One of the collateral benefits of being an itinerant speaker is having the ability to catch up with friends who have pulled up stakes and scattered across the continent while I happen to be moving about the country fulfilling a speaking invitation.

As you read this, I will be en route to Columbia, South Carolina to speak to the Winter gathering of the South Carolina Association of Home Inspectors on Saturday morning. I’m heading to Savannah, Georgia this morning because I have two high school buddies who have retired to Hilton Head and they were kind enough to invite me to stay a few days with them on either side of the speaking engagement.

I also have a friend from Artillery OCS who owns a seafood restaurant in Hilton Head and I am hoping to be able to stop by to see him, as well.

Of course, I am also looking forward to meeting the home inspectors who have registered for the seminar. If this South Carolina seminar is even half-way typical of others what follows is bound to happen.

I will be meeting for the first time some inspectors whom I have “known” for years via email or telephone and many others who have been following me and reading my musings on this industry for years.

I love speaking to home inspectors because they are really interested in the subject matter, pay rapt attention, ask insightful questions and often make useful observations and suggestions.

And they are all uniformly and thoroughly astonished when I tell them that virtually no home inspection claim ever has any merit. It is quite amusing to me – a phenomenon, really – to watch from the speaker’s podium as that initial astonishment gradually transmutes into a fervently held belief by sheer dint of the compelling logic of the presentation. And, of course, I am never in any danger of running out of current examples of just how ridiculous the typical home inspection claim actually is.

As the seminar progresses, many inspectors will ask questions whose answers will become self-evident later in the presentation. Almost every question that is asked has been asked in every previous seminar that I have given.

And afterwards, when I am packing up my gear, it is a mortal certainty that I will be approached by a minyan of inspectors who want to know how they can avail themselves of my services.

And without fail, three to four weeks later, an inspector who had been at the seminar will call me because, notwithstanding that he has conducted over three thousand inspections and never had so much as a call-back, that very day he got a letter from an attorney. “It’s the damnedest thing, Joe.”

I know. It’s like Groundhog Day.

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