One Day at the County

Posted on June 9, 2012

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Not about either fishing or photography. This was posted on my original Blogger blog, which I can no longer remember how to sign in to.  It’s still damn funny though.

This stuff really happens to me. I was trying to sell my property and get some basic information in place in case people wanted to develop it:

Jason (my realtor): Jon, Kristine (the other realtor) went to the county to start the application process, but there is some archeological information regarding your property that they will only tell you.

Jon: Sigh

Two days later.

Jon: Hi, I’m here to get my secret decoder ring from Janice. 15 minutes while the receptionist looks for Janice and wonders why nobody ever tells her their schedule (something I was also pondering). It turns out Sue can help.

Jon: Hi Sue, apparently there is some secret archaeological info regarding my house?

Sue: Yes, I can help you with that.

I hand her my tax parcel and she starts scrolling a map on her screen.

Jon: I’m confused, if there is some information regarding my property, why isn’t it on my title?

Sue: Oh, it’s secret. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

Jon: OK, but why can you tell me and not my agent?

Sue: I told you, it’s secret. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

Jon: Yes, but he is my agent, which means that we have a confidential relationship.

Sue: You can tell him (if you want), but I can’t. State law. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

Jon: Well if it’s secret, how would I know?

Sue: Well your realtor didn’t do a very thorough job when you bought the place. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

Jon: I’m confused, I’m here specifically because he wasn’t able to get this information, now you’re telling me I don’t know it because he should’ve gotten it?

Sue: Yes, but he can’t. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

Sensing this application must by default start at Pt. Roberts (NW corner of state)…

Jon: I’m going to go get a drink.

(They should really have a bar in the county offices.)

Sue: Okay. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

Jon: I’m back. So, um, can’t you just enter coordinates into that?

Sue: On the old one we could, but not the new one. They are probably going to add it.

Jon: Hopefully before you succumb to carpal tunnel and I have to go back in line.

Sue: Here’s Monroe. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

Jon: So, wouldn’t it make sense to tell somebody when they buy property that there is an archeological restriction?

Sue: Well some people would dig it all up looking for stuff! Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll.

Jon: True, but more likely it would be nice to know before you say, planted a garden?

Sue: Well, we just like to keep it quiet Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll…

Jon: But I owned it, I could’ve done something by mistake much more likely than on purpose?

Sue: Here it is.

Jon: Whew.

Sue: There are no archeological restrictions on your property.

Jon: The secret is that there is no secret?

Sue: Yes.

Jon: The secret, which I took time off from work and drove 50 miles because you couldn’t tell my realtor, is that there is nothing I can’t tell my realtor?

Sue: Well I can’t tell him that, but you can tell him that.

Jon: Okaaaay. So now what I do with this information to prove we’ve gone through this exercise?

Sue: Well, I will print you a map and a letter. The letter will state that just because we’ve gone through this doesn’t mean that the new owner won’t have to go through this, though.

Jon: Okay, so I get a map, and a letter that says the secret that there is no secret may still be secret?

Sue: Only if you want to tell them that.

Comes back with a map of my plot and surrounding plots.

Jon:  Sue, on this map there are defined archeological sites. Should I be looking at this?

Sue:  Sure, but you can’t tell where they are.

Jon: It’s a map.

Sue:  But you don’t know whose property.

Jon:  It has lot lines and parcel numbers and besides if I’m stealing I don’t really care from whom, do I? Anyway, the silliest thing just occurred to me: You never asked me for ID.

Sue:  Oh, I can tell who you are just from your temperament.

Jon:  My reputation precedes me?

Sue:  No, it’s just that only an owner would get this upset about this.

Jon:  Oh, I think any reasonable person could hardly fail to see the humor in this, to take the time off work, drive up here, and find out there is nothing to find out. I do have to tell you though, you were incredibly efficient.

Sue:  Oh, well, normally, I just do this over the phone.

Jon: !

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Posted in: Photography