I started to write a heartwarming article on everything I’m thankful for this year. Clearly, I’m thankful for God’s blessings, my beautiful wife, my kids, my ever-expanding company, my employees, the Pest Management Professional magazine staff, the Chicago Cubs, my new building, and peers in my industry such as Paul Bello, Dr. Austin Frishman, Josh Alpert, Brent Towle, Joshua Emms, Alan Feuer, Fred Willey, William Whyte, Daniel Dye and Dan Ferretti.
But it seems as though many magazines have their contributing writers list the things that make them thankful. This is sooooo boring. Wouldn’t it be funnier and more titillating if we listed the things we’re not thankful for, the things that really tick us off or annoy us? Yes? I’m glad you agree. So here are the things that drive me nuts for which I am not thankful. Enjoy.
1. People staring at me: Nothing, and I mean nothing, gives me more apprehension than someone staring at me. I’ll have techs come into my office and sit down across from me and watch me make a phone call. Why? Or, I’ll be at the health club and a little old lady will watch me do sit-ups. Move along, Granny! Ugh!
2. Liars: When I was younger, I thought the best way out of a problem was to lie. Fortunately, I’ve matured. I now know that lying is the worst thing you can do. When you lie, you have to remember every lie, or you’ll be found out. Lies are like traps, waiting to snare you. When you tell the truth, you never have to worry about your answers.
3. Poor grooming: I had a guy come into my office for a job interview — wearing sweat pants. I can handle long hair, tattoos, beards, etc., as long as they are neat. But I can’t handle wrinkled shirts, no belts, dirty shoes, unkempt hair, five-day facial hair or neck hair.
4. Yelpers: I loathe Yelpers. They think it’s their mission in life to rate everything. It seems as though they actually view their Yelping as a job. At Schopen Pest Solutions, we have a sterling 4.8 on Home Advisor and Angie’s List and a 5.0 on Facebook. We have never had a 1-star review anywhere — except through Yelp, where we have two. Both Yelpers wanted a free service, which I declined, so they hammered us on social media.
5. Calories: Just like mosquitoes and yellowjackets, I’m not sure what my Creator was thinking. As I approach 50, I’m forced to read the amount of sugar and calories that are in a particular product before I consume it. Sad.
6. Modern country music: Garth Brooks is about as current as I’m willing to get. Give me some Conway Twitty, Tanya Tucker, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard.
7. New York Yankees fans: You can also include Dallas Cowboys fans and Manchester United fans on this list.
8. Tardiness: When I was a young sports broadcaster, I would always show up hours ahead of my broadcast time. As a pest management professional, I have never overslept or come in to work late. I expect the same of my employees. Being late to work, to church, to a family gathering, etc., is lazy and rude.
9. Ketchup on a hot dog: Eh, it’s a free country! Do what you want. In fact, I am very thankful we live in the greatest country ever. I hope you all have a great holiday season and a strong finish to the year. I’m thankful you took the time to read this article.
Schopen is owner and founder of Schopen Pest Solutions, McHenry, Ill. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him via Twitter: @schopenpest; Instagram: @peteschopen; or Facebook: Schopen Pest Solutions, Inc.