“Not all heroes wear capes,” quipped a customer of Arkadia Eco Pest Control, regarding sales manager-turned-internal service specialist Andrew Lyng. The Randolph, N.J.-based firm promoted Lyng to this newly created position during the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic because of his background as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Specialist for the U.S. Army. While Arkadia’s six other technicians focus on exterior services, particularly tick and mosquito control, Lyng is solely responsible for interior pest services for the company’s accounts within 13 counties in northern New Jersey.
“We came up with the idea a week or so ago,” explains Mark Constantino, president of Arkadia. “We were starting to run low on personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and booties, and I knew everything would be on back order. I came to Andrew and said, ‘If you’re willing to be the main interior service guy, you’ll get a raise and all the equipment and PPE you need to do the job.’ He jumped at the opportunity, and we feel very lucky. His positive attitude has rubbed off on the rest of us.”
Lyng wears his regular Arkadia uniform, then puts on a pair of Dickies coveralls — one of five he has in rotation for frequent laundering — plus all the PPE he requires to do what’s primarily becoming wood-destroying insect, bed bug or rodent accounts. Constantino reports that knowing Lyng has a specialized military background specifically in crisis matters puts customers instantly at ease.
He also notes that Arkadia mainly served residential accounts even before the pandemic, but even more so now with so many commercial facilities currently closed. “We’re focused mainly on structural and public health pest calls right now,” he says.
Constantino goes into the office every morning, sanitizing every surface, doorknob and handle. He then provides what is essentially a “drive-thru” for his technicians as they pull up to the back door in their trucks, get what they need and start their route.
“Andrew is the only other person allowed in the office, to get his gloves and whatever else he needs,” Constantino says. “Because of his military training, he knows to ration the equipment appropriately, which we’re grateful for.”
Lyng is taking his temperature regularly, following all of the currently recommended coronavirus prevention guidelines, and is under “strict orders” to stay home if he has so much as a sniffle, Constantino says.
2020 is Arkadia’s 10th year in business, and Constantino was looking forward to a busy spring. He had purchased new uniforms, refreshed the website and was about to implement a strong marketing plan for the season. All that has changed, but he’s grateful the situation is still a positive one for his company.
“Like everyone else, we’re coming up with plans on the fly,” he concludes. “But with Andrew in this position, he and the rest of the team are happy, our customers are happy, and that makes me happy. He’s just an outstanding employee.”
Read more COVID-19 coverage here: MyPMP.net/COVID-19