I spent 2 hours last night studying for an exam this morning. And then I crammed in another hour before driving 25 miles to the test site. What for you ask? A Pesticide Applicator’s License. I have carried such a license for 20 years now. Every 5 years I need to renew the certification by paying for a new study guide, spending a few hours reviewing all of the contents thereof, and then devote 3 hours to travel and the exam. Total cost to the company: well over $500. Then add the annual license fee plus administrative time to process and pay it and the yearly amortized expense comes out in the $200 range.
As the debacle of Obamacare implementation makes the front page news (now that the government shutdown and all of its back pay atrocities are winding down), I realize again that we cannot and should not put all of our faith in government to fix all of our problems. Food safety auditors stressed that we need not one, but two Certified Pesticide Applicators at our facility. You would think we were located next to a rodent farm rather than a hospital office building. I am an expert at reading material and taking an exam; I don’t profess to be a long term retention guy. Will I remember anything about the pest exam next week? I doubt it.
Why am I baring my soul here? The ‘rules’ say that we need 2 Certified Pesticide Applicators. No problem; me and the pest control company who visits once a month. But who really handles the pest control? The front line sanitation workers who inspect the fly and rodent traps daily are the first to notice a problem. The maintenance staff has much more experience rodent proofing our facility or eliminating conditions that would promote a fruit fly infestation. But don’t worry, I am certified. We don’t even use pesticides inside the facility. Imagine that. But I am certified.
When everyday people do the right thing without being regulated into action, results get achieved. We don’t have mice or fruit flies because I am certified. We have a facility in excellent condition because people who care do their jobs. No legislation required.