When I went to Viet Nam last year, one of the guys in our tour managed to upgrade his group tickets to First Class. I didn't even know that option was available or I might have chosen it. I asked this guy why he flew First Class. He said, "Because I can afford it."
Apart from amenities such as wider, more comfortable seating and ample leg room -- and let's not forget the free drinks, better meals and real silverware -- flight attendants call you by name. Is that worth paying 2 to 4 times more than everybody else on the plane? In other words, do you get value for the dollar expended or do some people just not care about how much first-class service costs? It's probably both.
For one thing, when you fly First Class, generally you're surrounded by people with money, versus people without money. The conversations you overhear are different. Notwithstanding those Tracy Jordans -- with more money than common sense, but are amusing all the same. It's typically quieter. No little kids are kicking the back of your chair, either -- that alone is sometimes worth the extra cost.
But I don't always buy First Class tickets because the value isn't always there. My husband also thinks it's throwing away money. When I do, I justify the expense by the level of difficulty I endure at any given time closing my Sacramento short sales. No matter how much my clients love me, there is always one here or there who has no idea of what I went through to close their escrow or how much effort I expended on their behalf. And that's probably my fault because I don't tell them. I figure I can either do my job or I can talk about doing my job; I can't do both.
Client satisfaction is my number one priority. I'd say I achieve that directive 99% of the time. It pains me if I don't. But I'm not perfect and not every client is going to believe that I walk on water. It's just the way the real estate business is and people's nature in general. I don't really have a beef about my clients, but the short sale banks are another story.
Therefore, when I order a glass of French champagne, I toast Bank of America. Here's to you, BAC. That's for my 18-month Bank of America short sale. That tenderloin steak with a side of 1 1/4 pounds of steamed Maine lobster? That's for you, Wells Fargo, and your dozens of delays. The zabaglione topped with fresh raspberries -- every spoonful is for the months of agony caused by Chase Bank.
The elliptical workout afterwards? That's for my Wachovia short sales. The Wachovia short sales are delightful. They balance out the others. Because if you've got some balance in your life, you've got your sanity.
Photo: Big Stock Photo