In Lieu of a WisCon Con Report

WisCon was great, as usual, but also rather exhausting since I failed to take the weekend off – I just got my work done super early, before con things.  Rather than write up a vague and incoherent retelling of things you either were there for and probably remember better, or weren’t there for and probably don’t really care about, I’ll share an anecdote to illustrate how awesome, yet exhausting, WisCon was.

My first post-con client appointment was at 4pm Monday, so I pretty much went straight from post-con lunch to the appointment.  I was even marginally prepared for it, with almost fully half of the printed material I would normally have brought!  Fortunately, these clients have reached the, “Oh god, our car is filling up with our Realtor’s over-preparedness,” stage, so they took this as a blessing rather than a sign that I hadn’t organized my day well enough to drop into the office before meeting them.

And it was a great showing.  They like the neighborhood.  They like the yard.  They like the house.  They’re in a part of town I know as well as if I lived there.  This is because I live there.  I’m positively overflowing with tips about easiest bike routes to the library, or the Southwest commuter trail, or out to Verona.  And restaurant recommendations.  And directions to the parks with the best swing sets.  I am made of Realtor competence and know how, and it’s awesome because these clients want to buy this house, and oh god we’ve been here forever and they’re looking at bedrooms just one more time.

Interesting fact about houses built in the sixties in my part of town: they have laundry shoots.  Not the big drop your toddler down them laundry shoots you’d think of, but narrow ones that are great for not letting dirty dish rags drip their way down the steps to the washing machine, and which your cat, no matter how hard she tries, cannot fit into.  When I have clients shopping this neighborhood, the laundry shoot becomes a running gag after about the second house.

“Where,” one half of my very thorough clients asks, “Does it come out?”

I’m in hyper-competent Realtor mode, so even though I have a sense of, given where we are in the house, where the outlet ought to be in the basement, I decide to go confirm it and have the answer for super certain.  I go to the basement.  I stare at the ceiling.  I look all over the basement.  The whole basement.  Even the parts that don’t possibly line up even a little bit with the laundry shoot.  The outlet ought to be somewhere more or less near the furnace, but I don’t see anything.  I bet the piping to the furnace is obscuring it.  So I decide to do the obvious, logical thing.

I go upstairs.  I open the laundry shoot.  I consider my resources.  Cell phone, sunglasses, Magic Key* (my nickname for the thingie that lets me into houses), wallet.  The only thing on that list unlikely to be broken by a drop that far is my wallet which I am sensibly reluctant to risk losing.  So I expand my search parameters.  Shirt.  Pants. Shoes.  Bingo, shoes!  Shoes are sturdy, and I can go barefoot without offending social mores or professional standards.  I drop a shoe down the laundry shoot.

The shoe does not hit the basement floor.

The laundry shoot does not have an outlet.

“Oh, that was a bad idea,” I say.

“What?” asks the observant half of my thorough clients.

So now I have to explain that in my quest to ensure I have full and complete, accurate information about everything they want to know, I have performed science, badly, and now my shoe is trapped somewhere in the null space between the upstairs entrance to the laundry shoot and the ceiling of the basement.  And now that I’m thinking a little more intelligently, I’m using the flashlight built into my magic key to look in the laundry shoot and see how far out of reach my shoe is.  Had I done this earlier, I’d have still learned that the laundry shoot has no outlet, and I’d still have both my shoes.  I took this opportunity to remind my clients that we’re only a week into the 30 days before they can unilaterally cancel our agency relationship.

There was a lot of giggling.  There was a deployment of smart phones with flashlight apps peering into ceiling rafters answered by plaintive cries of, “I can see light coming in from somewhere, but where?”  There was an sad little voice composing an awkward email in the back of my head. “Dear Listing agent: I am a moron and have left my shoe trapped in your clients’ lovely home.  It’s a nice shoe, but will bear up under its isolation from its companion well.  My buyers would like to buy this house.  Please don’t hold my unabashed idiocy against them.  They’re very nice people, really.”

In the end, I removed a ceiling tile from the (very nice) half bath and was met with a shoe crashing into my face.  Never has a Realtor been happier to have a shoe smash her face.  Truly.

That is how tired I was after WisCon.  And WisCon was worth it.   That is all you need to know.

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