“What Did YOU Do on Christmas Eve?”

Stories! | January 8, 2013

I ask this question, of course, because if a certain cold-caller had it his way, I would have been showing him a property for lease at 3:30pm on Christmas Eve.

Yes….really…

You know something?

I was really hurt the other day when I saw a comment that read, “This is not a true story.”

I wrote a post in December called “Worst Client Ever” whereby I told the story of an ongoing saga that my colleague experienced over the past 3-4 months.  I had been privy to every single detail, and every day, when you said, “This can’t get any worse,” it did.  I kept saying, “This is a story for my blog,” until finally my colleague said, “I agree – you gotta write this.”

So I did.

It’s unbelievable, but not in the literal sense.

And yet somebody commented “This is not a true story” as if I sit here on my blog and make up crazy things that happen in the real estate industry.

I’ll tell you this once, and remember it forever: I don’t need to make up crazy things that happen in the real estate industry, because they happen – ALL THE TIME.

Case in point, the following story, to which I’m sure that same commentor will remark, “This didn’t happen either.”

On December 24th, I awoke (around 11am – like a teenager, or like a Realtor on vacation…) and ignored my Blackberry like I had done every day previous for about a week.  Picking up the Blackberry and attempting to guess the number of messages is a daily ritual for me, and so it was quite nice to have only 1-2 messages each and every morning before Christmas, which allowed me to finally ignore it.

I went to meet a friend at Yonge & Dundas square so I could introduce him to the wonderful world of NOT buying jewelry at a retail outlet, and we went up to the 6th floor of the H&R building where I jokingly said to my friend, “Don’t freak out when they pat you down, and do not make any sudden moves.”  He believed me…

While my friend was comparing white gold with yellow, I pressed the “ignore” button on my phone a few times, not knowing (or caring!) who was calling on Christmas Eve-Day.

An hour later, I got to my car, and checked my messages for the first time that day.  It was actually somewhat liberating to ‘forget’ to take it off silent, and make my way through the city without having checked a single time that day.

I was rather surprised, however to see FOUR missed calls, three of which were from the same phone number!

I didn’t recognize the number, but they had called at 8:31am, and then twice while I was in the jeweler’s, but only two minutes apart.

There was also a page through my office at 8:45am, which was so early, in fact, that it went through the 24-hour answering service!

I had one voicemail showing, and I listened in complete shock as I drove down Jarvis Street:

“Hi there, um, David, my name is, um, Dwight, and I’d like to see 15 Windermere Avenue this afternoon, as soon as possible, um please.  Thank you.”

There was no phone number, and the message was somewhat cryptic.

So naturally, I thought it was a joke!

I spent a good ten minutes trying to figure out which of my friends would prank me like this on the day before Christmas, but I drew a blank.  The voice didn’t sound familiar at all, and I would know my friends’ voices; even their fake ones.

Could it be one of my baseball-kids?  Would one of them prank their coach?  They’d have to mighty bored to do that, and it would make more sense if it were during the baseball season, like after we played a game or something.

In any event, I put it out of my mind, but that only lasted about a half-hour since my phone wrang and it was that SAME number for the fourth time that day.

“David Fleming,” I answered, with a smile on my face, ‘playing along’ with whoever was punking me.

“Um, yeah, uh, hi David,” the voice said, as I struggled to identify it.  “My name is Dwight, and I really want to see your listing at 15 Windermere Avenue this afternoon.”

I was 100% sure this was a prank.  Who the HELL would call on December 24th asking to see a property for lease, which, to be perfectly honest, had just been leased two days earlier (although the mess of paperwork wasn’t complete, nor was the deposit received, so technically it was still available).  So naturally, I played along!

“Sure, DWIGHT,” I said with effect, “What time works for you?  Because Lord knows I’m not busy!”

There was only a short pause.  “I’m ready any time you are,” said ‘Dwight.’  “I’m in the area right now staying at a friend’s place, and I could be there in ten minutes.”

This was weird.  There was no hint of a laugh in the voice.

Galen?  Was it Galen?  Nah, there’s no way Galen could pull that off.

Was it Wes?  He used to do that sort of stuff all the time when I first started in real estate, although we were a lot younger then.

