Salted Wounds

Whenever I’m asked how well the real estate market has been in Mason City, I nearly always reply, “Good”. Whenever I’m asked about how the sales have been for me, I truly and most soulfully say, “Mason City has continued to be good to me over the years, and I’m very thankful for it.” Taking a high road is always best when responding to questions from the general public because of the not so nice things that are said about our profession at times. I remember too well some of the not so nice things people in my profession have done over the years, but I remain silent and consider those things not only in the past, but also situations of which I was not a party.

A real estate agent mentioned to me not long ago how he gives nearly everyone the benefit of the doubt, but if there comes a time when a business relationship has been compromised by another, he then creates a hard and fast standard of how he will do business with that person going forward in time. Some would consider that the mentality of one who lives under the banner of situational ethics, but I don’t believe it to be correct. I would rather consider it creating guards to protect against situations like that from happening again. It’s sort of like getting sprayed by a skunk for the first time. After the agony of dealing with getting rid of the smell, you certainly take all precautions to avoid being sprayed again. Right? I’ll never forget so long ago when on the farm, I was out herding livestock and our dog was along. Since she was young, she’d never before encountered a skunk and the poor thing thought she would get the better of the skunk. It was nearly a point blank spray in the face and our dog nearly went crazy trying to get the spray off her. After getting her home my mother scrubbed her with a vengeance with a mixture of peroxide and baking soda in a big metal tub. The next time she encountered a skunk, she would bark an alert, but always stayed out of range of getting another painful squirt.

The key to having good business, is to do good business even if it sometimes hurts; especially when one lives in a relatively small community. The tit for tat mentality is unfortunate when it comes into play in our competitive sales environments. I can’t help consider that somehow, someone in a transaction like that, gets short-changed when things are done simply to get back at someone else.

Even in families we find the justifications of doing this or that to another simply because they deserve to suffer or be punished for something that likely happened years before. I was at a funeral not long ago where I noticed so few of that person’s close family members not being in attendance. Curious me asked someone there about certain people not being present and the answer was, “Something happened that created a huge family rift and it was never resolved.” It made me sad, but what does one do? Whenever you find those who are attempting to be heroes in the business world or familial settings, you can be sure there is someone behind that proverbial “curtain” who’s enjoying the stirring of the pot while creating discord and more wounds into which there can more freely be spreading salt. I’m certain we all have them in our families and likely colleagues as well. Writing this just made me remember. While at a diner someone said long ago, “Hey Bud, can you pass me the salt?” I really don’t like being called, “Bud”.

Joe Chodur

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