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Pushy People

The couple appeared nice enough at our first encounter, but that was not the adjective I’d label them by after that.

All day, every day they’d alternatively call me. She’d start with, “So, what’s happening?” He’d begin the conversation with, “Hi, what’s cooking?”

Monday morning there’d be two calls, Monday afternoon there’d be two-three calls, and Monday night there’d be at least one voicemail. This would repeat on Tuesday and throughout the week (weekends would have as many as six messages).

At first, I tried tact. “You’re welcome to check in every once in a while, but be assured that I’ll let you know the moment I hear something.” Then I grew less subtle and said, “You know, I can’t do my work for you or any other clients if we talk four or five times per day.”

Mr. & Mrs. Pushy didn’t get the hint. Their deal was a normal real estate transaction, proceeding rather routinely, but even after I explained the process for the umpteenth time, they still wanted semi-continuous updates.

Finally, I laid down my version of the law, insisting that only one of them call me daily. “Pick a person, pick a time, and call,” I said. “Then trust that if something happens later in the day, I’ll call you.”

The next day, he called at 9:05 am, and I gave him the “No news is OK news” daily update. Whew — I was off the hook for the rest of the day! Then she called me about 11:00 am, asking, “So, what’s happening?”

Like a petulant child, I blurted out, “I thought we had a workable system in place; Mr. Pushy already called today.”

“Ha, ha!” laughed Mrs. Pushy. “We both love your sense of humor.”

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