First Through Tenth

First of all, someone found the blog this week by searching “uncensored steak boob slap.” Who are you people?

Second of all, Hottest Mortgage Banker in Texas Hayley hates pickles. How could you hate pickles? They’re so cute and innocent. So yielding. Like, Hey guys I know I was born a cucumber, but you can turn me into something else; it’s fine. Last week Hayley asked me to draw something on her back with my finger and she’d guess what it was. I agreed and squiggled out a quick sketch.

“A heart?” she guessed. Nope. I drew again.

“A flower?” Nah ah. Again, I drew.

“Do you give up? It’s a pickle!” I proudly exclaimed, at which point Hayley began gagging. How can you not like pickles?

Third of all, I just got back from Zihuatanejo. It was my wedding anniversary – numero 11 – and to celebrate, my husband and I lounged on a Mexican hammock and ate shrimp tacos for a week.


Fourth of all, my husband is now trying to learn Spanish. He found an app for it, so lately instead of reading wine-making forums on his phone before he goes to sleep at night, he’s all “Los ninos comen pescado!” beside me in bed. It’s so relaxing. No it isn’t.

Fifth of all, Hipster Andie bought a home! I am only including this indoor photo instead of an outside shot in order to thwart any crazy hippies from stalking her.

Hipster Andie's Houst

Sixth of all, they took my desk and turned it into a storage area.

Where I used to sit

I now sit beside Soon-to-be Senior Mortgage Banker Britt because we’re both interesting people:

Party People

Seventh of all, not only did they take my desk, but they owe me $300. Remember the healthy living competition we had going? The one where if you rack up the most points by exercising and drinking gallons of water you win the pot? The $300 pot? Well, after two and a half weeks of exercising 90 minutes a day (seriously) and tracking every last banana I ate, the Bosses called off the challenge. I had been in the lead. They now owe me $300.

Eighth of all, instead of making them pay me the 300 clams, I will subtract that amount from all the money I actually owe the branch due to squandering my time here and being of no use whatsoever for the past five years.

Nine. We never did find Online Dater Mortgage Banker Jason’s lost love. Jason seems to be recovering okay.

Ten. While walking my labradoodle through the forest last week (doesn’t that make me sound so earthy?), I came upon a family on a morning walk. I smiled and tried to steer my dog away from sniffing all their crotches and went on my way. (And by the way – how the heck do you break them from sniffing the privates?) Later that day I got an email from the lady I’d seen in the woods. She reads the blog and she recognized me! Well, actually she recognized my dog, but still. It was my first celebrity sighting in which I was the celebrity being sighted.

Okay okay, you all have a great week and I’m off to whip up another post concerning uncensored steak boob slaps, part two.

Boys Drool Girls Rule (Actually, They Cry)

Some folks here at the office are about to carpool to Dallas for a conference. But here’s the thing. I’ve heard of this conference before, and y’all, I’m not kidding…

They yell at you.

I’ve never been to it because I’m not important enough to attend conferences, but I know someone who has, and the speaker is all, “You’re GARBAGE!” and stuff like that. I think Online Dater Jason will be able to handle it. And Soon-to-be Senior Mortgage Banker Britt should fare well, too. It’s the girls I’m worried about. (I know, I know, go ahead and sue me because I’m all sexist, but it’s totally true and I’ll say so in court.)

Seriously, Hottest Mortgage Banker in Texas Hayley and I made a pact a few years ago. If anyone in this office ever yells at us, we will promptly do two things: cry and quit. Done and done. I’m not sure how our pact will play out once she’s being yelled at by a conference speaker though. Can you quit a conference?

And how Hipster Andie is going to handle this is beyond me. I’m pretty sure hipsters never raise their voices unless they’re at speakeasies or beat poetry readings, so it’s going to come as a rude awakening when the speaker is all up in her face.

Conference Hipser Andie

I asked Britt how he’ll handle being yelled at. Britt thought that was hysterical. “Har! I’m 46 years old. There’s nothing some jacka$$ can say that’ll rowl me up. Har har!”

