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The Law of Dominoes...or The Power of a Single Piece of Paper

The law of dominoes states clearly that there is a 100% chance that one domino pulled out of order in a row of stacking dominoes will cause the whole damn thing to collapse like a house of cards.
You know when you were little, how you'd make a line of standing dominoes that ran from one end of the dining room table to the other? Knock down the end domino and guess what happens? They all fall down, like at the end of Ring-Around-the-Rosey!

Here's the deal in my life today...
I have a client who has bought a house in town and has also sold his house in the city.
The owners of the house that he's purchased here have also bought another house in another town. That's a whole line-up of deals all hinging on each other, dependent on each other closing on time and in proper form.

The first deal in the line-up, the purchase of my client's home in the city has a little problem...and now every single deal after that is teetering and tottering and stressing out every attorney, realtor, buyer and seller in the queue! Aiiiiiiiya....

My job often consists of babysitting, calming, counselling, caretaking, smoothing-over and putting out fires for my clients. In this case, I'm doing all of the above. We are now 5 days past legal possession for the first deal, and it's still not solved...attorneys are working overtime, becoming increasingly more cranky as each hour passes. Sellers are anxiously waiting the next work from their realtor...that'd be me...and buyers are pacing floors in a variety of locations, waiting for the green light that lets them begin the process of moving into their new home.

What's the problem?
A single piece of paper is missing.
One single letter-size page of printer paper.
Now, between the development officer for the city and the attorney for each client, there is a crushing rush to create a solution that will keep everyone and everything from disintegrating completely. That's the power of something as small and supposedly insignificant as a sheet of paper that is 8.5" X 11".

It amazes me that something as insignificant as a piece of paper with a few words and numbers on it can cause 5 deals to screech to a halt, a dozen lives to be interrupted momentarily. A little bit of wood pulp controls the well-being of a dozen people and directs their lives for a few days...that's stunning to me!

What's the solution to this real-life issue?
Apparently, it will be a cash holdback, arranged by the attorneys who are representing my client and the buyer of his house. Money talks, it appears.

By Monday morning, all will be well in the land of Oz.
Movers will be busy, buyers will be happy, sellers will be counting their shekels, attorneys will be knocking back a few cool ones and the realtor...that'd be me...will sink into a chair in her office, breathe a huge sigh of relief and set up the dominoes again.
I think there's a lesson in all of this, a reminder for me and for all of my clients in this transaction...we're not in charge of our Universe. No matter how hard we try, how fast we talk or how much we believe we are, we simply aren't the boss here. We might as well get out of the driver's seat, because we're sure not driving this car.

About the time that we begin feeling a little smug and self-satisfied that we're managing to control our lives quite well...and aren't we the goodie-guy to be managing to do that...along comes life, in the form of a sheet of paper, and SWAAAAACK! We get one of those right upside the head, rendering us helpless and neutralizing any position of power that we mistakenly thought we held.

A lesson that I continually must re-learn.

"Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out." ~ Unknown

Comments (4)


Just popping in to say, you're right, I really like how the header and side photo look on your blog!


Love the new website look!


Thanks, Leslie...I'm gettin' there, slowly but surely!
It's actually starting to look like a real blog, now!


Thanks, Leslie...it's a work in progress!

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