Humor in Uniform: Me and Mrs. Jones


November 19, 2015

Photo: ©

Photo: ©

Because we serve the Chicagoland area, my company is fortunate to have many millionaire (and two billionaire) clients.

You’d think people who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars wouldn’t care about paying a few thousand dollars to have their mansions serviced for pests. But, of course, they do care. Perhaps that’s why they’re rich — because they’re careful with their fortunes.

One customer however, took the term spendthrift to a whole new level.

A couple years ago, I received a call from longtime customer “Mrs. Jones” (name changed to protect the really, really rich), who wanted to talk about her upcoming pest control program. I offer discounts to clients who want to prepay for the year, and Mrs. Jones prepays for her exterior summer treatments to save a few bucks. This is how our conversation went:

MRS. JONES: “Hi, Peter. I need to reduce my costs at my home in East Troy.”

PETE: “Sorry, Mrs. Jones, our rates are actually going up a little this year.”

MRS. JONES: “Then I want to reduce the number of services at my homes in East Troy and Lake Geneva.”

PETE: “Sorry, Mrs. Jones, but to treat your properties properly, we need to be out monthly.”

MRS. JONES: “If I prepay for both homes, can I get a better rate?”

PETE: “Sorry Mrs. Jones, but 15 percent off each home is as much as I’m willing to give you. I’ve got to make a little bit of money here.”

MRS. JONES: “Can I at least send in my payments for both homes in one envelope, so I can save the 49-cent postage?”

PETE: “Yes, Mrs. Jones, I think that would be a wise decision.”

Schopen is owner and founder of Schopen Pest Solutions, McHenry, Ill. You can email him at or reach him via Twitter: @schopenpest; Instagram: @peteschopen; or Facebook: Schopen Pest Solutions, Inc.

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