Bubs?  Would Bubs punk me?  Or maybe Alec?  Or Christian calling from Montreal?  I pranked Christian once about eight years ago when I called and pretended to be a police officer, asking about prowlers, and I had him going for a solid ten minutes before I gave it away by saying, “The culprit has been described as a big-sexy stud who’s great at fantasy football and wears a LaDainian Tomlinson jersey to work.”  Maybe now Christian was punking me back!  Nah, it was a 416-number, so that didn’t make sense.

Or maybe it was somebody from my office!  It’s real estate related, so perhaps it’s a bored Realtor!  Hmmm…..maybe Johnston & Watt?  Maybe they’re tired of me chirping them! It had to be…

“Who IS this?” I finally asked.

“Excuse me?” the person shot back.

I sat there smirking, and finally just said nothing for about ten or fifteen seconds.  I figured finally the person would just say, “Okay, it’s so-and-so….but I had you going!”

Alas, that’s not what happened.

“David, are you still there?” the person asked.

“Yes…..I aaaaaaaaam,” I said, now somewhat unsure.

“Okay, great, so what do you think?  Can we meet in about a half our or so?”

At this point, I suddenly realized that this was not a prank.  This was not a friend or a colleague calling, and it was, in fact, somebody who wanted to go and look at real estate about four hours before Christmas dinner.

“Um, well, I’mactuallykind of busy today,” I said.

“Well that’s unfortunate,” Dwight said, “Because if I like the unit, I might be prepared to make an offer today.”

TODAY?  On Christmas Eve-Day?

Who was this nutjob?

“Today is Christmas Eve,” I said, and amazingly he replied, “Tonight is Christmas Eve.  Surely you have time to make some money today, right?  Money never sleeps, pal!”

Ewwww!  He was quoting Michael Douglas inWall Street!  That might have just ruined the movie a bit for me…

I’d had enough, and I was pulling into the driveway at my condo, so I finally said, “Look man, it’s the day before Christmas and I’m tied up, so I’m sorry I can’t show you the unit; I’m sorry I can’t show you a goddam condo at 2pm on December 24th!!”

I should have just hung up, but oddly enough, I waited for a reply.

“Jesus, he said,” somewhat appropriate I suppose, given the day.  “This is why the Competition Bureau is coming down on you guys!  If the public had it our way, the seller’s name would be on the listing, and I could contact him myself and set up an appointment!  Then maybe I’d tell him what a bang-up job you’re doing ‘working’ on his behalf by not showing the property to qualified buyers!”

And then HE hung up on ME!

As Stephanie Tanner used to say on Full House, “Howwwww RUDE!”

I swear, I’ve replayed that bizarre conversation in my mind a dozen times, and I still can’t be absolutely certain that this “qualified buyer” was real.  It just couldn’t be!  Could it?

Two hours later, I was at my dad’s, having Christmas dinner with my family (and our dog…), and drinking an unhealthy amount of red wine.  Later that evening, the whole incident came back to me, and maybe it was the alcohol (okay not maybe…), but suddenly I couldn’t be certain if that was a dream or if it really happened.

I don’t know what the take-away from this experience is.

How crazy the public can be?

How entitled buyers are?

How strange my industry is?

Or how much you can forget when you drink it away?

Probably a little bit of all of them.  And a lot of the last one…

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51 Comments

  1. Ralph Cramdown

    at 7:58 am

    “Hi, this is David Fleming, and I’ll be out of the office and ignoring clients and customers until the 27th. If you have urgent business, my colleague ____ ____ at 416-555-1212 will be covering for me.”

    You didn’t clearly communicate your availability to clients and customers. Poor service.

    You acted as though a unit was leased even though you didn’t have the paperwork or deposit finalized. Poor service.

    You left the unit on MLS even though it was ‘leased.’ Poor service.

    Sorry to hit you with the rolled-up newspaper on your second day back, but using words like ‘crazy’ and ‘entitled’ to describe someone who calls up and asks you to provide the service that you hold yourself out as a provider of? You could have said “sorry, that property is leased” or “I’m busy until Wednesday. Would Wednesday work?” It’s hard enough to lease property in December, because most ‘A’ tenants aren’t looking. The process works better when you don’t heap abuse on the customers who DO call.

