Mice and Cockroaches

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about pests: For the third time in two years, my room at work is infested with mice and cockroaches. I am next to the cafeteria food storage room. My desk is constantly covered in mouse poop and pee, along with the floor.

For the third time in two years, my room at work is infested with mice and cockroaches. I am next to the cafeteria food storage room. My desk is constantly covered in mouse poop and pee, along with the floor. I have to disinfect things before I use them. Cockroaches scurry across my floor occasionally. When I complained the last two times, they put glue traps out. This is disgusting, and it has to be some sort of health hazard, right? Also, I work in a school and have kids in my room almost all day long. We do not have a teacher’s union. I have asked around and people just tell me it’s gross and I should buy bug spray. Any advice?

Signed, Grossed Out

DearĀ Grossed Out:

You have voiced your concern to someone. Consequently, an effort was made to rid your work area of varmints. However, you say that your “desk is constantly covered in mouse poop and pee” and that from time “cockroaches scurry across my floor.” Apparently, you have not communicated your disgust strong enough, frequently enough, or to enough appropriate people. You need not be disagreeable but you had best channel what you have written us to the proper building manager, principal, and, if they don’t make a major preventative effort, you could seek out higher authorities or a government agency that inspects.

Present your request in both in writing and face-to-face. You might include the dates of the times you have reported the poop and add to that photos dated for the days you have seen it recently. If coworkers have encountered the same problem, you could invite them to add their signature to your written statement. You should not go at this solo with bug spray. This is a building problem and I predict that you are grossed out enough to do what it takes to make it right.

Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that refers to practical matters such as teaching and learning within a sanitary environment. Approach this collaboratively with those in charge as a solvable problem. And if you will update us in a month or so on what you do and how it has worked. See yourself as a champion of a clean place for children and educators.

William Gorden