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Know What I Mean, Man?

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photo courtesy of freerangstock.com


Sometimes I need a man

Sometimes I need a man. Even when I act like a man it doesn’t work. There are some men who need to speak to another man. Have you ever worked with someone who wants to tell you constantly that they’ve been in the business for 20 years? Who cares? Maybe they’ve done the same job once a year for twenty years. So I’m trying to get this house ready to list. Delay. Delay. Delay. It’s always something. The sellers. The handyman. The stager. I’ve finally gotten everybody lined up and oooh, the sellers -brother and sister – disagree on something else. Delay some more. The brother says to me today, “This must be like dealing with a divorce.” Uh, yeah, kinda. So I get the go-ahead from them. Everyone’s lined up and ready to go, then the dominoes start falling.

The stager can’t come after the handyman. She’ll be out of town the day I need her to install. Okay, so she has to go in before the handyman. He’ll have to deal.

I email him the list. He wants to do a walk through. It’s five items. How hard can it be? Okay. I go do the walk through – the guy’s highly recommended – room by room pointing, explaining. It must be me. Explaining in nauseating detail that the tasks need to be done in a specific order. The photographer’s coming on Thursday. The jobs that are going to show in the picture need to be done first. The hole patching and light fixture replacement can be done later.

I’m not his mama

I’m not his mama. I don’t stand over him. But something isn’t right. I go over there and see he’s not doing the items in order. Oh, man. “Look, dude, you gotta do the stuff in order. ” I get, “Yeah. Yeah.”

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Thursday morning on the way to the gym, I think: You’d better go check it out. I drive up, the granny rails from the sidewalk to the front door – the first thing on the list – are still there. Photogs coming at noon. Oh, poo poo. Flowers aren’t planted. Tools all over the living room. Furniture in disarray. Double poo poo. He’s supposed to be out of there that morning. He’s not halfway through the list.

Of course I get voice mail…

I call and leave a message. Of course I get voice mail; it’s 7:00 in the morning and he starts bright and early at 10. That was the first clue I let slide. Eventually, “Are you going to be able to get this railing out by noon?” “Uh, no. I have to take my daughter to the doctor. I’m not going to get there until noon. I was going to call you to give you my schedule.” WHAT? I don’t want your schedule. I want you to come get this railing out. I sound like a hysterical woman – not a man.

Calling through my list of contractors. I get a hold of John. He says, I’ll call you back later. WHAT? What does that mean? I’ve gotta get this thing outta here.

I dig holes

So I get to work. I dig holes; plant the plants. Put all the tools in the garage. Move the furniture back. Sweep up the mess he’s left from installing the light fixtures that weren’t supposed to be installed until after the rail was removed. I’m at the top of a ladder sweating, trying to install light bulbs, a work truck pulls up. Guy’s looking at the railing. He comes in the front door. “You Vicki?” Yeah. “You Vicki?” Yeah. (Haven’t you ever seen a realtor in her sweats sweating at the top of a ladder?) You John? “Yeah.” Can you remove the handrail? “I’ll see what I can do.” The angels sing.

Now the first guy is furious. I get this email: “I have worked for many real estate agents over the last 20 + years (who cares), and know the proper order that this stuff is supposed to go in (You don’t, little lady). FIRST you get the repairs done, then you paint, then carpet, then clean, then stage, then photo. This is the way it works best. I think it is safe to say that we all know that” (except you, you stupid woman). If you’ve been doing this for 20 years, you should be able to tell that that isn’t new carpet; there was no painting crew – if there was, why would I have you painting? And stop being a cry baby. So you had to move some furniture. I’m the customer. I request. But noooo, he’s the man. He’s been doing this for 20 years. He knows what he’s doing. He’s going to show me how it’s done. NOT.

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Sometimes I want to be a man. Know what I mean, man?