Conference Britt

Pro-Janean is going, too. “Janean,” I said, “what are you going to do when they yell at you? You know they’re going to yell at you, right?”

“I’m just trying to plan ahead,” she said. “P to the fifth: Prior planning prevents poor performance. That’s what I used to tell the kids I coached in golf.”

Mm hmm. I’ve got news for Janean. These folks don’t care about P to the 5th. Hence, Janean will be destroyed.

Conference Pro Janean

V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will is staying behind though because if anybody yells at him, he’ll beat the snot out of them (not really, but he could). It’s too much of a liability.

Straight-Shooter Shane is staying behind for similar reasons. Dude would flip if somebody yelled at him (really really). It’d be just like his fraternity days I bet. (And btw – he still won’t show me his frat handshake (lame)).

And I’m staying behind as well (you’re shocked, right?), but solely due to the fact that no amount of conferencing or training can increase my productivity whatsoever. The Bosses have kind of given up on that with me, and glance idly at me as they walk past my desk, nodding slightly to acknowledge that, yep, I’m still here.

Tell me, dear readers, have you ever gone to an awful conference or training? Please please tell me about it below!

I’ll let you know next week how everything went with our gang. Let’s hope they all come back with eardrums intact and stories to share. Now, I’m off to P to the fifth some magazine reading.


A couple of years ago my ole Boss Chad had one of his many great ideas. He sent me an email in the middle of the night asking what I thought about us creating an app. Did he have an idea of what the app would do? Nope. Any ideas on how to even make an app in the first place? Nuh uh. I promptly filed the email away in my “Chad’s Great Ideas” folder and haven’t thought about it since.

In what would at first appear to be unrelated news, in the two years since this incident, Chad has coached and trained and poured into Hottest Mortgage Banker in Texas Hayley. Together, they work on loans, wow realtors and take care of borrowers. Really, they make a great team. So, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Chad stepped out of a meeting he was having with Hayley to find me.

“Hayley has an idea,” Chad announced, and excitedly motioned me into his office.

“What is it?” I asked, ready to hear a solid idea because Hayley is arguably the smartest person in this office.

Hayley beamed. “What if we created an app?”

Chad sat grinning up at me, proud that he had thought of the idea first, and proud that Hayley is catching on to his teachings. I just shook my head and listened as Hayley wondered aloud, “What? What is it? Isn’t it a good idea?”

Chad and Hayley's big Idea

I will give Hayley credit though. At least she had ideas as to what the app would do, which is a significant advance on Chad’s original idea. Once they become rich and famous, I’ll let you know.

Speaking of ingenuity, someone broke their key off inside the women’s bathroom doorknob (we have to use keys to get in the bathrooms here), thus locking all the ladies out. Pro Janean and Front Desk Wonder Lady Christi took turns standing guard outside the men’s room afterward. I’m not sure if I’d rather use a men’s restroom or pee at my desk, to tell you the truth.

I wonder what the woman who offices in the ladies’ room thought about this whole debacle? I’ll bet she set up in the men’s handicap stall.

Speaking of men, I’m sitting in the ole Boss James’ office today in hopes that he’ll do anything interesting (he won’t). Unfortunately the most exciting thing he has done is answered his phone and explained interest rates to a borrower.

James on the Phone

Finally, dear readers, Chad is trying to come up with a name for his website. Here are some suggestions from folks around the office. What’s your pick?

Alright, readers, you get to submitting website names, and I’m off to jam the ladies’ room door again to see if I can make anything interesting happen in this office. If it causes too much mayhem, maybe Chad and Hayley’s app can fix it.

Game Play

I just walked into the office and placed my lunch, phone, car keys and cardigan in the refrigerator. Other than that, there are three things happening…

The Flirt

Hollywood Insider Gobe is being flirted with by an obnoxious client. Says Gobe of her suitor, “I just act like a dumba$$ and pretend I don’t get that he’s flirting with me.” She didn’t get her own office for nothing, folks.

