Who Am I?

Kristn.jpg

There are simply times you don’t want to be recognized. So it was yesterday, as I found myself at the mercy of the stylist charged with restoring the “natural” highlights to my lovely locks. The “natural” part is in quotes, because it is really anyone’s guess at my age what my true, God-given hair color is. In a mere 30-minutes, Mina saw that I was transformed from a somewhat uncoiffed but fairly presentable figure into Buckwheat after an unfortunate encounter with a roll of Reynolds Wrap.

They are taught that in cosmetology school. Take an average-looking subject and make them appear as hideous as possible. Who could possibly be unhappy with your handiwork if moments before they were a human reenactment of the periodic table? (Starring Kris Berg in the role of Al, aluminum). Break them down to build them up. And, honestly, I am not entirely convinced that the foil wrapping is necessary. Mina could just have easily smeared meatloaf on my head in the name of beauty, and I would have eagerly gone along.

None of this is the point, of course. The point is that at the moment I am looking like Medusa on a really bad hair day, yet I know a reunion of massive proportions is about to ensue. It is inevitable that, at these times, everyone I have ever known (friends, parents of children’s friends, clients, college crushes) will parade past… and recognize me! I am today’s featured guest on This is Your Life, yet all I want right now is anonymity.

So, as I was waiting for the kitchen timer on my head to go off, I naturally drifted to another thing that really bugs me. Why do so many agents in the MLS list the seller’s name as “KTB” (Known to Broker)? When I am calling to make an appointment to show a home, I consider it a social nicety to actually refer to the person on the other end of the phone by name. “Good morning, Mr. On File” just doesn’t pack the same punch. Someday, it may just be that the seller’s name is “Ima Seller”, but I am programmed to resort to mystery mode when any label looks the least bit fishy. “Uh, hello, Mr. Withheld, uh, sir, this is Kris. I would like to show your home the home the property at 123 Main Street at 2:00. Oh, could you tell your dad I called”?

“Neener, neener, I got a listing, and I’m not telling who”. Why do so many agents feel compelled to guard the identity of their clients? Forgetting for a moment that the owner’s name is a matter of public record and that my teenaged daughter can in three minutes find their name, mortgage debt and shoe size on the Internet, what is the point of making me sound impersonal on the phone? That, I fear, is precisely the point. Perhaps, just perhaps, it is an agent’s insecurity at play. Let me assure you, I am not going to steal your client, and if I am nice to them, they are not going to cancel your listing contract. Well, maybe they eventually are, but not for that reason.

So, to Mr. and Mrs. KTB, I know you want to sell your home, and I want to show it to my clients. If I call to make an appointment and am not showing the decency to address you by name, it is because I wasn’t properly introduced by your agent. If you would like to discuss my social faux pas further, we can chat at the salon. You will recognize me, of that I am certain.

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