For your protection...these words may be so familiar and overused. I hope this will get your attention.
When I was buying the items in the protection package at a recent meeting of the DC IAHSP, I had doubt that I would need the things in it. I listened as the Lieutenant was telling stories of unfortunate happenings in the real estate business. Thinking, I don't show houses, so I most likely will never need to think about being in a compromising situation while Staging. After all, the doors are locked if I happen to be alone at the property. Keyword: ALONE.
Last week I had agreed to pull together our team and Stage late in the day because the DC area was about to get yet another snow storm. We needed to be ready for the weekend. So moved up the date two days.
I wasn't alone at 4:30 pm at the property we of Staged Home Decor were Staging last week. We had just unloaded the final item from the final load into the property. We were just about to close up the van and move it from directly in front of the property. Just then, a woman burst through the front door. She was yelling and screaming and cursing, that we were blocking her driveway. Evidently this was pent up anger at contractors working at the property before us and were either on street in front of the house and blocking her driveway. It sounded and appeared clear, she felt she should have clear pavement on both sides of the entire street in front of her property across street at all times. Vehicles parked anywhere within her sight were forbidden!...by the way, We were not blocking her driveway. Well, after allowing her to vent she turned and left, went across the street and got into her car, backed down the driveway and went down the street. We moved the van and went to work. The project was being completed as team members left in turns to go home to their small children and family.
I remained alone, Little 5 feet tall me, to load the empty containers and close up the property.
Oh, did I mention, the listing agent lived next door? Well, she was coming back and forth and I felt secure getting out of there on my own. FAT CHANCE!
It is dark outside. I was just 2 minutes from being able to close up and go home. Long day... I was placing my tool kit in the back of the van and I saw car lights. I made sure the door was not out in the street beside me and continued to fit the kit in the tight space I had left for it. Well, BANG! the door hits me in the left side of my body and this woman it screaming and cursing like a madwoman. I was shocked and scared to death. Not bad enough? then comes the driver of her car, a man with an umbrella pointed at me screaming and cursing me. They were blocking me from moving and threatening me if I tried to leave. As she was going to call the police because I wouldn't engage her and she just was fed up with the cars in front of her home. Here is where the protection package comes in...why didn't I have mace??? I was so frightened. A crazy woman in my face and a man with an umbrella pointing and shaking in my face. I did get my cellphone from my pocket and dialed 911, afraid of physical attack when I finally did it. Seeing me do this and hearing me talking, she ran to the agents home screaming, I mean loudly screaming as I talked to the 911 operator. Thank goodness she went to the agent, because I then I could go back into the house then I had some help. Let say too, Not a neighbor came out of their home to help me. The police responded with two units and I can't say anything was resolved with her. But I got away. I am having nightmares every night and I am truly emotionally shaken.
I can't believe in that neighborhood, anything like that could ever happen to me by a homeowner. This is a very good residential neighborhood in Rockville.
Let this be a lesson. No neighborhood is too good for all safety precautions to be taken. NEVER be alone working without protection. And agents take my advice, beware of biting neighbors!