Guest Perspective – People can be mean

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Blogging about real estate can be challenging these days. There is so much negativity in the press and in our daily dealings that the temptation is to dwell on the stuff that ires. The “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” post is not only more elusive this year, but on the entertainment scale of zero to tell-me-more, rants are both more fun to write and to read.

I have made a personal decision to limit my trips to Downer Town here.

But, there are some things that just must be said, which is why this morning we introduce and welcome a new guest writer – Brek Rigs.

Why are some people just so mean? by Brek Rigs

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Why are some people just so mean? While I will go out on a limb and hold to my belief that most people are genuinely honest and decent and caring of their fellow man, two stories were related to me recently which reminded me that I need to get out more.

Last weekend, one of our buyers’ agents a buyers’ agent was putting up her Open House signs in preparation for the Sunday ritual event. This is a hard-working agent who is simply trying to make a living, and for the pleasure of working on this beautiful day (the Sabbath for many) while others were enjoying family and leisure activities, one lucky babysitter was being paid handsomely.

As a refresher, there is nothing glamorous about life as the Open House host or hostess. People breeze in and out for three hours, a large number of whom are as happy to see the Greeter as they were to get the audit letter from the IRS. We Agents understand this. Anyone who has had to tell their eighteenth Nordstrom sales associate within a sixteen-second span that they are “just looking” can relate. Open House guests can be a battle-weary bunch. Having signed in to dozens of guest registers and recounted their story (“We are thinking about moving to San Diego in 2027 if we get the job”) to dozens of agents within their first hour on tour, they can quickly become a testy bunch.

But, we the agent holding the open house is simply trying to do their job, and part of that job is getting the directional signs in place prior to the sounding bell. Nothing says “sexy” like hopping in and out of a 90-degree idling car, dressed in your big girl (or boy) business clothes, while attempting to relocate dozens of unwieldy signs and sharp, poke-y metal stakes from your backseat to various street corners and to sounds of car horns and screeching brakes with the rush of the wind from oncoming traffic in your previously perfect but now, sweat-soaked hair. Agents leave their homes looking like a billboard for John Frieda and arrive at the Open House looking like Bob Marley.

Back to the signs themselves. We utilize I am told that there are two varieties of Open House signs. One is the traditional stake sign, and they simply need be stuck into the ground.  In Scripps Ranch, “ground” is best pictured as Mr. Slate’s rock quarry, only harder. There is a horizontal metal area at the base of the stake (just above the sharp, poke-y things now credited with having scratched all interior sides of your Agent-Mobile and having ripped the several holes in your plush leather seats); this is where the agent stands on the ball of her stiletto-clad foot and teeters with all her weight in the off chance that this will be the spot where the stake penetrates Mars. She will repeat this process until the parkway looks like a scene from Caddyshack.

The other type of sign is gaining in popularity, this being the sandwich, or A-frame, sign. You can fit exactly one of these in your backseat. I One agent who drives a Volkswagen Beetle has found that the only way to deliver these to their destination is to put the top down on her convertible, which brings us back to Bob Marley, only now we are talking more Don King.

So it was that our this buyers’ agent was attempting to place the A-frame sign at a busy but critical intersection prior to her Open House last Sunday. She parked, engine running, in a bike lane for the eight seconds it would take her to avoid being killed dead (Cause of death: Runned-overness) and off-load the sign. Enter biker. Now, granted, she was temporarily stopped in a bike lane which, technically, is illegal. But, then, so is jaywalking, yet I suspect we have all been a one-man crime wave in this regard at some point. For her to have parked legally and accomplish the task would have required a bus pass and at least one transfer.

87th Street Kansas City

Biker (in a very loud voice): “You are parked in a bike lane. That is illegal!”
Agent: “I am sorry.”
Biker (in her face): “You are not!”
Agent: “Yes, I am! I am sorry, but I am just here for a minute, and I had no place else to stop (except Tucson).”
Biker: “No, you’re not!”

Well, you get it. The end of the story is that she returned three hours later to retrieve her sign only to find that it had be ripped from the A-frame and thrown in the southbound lanes of what Traffic Engineers refer to as a Four-Lane Primary Arterial. It had been run over multiple times and trashed beyond recognition. Now she had to pay a babysitter and pay for a new sign. While being mean is not a crime, destruction of property is, at least the last time I checked.

My parents were married on April 15th. My father always said this about their choice: “The day was already shot, so we figured we might as well get married.” This is how I one agent felt when she checked her voice mail this Sunday evening. She would have taken the call directly, but she had been on another call and has found it generally poor form to hang up on one person on the off chance that the new caller will be a better conversationalist.

Caller: ” I was interested in one of your properties, but I don’t have time for this sh*&.” Click.

Note to mean person: That was mean.

Creative Commons License photo credit: MoBikeFed

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