Happy 4th of July to all NWCO's. This finds us all in a very different place from last 4th of July. In the immortal words of Buffalo Springfield: “There's something happening here/But what it is ain't exactly clear.” The forces responsible for this “happening,” are varied and outside of our individual control. One of the forces is the pandemic. NWCO's are fortunate in that the business of providing service to people having wildlife problems has been declared essential.
Pre-pandemic protocol for entering a customer's house was to wear booties and clean up any mess. Some jobs called for the use of an air purifier, ozone generator, or other device left at the site. In this climate of frequent conflicting information, it is best to err on the side of caution. Another bit of advice: consult with your liability insurance provider just to be in front of things, where things might be in a state of flux.
Another force is the looming national election to determine which party of scoundrels will steal from us for the next four years. You should vote as an exercise in civic duty but ultimately, you have no control of the outcome. And really, it does not matter which party wins since the majority of you all know how to survive regardless of the party in power. In reality, politics that matters is local. I believe it is not a waste of time and energy to get involved at this level, and is also a good way to network your business to local leaders who often have constituents who need help.
The next force is the social upheaval rampant throughout major cities in America, Canada and western Europe. Maybe this phenomena is due to Coronavirus “cabin fever,” and may lose steam when confinement is lifted so people can get back to living. But in this climate, any NWCO who takes a job in an area where protesters do their protesting, or in neighborhoods with high rates of crime, need extra intelligence above normal situational awareness.
One factor to consider is law enforcement response. Some police are refusing to enter certain areas (no go zones.) Or, police may not respond to certain crimes, or are slow to get to the scene. A visit to local law enforcement is good for business. Leave your information with the dispatcher.
Criminals become bolder when the police neglect to respond. Your vehicle is something a criminal will case, your parking habits and your routines noted. Where you park may invite a vehicle break in. A civil protest situation can be used as cover by a thief when smashing your vehicle window. A truck with a locked cab is more difficult to burgle. When possible, schedule jobs in high crime or violent protest areas in the morning. Criminals, violent protestors and others who would impede your business, are loathe to get up early.
Having anything on your vehicle (political bumper stickers etc.) that identifies you being on one side or the other is ill advised in this polarized environment. Know that “protesters” share common beliefs with the animal rights activists. Vehicle signage with wildlife motifs will attract possible negative attention. Perhaps until this all blows over (2020 election?) use unmarked vehicles. Most customers simply want their problem taken care of without confrontation and drama.
Does anyone think that things will return to the way they were before all of this? People have been forced to learn new ways to work, play, eat and think. We live in interesting times and our future will certainly change in ways not yet thought of.
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