So… I kind of told some ladies to “Shut the f up” after my fitness class. They never stopped talking throughout the entire session. I heard every word… for an hour. And I was two rows ahead of them next to a fan and music speaker.
Over and over I told myself to calm down, that in the big scheme of things, this wasn’t a big deal. But since they had done this two weeks prior as well, I realized the behavior wasn’t going away. A couple times I gave them “the glare” but it didn’t do any good. I looked at the instructor, she was irritated. I looked at the other women in class, and they were irritated.
I decided that if no one else was going to say something, I would. If I was going to want to continue coming to class, annoyance free, I would have to be the one to tell them.
So, after class, I went up to them and said, “Everyone in class can hear your entire conversation. And honestly, I would much rather hear the instructor than hear you two talk about basketball and pants.”
And I walked away.
On my drive home, I felt relieved that they didn’t yell obscenities at me as I walked out, and I was proud of myself for having the courage to stand up for myself and my classmates.
But then I started feeling bad. Unless I’m wearing my Manager or Parent hat, I don’t call people out on their bad behaviors. I’m about as non-confrontational and non-controversial as you can be. But there are moments when I’ve had enough.
It’s happened a couple times in real estate.
Several years ago (before electronic signatures), I had an impossible client who FINALLY found a home and had a verbal agreement with the seller. The buyer was heading out of town and couldn’t sign the purchase agreement. I told him it had to be signed to be fully accepted. I offered to meet him after work the night before he left. I offered to meet him at 6 am on his way out of town. I suggested he stop on his way up north to fax me the documents, anything where we could have a signed offer. He refused. And then over the weekend, he lost the house to a better offer. And he called to yell at me.
And I yelled back. Screamed really. I was with a friend when the call came through, and I can still remember his face. He stood there in complete shock. His friend Amy, sweet little Amy, came absolutely unglued telling some ass off on the phone.
And I felt bad. But not bad enough to take him back as a client when he apologized up and down a few days later.
We need to remember that we need to stand up for ourselves. That it’s not okay for people to treat us poorly, or ruin our day, or blame us when things don’t go their way.
Our job is hard. There is a lot of we have to know in order for a deal to go smoothly. Laws, duties, negotiations, practices, processes, while also understanding human behavior and putting up with human misbehavior. You know that, and I know that. The general public doesn’t know that. They think our job is super easy; that we are overpaid for the services we provide.
And because of that, sometimes they think they can walk all over us; that we don’t deserve the same respect that other skilled professionals receive. And when you encounter these types of people, it’s time to stand up for yourself and your profession. Have the courage to tell them that your time is valuable, your skill set is necessary, and our profession is, and will continue to be, relevant.
Because continuously putting up with disrespect and rudeness shows weakness. Accepting it might seem noble, but it screams intimidation and unworthiness. Have the courage to protect yourself, preserve your day, and improve your experiences.
Speak your mind. And then walk away.
Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES.
Sixteen years of helping clients. Nine years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com