[2014 Technician of the Year Awards] Attitude is Everything

Features - Cover Feature: Technician of the Year Awards

A strong work ethic and up-beat demeanor have made Morris Myles a leader at his Memphis, Tenn., Terminix branch.

December 30, 2014

Morris Myles III, a termite technician with Terminix, in Memphis, Tenn., walks in the office every morning with a broad smile on his face and a determination to make that day a productive one. Myles ends each day by checking in with his supervisor to see if there is anything more he can do before he calls it a day.

“Morris is a very valued individual and is ready to jump into anything to help at any time,” says Jim Luck, Terminix service manager. “He has done just about every service we offer but the main thing that separates him from the others is his attitude. He is always on time for work and I can’t remember the last time he called in sick.”

Infectious Positivity.

In 1998, Myles stopped into Terminix to answer a newspaper ad, was interviewed and hired on the spot. He has been there ever since. He has a contagious laugh and when asked how he keeps such a positive attitude, Myles says he believes every day is a gift.

“People don’t always look at life like that. When you wake up in the morning, why be mad?” says Myles. “People tell me that I smile and laugh a lot.”

According to Joshua Coble, branch manager, Myles is one those people you just want to be around. 

“I love to see Morris walk in the office every day, because I know I am going to see a smile on his face,” says Coble. “His smile will light up a room. I know if I’m having a bad start to a day, I can talk to him and know for sure he will make me smile.”

Luck says Myles is the first to volunteer to come in and work on the weekends.

In His Spare Time…

While he doesn’t have a great deal of spare time, when he does, PCT Termite Technician of the Year Morris Myles of Terminix, volunteers at his community church, doing food drives for needy families and cooking meals for the homeless. He also has a unique talent: he paints children’s sneakers with popular cartoon characters.

“Nobody really wants to work on the weekends, but I don’t mind,” says Myles. “I’m a single guy, I don’t have kids, and others want to do things with their kids, so I volunteer to come in and earn a few more dollars.”

The first time Coble met Myles, Morris introduced himself as the “Michael Jordan” of the branch. They both laughed at the joke, but the more time Coble spent with him, he could see how Myles was a leader. 

“If we are in need of anything, Morris will step up without anyone having to ask him.  People are born followers or leaders and Morris is definitely a leader,” Coble says. “If another associate goes to him for advice, I know later Morris is following up to make sure that the colleague understood and was able to resolve the problem.”

Specific to his termite work, Myles prefers to utilize a non-chemical approach to solving termite issues, whenever possible. This includes educating customers that moisture is a conducive condition for termites. He helps them find creative ways to eliminate moisture issues around their house such as moisture barriers, automatic vents, dehumidifiers, power vents and encapsulation. He also removes any wood debris from around the structure because he knows that this can cause termite issues as well.

Skilled Troubleshooter.

As one might imagine, Myles has a knack for taking a bad situation and turning it into a positive experience for his customers. Because of his deep pest management knowledge, Myles is often assigned some of the more difficult jobs that need to be addressed.

He had one customer who kept finding ants in her home and couldn’t understand why.

“She thought maybe we weren’t doing what we were supposed to do,” Myles says. “So I asked if she let her kids eat outside the kitchen. She said no, but I pulled out a couch and sure enough, there was some candy covered in ants.”

Another time, there was a customer who thought something had died in her attic, but none of the other technicians could find the source of the smell.

“Even I didn’t see anything at first, hovering in the area where the odor was strongest. Finally, I saw the bushy tail of the squirrel. It had been there so long it had conjoined with the wood,” says Myles. “One dead little squirrel had her whole house smelling really bad. She was elated that I found the source of the problem.”

With a goal of learning something new every single day, Myles loves the challenge of pest management and the freedom that comes from working out in the field with customers.

“It’s a new challenge every day because no two jobs are alike. I like being free to make my own decisions to remedy a situation as well as meeting new people every day,” Myles says.

Well-earned Praises.

For the past six years, Myles has earned the branch Service MVP Award, and most recently was awarded branch Employee of the Year. He also has earned the prestigious Award of Excellence from Terminix three times in his career, and along with those awards, three all-expenses-paid vacations: Jamaica, the Bahama Islands and Hawaii.

“He works hard for what he wants and doesn’t want anything given to him that he hasn’t earned,” Coble says. “Morris is truly deserving of this award.”