Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Job Satisfaction

I am contacted (deluged with emails) by a firm with an overly self-conscious website and a name involving the letter e that makes it sound like a crack-den run by internet entrepreneurs. They want to come round and assist in the great pretence that we live in a grand residence with modern fittings and a back yard that is in fact an urban garden. “All our photos are retouched” they proudly boast. Their powers of deception even extend to the elements. “We can 'improve' the weather considerably” they gush. “WE. ARE. ALL-POWERFUL!” I expect Beelzebub to turn up on our doorstep but instead it is a young Spanish woman, who engagingly makes fun of our run-down surroundings. I like people like her. She cares enough to do a good job but is relaxed enough not to take it seriously. Is that an appropriate comment for the internet crack-heads’ ‘client satisfaction survey’ I wonder.

Apart from the photographer it is otherwise a return to corporate life. Agents call me, I call back. I end up listening to a recorded agent telling me how successful and professional the firm is; skills which obviously don’t extend to anyone answering their own telephone. “Hello. Sorryshe’sonthephone. CanItakeamessage?” I imagine a room full of manic youngsters in suits, waving their arms around, telephones clamped to both ears. That’s probably what they want me to think. They’re probably standing round the water-cooler talking about their weekends.

While the photographer is fish-eyeing and digitally-enhancing, the first viewing arrives. They trip over the photographer’s bag and look askance at the enormous pile of crap placed out of view of her camera. Making their excuses they sprint out as soon as is possible. It’s like running a small business, selling a house nowadays. I haven’t got round to filling in my money-laundering form yet. Later another agent comes round to “familarise” herself with something. Me? The house? The crap? I hadn’t been able to hear on the phone against the baying in the background. She asks me if I’m renting the house. “No, I’m just hairy” I reply. I tell her my daughter is having a nap upstairs and she backs away, visibly shocked. I can see in her eyes that she is already considering this job a challenge too far.

30 comments:

debio said...

Estate agents - oh Lord....

But the market is obviously 'buoyant' if you've had a viewing already. Great news.

Stay at home dad said...

Quite. It is buoyant, but I'm not sure it's buoyant enough for our house!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Your house must be worth viewing, it gives you quite a boost when you think you have interest.
You're probably right about standing around the water-cooler, I remember doing that a lot back in the last century when I had a 'proper job', leaving the hangers-on listening to Mozart. I feel quite guilty now.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Hope you don't mind, I've added you to my links, Crystal x

Stay at home dad said...

CJ - the people coming round so far look like the uninterested fag-ends of the queue that lost out on something nicer recently, so I'm not holding out much hope...

Depends where you worked as to whether you should feel guilty!

Thanks on the link. I need to update mine again. Bear with me.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

The time wasters are always the first in the queue to get a look at a new house on the market, it seems. I love your comment about being hairy. Snooty woman!

Stay at home dad said...

Wakeup... it would seem so. Perhaps they just want to make sure they are not interested in our place...

Omega Mum said...

You do realise that if they're really serious about the re-touching bit, that nice Spanish girl was probably a re-touched 20-stone gorilla on acid? (I think Mutley the Dog may be getting to me). Good luck with it all, anyway.

Stay at home dad said...

Lol OM! She did get up and down the stairs remarkably quickly... Thanks.

mutterings and meanderings said...

I sincerely Beelzebub doesn't turn up on your doorstep - she's my black witchy cat!

Stay at home dad said...

I hope neither of them turns up! Especially the biblical one, as I bet he'd drive a hard bargain...

lady macleod said...

LOL at the humor not the predicament. I really like the stumbling over the photographer bit.

Perhaps serve mint tea and cookies? they do that here for ANY and every occasion. Might work.

Stay at home dad said...

That could work. Flowers? Bread? Coffee? As I say, it's full-time job!

Drunk Mummy said...

The really annoying thing is that the estate agents will make all this fuss about how they will market your property in a unique way, then they will simply describe it as 'stunning' along with all their other properties.

Stay at home dad said...

The market appears to be so barmy at the moment that they don't even do that. They simply take the pictures, upload them and wait for the punters to show up!

Andres Carl Sena said...

no, i'm just hairy. i like that. i'll use it as soon as my beard grows back- a few days at least.

Stay at home dad said...

We must fight the smooth-skins!

DJ Kirkby said...

I have heard that people swear the scent of baking bread or coffee helps to sell a house. Personally I find hiring a storage unit and stuffing all my junk in it does wonders to make the house appear much huger than it really is, as the poor buyers find out after they buy it and move all their crap in!But alls fair in love and real estate I've been told...

@themill said...

I think we'd need the full force of the environmetal health dept if we ever wanted to move.
Good Luck - I've heard it can be really demoralising.

Stay at home dad said...

Hi DJ. I've never really understood in what way all is fair in love (war I understand). Anyway, yes good point. The crap is now just about under control but that's only to our parental eyes!

@TM. Yes, 10 years on it's shocking what can have happened to your abode. Thanks. Not depressed yet.

Gwen said...

It's very strange. When you see the finished pictures of your house you think:-

1. That's not my house and then
2. Why was it I wanted to move? That house seems rather nice actually.

One final point when looking for a new house, if the photo shows a small room, things are not good as estate agents photos show rooms a good deal larger than their true size. Therefore a small looking room in an estate agent's brochure will be, in reality, the size of a small cupboard. Beware.

Stay at home dad said...

Yes, exactly right Gwen! Also, how come if it's that big we cannot fit all our crap in it?

The Good Woman said...

Sounds like fun!?! How badly do you really want to sell? 'Cos it all sounds like some bother to be honest - and intrusive nasty bother at that.

By the way, a little itty bit of our news has been revealed. And now the guessing begins...

Stay at home dad said...

It's time. For all of us. But bother, yes.

Exciting. Will hotfoot over and try and work it all out.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I thought you had shaved off all the facial hair? Or have you gone through some sort of Road to Damascus epiphany and have thought, 'sod it, I'm bad, I'm Dad and i'll be hairy if i want to'?

Stay at home dad said...

I have a hairy head too. But yes, the facial hair keeps coming back..

carrie said...

I detest agents.

I am sorry. I hope it gets better! Soon!

Carrie

@themill said...

Gwen - It's the wide angled lenses they use - one of our tutors used to say that only bad photographers and estate agents used them.

Elsie Button said...

i hate estate agents

Stay at home dad said...

I think the problem is a. lack of regulation, b. too much money for doing too little and wearing a suit going to their heads.