26 Sep 2012

Partner Parables

I’ve had many sales partners and trained sales agents over the years and I’ve loved them all dearly. They were all so different in their own special ways and I’ve never forgotten all the stories that have made me laugh uncontrollably. Here’s a collection of short stories about my beloved partners and sales agents over the years:

A Blast of a First Day

It is my first day at my new neighborhood and also my first official day with a particularly large company and I meet my new partner. She’s very pretty and outgoing and has a skirt on with some cute little heels. As she’s showing me around the model homes, we get to the option and color selection room upstairs and she says, “Oh. This is really important. Watch. Listen.”

Then she grabs her dress, pulls it up to her waist, throws her foot in the air, jumps up and farts so loud that it scares me and I jump.

“So. Any questions about the colors and options?” she says without even smiling or missing a beat.

“You just jump farted. I don’t even know you.” I said.

“Oh that. Yep. Get used to it.”

“I think I love you.” I said. And we lived happily ever after.

First Day Jitters

Several years later, I was working for a different company and a new girl had her first day as a new homes consultant. She said that she was a nervous person and that she took an extra dose of her anti-anxiety pill that morning. I was thinking that this wasn’t a very good start but began to train her anyway.

I could tell she was very nervous because she kept running to the bathroom. She went to the bathroom about 10 times in the matter of the first hour. She just kept saying how nervous she was. I told her it would be okay, that I used to be a teacher and I’ve been a sales trainer, I’m very patient and will help her through this. She tentatively agreed and kept working on the computer. Every once in a while, I would smell something foul and pretended not to smell it so her nerves wouldn’t get any worse than they were.

At this instant, she sprang up from her chair, looked at me with tears in her eyes and cried, “I’m sorry!”

“For what?” I said.

“I thought that I just had to toot and I just crapped my pants big time!” and she started crying profusely.

I didn’t know what to say and just sat there with my jaw on the floor. She didn’t move but the smell suddenly hit me and I yelled, “Oh God! You’re going to have to go home I think.”

“Yeah. It’s a big one. It’s diarrhea. And it’s going down my pants leg.” She bellowed and wailed in embarrassment.

“Go home! I won’t tell. Change clothes and come back.”

So she walked slowly to her car with a stiff legged walk of shame and we were partners for a year and I’ve never told a soul until now.

Politically Incorrect

Since I had teaching, sales training and sales management experience, I was called on to train most all of the new sales people. Some were young and soaked everything in and were excited to learn and some were older, set in their ways and said things that made you want to crawl under a rock.

The latter is the case of this story. One gentleman that I was training was on his fourth day and he was starting to get the hang of things by watching me greet customers and answer any questions about the neighborhood that people might have. On this day, I was writing a contract with another customer and I let the newbie greet people that came in. There is no better practice than to just do it!

I’m listening to the newbie greet a customer when they asked about the racial makeup of the community. Oh no! We haven’t gone over a prepared response for that yet! Oh God! I jumped up to intervene but not quick enough. Now, my newbie has no issues with any race, but he has an issue with nervously saying things that he shouldn’t and not remembering how or why he said it. I call it “information vomiting with no recall”.

To the customer’s question of racial makeup for the community, my newbie, obviously rattled and nervous spouts off, “Well… I can tell you immigration isn’t staking out THIS neighborhood!”

Oh god! It was so painful. I said, “I’m sorry. What he meant to say is that we’re a beautifully diverse neighborhood and we urge you to spend time in the neighborhood to find a home and atmosphere that works for you and your family.”

The newbie said, “Yeah. That’s what I said.”

Realistic Portrayal of Model Homes

I trained a company’s sales team with a sales agent who had serious issues with drinking. I never said anything because I knew that it was so bad, that basically anyone could see it any time. Realtors began complaining that he was drunk and just handed them a key and went back to sleep at his desk. One realtor even told a story that he took them out to see a home, got out of the car, barfed on the street, wiped his mouth with his shirt and staggered into an inventory home to show them. She was mortified!

His last day of work, he had come in completely drunk. He opened the door to the model and passed out on the bed in the master bedroom. He probably would have gotten away with it except the front door was open and a customer came in, tried to wake him, called 911 and the ambulance drove him to the hospital where he was treated for alcohol poisoning.

When asked about the ordeal, the customer said, “At first I just thought that it was some sort of new thing that showed you how real people can live in the models. I just thought he was acting. Then I got scared because I thought he was dead.”

Super Partner Strength

When you’re a woman in real estate, you’re always on edge when you’re alone in an office with a stranger. This particular day, my partner and I were both working and a strange man walked in and started talking to Leslie, my partner. I immediately got a bad feeling when the hairs on my neck and arms stood on end. The questions he was asking seemed rehearsed. He asked to see the model home.

Leslie took him down the walk to see the model home. Another customer came in and I was busy for a little while with them and realized after they left that it had been a very long time and Leslie still wasn’t back. I instantly felt scared and knew I was about to walk in on a bad scene. Every hair on my body was standing up as I opened the front door. I was right.

They were both at the top of the stairs and Leslie was crying and pleading with the large man to let her go and she was writhing but couldn’t shake his grip. Something went through me that I’ve never felt before and I instantly was filled with unshakable bravery and strength and screamed, “Hey (bad word here)! Let go of her!”

The huge stranger was so transfixed by Leslie that he didn’t even hear me and didn’t see me charging up the stairs towards him. Leslie was about to pass out from fear and he was holding her up against him. I pushed through them and broke up his grip on her and Leslie fell to the ground crying. I burned a hole through his retinas and screamed, “Get out!”

What looked back at me was pure evil and he smiled a sinister smile and started to move towards me and I pushed him down the stairs. He fell down about six or seven stairs when he grabbed the rail and steadied himself and smiled again. I came after him and pushed him down the final flight and when he got up at the bottom of the stairs it was like he had woken up from a dream or possibly possessed.

He looked at me like he’d never seen me before and said, “What the hell are you doing? What’s wrong with you?” He dusted himself off, stood up and said, “Ya’ll are crazy.” Then he left.

Immediately, the super human strength left and I felt extremely weak and didn’t know if I could stay upright. I didn’t know if I could make it up the stairs to check on Leslie or not. Somehow, I pulled myself up and called out to her and she said she was okay. I made it to the top of the stairs and hugged her as we both sat on the ground and cried; both weak from fear. She said, “Thank you. I was so scared. I don’t know what he would have done to me.”

“That’s what partners do.” I said. “We watch out for each other’s backs.”

I had never seen that guy before and thankfully I never saw him again. I don’t know what came over me that day but I think I was possessed too. But definitely not with the same spirit he was possessed with. A spirit that was strong enough to ward off pure evil.