    1. ScottyP

      at 10:19 am

      It was CHRISTMAS EVE, Ralph.

      Plus, what’s this about paperwork and deposit not being finalized and the unit being left on MLS?

      What are you even *talking* about???

      1. Oren

        at 4:00 pm

        He also thought it was a crank call. It was most likely a crank call. If Dwight really was desperate he’d leave a message or send a text/e-mail. Him calling 4 times in such a short span just shows how much he really wanted to prank David.

        Don’t you think “abuse” is a little strong? You honestly think that David “abused” Dwight and abuses customers? Ralph, I’m willing to bet that you’re the kind of guy that calls the cops when someone steps on your foot or calls you names.

  2. Vincent

    at 8:29 am

    I have to agree with Ralph Cramdown. As I read your story I thought the same thing. People do still work on Dec 24th. If you were on vacation, then it should have been communicated. And if it was leased then perhaps you should have told him or provide some other availability to view the unit instead of “I’m busy”.

    1. ScottyP

      at 10:23 am

      No. He shouldn’t have.

      He should’ve done exactly what he did do, which is act incredulously.

      If you or Dwight don’t appreciate David’s level of service on Christmas Eve, then you are both more than welcome to try to find someone more accommodating. Best of luck.

  3. Geoff

    at 8:46 am

    Guys, its christmas eve. It’s a privilege of the self employed to run their business the way they want. David likely knows that Dwight will never call him again for any reason, and probably didn’t want him as a client and made a judgement call. And that assumes that the homeowner really wanted some guy coming to see his place Christmas eve (he never said it was vacant, for all we know there was a room full of people carving into turkey that day). And it’s not a semi-critical service, it’s not like David is a banker that closed early unexpectedly, or a daycare, or something like that.

  4. Jon

    at 8:53 am

    Usually I agree with you and love reading your posts; however, I find this post to be in extremely poor taste.

    You are not entitled to ignore your work on Christmas Eve. If you are taking a vacation day then make that known; however, your response to this individual was rude and disrespectful.

    I worked Christmas Eve. So do many other people. Why are you entitled to have the day off without being bothered? And why is it the responsibility of your potential clients to know that you are not to be disturbed on that day?

    1. ScottyP

      at 10:38 am

      I love the word “entitled”. It used to carry some weight but now people can’t wait to use it for even the smallest indiscretion.

      Let me try to use it as well, but in a different context:

      Yes, people are entitled to ignore their work on what is generally understood by everyone but the most obtuse in society to be a day of rest and relaxation (or perhaps, if the shopping isn’t done, a day of consternation).

      Yes, people who run their own businesses are entitled to have the day off whenever they damn well please. If the customer doesn’t like it, then they are more than entitled to look for someone who will better suit their needs.

      And finally, I am entitled to react to the third completely asinine reply to this blog entry so far.

      So there.

  5. DRichards

    at 9:03 am

    Not everyone celebrates nor cares about the Christian holiday of Christmas. A quick Wikipedia search tells me Toronto is about 44% non-Christian. Not exactly “unbelievable” that someone might call you on the day before your holiday.

    Instead of politely (and immediately) telling him you were not available until after your holiday you acted rather unprofessionally.

  6. Mike

    at 9:20 am

    David – As much as I enjoy your blog, this post has left a really bad impression. Looking for a place to call home can be a very emotional undertaking, and you showed little professionalism in dealing with that person. As other posters have already pointed out, many people work on Christmas eve, and you did not communicate your vacation. He took the time to call you several times, and you respond in such a rude manner? You speak of entitlement, perhaps you should look in the mirror on this one. While your posts can be arrogant from time to time, usually I brush it off as your way of opening up and having an opinion. But perhaps the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  7. IanC

    at 9:34 am

    I know how work is SLOWWWWWWWWWW for many before Christmas but Dec 24th is not a holiday.

    Many offices do close at noon or 1PM. I work downtown for a software company with many US clients and most of our team stayed until 5PM.

    I went home in the dark, and spent a few hours at home preparing a steak dinner for my partner, in retail, who worked until 9PM.

    For many people – it’s a busy time of year with their accounts and year end.

