issued PPE(personal protective equipment) such as a respirator, neoprene gloves, goggles. I was also never furnished a bee suit for my safety, and when I had a wasp job, I was routinely unprotected. I suffered numerous stings on more than one ocassion. I was scheduled to do a "fumigation" using Vikane gas, with another technician, and was ordered by management to transport the upright container of Vikane fumigant gas in the bed of my service vehicle. There was no way to transport it upright, as I was driving a 1987 Dodge Dakota, and it was NOT modified to transport these type of containers carrying this lethal gas. The manager told me to transport it with the "tank" laying on it's side. Another big no-no. I wondered also why wasn't the local fire dept in the area of where this fumgation took place not notified of the upcoming fume??? That was also a state law as well. The manager told me not to worry about it. A few weeks later, I had to do some services about an hour away from the branch, The manager gave me a company credit card to use for fuel. I filled up my gas tank, and when I went to pay for my fuel, the card was declined. I tried for the next 20 minutes to reach both the service manager, and the branch manager to no avail. I even tried their cell phones. No luck. So, I was forced to beg the cashier to let me come back the next day and pay. He finally allowed me to do that. The next incident that occured was when I was working far away from the office that day, and I was trying to fix my sprayer. I got pesticide in my eye, and I immediately went to an Urgent Care facility. When I walked in, I handed MY copies of the MSDS/label book to the nurse, told her I got chemical in my eye, and she immediately began to treat my eye. The doctor came in and proceeded to wash out the affected eye with something called a "Morgan Lens", and he said I was lucky that I had brought in that MSDS/label on that chemical. Guess time was of the essence. I was just glad that I had the papers ready in case of an accident, and that it did not permanent damage to my eye. Good thing that I had the forethought to put together a MSDS/label book!! The next incidence occurred when I was scheduled to treat some offices on a Saturday. The account had drop ceilings, and I needed to have access to those for the service. I asked my manager all week for an OSHA approved ladder. That never happened. Seemed like we never had proper equipment for anything. I was forced to use an old wooden rickety ladder at the job site, and while I was on this ladder it collapsed sending me flying into a desk, twisting my leg halfway around upon impact of hitting the desk. I was off work for a week or 2 due to that accident, and I was never given workers comp, nor disability. I was later required to have abdominal surgery and the surgery was on a Thursday, and I was told that if I didn't return by Monday am, then I would be fired. I went to work that day, and I had absolutely NO business for being there, but I didn't want to lose my job. I couldn't even stand up straight, and all I could do was one account. I went back to the office and begged my manager if I could go home. I was in so much pain that I was crying. All he said was "What about your route"? He didnt care about me or any of the workers there. Only about that almighty dollar. I also later saw a paper that was from my file(dont ask me how I got it) that was filled out during my first interview with a prior manager. A few of the questions asked ...
1.Has applicant lived in area for over a year?
3.Has dependent children?
4.Has had less than 3 jobs in the last year?
It went on to say "3 or more NO responses deems applicant ineligible for employment". So, I thought those questions were illegal?? That might be, but they are most likely still doing it. This questionare was titled 'Job stability checklist.' Well, I was ineligible cause I wasnt married, nor did I have children. NOT FAIR! A few days later after my first interview, I called to inquire about my application, and I was told that he was looking for an older man in a business suit! I thought that was illegal as well. When I again inquired about the position, he then told me that he hired a man for the job. Then towards the end of the week, he called me and said that the position was still open if I wanted it? HUH? So, he started out my relationship with a lie. I should have paid attention to the signs. I later was told that I was going to be replacing a tech that was stealing from his customers. He was collecting cash from them, and then giving them a "paid" note on their invoices, then he went to his truck, and filled out a different invoice that said amount recieved $0.00. He was pocketing the cash. Later when I was cleaning out my truck I found a bank bag with over $1200.00 in it under my seat. How could someone forget to deposit that much money?? I called my manager immediately, and turned it in to him directly. This occurred on a Saturday, and I called him at home. I still wonder to this day if it was an intentional "plant", or if someone had really forgot to take the deposit to the bank. Now, about this time one day after I got home, I checked my mail, and in the mail was a collection notice from the Urgent Care that washed out that chemical from my eye. Hmmm, apparently Terminix never paid that bill either! So, a declined company credit card, a collection notice for an on the job injury that they didn't pay? Made me wonder?? So, they were starting to make my life a living hell by now. They started to force us employees to call a customer and tell them that if they skipped or cancelled their service then we would be fired. That was just WRONG, and when I was on vacation, they gave me 2 write ups for incidents that happened with my customers when I wasn't even there! Yep, they were trying to get rid of me...That later played out to my advantage which I will tell you about later. Seems like they don't like whistleblowers, especially on safety regulations. We were given a notice by the "higher ups" that a certain pesticide. Orthene was to no longer be used, as the EPA was pulling it from the shelves, and we were not to use it anymore. Well, the local manager ordered me to use it, which I did not, and told us techs that we had a whole case of it left in the chemical room, and to use it up. We locked horns on that one too. I refused to use it. The next item I am still in shock to this day about...I stopped by the office late one night to drop off invoices from that days work so that I didn't have to do it in the early morning. What I saw blew me away...There was a salesman at the office managers computer deleting salesmens names from contracts that these other salesmen worked on, and sold, and he was putting his name and employee number on them so that he would get the commission instead of the employee who sold it. He was also "cancelling" active accounts and then reinstating them under his name also, so that he would get the commission on those too. Yep, dishonesty at ALL levels. Did I mention that this dishonest salesman was also a Lt in the US Navy Reserve, and I do know his name, and whereabouts as well. So, if there is anyone out there that works in the JAG office on any military installation, I would be interested in talking to you. I think this is conduct unbecoming an officer, and he should be given a dishonorable discharge, as if the military finds out that an officer did this, they would most likely get rid of him. Do you feel safe at night knowing that a thief like this is defending our great nation? Not me! So, when Terminix decided to "clean house" I was given another invalid and bogus write up again, and fired. I took them to court under wrongful termination, and I won my unemployment against them. Chalk one up for the little guy! So, I will let you make your own decision on letting this dishonest company...Servicemaster, Terminix, Merry Maids, Tru-Green Chemlawn, American Home Shield anywhere near your home. Your home is your biggest investment. Don't let these turkeys near it, or any of these companies that I just mentioned which are ALL owned by Servicemaster. In closing, Do you really want to trust any of these companies in your home knowing that such dishonesty exists at ALL levels? You can decide the answer to that. Save your money and go with a reputable company. There are pest control companies and exterminators out there that really do care about their work. Too bad that the Servicemaster chain of companies and Terminix aren't one of them!
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