Back to public service…

It was with a teary eye that I bid farewell to Tatiana and her bikini-that clearly was based on the ” how little material will not get me arrested for indecency?” school of fashion. As I handed Svetlana what was left of my bottle of Ambre Solaire, I assumed a stiff… upper lip, you filthy-minded lot and cast my mind to matters current in the world of buying, selling and renting property. Reported across the media and not just in the property press was the case involving a claim for discrimination lodged by a former employee of a very large and successful chain of estate agents. The report of the case highlighted how the case was handled-rather incompetently as it transpired-and detailed that the claimant made the claim as a result of a comment made to her in an appraisal of her work that she would be, “better suited to a traditional estate agency”. The tribunal found in favour of the 59 year old claimant as it was deemed that the comment would not have been made to a younger person. The report did not state how ‘young’ is thought to be younger, or what is the threshold for being considered young. It did get me thinking. In any profession should age or experience be the measure by which someone is deemed capable of doing the job? What is relevant is that age has nothing to do with being professional. Was the one-size-fits-all (unless you are Tatiana) approach of the said corporate estate agency indicative of their being big enough that they felt it perfectly admissable to make such a comment in the first place and is this behaviour indicative of how they treat their clients? Maybe. Ask yourself what is  the average age of senior managers of a large corporate estate agency and compare this to the average age of the manager of an independently owned agency. Does the age of an agent have any relevance to a client selecting them to market and sell their property? Maybe. It is all about the needs of the vendor and they may well want somebody with the experience that they deem necessary for someone to be given the responsibility of selling their property. However well an agent markets themselves (did I mention that I have a side-line as a George Clooney lookie-likie?), it is wholly down to the client and the relationship that they want to have with the agent and how that can be achieved. Experience never leaves you, unlike the film-star good looks with which some of us have been blessed…