I have to go. I don’t have to go.

I have a new ailment. It goes like this:

Pee Dinner Husband

Pee Dinner 2

Pee Dinner 3

Pee Dinner Bathroom doors

Repeat cycle three to sixteen times.

So last Friday I charged into my doctor’s office convinced of at least four specific diseases residing inside my body. I gave my doc some options to explore, as I’d spent the past three days on WebMD diagnosing myself.

But after lots of tests (including one, no joke, where he punched me in the kidney and asked if it hurt), I walked out of the doctor’s office with two packets of pills in my purse. Once home, I greedily opened one of the packs, eager to rid myself of this pesky problem.

Inside the packet was a pamphlet with encouragements like “Take your bladder back. Take your LIFE back.” Also in the pamphlet were pictures of people who suffer from this conundrum, and from the looks of it, they all spend their days in lounge clothes doing crosswords…

Mature man

Mature Lady

It is official, people. I am 102 years old. I’ll probably subscribe to a newspaper soon.

Now then.

My Mob Boss Ty stopped by our office this week. His sightings are rare, so I tried to discreetly get some shots of him.

Apparently, discretion is not part of my skill set:

Ty Sighting 2

After he finished talking to this guy, he walked over and stood behind me and asked about the blog. I nervously fumbled to my stats page and tried to tell him how it’s actually a good thing that so few people read this. Like, we’re exclusive, you know?

I am not convinced he agrees.

But he can’t fire me.

Because I’m still in the ladies’ room.

Doing a crossword.

Blooper

Somebody has been throwing staples all over my desk and they’re about to get a stapler to the jaw if they keep it up. I’ve been out of the office for the past two weeks and have returned to find that most of my co-workers are recovering from the flu, but if they think I’m above throwing office supplies at someone with a fever, they’re wrong.

Try me.

Try me.

So while the office recovers from ailments and/or thrown-hard-object-related injuries, I’m going to dig up some dirt from the past for your reading pleasure. Below, a fun story that took place in 2013 about which James would not let me write. Surely there’s some sort of statute of limitations on this stuff, right?

It all started during a team meeting in which James was trying to think of ways to wield his power over others. It was essentially a brainstorming session on how to punish people:

“We should slap them! Like when you join a gang!”

“We should make them give us money!”

“Make them buy us lunch!”

“Or maybe we should make them dance in front of the office,” James pondered aloud.

“We should make them twerk!” someone (who no longer works here) suggested.

“What is twerking?” James asked. “Yeah, what’s twerking?” I chimed, somewhat deflated that nobody liked my gang initiation idea.

“Uh, I don’t really know. Just look it up,” suggested the same person (full of ideas, I tell you). So James looked it up on YouTube with his computer…

His computer that was linked to the conference room big screen.

twerking video

And for the next twelve seconds we all watched in horror as a questionably dressed woman somewhere in Ohio humped a display of frozen cabbage in a grocery store. At the same time the guilty person over whom we were discussing punishments cried, “I’m not doing that in front of the office!”

James hurriedly fumbled with his mouse to close the video, then glared at me typing away and shook his head, daring me to defy him. Woo ha ha ha!

And that’s how our office learned the facts on twerking.

Before I go, would you please take my survey? I’d like to know what to focus on for the next year with this blog, but since most people find me by searching for porn (boy are they disappointed), I don’t really know what the thousands hundreds seven of you like to read. Oh, and you can choose more than one answer.

Now, off to sharpen my stapler.

The Company I Write for Blocked My Writing

I have a bone to pick with Mr. Envoy Mortgage. On a trip to our corporate office yesterday to meet more of our new team, I met a very kind loan officer assistant (just like I used to be! Except for he actually proves useful to his boss and is a lot more important) named Daniel. Daniel had a hazy familiarity with my blog, much in the way you’d remember the Christmas from when you were three. Like, “I remember a tree, and I think my dad got drunk that night, but that’s about it.” So I tried to tell Daniel about my work. “So I write this blog? And I write about the people who work here? And I try to make it funny?”

Daniel then asked me the web address (okay so he had a slightly less than hazy familiarity) and typed it into his computer.

And this popped up:

Blocked by My Own Company

 

“What!” I exclaimed. “You must have typed it in wrong, Daniel. What kind of assistant are you? Try again.”

But still, the same results.

I’m blocked. Y’all, the company for whom I write a blog has blocked my blog from their corporate employees. I can’t decide if I’m exasperated or flattered. I think both. So listen, Mr. Envoy, I know you have some IT people working for you because I’ve called them when my computer acts wonky. I suggest you get this issue taken care of before I take down this company with all my power.

