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Friday, February 11, 2011

Neighbors Pesky Over “Pesty” Misperception

I recently heard about a neighborly conflict, which I know to be true, that I found to be shocking…and it goes like this.

A family of four has lived in the same house within the same neighborhood for several years. The father works for a pest control company that graciously provides him with a company vehicle that he can drive directly to various customer sites.

Based on conversations I’ve had with the dad, who is a highly-trained professional, he typical works on large commercial and/or retail accounts that have pest issues ranging from bats, birds, squirrels, rodents or any number of other creatures that people typically don’t want within their place of business. 

Due to the nature of his business this dedicated dad gets up in the middle of the night to begin his day – every day – to solve the pest problems of his customer accounts so that you and I don’t see any of these critters when we patronize these various businesses.

So back to the neighborly conflict….

The company-provided vehicle that the dad drives is a nice looking, well kept machine that is branded with the company name and phone number in a professional and understated manner – meaning that there is NOT a giant, plastic spider affixed to the top of the vehicle. Again, this is a professional business that’s not using over-the-top marketing gimmicks to get attention.

As I understand it, after several years of living in this same house, parking that same company vehicle in the same driveway – the family recently received a letter in the mail from “neighbors” stating that they didn’t want the car to be parked within the neighborhood anymore.

I didn’t ask to read the letter – or get the ok to blog about it either – but I assume the gist of the letter had to do with some kooky idea that having a pest control vehicle parked in a neighborhood driveway, that was visible to any passerby or potential home buyer, might create a misperception that the neighborhood had a rampant pest problem.

So, these “neighbors” are worried that a potential home buyer who sees a pest control vehicle parked within the neighborhood will automatically assume that the driver is there to resolve a pest control issue – jumping right over the more logical conclusion that the driver might actually live within the neighborhood paying school and property taxes just like everyone else.

This is a crazy assumption on behalf of those neighbors.  We have several police officers who live in our community and drive well-marked police cruisers.  Nobody thinks the presence of parked police cars convey the appearance of a crime problem here.  Additionally, I’ve spoken directly with potential home buyers within our neighborhood who specifically mentioned that they liked the idea of having officers living here – it made them feel safe.  Apparently they’re not confused about what a branded vehicle signifies for the community.  It signifies a working family that’s earning a living to pay their mortgage!!!  Nothing kills surrounding home values more than foreclosures.

Regardless, the dad decided to keep the peace with the neighbors and will park his vehicle OUTSIDE of the neighborhood. While I’m humbled by this gesture, I’m appalled that this guy has to schlep out of bed in the middle of the night to walk to his car blocks from his home. It’s ridiculous.

By the way, the neighbors who complained were not part of some fascist homeowner’s association – because an HOA doesn’t even exist for that neighborhood.  It’s just overly zealous homeowners with too much time on their hands and bile in their hearts.

Instead of trying to block the guy from parking in his own driveway the neighborhood should throw a block party for this mortgage-paying family and their willingness to accommodate what I think is an unreasonable demand.


  1. Wow - I am inclined to agree with you. That is a bit (okay, a lot) rediculous. I cannot fathom some peoples selfishness - that's what I consider this. It does show great heart that he's willing to do this to "protect" the image(s) his neighbors seek, but man - at what cost? I'm with you - it's his job, and he should not feel required to park outside the neighborhood! That just makes me sad for the guy.

  2. Wait, this happened in The United States of America?

  3. @Anon, indeed comrade. It happened here and not Soviet Russia.