Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite

There was something a bit odd about my last employer, 24-7 In Touch Marketing, off of US 19 in Largo (or was it Clearwater?). I just couldn’t place it, that is until I was watching the return of The X-Files last night and saw the FOX 13 news tease about a bedbug infestation there, a story that got started on Reddit, of all places.

(Here’s the video of the story, reported by Evan Lambert.)

It doesn’t really surprise me that a call center running ads seeking employees at $10/hr, then telling them the job’s initial pay rate is more like $8/hr, would have this kind of a problem. The way the piece on the local news ran, the management doesn’t think they have a problem, while the employees getting bit will tell you otherwise. Usually when management is in denial, it’s usually a sign of a big problem they don’t know how to handle yet.

When I trained there, they promised you the moon, but would always fail to deliver. They said that the final test would decide whether or not you had the job: it didn’t, they took practically everybody in. They also said that anyone who made racket during the final test in particular would be released immediately, something else that didn’t happen when people in the class didn’t show any consideration for others.

Now, the employees there seem to have a choice between keeping their jobs and shutting up about the bedbugs or speak out and risk losing them. (I seem to remember from the training I took that the company keeps an eye on social media for negative commentary about themselves and discourages it, so getting people to speak up about it on local stations has to be a challenge.)

However, if the bedbug problem is serious, there’s always the chance the place will have to be tented and properly fumigated, and the employees might lose their jobs anyways.

Needless to say, I’m glad I got out of there long before the bedbugs arrived.


    1. A lot of the people who worked there when I was there may have been transients or close to it. Lot of other people need the work and won’t speak out about what’s going on. Bad situation all around.


  1. Just ran across your post. Apparently the bed bugs are still there. I spoke with a friend who works for an extermination company and he said 24-7 refuses to shut the place down for a few days to properly treat the problem. Id love to hear more from employees. I’m also curious as to why there hasn’t been a follow-up story on local news channels.


    1. Thanks for the post! Good question as to why they stopped covering it if the problem still persists. Maybe the media thinks it is somehow “typical” of these type of employers?


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