    It felt a bit different this year as we had Christmas over the weekend the last few years – and they even made the 24th a STAT holiday for us when Christmas fell on the weekend.

    But if your office is open until noon, or 1PM… or 5PM – you should not be surprised if you get a call from a client. If you had seen the message early you might have got a showing in the morning, and then skipped off in the afternoon.

    I don’t mean to sound harsh. I figure busy realtors use this time of year need to catch up on rest and family time. But if the office is open, I would suggest 90% of you book the day off, and 10% can take a few extra calls.

    It’s still customer service – and the office should set what the expected coverage is over the holidays. If the office wants to shut down for the whole week – then just post the hours.

  8. CraigB

    at 9:41 am

    I have to echo the sentiments of others and you need to consider some of the humanity of it all. Perhaps this person was stressed to the nines trying to find a place desperately, and just happened to be close by that day. Trying to find a home can be very stressful and when it seems like you may have found one that matches your needs, you jump on it.

    On the flipside, I’ve had realtors call me on boxing day to have their clients see a home I’ve sold them. Yes, I’d like nothing more than a few days to enjoy the holidays, etc., but their clients want to show the home they just spent their life savings on to their relatives that are in town for the week.

    As others mentioned, if you REALLY want to be on vacation, change your voicemail, set up an automated reply on email and make arrangements for others to cover you if need be. Don’t take a half-assed vacation as it can have an effect on more than just you.

  9. George

    at 9:47 am

    I think both sides have valid points here, although I think your voicemail greeting should have explained your unavailable status.

  10. RPG

    at 10:28 am

    hahaha holy crap give the guy a break! It’s Christmas Eve and the guy celebrates Christmas Eve! He even said his listing was already leased! I’m shocked that people find a problem with this.

  11. Jewel

    at 10:40 am

    I read your blog almost religiously and really love what you have to say. Most of the time. This however is not one of those times. I feel like you’re really off base on this.

    Though I can understand your not wanting to show the property at that time (I wouldn’t want to either) I think you’re wrong in thinking this guy is crazy and entitled. In fact you’re the one that comes off as entitled.

    The 24th isn’t a holiday. A majority of the people have to work.

    Sure a lot of offices close early (anytime between noon and 3)and you say that if Dwight had his way you would have been showing him a property at 3:30pm Christmas Eve. But is that the way he really wanted it?

    He had been trying to contact since 8:30 am in the morning. YOU were the one that chose not to check messages until later in the day. YOU were the one that chose not to return his message. Its not really his fault that he wasn’t able to finally get a hold of you until later in the day. Had you checked messages and returned calls the whole thing could have been wrapped up before noon.

    Now if you decided that you didn’t want to work at all on the 24th (which is perfectly fine and many do), then you should have made it clear through both your voice mail and answering service that you were unavailable that day. Then Dwight or anyone else wouldn’t have to waste anymore of their time trying to contact you either. Anything else is poor service.

    1. Geoff

      at 9:07 am

      “The 24th isn’t a holiday. A majority of the people have to work.”

      But Jewel, that’s the point — he’s self employed, he DOESN’T have to work. Dwight paid no money for services to be rendered, and can call someone else.

      1. Jewel

        at 9:51 am

        Don’t get me wrong, of course he doesn’t have to work. I also chose not to work. Geoff, my point at the time was that because a majority of the people have to work one wouldn’t assume that he is someone that was not working, so why wouldn’t Dwight try to get in touch with him to see the property. That was of course before David clarified that he had an Out of Office message. Since he made it clear he was unavailable none of what transpired afterwards is nearly as bad as it initially seemed.

        Unfortunately in my work I come across too many people (and often suppliers who I’m supposed to be client of no less!) who don’t leave proper Out of Office messaging which becomes a problem when dealing with time sensitive issues, so its kind of a pet peeve of mine.

  12. Messed up

    at 10:57 am

    This whole thread is a mess. The post itself is full of misinformation and people are drawing their own conclusions and filling in the blanks, then getting mad at David for conclusions that they themselves have drawn. Anonymous commenters have such high standards these days. If I were in David’s position I would have done the same thing. I’d say Merry Christmas but I don’t want to offend the 44 percent.