Written By

As a lifelong resident and local Realtor, Vicki has established herself as a respected member of the San Mateo County real estate community. She’s known for her wit, sarcasm, and her personality that shows through in her posts. You can find her spouting off at Twitter, here at ag, and her personal blog, San Mateo Real Estate Blog.com.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. BawldGuy Talking

    March 30, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks a bunch, Vicki. I’m sitting alone catching up with things after breakfast with The Boss, and laughed so hard the cat now has three less lives. 🙂

    Turn off your female empathy gene for once, and make great, (and stress relieving) use of the words, “Your fired!”.

    Find folks who will do what you want when and how you want it done.

    These folks have been behaving this way with you ‘cuz it’s been working like a charm.

    Once you let them know, up front, you want results and not excuses, they’ll either smile, (the ones you want) or they’ll reveal themselves as chronic pains in the ass — at which time you’ll politely pass.

    You’re way too good at what you do to take this crud. Get in touch with your guy side, and kick some ass while you’re cleaning house. For every guy in your post who under performed, was tardy, and flat didn’t get the job done, there are 10 who will recognize a take charge gal (sorry, I’m 56 — deal with it) who is results oriented.

    Bottom line, Vicki? You’ve been far to nice — and they’ve been mistaking your kindness for weakness. Stop giving a damn about what they think of you, and start making them sensitive to what you think of them.

    Love your stuff.

  2. Matthew Rathbun

    March 30, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Nah, you don’t want to be a man…. then you’d have to put up with hysterical female agents who don’t know the correct order in which repairs go in…. (that’s snarky me)

    Does it really matter what order stuff it to be done in, if he isn’t do any of it? I find it funny that folks complain about agents lack of involvement, when my personal experience has been that handy-“persons” have been far less dependable. There is ALWAYS something that happens with contractors to delay something.

    I really don’t think that that it has to do with a person’s gender as much as their ability to meet a customer’s reasonable expectations.

    Sorry you had that experience. I know it’s very stressful.

  3. Vicki Moore

    March 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    OMG. LOL. People are walking through my open house trying to figure out what I’m laughing at. I think the comments are funnier than the post.

    Jeff – I’m printing that and tacking it to my forehead and my mirror and my dash and my peg board.

    Matthew – All I can say is YEAH! That’s right!

  4. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 30, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Vicki, I’ve been waiting for you to dish via blog since you mentioned a “terrible experience” on the phone! I am proud of you for getting your nails dirty, most people would have just crossed their fingers for good photos (or taken them on their own with their cell phones like 20% of agents here do- seriously).

    Jeff- tell Vicki how I do things so she can get *her* way too!

    Matthew- oh snarky you, you’re too funny.

    _______
    Vicki- I started in this industry in property management (female dominated) and didn’t do as well as when I hooked up with commercial development (ridiculously male dominated) and even though at first, everyone thought I was the tiny helpless girl, I took ’em by the you-know-whats and got things done. I’ve never been a b!tch, but ask anyone I’ve ever worked with- I’m persuasive because I’m not scared to TELL people what I want, TELL them directly (not harshly) that they’re failing and I expect better and then TELL them they’re fired if they aren’t performing. If they’re not doing the work anyhow, just use the F word. I mean F as in “Fired.” 😉

    Don’t WISH you were a man- JUST BE ONE!!! (minus the cargo shorts or baseball games)

  5. ines

    March 31, 2008 at 9:54 am

    I can man-handle anyone that crosses my path the wrong way better than any 6′ tall man could! 🙂 (and with FinesSE!!)

    Contractors fear me! Building officials respect me and this post Vicki, cracked me up like you would not believe.

  6. BawldGuy Talking

    March 31, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Now you guys are bein’ real! 🙂

    Tradesmen who’ve dealt with me before, now ask who will be in charge. They know it won’t be me, but they wanna be sure. The Boss takes no prisoners. 🙂

  7. Vicki Moore

    March 31, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Jeff is too right. He and Benn can always read between the lines. I hate that!

    Lani & Ines – Now that I have good role models, I intend to use them as examples!

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