Gobe Doesn't get it

The Steaks

Last week a steak salesman came to our office. Our front desk wonder lady Christi escorted him in and said, “Excuse me everyone. We have an announcement.” I thought maybe we were all getting raises or something so I stood up from my cube to hear the big news. Instead, this guy is like, “I’ve got marbled steaks, center cut steaks, rib eye…” That’s when I sat back down, mouthing “vegan” and giving him a little nod on my way down.

Online Dater Mortgage Banker Jason was on the phone during the cattle presentation. As I was about to give the meat man the slit my throat motion so that he’d shut up and quit interrupting Jason’s call, Jason says into the phone, “Hold on one sec,” and then to the steak man, “You said you got center cut?”

Four minutes later Jason is knee-deep in negotiations in our foyer…

Steak Negotiations

And six minutes after that we all had to step over Jason in the foyer because there he was, pawing through this big cooler of raw meats. In the foyer.

Now this is what our freezer looks like. I made Christi pose with the meat since she let the guy in here in the first place.

Steaks in the Freezer

It’s $200 worth of beef, by the way, on which Jason notes, “Considering how much meat I eat, it’s actually saving me money versus going to the store.” Not willy nilly with our money here at the mortgage office, folks.

The Games

The ole Boss James thinks we’re all getting chubby (probably due to the meat salesman episode) so he’s making us compete in a weight-loss challenge. Oh kidding. James wants us all to be healthy so he’s offering the opportunity to compete in a health challenge. So in addition to working on home loans, everybody is all writing down everything they eat and slapping each others’ hands when somebody reaches for the cheesy puffs. We get points for stuff, like drinking a certain amount of water and getting enough sleep. The first day of the competition I drank like half a gallon of water before breakfast, scared that I wouldn’t be able to squeeze it all in. By eleven AM I’d met the hydration requirements and was so full of water I didn’t want lunch. Kidding. I always eat lunch. But I drank a lot of water that day.

Below, James spies on encourages his employees.

James Spying

I’m pretty sure Online Dater Jason will be earning the total possible points for recording what he eats each day as it shouldn’t be too complicated (“steak, meat, hamburger…”).

Alright folks, you all have a happy week and I’m off to jot down my organic oat consumption for the day, right after I fish my notebook out of the refrigerator.

I Kind of Lied

I kind of lied.

Here’s the thing. The ole Bosses bought the whole office these cool Just the Assistant t-shirts. A few weeks later we all wore them to a party (that you can read about here) and afterward, I posted the pictures to the blog. Well, the next day, a reader wrote me and asked how to get one. Did she need a mortgage? Nope. Does she live in Texas? Nuh uh. Is she really powerful and able to spread the word of my blog to millions? Not so much.

But here was this person that wanted a shirt with my blog scribbled across the boobs, and I had to make it happen. “Hey Bosses,” I wrote in an email. “A reader would like a JTA shirt. Would you guys pay for it?”

And they said yes! They’re so kind. “We can’t buy everyone a shirt, of course, but if the occasional reader asks for one, we’ll see what we can do,” they wrote.

Do you think it’s bad that I didn’t tell them “the reader” was my cousin? And that I didn’t tell them that “the reader” who is my cousin is also my BFF?

Is that a lie? It’s kind of a lie, right?

But wait! To make up for my dishonesty, my cousin did something amazing with the shirt. She got professional pictures made wearing it. I am so incredibly tempted to leave the story at that and have you think I have a nutcase for a cousin who’s all the time hiring photographers to follow her around. So…

The End.

Hee hee! I can’t do this to her. Here’s what happened. My cuz was having some pictures made of her with her daughter and called me to discuss wardrobe options. (We’re deep, my cousin and I.) Just as we were grappling through the issue of whether navy and yellow really “go” together (they do), I said, “Hey, I’ve got it. Just wear the JTA shirt! Hahahahahahaha!” We both had a good laugh at that.

