If you can't say something nice, at least make it funny!

Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Tuesday, January 18

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Amy bestfriendsince8thgrade and I were to meet up Monday morning to attend a local breakfast in honor of MLK Day. She had to walk the block back to her office to get money so I went on in and sat down. Upon her return, she told me that she had twisted her ankle and almost fallen in her new shoes. The ones I encouraged her to buy on our girls' weekend because they were a) crocs b) on clearance for 9.99 c) wedges that looked like dress shoes and I love wedge heels and d) I really wanted them myself so if she bought them I wouldn't spend the money. Oops. Sorry Amy. Then later she told me that she had slipped twice more in the wet streets and she was afraid of breaking a leg. It reminded me of a day I had several years ago.

Before I was a graphic designer, before I wrote consistently, before I blogged and before I lived in Pennsylvania I lived in Nashville for 18 years. The first 12 of those I was an accounting-type person and was employed in such exciting jobs as bookkeeper,  a/p specialist, payroll specialist and finally, business manager. I know, right? The one that did me in was as an audit clerk for a company that owned a chain of Burger King restaurants. The people there were nice enough but the job was extremely tedious and involved going through paperwork from 30 some restaurants that came in each week smelling of fry grease, cigarette smoke and desperation.

A couple of years after leaving that job (because of life circumstance) I took classes and the exam to become a REALTOR. I know, any of you who have seen American Beauty (I WILL sell this house today!), Desperate Housewives or Modern Family probably have a new view of me upon learning that. But although I usually stayed busy, I was by no means one of those vacuous, vain, self-centered brokers that are depicted on television. I loved working with people and first-time buyers in particular. 

So one summer while the market was red hot in our area, I was a super busy bee. I had 7 active buyers at the time this happened. I know this is small potatoes for most realtors, but 7 buyers is a lot to have on your plate, as that is the one thing that takes up the majority of your time. Out of the 7, five were first-time buyers and out of the five, three were needing VA loans.

One morning on a hot day in June I went to the office. I had worked all weekend, showed houses to 4 buyers in 3 suburbs of Nashville. Written 2 contracts, one of which was the 3rd offer for that person. She'd had 2 kicked because everything in her price range was selling OVER listing price and I couldn't get her to understand that. The other offer I was desperate to have accepted because my client was so nice and just loved the house, it was in the perfect area for him and everything. So I started the day in a good mood, got up and dressed in new brown slacks and a white dress shirt. I was feeling sassy so I tied a brown and pink scarf around my neck, did my make up and headed out to a morning meeting. There was a new agent in the office and she was in the meeting with us that morning. She was all blonde and cute and perky and totally hadn't been jaded yet. Of course I disliked her immediately so I overcompensated by being welcoming and talkative with her. Let's face it, I was a bit giddy at the though of getting 2 buyers wrapped up and having only 5 to deal with. And tired after working 3 consecutive 18 hour days.

During the meeting I get a call from the female client asking if I could show her another house at lunch "in case" her offer doesn't work out. I said yes and made plans to meet her there. After that, I get a call from the agent on the second offer, who I have been trying to reach for 24 hours. I just knew something was going on by the way she acted and she said she had another offer come in on the house. Great.

So by 10am, after a chat with my broker about what nonsense this other realtor was up to,  I was headed out of the office to face the day. I strutted across the parking lot in my jaunty scarf and strappy sandals to get into my SUV and head out to show houses. I wasn't a mile from the office when I got another call from the suspect realtor stating that she now had 2 other offers and one was more than mine. I confronted her, asking if she'd held my offer all weekend to leverage offers from other brokers. She weakly denied it, but I got so fired up. I had to call my client and tell him we'd have to offer well over asking price to get the house he was so in love with.

I met my client at the condo she wanted to see and had no more than parked when the first agent called to tell me her contract wasn't accepted because the seller wasn't willing to do a VA loan. I could see my entire weekend's work unraveling. So I told her, showed her the condo. She loved it and wanted to write up her 4th VA contract on this condo while we were together and get it presented immediately.

