Putting the ‘real’ in real estate
If all the ridicule, mockery, and light-hearted derision could be collected and recorded somewhere; if every joke ever told were written down and filed away, there is no doubt that a fair amount of ink would be given to one specific, delightful category: lawyer jokes.It’s true.And is it any wonder?Here in the land of truth and justice, every tick of the clock bears a new suit and counter-suit, a pop-tort and a pimp-tort, anti-defamation claims and claims of defamation, libel and liability, all weapons of words that wage a crippling paper war, hampering other professionals and burying good intentions in mountains of red tape.So we fight back with a bit of humor. Feels good. Makes us laugh. And even lawyers love to indulge in a bit of masochistic mockery.But at the bottom of the barrel, right behind lawyers in the cesspool of the nation’s most hated professions, there is the journalist.As the lawyers might say: Mea culpa. My bad. My fault. Journalists have muddied their own name, in part, because they spend so much of their time muddying the names of others.A quick jaunt through the gallery of freshly-Botoxed faces, rhinoplastied noses, and cosmetically-caked talking heads over in Kobe-town (which is currently being re-constructed for the umpteenth time over at the courthouse, just outside my window, as I type this) is evidence that journalists deserve all the scorn they can stand, and more.It’s a paradoxical circle: the irrepressible public desire for scandal feeds the beast, and the beast rears its ugly head in the form of morally questionable TV news correspondents, who in turn become targets of ridicule from the very public that created them in the first place.And journalists and lawyers aren’t alone in the world of public scorn. Politicians are also favorite targets constantly derided by the public, caricatured by journalists, and harassed by attorneys. Just ask county commissioners Arn Menconi, Michael Gallagher, and Tom Stone what it’s like to be in the political spotlight. It may be fun for me and my pen-wielding associates but it’s not always fun for them But there’s one more highly-chided profession, especially around here: the real estate agent.The economic engine of this town doesn’t run on gas or oil it runs on dirt. And when dirt is worth what it is around here, it follows that there are many who make their living brokering buildings, buying and selling space, putting a price tag on panoramas, and making mountains of money move in our market.Which means there’s a wealth of entertainment available for those who want to poke fun at the valley’s bright-eyed, clean-cut, ever-optimistic real estate sales people. But it occurred to me that we are, at times, a bit unfair to our local realtor clans.I guess it was somewhere amid the ongoing tour of holiday parties and festivities I found myself surrounded by realtors. But after a quick round of introductions and few jokes and jibes, I found myself having a good time with people who are basically just like the rest of us.It’s true, and I’m not afraid to admit it: some of my closest friends are realtors. After all, in a town like this just about everybody has family or loved ones in the business. Like journalism, like legal work, like politics, it’s not the occupation that makes the people, it’s the people who do the work who define the occupation.And I guess I’ve known for a long time that behind the tight smiles and power suits of their trade, real estate agents are genuine people with the same cares and concerns as the rest of us. And many of them have deep roots in the community, and many of them are responsible for filling the coffers of important charities here in the valley where they live and work.So before we all get back to having a laugh at their expense (which will inevitably happen), let’s have a Christmas cheer for all the folks who work in the world’s most chided professions.And while we’re at it, let’s not forget to thank the hard-working people in the service industry: the guys and gals who wash dishes and serve quail at the Saloon, sling drinks at the Tap Room and the Club, bus the tables at the Main Street Grill, clean the counters at Mountain Quest Sports, tally the tickets at in the Vista Bahn lift line, or keep people coming safely to and from Colorado’s airports in Snow Express SUV limousines (yeah, it’s pretty cush – http://www.snow express.com).Every profession has its ups and downs, trials and tribulations, but each one has its critical place in our little economic circle here.And that’s a good thing.Tom Boyd is available for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 390-1585.