drawbacks to specialization

Don’t Ask a Sacramento Real Estate Agent about Grocery Shopping

grocery storeWhen sellers tell me they have a California real estate license, I don’t pay too much attention to it because unless you’re in the business full-time, it doesn’t mean much to have a real estate license. If an agent hasn’t closed a sale in a few years, it means even less. As I am fond of quoting, and I don’t know how factual it is, but a while ago the number of real estate agents in California amounted to about 1 in every 35 people. Having a real estate license and being a real estate agent are two completely different things.

I like working with real estate agents as my clients because it makes my job a little bit easier. They understand the lingo. I also like working with lawyers. I know many Sacramento real estate agents do not like lawyers at all. I’m not sure if it’s because they worry they’ll get sued or they’ll mess up and be ashamed, or if they just feel intimated or if they believe all lawyers are assholes, no idea really. Could be any of those reasons.

I attract a lot of lawyers as clients because I work in Sacramento real estate, ha, ha, and lawyers are very busy at the Capitol and all over Sacramento. It’s rare that I get a lawyer who specializes in real estate as a client, but those guys probably think it’s a good idea to represent themselves, ha, ha. Which means I get only the smart lawyers as clients, and that’s just fine with me.

It was at the grocery store at Safeway in Midtown over the weekend when a certain thought process began to dawn me. Because I am very busy in my career as a Sacramento real estate agent, I don’t spend a lot of time doing other things that many normal people do such as going to the grocery store, for example. I’m very out of touch with how that process works.

There I was, at the cash register, wondering which way I should insert my plastic Safeway card into the card reader contraption. At least I have a Safeway card. I held off for a long time because I was against the principal of this corporation forcing me to give it my personal information so it could track my buying habits and try to sell me more shit. I find that kind of creepy. The fact that I even had a Safeway card was pretty much incredible, and I was feeling smug about it, and even better about the fact that I had managed to insert it correctly.

Yay, points for me. I was also astonished that nobody asked whether I wanted paper or plastic. They unilaterally chose plastic. Maybe they have a big supply to get rid of before that law goes into place. The check-out guy rotated my plastic bags tied with twisty ties and with cucumbers and bell peppers to count each item and tallied all of my groceries. Voila, $250 please. Sticker shock. Ah, the days when a full cart meant I had reached $25. Long gone.

I glanced at the display thingie and noted options for credit, debit cards, some unfamiliar icons, and asked the clerk which was used when a person writes a check. You’d think there would be a little piece of paper with a pen next to it as an icon.

He just laughed at me and said none of the options apply. Just write the check. I handed the check over to him, and he punched a bunch of keys, his eyebrows furrowed, a look of frustration crossed his face. I asked if there was something wrong with the check. He stared me in the eyes and demanded, “How many checks do you write at Safeway?”

Oh, I dunno, maybe I wrote a check a couple years ago. I don’t recall. Maybe last year. Why, what difference does it make? Well, he claimed if I don’t write at least 5 checks at year at Safeway, then Safeway will not recognize nor accept my check. The thing is how do you write one check if you have to write 5 checks before one check will be accepted? How much wood can a woodchuck chuck? Hmmm? He didn’t have an answer for that.

This situation just goes to prove that something people do every single week, which is go to the grocery store, is kind of lost on me. But ask me a question about Sacramento real estate and selling your home, and I’ll take all the time in the world to explain my answers. Because I know not everybody sells real estate.

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