It’s cold, it’s fucking cold. My nose is running and my black leather gloves are not helping me get the keys into the lock. Don’t tell me these are not the right keys. Three of the keys look exactly the same so I try them all again. Finally, the last one that I am sure I tried twice before works. Pushing the door the smell of nothingness hits me and then the quite sound of empty. Flipping a few switches the lights blink and buzz. A faint haze fills a long hallway. Maybe it’s just my eyes. I go up thru the other two floors and find as many switches as I can. The basement clean and efficient. I look at the HVAC and it is cranking full on. Heading back out to my car the sidewalk is cleared and safe. I need to tell the owner his maintenance people are doing a nice job.
Pulling on the car door handle I almost bust my ass on the ice as I slide into the crisp seat. I glance over at the thermostat and it reads 7. The car heater is blowing my feet are still cold and I wonder why I did not add another layer of clothes. Where are some tissues, my nose will not stop running. The clock glows 12:35 and my appointment is not until 1:00. I made sure to get here early just in case. I check my phone for any messages. None. I touch the Gallery button and scroll. A pic of a busted downspout on a building. I need to send that off so it gets fixed. A pic of a swim meet with many more to come. A pic of family and friends from Thanksgiving at our “family “cabin. One of my little baby who is all grown up and heading off to Orlando and into the big corporate world. Which reminds me that my basement and hallways at home are now lined with her college “necessities” that she promises to go thru and filter before she leaves. She helped trim the christmas tree again this year maybe for the last time. I set the phone down as a car pulls up.
” Could you have picked a colder day?”
” Could I have picked? You are the one that said let’s see if we can get in I don”t care if it’s cold or not.”
” Is it open do you have the keys?”
” I already went in and turned on the lights and heat is on, but just barely.”
We walk into the lobby and I make a gesture that says it’s all yours go wander. This is a longtime friend and steady client. We have had many lunches, teed it up, played poker, and wore ugly sweaters to the Christmas parties together. He brought a couple of staff people with him. Shit that reminds me. I got an invite to the annual birthday party for one of the staff people. I need to respond.
He emerges from one of the conference rooms ” looks pretty good so far.”
I hear footsteps upstairs and down the hall. ” It’s been empty for less than three months and I think they have had some serious interest.”
” No solid offers yet?”
” No mention of any offers from the other broker. You know it is usually about timing. Who can move and when.”
” We are sure we have somebody that wants our space now. So we could move quick if we needed to.”
” When can we sit and go thru some numbers and make a move?”
” Let me talk it over with my staff people. They like the location and the building. They know we need the space and the price fits our budget”
” You are all about the transparency thing”
” They need to know where we are with the numbers. We are not that big so what’s the point of hiding it. Let’s schedule for 10 day after tomorrow and bring something for me to sign and put in front of the owner.”
” I will have everything ready.”
” So how’s the family. I haven’t seen your wife in a while?”
” Poor thing, I have her slaving away while I golf and network.”
” I need to get you into some more charity tournaments this coming year. You have been laying low lately.”
” I may play some more I have been doing the dad thing, which reminds me Grandpa how’s the little princess.”
” She and I own the entire planet. We run the world and nobody can do a damn thing about it.”
” Well, thank god she looks like your daughter .”
The voices get louder as the elevator closes.
” Well, what do we think?”
“Amazing great space and the location is fantastic.”
” Great to hear. I will be at your office Friday to sit down and get some paperwork together so you guys need to talk.”
” We have a lot of work to do if we decide to make this move so we really need to set a schedule. Can you help?”
” It’s what I do.”
We head outside and the wind hits.
” Are you coming to my birthday party?
” Have I ever missed it?”
” No, and I always remember your gifts.”
” That’s because I don’t buy cheap booze!”
We all wave and quickly get into our cars.
Waiting for the car to warm up I sit back and reflect. I have known these people for at least 15-20 years. It doesn’t seem that long.
I know more about one of the staff members divorce that I care to recall.
I know more about the other staff members lack of “social” life than I care to recall.
I know a hell of a lot more about the “boss” than anyone should (boys don’t tell) ever know.
They probably think the same about my boring commercial real estate life.
We have all seen interacted conversed and worked with each other professionally and personally over the years.
Sitting here freezing my ass off the one thing that sticks in my mind after all these years.
I am their commercial real estate go to guy.
I always wanted to be that guy.
I worked hard to be that guy.
I am thrilled that I am that guy.
I am proud to be that guy.
I represent what commercial real estate is to them.
Everyday I get up I work my ass of to be that guy.
Yes, You Know Me. I Am “That” Guy.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/suratlozowick/4348323468/