  13. Katsu

    at 11:08 am

    Although I agree that voicemail may have been a good idea, I think that you have to look at it from an independent business owner point of view.

    I run a personal business where I often work 14 hours a day, starting very early and ending very late, where weekends are rarely off-limits for catching up on more work.

    I know for a fact that realtors work in very similar ways; as independent agents through the brokerage. They work nights, weekends just as I do. I think it is their choice whether to take on a client on Christmas eve or not.

    I can’t shake the fact that this Dwight is shopping for a place on Christmas Eve. What was he doing the week prior and why can’t he wait for the week after? As a consumer, I wouldn’t expect someone like a realtor to be available on Christmas Eve. I would leave a message and hope that he gets back to me after the holidays (and I would probably follow up with them if I didn’t hear back).

    I think Dwight here is the one feeling entitled to be served at his convenience in time and place. As a business-owner who deals with people like this regularly, I believe the choice was David’s to decide whether he wanted to take on the client or not; he had no obligation to do so.

  14. Cdub

    at 11:13 am

    David runs his own business and is fully entitled to make his own decisions regarding who he chooses to work with and when. Full stop. This caller isn’t a client and David owes him nothing. So maybe you would have handled this situation differently. That’s fine too.

    Furthermore, I’m sure there’s a lot more context to this story we don’t know.

    1. Ralph Cramdown

      at 12:29 pm

      David already had a client when the phone rang — the landlord. The customer called David in his role as agent for the landlord. David owed the landlord professional representation.

      When David heard the client refer to “15 Windermere,” David’s first thought would have been “that place is leased” and the quickest and most honest way to end the phone call would have been to tell the customer that. Instead, it somehow becomes the customer’s fault because he called at an inopportune time?

      1. ScottyP

        at 10:49 am

        Everyone is perfect in Internetland, especially Ralph Cramdown.

        Ironic, that Christmas Eve can bring out the “holier-than-thou” in so many people in this increasingly mind-boggling thread.

  15. David Fleming

    at 11:15 am

    One major point to clarify here:

    I DID have a vacation message, which said that I would be unavailable from December 24th to 26th inclusive.

    Dwight heard that message, but left me a voicemail anyways. Then he paged me through the office, then he called me THREE more times.

    I guess when there are a few gaps in a story, people jump right on them!

    Sorry folks!

    1. Mike

      at 11:32 am

      David – Thank you for clarifying about the voicemail, however despite that, was it really necessary to be rude to Dwight? A simple “I’m very sorry but I am unavailable to meet with you today, are you available another day?” would suffice. If he pressed further “Respectfully I am on vacation today and have family commitments.” and end it at that. Or tell him the truth about the other offer?? Then to call him crazy on a public forum without knowing his position is just in poor taste.

    2. Jewel

      at 11:34 am

      In which case its not nearly as bad as it seemed. The “I’m sorry I can’t show you a goddam condo at 2pm on December 24th!!” part probably wasn’t necessary…but besides that…

      1. David Fleming

        at 11:37 am

        Geez. I may have thrown “goddam” into the story for effect. I don’t know. I’m paraphrasing a conversation that was two weeks ago. I meant that I was abrupt, curt, and a bit snarky. As JC said, yes, I was miffed at his “money never sleeps, pal” comment, and so I was snarky and a bit rude in response. But really, I was just weirded out by him. He called me four times in a few hours, even though he knew I wasn’t working, which is super-creepy.

    3. IanC

      at 1:18 am

      Your vacation message was on ?
      OOPS… Well then – Never mind. 🙂

      If the story started with some guy who knows from your voice-mail that you are on vacation – and gets creepy and hounding you on your personal time, and space… I might have gotten the gist of your story.

      But skimming through the blog yesterday morning, I registered how many times you check your BBMs in the morning, and some dude wants to view your listing on December 24th of all days. Some heated exchange of words follows, and so on…

      I catch up with your blog regularly, and that’s not among your craziest / “can’t be true” stories.

      And to other realtors – I’m not saying you have to take crap from people if you happen to be on the clock. Nobody should.

