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"Jason, I don't mean to be difficult, but...."

It's been too long since I vented properly on my blog.


Today, I was dealing with a contractor whom my buyer found to help with some repairs on the home he is purchasing, which is set to close in two weeks. 

The inspector found evidence of termite damage in two places, and this contractor/handyman/dude needs to remove two pieces of wood to determine if there is any further damage.  He emailed stating that he wouldn't be able to do it today (we have through tomorrow to finalize everything - our option ends then).  Fair enough.  Let's work on making it possible to get in on Tuesday and knock it out, right?

Apparently not.

I called to speak with him, and he was almost stereotypically brusque in his phone manner.  While we were talking, he stated, "I definitely can't do it tomorrow.  It needs to be today." 


This threw a wrench into my day, but I told him that I would be available anytime after 3pm.  He agreed to call me when he was ready to head over there.  So, he called at 5:11pm and said, "Could we just do it tomorrow?  It's gonna be dark by the time I can get it done."

Okay, wait.  Were you lying to me earlier when you said you weren't available? 

At any rate, I got the listing agent to agree to let him in tomorrow, so it's fine.

Here comes the point of my post.  Don't miss it!

While we were talking, the contractor said these words to me:

"Jason, I'm not trying to be hard to get along with, but...."

When I heard that, I didn't really care too much about the remainder of that sentence.  I have my reasons, believe me. 

I once told my business partner that if someone says, "I'm not trying to be a jerk, but..." or "I don't want to be rude, but...", then my mental response is:

You don't have to try.  You just are.

You see, we often put qualifiers in our sentences, like, "With all due respect", or "I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way".  These do not give you carte blanche to say whatever you want.  If you mean to say something using the first one, how about "With all due respect, I would like to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage" rather than, "With all due respect, you, sir, are a moron."  Which one shows actual respect?

Sorry to digress....

If you are working with a client or you encounter another agent or loan officer in the field, and they EVER say one of the "I don't want to be..." phrases, RUN!  You will experience more headaches than you can imagine.

I am not a sociologist or a psychologist, but I do consider myself to be a strong student of human behavior.  I learned to identify the user personality a long time ago.

This concludes my rant.  Thank you for listening.  That is all.

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