Actually, I can’t call them conversations. They were convoluted “explanations” of how built-in furniture is actually built in and not easily moveable. I had my spelling abilities questioned (he didn’t know what those “fireplace tool-things” were one moment, and yet later he repeatedly thought I couldn’t spell andirons in my emails). There were the moments the wall mirror was staying, and the many more where he might try to sell it. On and on and on these lectures and vacillations went, until my eardrums begged for mercy.
However, I persevered, because a fee is a fee. Or so I kept telling myself, until this man delivered the coup de grâce in the form of multiple communications about a sectional couch. I finally snapped; we hadn’t proceeded past the personal property clause of the sales contract, let alone started negotiations with his buyers, and he was already sucking out all my energy and time!
I invoked my rarely used get-out-of-deals card, which I include in my introductory letters to potential clients: … if my circumstances change before I have sent out Contracts on your behalf, I will so advise you. I bid the wannabe client adieu, gladly choosing to stay a little longer in fiscal purgatory rather than sacrifice three to four months of my life force to the vampire seller.