      Just if you are out of the office and unreachable for a day – use an out of office alert. Even if it’s Dec 24th or Dec 27th or January 2nd. Even if you worked 80 hour weeks for 4 months straight.

      Gnite all!

  16. JC

    at 11:24 am

    I see your clarification about leaving a message that you were taking the 24th-28th off came through at the same time I submitted my comment.

    Yes, it was a pretty major point to leave out 😉

    I agree that his “money never sleeps, pal” comment probably would have rankled me as well.

    Still, why not just tell the guy that the place has been leased and you’re waiting for a cheque? No need to say that you “can’t show a goddam condo at 2pm on December 24th!!””

  17. David Fleming

    at 11:34 am

    Okay now I feel the need to explain further, since people like Mike are right – this does NOT look good on me, and while I respect people’s opinions, I have a hard time feeling at fault here, based on my own understanding of the situation, and not some jump-to-conclusion version. So consider this:

    1) The property was tenanted, and the tenant was hosting Christmas dinner for her three adult sons. So no, I don’t think showing up at 5pm was an option.

    2) What do YOU think about a guy that calls you four times in a few hours? Is that ‘normal’? I run my business the way I want to, and I work with who I want to. I weed out the tire-kickers and people I don’t want to work with. I love my clientele, and many of my clients have become friends. I golf with clients, I dine with clients, and I play with my clients’ kids. So when somebody contacts me four times, after hearing that I’m on vacation via my voicemail, and talks in some bizarre muffled voice over the phone, sounding like he’s on drugs – I’m sorry, but this isn’t somebody I want to rush out on Christmas Eve to be in a client relationship with.

    3) Our administrator was off for ten days, and no listings were updated on MLS. Yes, we were waiting for a deposit, but it was by wire transfer from Boston, which the buyer/tenant couldn’t do because (gasp!) it was Christmas Eve and his bank was closed.

    4) I’m an athiest, marrying a Jew, who celebrates Christmas strictly as the one night of the year that I can see my entire family, for an extended period of time, with no interruptions. We sleep over at my Dad’s every year, and have done so for ten years. It’s my favorite day of the year, and has nothing to do with religion. I don’t care what percentage of Toronto is Christian.

    Having read the comments (even though many were based on ‘misinformation’ as one reader put it), I can see that some people disagree.

    I apologize.

    I like telling stories, and I like writing. This story didn’t really convey all the pertinent facts (as evidenced by the comments), and it was just intended to be one of those “you’ll never believe what happened to me” type stories. I was joking with a few people at my office on Monday, and none of them could believe that somebody wanted to see an apartment for lease on Christmas Eve. Thus, the story.

    I don’t fault the “anonymous commentors” because it’s their right to post whatever they want, with no name, when somebody like myself goes off on a rant with his name firmly attached to his words.

    I say, “Keep posting!”

    Thanks for not judging, folks! 🙂

    1. Brian

      at 10:00 pm

      David..

      I’ve met you once.. read your blog on a regular basis.. and absolutely, 100% know that whenever the time comes to sell my condo, YOU will be the guy listing it ! honesty trumps everything to me.. whatever was said to this boorish Dwight guy, he deserved in my opinion.. Happpy New Year.. !

  18. Michelle

    at 11:44 am

    “Hello, I’m a stalker and you’re a good looking 25-year-old female realtor. Would you please meet me alone at a house in a sub-division?”

    There are some wacko people out there, and so if David felt that this person wasn’t worth his time, then that’s his decision. I worked for a real esatate company where a young realtor was attacked after being lured to a property, and things changed after that. Realtors were encouraged to pick their clients carefully and walk away if they got a strange vibe.

    I agree with David here that the caller’s actions were strange and that the situation of needing a condo on Christmas Eve were even stranger, then its okay to ignore this “potential client”. A good realtor chooses her clients, and not the other way around.

  19. moonbeam!

    at 12:07 pm

    Well who would’ve thought the first post of the new year would produce such strong reactions! David was very clear in his blog post of Fri.Dec.21 that he was on holidays…and also in his voicemail message.

  20. Pen

    at 1:11 pm

    “I’m sorry Dwight it is not possible to show you the property today because I am required to give 24 hours notice to the current tenant. As well there is an offer to lease the property that if finalized won’t happen until after Dec. 26th, I can contact you on the 27th with an update.”

