I wore a dead man’s clothes to work this week.
It’s not like that’s so crazy, but perhaps it’s significant.
A woman who works for me rented out the second side of her condo in Peabody and her tenant died. He wasn’t that old, but he was older than me, and he was more or less my size. The jacket fit, and the pants need some alterations, but me being me, I didn’t bother getting that done, so if you look closely at the pants, they look too big.
I guess that’s a part of my problem. I get things done, mostly, but sometimes don’t completely go all the way in making sure they work out perfectly. That’s why I do well, but not that well, and why I’m sitting here writing this story instead of doing something better.
I work in real estate. That sounds good, right? It sounds exotic. It sounds like I make deals and negotiate with developers. It reeks of power lunches downtown and expensed dinners at the Capital Grille. But what I really do is work at a small company that rents apartments and does single-home sales in the suburbs. I have a nice title (Vice President- Leasing), and I’m young, but the job isn’t that great.
I should probably be happier. I went to school and didn’t have to take out loans because I got a nice merit scholarship to BU. I spent four years having fun and doing as little work as possible to get A’s, graduated @#$% laude, and spent exactly zero hours at the career center, building a resume, or doing an internship. Everything always came easy for me, so why would life be any harder? I spent a year after graduation in Israel (after I’d gone on Birthright the winter of my senior year), and then came back to Boston with no plans whatsoever.
Eight weeks after returning home and moving in my girlfriend in Allston, a friend-of-a-friend got me a job in the real estate office. Let’s call it J&B Realty for lack of a better pseudonym. It was a temp job but about a month into the gig, I covered for an agent and rented three apartments. Shortly afterwards I took a crash course and got licensed and started renting apartments in Waltham to mostly undergrads and 20-somethings who were trying to get out of Allston and into something quieter and more suburban.
Since then I’ve never left. I sold some single-family homes in about 2003 for the first time and made an OK salary for someone with no kids and a new wife. For the next few years I rented a lot of apartments, sold maybe six or seven houses in 2005-6, and definitely took advantage of the bubble by getting people into homes they couldn’t afford. It was too easy, and once I got paid I couldn’t have cared less about what happened. I was promoted to Vice President at J & B, started supervising two other agents, and became fourth-in-command in an office of about fifteen people.
Then the market collapsed, everyone went underwater, and I went back to putting up flyers at Hannaford’s, Bentley, and Brandeis, trying to make a few hundred bucks per lease from college kids. I’m still a VP, but we’re down to six full-time workers and the benefits barely qualify as being beneficial.
So that’s me. A dead-man’s-suit-wearing, average-job-holding, thirty-something-with-a-few-kids-having, somewhat lazy and frustrated Jewish guy.
But there’s a little more to my story…
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