I’ll do it. I swear I’ll do it.

After I gasped at the atrocity, I asked Daniel for his best office gossip, and he was totally rude and wouldn’t say anything bad about anybody. At that point, I had to go interview Daniel’s boss, so it was time to say goodbye to my new friend.

Me: Okay, Daniel, I’ll be back to talk to you some more later!

Daniel (shifting in his chair): Um, you don’t need to do that.

Me: I’ll be right back. You think of some dirt!

Daniel (turning away from me): Eh…no.

Daniel Wants Me to Go AwayAfter my non-interview with Daniel, I snooped around corporate for a while. Here’s the thing, people. I’m kind of in this trial period. So I’ve told y’all that we’re part of this big branch now, right? And the leader of the big branch is named Ty, right? Well, I don’t think Ty is totally sure about me (which, okay, is kind of understandable as I’ve written on three different occasions that I suspect he has ties to the mafia).

So I’m trying to convince everyone on our new team to love me so that if Ty tries to oust me, everyone will revolt and there will be this huge mutiny. To begin accomplishing my goal, yesterday after interviewing Daniel I spent six minutes of my life that I’m never getting back watching grungy music festival videos with Daniel’s hippie boss, Shaun, who happens to produce and distribute all sorts of granola-lyrical-peace type stuff after work.

Not gettin' this time back, people.

Not gettin’ this time back, people.

Totally joking, I was like, “Do you have a festival to produce tonight?” and he was like, “Not tonight, but I had one last week,” and then made me asked me if I wanted to watch the video.

Dude was so kooky interesting that I’m saving my interview with him for a whole other blog post, so stay tuned for that.

Okay, sweet readers, you all have a happy Wednesday. (Oh – and feel free to leave comments for Ty below!) Now, off to start a revolution.

My Bosses Broke Up (and James got to Keep the Office Plant)

It’s time you hear the whole scoop concerning this office and what we’ve been through in the past month. It’s been a bumpy month, folks, but things are looking up.

I sat down with my Boss James today for all the details…

The Plant Stays

An interview with my Boss, James Beaver

Just the Assistant: First things first, Boss… you and Chad broke up. When I broke up with boyfriends in high school I’d listen to old country songs and smoke cigarettes. Have you tried that?

James Beaver: Not yet.

JTA: Okay Boss, this is big stuff. What happened?

JB: Basically, Chad took me out for a drink and told me that he had a job offer from a company he was a big fan of. He told me he was considering accepting it, but he wasn’t sure. So he took some time to think about it, and two days later he told me he was taking the job.

JTA: Had things been rough between you guys leading up to this?

JB: No, everything was good. We’re still good. He just emailed me actually. I mean, I’d prefer that he still worked here, but we’re good.

JTA: Ooh, write him back and tell him that I’m interviewing you about him!

(James ignores me.)

JTA: Can we say that Hayley and Rachelle left, too?

JB: Yeah, we can say that.

[Note: Hayley and Rachelle left with Chad.]

JTA: So Chad decided to leave, and that left you to run this branch alone. What were you thinking then?

JB: My mind instantly went into, “What’s the best thing for the most people?” I wanted to do everything I could to keep the branch running and protect as many people as I could from losing their jobs. And I wanted to stay with Envoy.

JTA: So what did you do?

JB (speaking of manager of a different Envoy branch): I called Ty Smith, took him out for a beer, and told him I wanted to come work for him, that I had a great team.

JTA: Did you kind have to sell us to him? Like, “And then there’s Christina, who does pretty much nothing. She’s amazing though!” Or was he already interested?

JB: He was pretty interested, but we had to work through a lot of logistics.

JTA: Was there a time when you thought you’d have to lay me off?

JB: I have to consider that like every 45 days, Christina.

JTA: Ha! Well I hope you told him how we’ll all go under if he doesn’t let me keep this blog. So what’s our status now?

JB: We are basically a satellite office of Ty’s larger branch.

JTA: Okay, you and Chad worked together for ten years. How are you?

JB: I’m actually excited. Since I’m part of another branch now, some of my management responsibilities get taken care of by other people, which allows me to focus on taking great care of my customers. I get a huge kick out of that.

JTA: Have you been sleeping with Chad’s picture under your pillow?

JB: No, but we did share a hotel room in Scottsdale a few weeks ago a week after he left. We’d signed up for a conference months before, and there was only one hotel room left. I short sheeted his bed one night. He was concerned I might smother him with a pillow, so I felt the short-sheeting was okay.

JTA: Good call. Smothering might have been over the top. So listen, I know what happened was hard, but over all do you think this is going to be best for both of you?

