Former chef leaves food industry due to bugs

Chris Gould, a senior pest control technician, has been with Friendly Pest Control for three years but has been a member of the Payson community for nearly 90 percent of his life. Gould spent several years as a banquet chef with a casino before making a transition that has changed his life for the better.

“I was tired of being stuck in a kitchen with no windows. I heard about an opening with Friendly Pest Control and I reached out and got an interview. Friendly paid for my schooling and got me a work truck. That’s how I got started in a career that I absolutely love in a community that I love,” Gould said.

“Not only do I love the weather and climate here, but I love the community. I grew up with this community. I have an affinity for the culture and history of our town, but it is mainly the people here that are awesome and make me proud to call Payson home,” Gould said.

Gould is easily described as the All-American kid, who grew into the All-American man filled with integrity and love for his community.

“I was always riding my bike around town and adventuring in the forest. Me and my friends could usually be found outside and making our own fun. My best memories growing up were going to Taylor Pool when it was open. Since I lived pretty close, I would just ride my bike,” he said.

In a world where heroes can come from many places, Gould found his right at home. “My parents are amazing. They always told me to do what was right even though no one is looking. They said this was the essence of integrity,” said Gould.

Christopher Gould

Senior Pest Control Technician

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Gould carries that advice with him to this day. “Daily, I might pick up trash that I see or I will see someone going down the highway and see that something has dropped off their vehicle. I try to stop and pick it up for them” he explained. Taking care of the community is something that Gould persists in is the reason Payson is a great place to live. “I will do little things like bringing trash cans to people’s houses when I make a service call or when I see a neighbor that hasn’t done it yet. It is a simple thing, but it really lets people know that someone cared enough for them to do that,” he said.

Gould believes that his personal mantra translates into his work at Friendly Pest Control. “Customer service is my biggest strength in this job. Being able to communicate with the customer per their needs first is a big part of the job. It is important for customers to talk to the servicing technician. Usually, the default message from a customer is ‘I have bugs’. We make the effort to have a conversation about what their individual needs are. That is when we can really make a customized plan to get their home free of pests quickly and efficiently,” he explained. Gould explains that while his favorite part of the job is talking with customers and getting to know them, a close second is the nature of the job.

“The next job is always a new adventure. Being able to go to these homes in the middle of nowhere is fun. We have communities that are 20 miles deep into the middle of the forest. It kinda takes me back to childhood playing outdoors. I get to treat those homes and enjoy nature and the fresh air,” he said.

When Gould is asked what makes him get up in the morning and do it all over again each day, his answer is humble.

“When someone calls us to tell us what a great job I have been doing or what a great job one of my technicians is doing, it makes everything we do worth it,” he explained. “Sometimes we get a five-star review on Google and I cannot stress how much that means to me and how much it makes our job worth it,” Gould said.

According to Gould, even the tough parts of the job still aren’t that bad. “Cleanups are tough sometimes. They can be nasty due to the mess left behind by the pest. They are also therapeutic. On one side, you have to clean up a mess, but then you get to see it cleaned and the house seems happier and the residents seem happier. I usually drive away from those sites happy too,” he said.

One of the more challenging aspects of the job is dealing with a destructive little varmint native to the area.

“There is a rat here called a Pack Rat. It is cute but very damaging. They can cause a lot of grief for a homeowner,” Gould explained.

When Chris isn’t helping homeowners reclaim their property from pests, he can be found skydiving or snowboarding. His biggest personal goal is to help her wife earn her citizenship. He is currently helping her through the process and education to take the citizenship test so he can sponsor her.

Gould’s main professional goals revolve around progressing to a point that he can relieve his boss Matt Abney whom he claims is one of the hardest working people he knows.

“I want to get myself to a point where I can carry the entire business so Matt can just relax. He is very busy. It is amazing how many people call him in a day. I just want to be able to take some of the stress off of him and keep him less busy,” Gould said.

For personal goals, Chris is taking a Spanish class to be able to communicate better with his wife’s family. My mother-in-law only speaks Spanish, so I am working on that,” he said.

Gould’s advice to anyone planning to get into the pest control business is simple. “Just talk to a technician. They know better than anyone how these jobs can be. They can give you the best guidance on whether pest control is right for you. They can be pretty dirty sometimes,” he said.

Gould’s advice for everyone else is just as wholesome as he is. “I would tell everyone if I could that if there is anything they can do in their community to help out. Just do it. It will really make a difference and that is something I care about,” Gould said.

For more information about Friendly Pest Control services, products or personnel, call Friendly Pest Control at (928) 363-4232

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