*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
My husband and I married young. So when we bought our first house, we were only in our early twenties. I was twenty-four, and my husband was twenty-two when we received the keys to our first home. It was a starter home, but it was ours. It needed some work, but we didn’t care. We were just happy to be homeowners.
I worked two jobs at the time we bought the house. As a result, I had little free time.
Our real estate agent needed me to sign some documents to prepare for our closing, and I kept delaying because of my hectic work schedule. He asked me if he could stop by my workplace for a few minutes so I could sign the papers, and I told him, "No," in no uncertain terms.
I was afraid of getting into trouble for having a visitor at work. The regional manager was very strict, and I didn’t want to risk getting fired.
It was a foolish fear. The convenience store where I worked had a hard time finding employees. I worked hard, stayed late, and never complained. I'm sure upper management would have accepted my having a real estate agent stop by for five minutes while I was working, but I wasn't so sure back then.
In retrospect, I see that my fear was unfounded. If I had known then what I know now, I would have welcomed the chance to have the real estate agent stop by my work. It would have saved me a lot of stress and anxiety.
One evening, I was at work alone at the convenience store when my real estate agent walked in with a sheaf of papers. I couldn't throw him out. So I signed the paperwork on the dotted lines while having an anxiety attack. It was one of the most unnecessarily stressful experiences of my life.
I can understand the real estate agent's position. Even though I had told him not to show up at my job, he needed to get the documents signed so my husband and I could purchase the home we'd agreed to buy. He probably thought I was silly for telling him not to come to my workplace in the first place, and I agree.
I just didn't agree back then. In retrospect, it was a foolish request.
Surely an employer who would begrudge me five minutes to sign documents to buy my first house wasn't an employer I'd want anyhow. It wasn't like it was a prestigious or well-paying job. It paid minimum wage, and when all was said and done, I ended up working there for a grand total of one month. So it was hardly worth stressing over that job.
If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self not to worry so much about what other people think. I would remind myself that most employers are reasonable people who understand the occasional need to take care of personal business during work hours. I would tell myself to relax and enjoy the process of buying my first home.
What do you think? Comments are welcome.
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