  21. Lola

    at 1:34 pm

    David, you already go above and beyond – far more than any other real estate agent I know. It’s just one conversation you made into a story to entertain the public. I don’t know why people expect you to be 100% all the time. You deserved a Christmas break and you took it. Good for you!

  22. Raging Realtor

    at 1:55 pm

    This is fucking insane. Sorry, I said fucking. I should be more professional, according to all of you. I’m a real estate agent, and since you’re all anonymously slandering David, I’m going to anonymously slander you. I’ve worked with David. We’ve done a few deals together, and I love his fresh opinionated attitude and he’s well known in the business for it. He doesn’t take any crap nor should he. So who the hell are any of you people to tell him where, when, how, and for who he should work? As if any of you would do the same. You’re all fucking nuts. Yo’ure picking holes in his STORY which is all this thing is, a story which was written for YOUR benefit so you’d have something to read while you waste time at your jobs not doing work. So how come you can not work when you’re reading this blog, but David has to work on Christmas Eve? The guy who posted the stat from Wikipedia, you’re spun man. War on Christmas etc. Good for you. To the guy whose partner was working till 9pm, good for you too. If he doesn’t like it he should get another job. To the guy who said that David’s actions have an effect on people other than himself, keep dreaming. The world is not such a lovey-dovey place. Should David be available for the 6,000,000 people in the GTA just in case one calls? This guy was beaking David on the phone and talking down to him, so David said goddam or may or may not have, because it’s a freakin STORY! I can’t believe David had to defend himself and post personal information about his choice of religion and which of his family he sees on Christmas all to get you losers to shut up. I’m going back to work now. I might go for coffee with some friends this afternoon, and I’ll turn my phone off, so is that okay with all of you?

    1. IanC

      at 1:30 am

      Let me think,

      Yes Raging Realtor – you can go for out with your friends in the afternoon, and turn off your phone. Just please take a chill pill with your Coffee.

      -IanC – Anonymous, spun, nuts, slanderer.

    2. ScottyP

      at 10:57 am

      Excellent reply, Raging Realtor. Keep up the fine work (or in this case, fine commenting). And enjoy your coffee, to me you’ve more than earned it.

  23. JG

    at 3:03 pm

    wow…wow…just wow!
    At least we know what Post will be Post of the Year for 2013!
    (is this considered an infield home run? 🙂 )

    I just find it odd how a lot of people play the high card here. “I am sorry, but…place is off market”, “Thanks for calling, but…unfortunately i am busy today”, “I appreciate your call today, however…, etc etc” then proceed to slam David for being honest. Playing the high card is the facade, it’s the veneer, the mask we all like to put on when we leave the house for the sake of someone seeing or judging our trueself.

    I, for one, like and appreciate the story. And Thank you David for being honest – albeit with slight embellishment with the ‘goddamn’ word part – but alas it was a story, its allowed to happen.

    There is no need to defend your actions. And we wonder why people are afraid to be honest these days.

    Most of the commenters/readers here have been following your blog for years now – its amazing how quickly people can judge after 1 post out of literaly thousands.

    1. ScottyP

      at 11:05 am

      And the thread continues its rising from the abyss with another thoughtful and well-written reply.

      As I said earlier in this increasingly frustrating thread, everyone is perfect in Internetland! But you said it even better, JG.

      And as you implied, this readiness for Joe (Anonymous) Public to jump into Judge, Jury and (Career) Executioner Mode has the potential to one day make David shut this thing down for good.

      Really, think about it everyone: Why should he bother?

  24. Geoff

    at 4:23 pm

    I’d be short with someone calling four times as well.

    With the VM there is nothing wrong with how this was handled, there are often units still listed that have already been rented, especially on Kijiji and Craigslist. Having just bought a house, there are lots of listings you really want to see that are already sold, they are just waiting for everything to be processed. People need to get off their high horses a little bit. A majority of white collar office folks don’t work in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, one-offs of people who do mean nothing. Agents are entitled to a break as well, and regardless of religion Christmas is a break for the majority of people. Christmas Eve was a Monday this year, anyone who took the subway knows that it was a ghost town in the downtown core. Anyone who could take the day off, did. Expecting an agent to be any different is silly

  25. JD

    at 4:33 pm

    Is there a correlation between the positive afternoon comments and the negative morning comments? I think people are just miserable and snarky in the mornings, and more willing to slap somebody that they usually pat on the back.