We decided to meet at a Quiznos down the road so that she could eat while I filled out the forms. I knew I had somewhere to be at 1 and I was freaking at the thought of having to do that paperwork all over again. I was stressed and when I get stressed? I get clutzy. As I came out of the condo, locked the door, and walked toward my car, I fell. Twisted my ankle in those strappy sandals, ripped my slacks, scuffed up the palms of my hands. And last but not least, looked like an idiot in front of my client. It was already getting hot outside and I was sweating through my clothes sitting on the ground looking like an idiot. I finally was able to get up and walk barefoot over the hot asphalt to my car, meet her at the restaurant, and write up the contract.

She ate and the longer I sat the more I realized how hungry I was. Before leaving I ordered myself a sub thinking I could eat it in the car on my 20 minute drive back to the office for a meeting. When I got back on the interstate I unwrapped the sandwich and realized that I had made the mistake of getting something with some kind of special sauce dripping from it and there were onions on there and ewww gross I hate raw onions so I was trying to pick them off and pulled over to the side of the road. Now, my hands smelled like onions and some sort of mayonaisey special sauce. I had used every napkin they gave me to clean up and had none left. Then, my phone rings.

It is the 2nd realtor telling me that, in fact, the house my buyer loved more than anything in the world had gone to another buyer who put in his offer 48 hours after ours, despite the fact that we asked for an answer within 36. I hung up and pulled back on to the interstate. I was so angry, but there was nothing I could do. I knew she had used me and I knew she operated in the gray area, but there was nothing I could do. I felt like a fool and I felt hopeless. I began shoving that sub into my mouth while driving with one hand, and I could feel the sauce dripping through my white linen blouse. I lost it and hurled the sandwich across the car and out the passenger window. My steering wheel was sticky and my phone had a big drip on the screen. I called my broker and as I was telling her what happened, I burst into sobs. Uncontrollable sobbing. Tears, wailing, gnashing of teeth, the whole nine yards. I hated it when my people didn't get what they wanted, but this was just too much. The whole day was too much and I was powerless to change it. Finally after ten minutes of wailing she told me just to get back to the office and see her when I got there. I bawled the whole way. Have I mentioned when I am stressed I am not only a klutz but I also walk around on the verge of tears? Yeah, that.

So I walk into our Brentwood office, catching only a glimpse of myself in the glass door as I entered. My hair, normally looking cute and flippy, had sagged from the humid weather and the bangs were plastered to my forehead. My eyes were red and, oh, by the way, have you ever seen a redhead after she's been crying? NOT pretty. I had ripped off my scarf and there were mayonnaise stains down the front of my shirt and on the leg of my pants. My palms had road rash and were bleeding, my knee had bled on my pants, there were dirt stains and the knee was ripped open in a 2" square hole just large enough to see the seeping wound on my knee. To add insult to injury, I had chipped the french manicure on my big toe when I fell and it just looked plain trashy. Oh, and? I smelled to high heaven of onions. So I dragged in the front door and across the lobby where I hoped to make a b-line for the broker's office. And of course. Who would be the LAST person you'd want to see?

Yep, that's right little Miss Muffy NewRealtor came out through the lobby. She stopped DEAD in her tracks at the sight of me. "Oh maah gawwwd? Whuuut happened to yeeewwwww????" She asked. Then the topper. "Yew looked so cauuuuuute at the meetin' this mornin'....WHUUT HAAYPENNED?"
I just looked at her, at a loss as to how to explain my appearance. She stood there with her mouth gaping open. I just said "Isn't it obvious? I was mauled by a lion." In the most sarcastic tone I could muster, stepped into my broker's office and slammed the door.

And that, my friends, is how to win friends and influence people. Honestly....

1 comment:

  1. awwww - man! Whattaday. I do hope the retelling allowed you to smile just a little. :) Hang in there - be glad THAT chapter of your life is over.