Thursday, September 10, 2015

Flying High - Thursday

A scruffily dressed man in his twenties peers in the office window. I’m sat at assistant manger T’s desk, as he’s out lunchtime shopping. He’ll come back with something else unnecessary on his credit card, no doubt.

‘Lettings customer?’ I whisper conspiratorially, to negotiator S. She looks up discretely and clocks the guy, who is shielding his eyes and looking in, grinning slightly insanely.
‘Bit judgemental isn’t it.’ Says S, looking towards lettings’s lush B’s vacant desk.B’s been out for over an hour, supposedly helping a landlord with a tricky check-out. Not sure who is checking who out, with B you never know.

‘More about his age than dress sense.’ I hiss, as the man starts chuckling to himself. Terrific, all I need is another nutter coming in. I often wonder if they bus them in for a day out from the padded cells.
‘Is he laughing at us, or himself?’ Whispers S.
‘Probably the asking prices.’ I reply, as the man moves away from the window and towards the door.

I sometimes wish there was a remote controlled deadlock I could activate, to stop the drunks and deadbeats coming in. I only just managed to get the keys in the barrel and the door secured, that time an angry evicted tenant turned up intent on breaking heads or furniture. Twenty minutes for the police to arrive - you’d have thought they didn’t like estate agents…

‘He’s coming in.’ Says S between a forced smile. ‘You want him, or me?’
I’d rather she spoke to the man if I’m honest, but then if it turns awkward I’m going have to go across anyway.
‘Me.’ I tell her and she visibly relaxes. Quite pleasingly, as it happens.

‘You lot trying to hurt the locals again?’ Cries the man, by way of a greeting. Wonderful. If I wanted an argument I could post something provocative on Twitter. I don’t need some grinning gonad with no job, and no prospect of any commission for me.

‘I’m sorry.’ I say neutrally.
‘I bet you are,’ continues the idiot. ‘You must love it every time prices go up.’
He couldn’t be more wrong.
‘No chance for local people to get on the housing ladder with your prices. We just have to buzz off!’

My back isn’t what it was and this bell-end has a couple of decades on me. I’m not sure I can throw him out on the street without embarrassing myself and with the time the constabulary take to arrive, I could be at the emergency dentist by then. And yet, I’m not sure this guy is a complete lunatic, nor can I smell any alcohol.

I rise and an awkward Mexican stand-off begins. I can see S has her hand poised over the fast-dial button but a pizza would get here before any help does. I need to deal with this myself. The man looks at me, then at S before turning back to me.

‘It’s a joke.’ He says, hands held wide.
‘The prices are dictated by the market.’ I tell him robotically.
‘No.’ Says the man raising his eyebrows as if I’m the shabbily dressed wastrel with no job and housing prospects. ‘In your window…’
‘In my window what?’ I snap.
‘There’s a wasp.’

‘That was awkward,’ I say to S after the man has left. ‘I thought he wanted a fight.’
‘Why did he bother to come in?’ Asks S bemused.
‘Some people just think they’re funny.’ I tell her, as I remember the number of times I’ve wanted to go into a baker’s shop and ask how much for the wasps buzzing around the pastries?

‘Could you get it for me?’ Asks S, as I locate the errant flying menace. Fittingly it has landed on an over-priced apartment with a short lease. Someone is going to get stung.

‘How stupid are these creatures?’ I ask exasperated, as the wasp refuses to be guided out the door by a copy of the local free paper. The angry insect just keeps banging it’s dozy head against the glass.

I know how it feels.


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