Last weekend I drove across the Mississippi and looked upstream. The bridges were so beautiful I thought I should take a picture. The light was right and the weather perfect for a stroll across the bridge. My schedule, however, was packed and I chose to come back another day. That day will not come now because one of the bridges in my picture no longer spans the Mississippi.
Today that bridge lies IN the Mississippi. Lying in the river is not the way bridges are supposed to be, but this one had a flaw. It was broken and couldn't do its job anymore, so it just gave up and laid down on the job.
Regrettably it took some people with it. Some have died and their loss will be felt for years by the loved ones left behind. Thankfully, most fell down with the bridge and survived. They will never forget the horror of the bridge going down. It's the stuff nightmares are made of and therapy dollars are spent to recover from.
The majority of people who survived today's collapse will never take a bridge's stability for granted again. Some may even hesitate to cross a bridge in the future. Once burned; twice shy is the old adage.
The collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis and St. Paul today is analogous to our business. When a real estate agent's job is flawed or they don't perform the tasks they should, others are drug down with them. Other professionals look bad because the public doesn't know how the jobs are separated.
The clients themselves go down with the agent who lays down on the job as well. Is it any wonder that the memory of an agent who doesn't perform as expected leaves the same kind of lasting impression that the fall of the bridge did yesterday? It's a bad memory that takes a while to recover from.