I didn’t truly understand the benefit of teamwork until my first post-collegiate job, a gig painting the exterior siding of houses. My original intent in taking the job was to earn some money in a low-key setting before moving on to the stress of graduate school, and I envisioned myself whistling as I leisurely ascended a ladder, paint can in hand, for sunny days of minimal responsibility. At first, this dream was more or less true: as the new guy on the paint crew, I was trusted with easy tasks providing minimal chances for mistakes. Unfortunately, this blissful experience changed a week into the job when my boss told me I was going to be the jobsite manager.
“Excuse me?” I said.
“Jobsite manager,” my boss said. “You’re gonna be the new one.”
“Oh.” An uncomfortable silence. “Why?”
“All my guys quit and you’re technically the most experienced, now.”
I pondered this strange new universe in which I, a former English and Philosophy major, was suddenly the most senior member of a painting crew. “Well,” I said, “I imagine this will just be a ceremonial title, right?”
“No. You’re gonna be in charge. You’ll talk to the homeowner and make sure everything’s going smoothly. And you’ll paint the main siding with the sprayer. And you’re going to be up on the ladder painting the gutters. Oh, and you’ll be making sure the worksite is cleaned up every day.”
“What about the other painters? What are they going to do?”
“They’ll be moving ladders for you.”
And so, with but a week’s worth of experience, I found myself in charge of a paint crew. I was essentially responsible for all necessary tasks, in addition to managing the new painters my boss hired, a pair of gentlemen (let’s call them Timmy and Tommy) who made brick walls seem observant and reflective in comparison.
I first understood that my new painters were useless when, on his first day of work, Timmy informed me that he was prone to sunburns and could only work in the shade. Being reasonable (and, to be honest, completely inept and naive), I compassionately directed Timmy to start painting the ground level of the shadiest side of the house while I did everything else. Tommy was supposed to move and hold ladders for me and, to his credit, he didn’t mind the sun. The tradeoff was that he was forever zoning off into another dimension far removed from reality. This quality proved especially troublesome when my ladder slipped out from under me, leaving me clinging quietly but desperately to the second-story gutter. Seeing my distress, Tommy responded by staring at me open-mouthed for thirty seconds before inquiring whether or not I was alright.
A number of possible responses flashed through my head before I settled on: “Yup.”
“Cool dude. For a second there I was worried.”
A full minute of silence passed. Tommy continued staring at me while I scrabbled at the roof tiles, trying to save myself without ruining the homeowner’s gutter.
“Say Tommy,” I said after a while, “think you could get that ladder for me?”
“Oh, you want the ladder?”
“Yes. A nice, sturdy ladder would be just the thing right about now.”
When Tommy finally positioned the ladder so that I could scurry back to solid ground, I decided to catch my breath and check on Timmy’s progress. In the roughly hour and a half since I’d left him, Timmy had managed to finish painting a mere square foot of siding. To be fair, he’d also managed to spill a bucket of paint over the homeowner’s deck, thus turning the wooden structure a cheerful, very permanent blue color. When I tentatively suggested that he might have laid down a ground cloth to lessen the catastrophic severity of his mistake, Timmy gazed at me with amazed wonder as if he had just learned that the Declaration of Independence was in fact a signed document, rather than a spontaneous oral presentation.
Taking into account my failures while working on this team, I was lucky to avoid being fired, although I honestly would’ve welcomed an excuse to leave the job behind without feeling like a quitter. However, as miserable as it was, my painting job did teach me something truly invaluable: a job is only as good as the team that does it.
This is where Pickett Street excels. Rather than merely selling houses, Pickett Street Properties relies on a tight-knit team to sell the idea of home. The magic of Pickett Street’s model lies in the fact that everyone is important, and no one can carry the entire enterprise on his or her own. Rather than relying on the tired business model in which one real estate agent does everything, Pickett Street employs a diverse team of highly-motivated experts to “do life together with passion and curiosity, creating opportunities for our clients and ourselves.” Thus, Pickett Street enjoys an unprecedented level of success, closing 140 sales per year on average.
Pickett Street is currently looking to rebuild its sales department with motivated, ambitious, and talented professionals who not only want to work in a challenging environment, but who also want to enjoy the support of a superior team while doing so. Also, just for the record, they promise to never leave you hanging from a gutter, or spill blue paint on your deck.
If you feel frustrated by a chronic lack of teamwork, contact Margaret Smith for more information about applying to Pickett Street Properties today!