Thursday, September 26, 2013
Mr Lecter At Six - Thursday
‘Glad you are back.’ Says negotiator S as I bustle through the office door. A small blush of pride starts to rise in my cheeks, until she adds. ‘I had a creeper in while everyone was out.’
Now the property market attracts all sorts of weirdos and oddballs - some of them don’t even masquerade as estate agents. We have an open door policy, you have to in sales; but it means the dregs of society, the loners, the saddos, the perpetual lookers and the perverted gawpers will sooner or later flush through the office like a blocked overflow.
‘Could you narrow it down a bit.’ I ask S, dropping my briefcase on the floor and scanning the message book for heartbreak and hassle.
‘He just unnerved me.’ Answers S with a little upper-body shudder, which a less caring manager might find unsettlingly attractive.
‘How do you mean?’ I probe, wandering if I can swing a cup of coffee from her before I go out again if I show the right blend of sympathy and empathy.
‘He seems more interested in looking at me than the properties on offer.’ Continues S. It’s why she’s in the window seat of course, but I’m not allowed to say that. Like a pair of turbo-charged Dyson vacuums, those humourless women in Human Resources have sucked all the joy from the job.
‘I’m sorry you had to endure that.’ I say soothingly, eyeing the kitchen and feeling drier than a Bedouin’s ball-bag. She ought to be used to it by now, nags the inner-voice. With those tits school sport’s day must have been a bruising nightmare.
‘He wants to view some flats later.’ Says S. ‘But I don’t think he’s that interested, or can even afford them. He wouldn’t speak to Financial Services.’ Not completely insane then.
‘I’ll send F on the viewings.’ I tell S gently. The idiotic trainee and the stalker should find some common ground.
‘There’s no way I’d be going out alone with him’ Replies S. ‘In fact I’m not even sure F would be safe.’
Now that would save a whole load more hassle with performance reviews and a potential industrial tribunal, I think fleetingly. But the truth is there have been some well-documented and tragic cases of estate agents going missing or being kidnapped. We have set procedures to deal with situations like this.
‘You’re going to do the viewings?’ Says S incredulously, as I tell her my solution.
‘I’ll take the rape alarm.’ I fire back with a chuckle, realising the comment is in bad taste even as it spills from my mouth. No chance of a coffee now.
‘Just be careful.’ Pleads S. ‘There’s something not right about that man.’
That covers a big chunk of the public in my book – which is available to download on Amazon if you’re interested….
‘If he takes you prisoner and rings for a ransom, how much have we got in petty cash?’ Asks assistant manager T, with a guffaw, later.
S shoots him a dirty look. It has happened before and it was no laughing matter. But as yet, it hasn’t happened to a slightly overweight, misanthropic man with a short fuse and a short-right hook. Bring it on pal. I’d love to punch a member of the public with impunity.
‘Good luck.’ Says S endearingly, as I gather up the keys and several sets of our particulars.
‘You might know the guy.’ T tells loose lettings lush B with a leer. ‘Have you checked you internet dating contacts?’
I should get the office swear box, but I’m actually starting to feel a bit apprehensive.
‘His address exists and he has no credit defaults.’ Says mortgage man M, with a smile. That man has access to more databases than MI5.
‘Think he lives with his parents though.’ Continues M. ‘Try to get me an appointment if he doesn’t want to eat your liver.’
‘F**k off.’ This time it’s S with the expletive and I don’t mind at all.
‘Do you want to come in?’ Asks the owner of the ground floor flat I’ve stood outside for twenty minutes. The creeper isn’t coming.
‘Cup of coffee?’
Or a nice Chianti….
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