    I actually read the comments before the blog, since there were 27 comments and I thought “WOWOWOW” and then after reading the blog, I wondered what all the fuss was about! The way I see it: you take Christmas Eve off which is your right to do so, some weird guy called you incessantly, he was rude to you, so you were rude back. Then you wrote about it to share it withe the public to love or loathe as you always do.

    Nothing to see here, show’s over folks!

  26. Old Timer

    at 6:39 pm

    Dear David,
    I had never seen your website until today when a colleague in my office directed me to it.
    I am a residential real estate agent with 34 years in the business.
    I would like to offer you one piece of advice, and do with it, what you like: do not ever assume that the public acknowledges your life outside of real estate.
    That’s the best advice I could ever give a fellow agent.
    The public does not allow for you to have free time. The public does not want any public figure, civil servant, or service provider to do anything but work, 24-7.
    You are not allowed to have a life.
    You will never get sympathy from the public.
    Do not ever tell a client that you can’t work on Sunday because you’re having a picnic with your child.
    Do not ever tell a client that you’re going away for a weekend.
    The public does not allow for you to have a day off, get a haircut, take a coffee break, or go to the bathroom.
    There is a lot of “projecting” in the comments above, i.e., people who had no choice but to work on December 24th are angry with you for suggesting that you should not be bothered on that day.
    Even though you may work twice as many hours, in a job three times as stressful, and have one-quarter the social/private life as the people who read your blog, don’t ever expect any sympathy.
    The public will accuse you of being a glutton as they stuff themselves at the buffet table.
    I think you’re an interesting young man, and I’ve read your bio and see that you coach kids’ baseball. I’m wondering if you’ve ever been given flak by a client for helping to give back to the community instead of rushing to their needs at 5:22 p.m. on a weekday evening when it’s convenient for them.
    I hope you get the picture.
    Great website. It’s certainly innovative.
    Best of luck.
    R.

    1. JG

      at 7:25 pm

      And what he ^^^ said …

      Spot on!
      (sometimes i have trouble putting thought to paper)

      1. ScottyP

        at 11:07 am

        Faith in humanity slowly being restored with yet another home-run reply, this time from Old Timer.

        Keep ’em coming, folks!

  27. 1962silver

    at 7:40 pm

    The RE industry in Toronto would be 10,000% improved if everyone was as good an agent as David Fleming and they only worked 1 day a WEEK!

    So….with David taking the odd day off (including Christmas Eve) you should all consider yourself the luckiest bunch of M*****F*****’S on the planet.

    Seems like that the majority of the negative posters here are simply JEALOUS that David can take off a day like Christmas Eve!

    And thank God for Raging Realtor’s comments…..good to see that there are some sane people out there!

  28. lui

    at 8:51 am

    the problem is too bad reality shows that shows “agents” basically does nothing but look good to make their commissions.In the real life agents I know work their asses off to move a listings and their work hours starts and finishes with their last phone call.I also work in a service related industry and I tell my workers the hardest thing you will do in this job is dealing with the public,some of them are insane.

  29. russell

    at 9:27 pm

    I was last to leave the office on Christmas Eve @6pm, and was in the office on New Years Eve till 7.30pm, in a customer facing role, you sometimes have no choice but to be there when needed. Having said that, this client was clearly aware you were not available as per your voicemail, so it seems a little odd that he persisted, I tend to agree with your judgement, who really needs to see a potential rental on christmas eve ?

    Eitherway, like the blog, wife loves the dog, I only just avoided a trip to a kennel !!

  30. ella

    at 12:37 pm

    people are entitled to ignore their work on what is generally understood by everyone but the most obtuse in society to be a day of rest and relaxation. I have to echo the sentiments of others and you need to consider some of the humanity of it all. The post itself is full of misinformation and people are drawing their own conclusions and filling in the blanks, then getting mad at David for conclusions that they themselves have drawn.

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