JB: I really do. I think we were relying on each other for things that led us to not grow certain skill sets we both should have. Sometimes we got bogged down with lots of projects and plans, which can be great, but can be a distraction. So we’re both paring back and focusing on what’s important in our businesses.

JTA: Do you think we should toilet paper Chad’s yard?

JB: He doesn’t have a yard.

JTA: But he has that patio we could roll.

JB: No, let’s not. We shouldn’t toilet paper his yard.

JTA: Fine, party pooper. Okay, what else do you want people to know?

JB: Chad’s a great friend. I hope he does great. I’m excited for both of us and change is kind of fun. And it’s been a great 10 years. We’ve had a lot of good times. Some hard times too. Really, this just impacts our working relationship, but our friendship is still in good shape.

Since Chad and I started working together, he met, started dating and married his wife. We’ve both been through some pets. I’ve had two kids, and Chad was covering for me when I was at the hospital while they were being born. We’ve worked at three companies together. We’ve built a great team together.

We’ve gone through massive regulatory changes and massive changes in the market. We’ve had stretches where we still aren’t sure how we stayed in business and stretches when we couldn’t believe how blessed we were. A lot of life has happened together. Changing companies won’t change any of that or change that we’re still great friends.

JTA: That’s very sweet, James. Hey, can I get a picture of you gazing at Chad’s picture on the bulletin board and looking like you’re about to cry?

JB (indulging me): Sure.

There, there, ole Boss...

There, there, ole Boss…

JB: But make sure everyone knows this, too. When Chad told me he was taking the other job, it was a pretty emotional meeting. Afterward Chad stayed in his office with the door closed for like an hour and a half. And you know that plant we have that keeps dying every time we move it? Well once Chad came out of his office, he poured some water into the plant from his water bottle like he always does before he leaves for the weekend.  And I leaned over to him and said really low, “If you move that plant again, it’s going to die. The plant stays.”

Plant Stays Here

In yo FACE, Chad!

JTA: It’s such a nice plant, really. So what’s the future of this small group of people we’ve got left?

JB: We’ve got a group that’s been galvanized. Everybody knows what they want and we’ve got the same goals. It’s brought us all closer together.

JTA: Okay Boss, I’m glad we’re all still on good terms and we can all agree to send Chad a Christmas card, but at the end of the day, we want people to send us business, right?

(James grins and won’t say anything).

JTA: Okay Boss, now go answer all those phone calls!

Chad, if you’re reading this, I enjoyed every minute that I worked for you. (Except for when you sent me crazy emails about “ideas” you had that ended with like nineteen exclamation points. Remember when you asked me to invent and build an app? Enough with the ideas already, man.) You always took time to sit down with me and hear about my life and you were quick to lift people up. If you want to call me once a week and tell me about the workout videos you completed, I’m all ears as usual. Also, send Hayley and Rachelle my love, and tell them that the office kitchen is still dirty.

The Elephant in the Office

So listen, people, I’m just going to be honest with you. We’ve had some crazy crap going on here in the office in the last two weeks. At this point, I need to be a bit vague about it. (I’m sorry, but I really do need to keep this job.) But I promise, in a few weeks when some of the dust settles, I will fill you all in.

For now, with some people depressed and some people manically happy and some people kind of dazed and some people really quiet, I don’t even know what to write about. It’s like this giant elephant sitting at my cube, like right on my face. And the thing is, all I want to do is tell YOU, my amazing readers who have been taking time out of your day to read a mortgage blog all about it.

Elephant on my face

(Forgive me – I just discovered how fun it is to draw in Microsoft Paint, and it’s like crack, people. It’ll wear off soon.)

In the meantime, let’s explore the pictures on my camera phone, shall we?

I found plantain twins at Kroger. I’m telling you people, pesticides are taking over the world:

Banana Twins

Kroger had my blueberries on sale and I went straight up Honey Boo Boo’s mom and bought all of them (I promise not every picture is from Kroger, but I do like to take pictures in the grocery store):

Honey Boo Boo Blueberries

My dog Cowboy and I went moose hunting a few weeks ago:

Big Game Hunt

I saw these napkins at World Market the other day. They’re dirty (dirty napkins – get it?) but too funny not to share:

Dirty Napkin

Pottery Barn needs to rethink Christmas. What the heck is this and why would I hang it on my tree?

Kooky Christmas

Once we moved into our new house, we realized the bathroom tiles weren’t cleaned properly (they still had grout smeared on them). We called the warranty people and they sent tile workers out four different times, never cleaning it properly. Finally, they replaced the tiles. Three of these are not like the others:

New Tile

Okay folks, HANG WITH ME! I promise I will fill you in as I can on what’s up in this crazy mortgage office. Next week I will share a few details (they can’t fire me for just a few details, right?). In the meantime, please read my other blog! And stop back here next week to find out which dirty word I used when this whole shebang started.

