[Tech of the Year Award] A Trusted Technician and Mentor

Features - News Coverage

Orkin’s Jim Bailey, the Commercial Technician of the Year, makes time to share his knowledge with customers and co-workers alike.

February 28, 2011

If running a route of 165 accounts a month weren’t enough, Jim Bailey, a commercial technician for Orkin, is also a certified field trainer. He also is counted on to oversee field training of new technicians in the Columbus, Ohio, branch. His accounts include hospitals, restaurants, and other commercial facilities including several fast-food establishments.

Fresh out of high school, Bailey considered several other job options but chose the pest control industry because he sought a job he could grow into and have a long career. "One of the things I’m most proud of at Orkin is the fact that they recognize and appreciate what I do and have promoted me to certified field trainer," Bailey said.

Bret Cremeans, commercial operations manager of Orkin’s Columbus office, is quick to laud Bailey for his hard work and dedication not only to the company and the industry, but to his customers. "Jim not only provides excellent customer service but genuinely cares about what affects his customers every day. His partnership with his customers goes farther than your normal working partnership. His customers literally consider him a part of their team."

DEDICATED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE. Customer service is not just a buzzword for Bailey. According to Cremeans, his excellent customer service has impacted other employees within the branch, helping produce revenues beyond company standards for several years. Bailey not only enjoys the challenge of solving pest issues, but follows up daily by phone or in person until the pest issue is resolved. Bailey is naturally a caring individual who only wants to do what is right for his customers and co-workers. "He not only makes his job look easy, but takes pride in what he does every day," Cremeans adds.

Cremeans uses Bailey’s qualities as a guide when hiring other technicians and keeps Bailey’s service and personality in mind. Once hired, Bailey works with each new technician, overseeing their training the first year of employment. He is the first impression a new employee sees and is responsible for not only making sure new employees receive proper training, but that they excel in that training.

"The great part is, Jim not only ensures proper training but he passes along his passion for providing excellent customer service to new employees. He keeps them enthusiastic about their work, even considering all of the challenges new technicians encounter," Cremeans said.

CHALLENGES AND REWARDS. Every job has its own challenges, but Bailey has learned to tackle them head-on. A good example is when another technician noticed German cockroaches within a major hospital in the scientific lab research area where tests were run on monkeys. Bailey was brought into this facility because the technician who serviced the account could not locate the roach infestation. Bailey not only figured out that the roaches were living in hollow steel doors leading into the monkey cages, but he came out every day for treatment while the maintenance staff removed the doors and took them into an area so Bailey could apply the proper treatment. This took several weeks to treat all the doors, but Bailey was more than happy to help at a time of need.

"His expertise and willingness to help his co-workers has gained Orkin many happy customers," says Cremeans.

Bailey says he enjoys the challenges of the accounts he serves. "Though I’m working with the same clients, the problems I solve in the different facilities are never the same. The job is never boring."

He recalls early on in his career being called to a pet food warehouse that was overrun by rats. Through measures put in place and the support from Orkin, the problem was solved, and until going out of business, that client continued with Orkin’s service.

A SKILLED ADAPTOR. When asked about the many changes he’s observed in the pest control industry over the past 20 years, Bailey explained, "When I started, our main tool was a B&G sprayer and chemical. Then our methods moved to pressurized insecticides and now to managing pests with Integrated Pest Management practices and very little insecticide application."

Bailey is a proponent of green pest control methods and relies on exclusion products such as copper mesh and caulking to close holes and prevent pest entry, and considers applying pest control materials only as a last resort. He was the first technician in the branch to use Detex to monitor for rodents on the exterior of buildings. Once a rodent infestation is located, he switches to a bait to control the infestation. When the infestation is under control, he switches back to Detex to monitor the account.

Cremeans believes Bailey deserves PCT’s Commercial Technician of the Year Award because of his hard work and dedication, not only to the company, but by providing the best service possible to his customers. "Jim has always been above average in every standard our company measures technicians. His cancellation and allowance rates have always exceeded company bonus standards for 12 years and running. Jim’s excellent customer service has rubbed off on other employees within the branch as well.

Improving knowledge of his job and the industry is important to Bailey. He takes advantage of all the training opportunities Orkin provides and has completed the Purdue and A.I.B. courses as well as state license requirements. In addition, in 2010, Bailey completed the Gold Medal Service Training and NPMA’s QualityPro Training. Along with training offered by the local pest control association, Bailey also recently completed training to receive a wildlife certification. If he encounters a problem for which he doesn’t have an answer, he researches it until he solves the problem. He always looks for further education and encourages others in the branch to do the same. "I enjoy working with new technicians and seeing where they go within the organization," said Bailey. "I’m very proud of the fact that four individuals I’ve trained have become branch managers."

Cremeans summarized what Bailey means to the branch. "As a branch manager, it’s important to have a technician who is satisfied running a route and loves to do it," Cremeans said. "He is a very positive person and delights in being sure that his customers are completely satisfied. Jim is not only an outstanding technician but a caring, well rounded individual."

The author is a frequent contributor to PCT and can be reached at jvanklaveren@giemedia.com.



Away from the office, Jim Bailey loves fishing on the open water and spending time with his family. His free time is limited, however, because he and wife, Vesta, provide therapeutic foster care to troubled children and teens. "The fact that my wife was able to quit her job to take care of these kids is directly related to the pay I receive from Orkin," Bailey says. Their passion for helping these children goes beyond what is expected. These children come from abusive situations, many directly from jail and with lots of troubles and issues. Jim and Vesta take time to work with these kids so they can live a somewhat "normal" life. One young man, 18, has lived with the Baileys since he was 12.

The Baileys have a son, 26, a daughter, 22, and two grandchildren.