Friday, September 07, 2012
Deadlier Than The Male - Thursday
I’m sitting in my office watching the sales floor. My colleagues hate me lurking and observing but then some agencies monitor their staff remotely with closed circuit cameras, at least I go for a piss regularly. More regularly than I used to unfortunately.
B, the loose lettings lush, has a young hippy-looking couple in front of her and the discussion is getting heated. B isn’t even bothering to try and chat up the male as he has longer, glossier hair than she does and his girlfriend – the one who’d be wearing the trousers if it wasn’t for the flowery maxi skirt – is looking daggers at her. Not a lot of love lost for estate agents.
‘I’ve told you.’ Reiterates B sternly. ‘You won’t be moving anywhere until I get the employers references back and we sort out why you have a bad credit score.’
‘It’s just the man on our case.’ Replies the beta male dreamily. He’d still be smoking something in the office if it weren’t for the legislation. I stifle an audible scoff at his risible, persecuted lefty response just as M our fat mortgage man waddles by, scoffing more visibly.
‘My father will act as guarantor if necessary.’ Responds the flower girl in a cut glass accent that echoes privilege, a horse of her own and a private education. She must be shagging the shaggy-haired-loser just to piss of her parents. The same ones she expects to underpin her rental agreement. Age brings failing eyesight, but 20/20 insight.
‘He hasn’t responded to our correspondence.’ Snipes B, forgetting half a dozen customer service courses and countless reminders from me, to treat people she’s not screwing with a bit more courtesy. I hear a grinding noise in my head and realise it’s my molars again. A trip to the Polish dentist can only be days away.
Without consciously deciding to, I’m out of my seat and in the main office. If a complaint is coming I’d like to nip matters in the bud. The last thing I need is the bean counter and head office requesting reams of written reports on why someone wants to speak to the Property Ombudsman. You usually subscribe to an organisation for a benefit or two, but I get the feeling the Ombudsman’s office hate agents as much as everyone else does.
The straight A* girl is out of her chair and on her iPhone, moving towards the window imperiously while her slumming it f**k buddy looks pretty vacant and plugs in his MP3 headphones. B is visibly coming to the boil. I try to attract her attention, with a calming signal that makes me look - on reflection in the window glass - like a pianist with an invisible keyboard. The girl is speaking haughtily, her boyfriend tapping his fingers on B’s desk, while B shuffles paper at a speed that might cause combustion.
‘Daddy,’ urges the girl in a voice that has dropped a decade in age. ‘These beastly people are giving Virgil and me a hard time. You need to sign some silly undertaking before we can have our flat.’ I sense an overworked man, in an office grander than mine, trying to swallow his pride and an obligation to pay six months rent about five months after his daughter has dumped slacker boy and run home for mummy’s cooking and cleaning - and the chance to ride Dusky the gelding more regularly than Virgil.
‘Please.’ Inveigles the girl persuasively. ‘I just must have this place Daddy. I’ll die if we miss it.’
I sense but can’t hear another beaten man, on the end of the phone. Women are the decision makers where most property transactions are concerned. B is not even bothering to disguise her distaste but then she’s shafted plenty of men too. The boyfriend is oblivious to the drama, sat engrossed in his own audio-cocooned world, longhaired head nodding rhythmically. He’ll be bald and on the council accommodation list before his thirtieth birthday.
‘You could have been more understanding.’ I coax gently after they leave. B bites, as she’s rumoured to do out of hours.
‘I hate bitches like that.’ She snaps. ‘Manipulating, conniving, using.’
Put pot, kettle and black on the inventory.
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