(I’ll give you a hint – it made those dirty napkins seem downright innocent).

 

 

I Made a Presentation

Straight Shooter Shane is speaking at a loan officer marketing lab next week.

“What? A lab? You’re going to a lab? What are you talking about?” I asked.

“It’s a group of loan officers who discuss how to market,” Straight Shooter Shane replied.

“What do they want you to talk about?” I asked.

“Realtor relationships.”

“What are you going to say?” I asked, instantly nervous for him though he seemed quite calm.

“I’m not exactly sure yet.”

With that, I thought it only best for me to write Shane’s presentation for him. You know, just doin’ what I can, people…

 Just the Assistant’s Handy Steps to Wow Realtors:

Step 1

Step 2

Step Three

Step 4

Step 5

Now that Straight Shooter Shane has some time on his hands (since he doesn’t have to worry with his presentation anymore) feel free to send him hundreds of home loans.

Now, I’m off to explore careers in graphic design.

 

Family Ties (and Knots)

We’ve got lots of family ties in this office. V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will is brothers with one of the founders of the company, half of us go to church together, so we’re like, church family, and my Boss Chad is married to our processor, Rachelle. It’s like the Cleavers in here, I tell you.

Speaking of family…

Something unfortunate occurred over the weekend. It involved me, my mother-in-law, and some questionable judgment on my part.

It began when, on Saturday night, I suggested we watch a movie. My in-laws were visiting from their farm in Alabama and my husband and I had been busy showing them around Houston for most of the day. While Benson pulled our Amazon account up, we discussed what type of movie we were in the mood for. “I could do a thriller,” I said, “or a comedy, or a rom-com, or…” when my mother-in-law asked, “What’s that Fargo?” pointing to a thumbnail on the screen.

Now listen, folks. Fargo happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time. Back when we all had Myspace accounts, I had Fargo listed as one of my favorite movies (well, I suppose I still do have it listed there because who in God’s creation knows how to take a  Myspace account down?).

If you’ve seen the movie, you very well might have already stopped reading, finally realizing that I am a horrible, bloodthirsty person with no soul. I’d say that’s fair. It’s a rather gory movie.

Okay y’all, but here’s the thing. It’s been a few years since I saw the film (I’m trying to make it sound more sophisticated using “film”), and I apparently had forgotten a few key scenes. So when my MIL asked about the film, I replied:

“Oh, Fargo is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s kind of gory and has some bad language, but it doesn’t have, like, nudity or anything.”

Somebody stop me from talking before I tell a group of toddlers that they’ll love Friday the 13th.

And so, my MIL, thinking me a somewhat rational human being (silly MIL!), agreed to watch Fargo with us.

As it turns out, I kind of misremembered Fargo. Specifically, the following scenes:

  • The scene where the two killers make whoopee with prostitutes in a hotel room on side-by-side beds.
  • The scene where this Native American guy beats a naked man with a belt. Yep, forgot about that one.
  • Every scene that uses the f-word, which was every single scene. I’m not making this up (I looked it up) the f-word alone was used 76 times.
  • The scene where another prostitute (we’re up to three ladies of the night now, people) runs down a hallway. Naked.
  • The scene in which one of the murderers chops up a body with wood chipper and blood spurts out onto the snow.

Please note that I watched these scenes while sitting on the couch next to my mother-in-law who has never uttered a curse word in her life and feeds homeless people in her spare time. At one point I looked over at her and she had a blanket over her head. I’m serious. I enlisted Hottest Mortgage Banker in Texas Hayley’s help in reenacting the scene.

Me: “Hey Hayley, can I take a picture of you with a blanket over your head?”

Hayley: “What?”

Me: “Here, just put this on your head, okay?”

Fargo

Hayley, as my mom-in-law.

The day after the incident I tried to play it cool and made sure to dote on my husband in front of the in-laws so they’d see that though I am psycho sick when it comes to cinema, I at least love their son very much. But then I ruined it after dinner when I joked, “Hey – y’all want to watch another violent porn?” (Benson thought it was really funny. The others, not so much.)

So anyway, folks, please learn from my lapse in judgment and watch Fireproof or something when your mom-in-law visits. And if not, just keep a blanket handy. And if any of you have any awkward in-law stories of your own, I’d love to hear them. Now, off to rent Texas Chainsaw Massacre so I can watch it with my grandparents come Thanksgiving.