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The Fox In The Henhouse


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From Do You Feel Lucky, by WJ--which is linked next to the article described above.

"Telling 10 families a week that they’ve picked out a good house is a nice way to make a living. But telling any family that their dream house is a leaking, creaking pile of moldering crap takes a fair bit of the shine off a day’s work. It’s like being the guy who feeds the doomed chickens to the neck saw at the chicken-processing plant. No matter how much effort you put in, no matter how much pride you take in your work, at the end of the day, your contribution to the universe is a pile of lifeless chicken heads."

It's the middle of July. I'm working my ass off. The roofs are hot. The attics are stifling to a degree that sweat constantly blurs my vision while I walk the joists seeking out gremlins.

Those crawlspace crickets--I don't even know what they're called or why they like crawlspaces--are everywhere. And every time a cricket jumps, I turn my head, searching for a leak, my imagination wondering if instead I heard the twitching of a rabid possum who isn't too keen on the idea of inspector dude dropping by unannounced.

Sellers threaten to sue me 'cause I killed the deal on their house. Tradespeople call for a debate or the infamous, "Whattaya want me to do?"

And at the end of the day, there's me and the chicken heads staring back at each other.

I'm aware of the positive aspects of our jobs, but still, even when we're helping customers, our jobs still are about locating and explaining negatives. A young woman started crying last week while I was explaining why the house she'd fallen in love with was a rat that needed tens of thousands of dollars of repairs.

Don't misunderstand. I like my job. But does anyone else ever get into a sort of burned-out funk about what we do?

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