By Dan St. Yves

Hello colleagues, and thank you for attending my optional seminar/slide show about avoiding potential conflicts while out in the community.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why I’m not just using a PowerPoint presentation, but I thought it would be fun to gather up some pictures I happened to take, or noticed someone taking fortuitously. Hey, if we have enough time left over at the end, I’ll pop in a few of the slides from my trip to Saskatoon earlier this summer!

Okay, here we go. What you see in this picture is the group that kindly gathered to help me when my clients’ prized show cat got out of their home just before I was supposed to start my open house. One neighbour was quick to print posters, even if the cat he used from an adoption group online looked nothing at all like the prize-winning tabby my clients owned. That said, I’m pleased to say the feline was found quickly – and then kept in the basement until the open house was over.

This shot was rather surprising. The owners showed it to me a few days after an open house. Their discreet security cameras happened to catch the exact moment my microwave popcorn cooked a bit too long and caused just a small cloud of smoke to leach out of the microwave, setting off their emergency SOS system. There were a few neighbours taking pictures as they were rubbernecking over the firefighters and such, but this was the only shot I received before I bought the clients a lovely new microwave oven.

If you’ve ever wondered just how handy smartphone cameras are, check out THIS shot as my leg fell through a rotten wooden stair leading up to a terraced area of a new listing I was previewing. My client forwarded this after he snapped the leg of my brand-new dress pants being sliced open like a pea pod in the summertime! On the plus side, we discovered a nest of carpenter ants below the stairs, and were able to have them exterminated ahead of the home going on the market. Quite the biters!

I’m going to just skip over this picture of a big group of my colleagues and I having a pool party, as it was entirely unintended, breaking out rather spontaneously while we were on an office tour of the listed property. Happily, after cleanup I could personally attest in my feature sheet to the capabilities of entertaining in that space!

Before we break to top up our coffees and stretch our legs, this picture was snapped by my partner while I was crouched under the basement stairs, trying to locate a pet boa constrictor that got out of his enclosure by what appeared to be sheer brute force and determination. In the excitement and confusion, it wasn’t until almost the end of my open house that I noticed the hamster cage on the other side of the room appeared unused, or at the least very, very empty. For the life of me, I could not remember if it had been occupied earlier.

Alright, break time people – 15 minutes please, we’ve got a lot more slides to feature before lunchtime!”