It's Not Personal, It's Business

Services for Real Estate Pros with Second Self Virtual Assistance

yellingTish Lloyd's excellent featured post "I'm your REALTOR®, Not Your Punching Bag" reminded me of how some people believe they can say anything they want without any consequence as long as it's under the guise of "it's not personal, it's business". 

I've worked for some pretty rough bosses.  One of them felt that the only way he could get respect was to beat it into your head that he was the boss and his word was law!  (Like I wasn't aware of that.)  I worked with one person who used to cuss to high heaven when he was having a rough day or someone was stressing him out (not me).  I'm not a prude and have been known to throw out a salty "bon mot" or two myself.  However, this was WAY outta hand and quite annoying, especially considering the volume at which it would be delivered.  When I told him that, while I understand he's frustrated, listening to his loud tirades wasn't cool, he said, "I'm not yelling AT YOU."  I told him, "Yes.  But you're yelling AROUND me.  Just because you're upset doesn't mean it's OK for me to hear it.  Especially when you express it this way."  Eventually, he got it and would just take his tirades elsewhere when he felt the need.

I also had one co-worker decide to literally yell at me over the phone "Who the f$@# do you think you are?" because he thought I had done a procedure wrong.  I hung up on him.  He called back and tried to cuss at me again.  So, I hung up on him again.  I refused to answer the phone after that.  It ends up that he was actually in the wrong, but you couldn't tell him that.  Even if I had been wrong, is it really OK to speak to someone that way?  I don't think so.

When someone comments on your work performance, especially if they are just being cruel and not constructive, it is no longer business.  It IS personal.  Since I am a person who takes great pride in my work ethic, an attack on it (especially when unprovoked) hits me really hard.  Just because you say it loudly, doesn't make you right.  I try to keep this phrase my mom has said many times in the past when dealing with a particularly cruel individual..."It seems that life hasn't turned out the way someone thought it would."  It kinda helps cool my boiling blood a bit.

Heather Chavez, Real Estate Virtual Assistant - Second Self Virtual Assistance: When There Isn't Enough of You to Go Around!

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Comments (8)

Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

I'm so glad to hear that more Agents are choosing to demand respect than simply hope for it.  I know in the beginning of my career I put up with a lot more than I do today and it's increased my enjoyment of real estate.  Taking abuse shouldn't be part of anyone's job.

Jul 11, 2011 04:13 AM
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

I don't put up with it either, find another agent.

Jul 11, 2011 04:15 AM
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Heather we have run into this before also. We handled it in a pretty simple manner. We let then know that until can speak to us in a normal and professional manner, we will not take their calls, emails or texts. It is not worth the effort with these folks.

It doesn't matter which party is right, there is no need for anyone to resort to the type of behavior you described. My folks have always said that you can learn a lot about a person by how they treat a waiter or waitress (or you can fill in the blank for whatever occupation).

Jacque & Larry

Jul 11, 2011 04:35 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Hedather, if people would remember to treat others like they want to be treated, life would a lot nicer.

Jul 11, 2011 07:51 AM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Respect in the work place is absolutely necessary for a good working relationship and a successful, productive business.


Jul 11, 2011 01:31 PM
Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS
Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA - Murphy, NC
Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA

Everyone can have a bad day every now and then, but treating someone like that is no excuse. Good for you in letting them know that wasn't acceptable or right. Gotta stand up for ourselves and whats right. Treat others as you would have them treat you.

Jul 11, 2011 03:02 PM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Heather--I am with you on this topic and agree with your mother.  Fortunately I have worked with mostly good bosses over the years.  However, some of the customers/clients I have worked with are a different story.  Not too many of the yelling type though.  With them I try my best to stay calm.  Dave is the better one at that.

Nice to visit here today.  Miss ya!

Jul 13, 2011 01:47 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Just stopping by to see how you're doing.

Happy Saturday!

Jul 30, 2011 02:02 PM