We have heard the term “thrown under the bus”. It generally means that someone has been blamed for a poor outcome without having the opportunity to defend themselves. It occurs in every industry, everywhere. A person looks at a poor outcome and says, “That person should have known that”, or “how could that person miss that?”. What they do not have are all the facts, just irresponsible speculation and lousy assumptions. It’s easy to do, the person under the bus won’t be coming back. A consequence of being under the bus is that a person’s professional reputation is trashed.
I have been in two industries throughout my career: Building Construction and Real Estate. I’ve seen many people thrown under the bus in both industries. While working in building construction, I was dealing with a client, new to the project, who did not listen to me or anyone. At one point that person said I was not communicating, I was standing in front of that person. I got a call from my boss saying, “That person threw you under the bus, let’s talk about it”.
We had one subcontractor who over-promised and under-delivered. That person’s nickname was Tire Tracks, because of being thrown under the bus weekly. It continued in future projects for about 4 years until that person no longer showed. To this day, I’m sure the Tire Tracks left a permanent scar.
In the Real Estate industry home inspectors are not a skilled trade. Skilled trades in Real Estate includes electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs, and engineers (forgive me for omitting others). They have been trained, have licenses, and have continuing education. “The inspector must have seen this electrical panel, the inspector missed the corrosion”. My report says the panel cover was not removed because of stored items. No matter, the inspector missed it. My bad, NOT!
My favorite people to toss me beneath the wheels are REALTORS©. When working for a national inspection company, a listing agent called our corporate office demanding that I be fired because I left the water running in a bath shower. I thought I didn’t do that. The buyer called me 4 days later. “I hear you were blamed for leaving the water on. Sorry about that, we left the water on in that shower after you left.” Thanks for your honesty.
A listing agent called recently. “You left the natural gas fireplace lit, my sellers returned home after a long weekend and were horrified that their fireplace was on, it’s your fault, and I’m going to trash you on social media.” I responded in a calm voice, “I did not leave the fireplace lit because I never lit it in the first place.” “Well then who lit it?”. “I don’t know because I was not the last person to leave.” I could have thrown the buyers under the bus because they were the ones who lit the fireplace, but I didn’t. I know this agent lives ¼ mile away, has never recommended me in the past and if a future client calls recommended by that agent I will decline.
These UNDER THE BUS items will continue, no doubt. I advise those working in this industry to take photos, especially inaccessible areas and areas blocked by stored items. It is well worth it.