Now, do you want to know how awesome my cousin is? This awesome:

Ain't she a beaut!?

Ain’t she a beaut!?

That girl wore my little blog’s shirt for the pictures! And she told the photographer all about me. (And seriously, the photographer was like, “It’s a blog about mortgages?” and totally thought my dear cousin was, in fact, a nutcase.)

Y’all I’ve got some crazy family members, but this gesture has renewed my faith in the whole lot of ’em many of them. Thank you, cousin!

Okay folks, you all enjoy your week and I’m off to Atlanta to meet the newest member of my crazy family (I have a new nephew – woop woop!) While there, I may or may not try to convince my brother to clothe the little one in JTA onesies.

I Almost Died on the Banana Boat

I’ve been in Florida for the past week. That’s why I posted a rant last week instead of any juicy mortgage gossip. Before we move on to the enthralling world of this office, I need to share with you the near-death experience I endured while at the seashore.

It started twenty years ago. My family has been going to the same beach in Florida since 1987, and sometime in the early nineties I started noticing banana boat rides taking off from the beach. The crew set up a little stand right outside our condo and hour after hour, year after year I watched laughing beachgoers taking off, straddling the giant inflatable banana, pulled by a tanned jet ski driver.

Last week, I decided it was time. My husband and I, along with our friends Annie and Anthony, were lazing on the beach outside the same condo I grew up vacationing in, when I announced, “I really want to ride that banana boat.”

The others looked over and casually agreed. We trudged through the sand to the little stand and asked the lady holding a clipboard and with a banana tattooed onto her back (I’m not even kidding, y’all), where we sign up. After signing away our rights and paying lots of money, and after securing some rather flimsy life jacket-type things that were actually more like what I’d call “life scarves,” we were ready to go.

A man resembling Fabio pulled up to the shoreline with his jet ski. We passed him a tip and asked for a great ride. I think I may have even winked. Fabio told us, “I can’t hear you once we get going, so the only thing I understand is thumbs up to go faster or thumbs down to go slower.” With the tutorial over, the banana-tattooed lady shouted for us to “jump on the banana, quick!” And that’s the last thing I remember before being jolted into the raging sea. Y’all, I know this doesn’t say much, as I’ve lived a rather charmed life, but it was the most terrifying moment of my life. Suddenly I felt my breakfast travel from wherever it had been residing in my body to my sternum. Then I became petrified by the realization that I could either hold on to the dinky handles of the banana, or hold my nose, but I could not do both, which was problematic since I knew I was about to fall off into the Gulf of Mexico.

And that’s why I began screaming like a mad woman, no, like a child, “I’VE GOT TO GET OFF! I CAN’T DO THIS! STOOOOOOOP!” Benson and Annie began frantically waving thumbs down gestures to Fabio who had apparently gotten a bit carried away with that ten-dollar tip. Finally Fabio caught a glance of the signals and slowed down. Once he pulled the reins on the jet ski he heard my shrieks and pulled up to us. “Ma’am, I have a piece of paper in my backpack that proves I’m a certified rescuer. Nobody has ever gotten hurt on my ride.”

First of all, I don’t even know what a “certified rescuer” is. It actually made me more scared, because I was like, “Why would you need to rescue me?” And second of all, there’s a first time for everything and just because nobody else had died on the banana boat didn’t mean that I couldn’t. I mean, hey, we went to the moon for the first time, right?

“It’s nothing against you, sir. I’m just very, very scared,” I panted. “I’m really sorry. I know you’re good at what you do,” I continued, clutching my chest and heaving. “Could you just, go a bit slower?”

Fabio assured me he’d slow down, and for the next ten minutes we puttered along through the ocean. Then Fabio turned around and said we’d be picking up another passenger. “Oh God, please let it be a child,” I prayed, knowing that Fabio wouldn’t kill us with a child on board. Turns out, it was a child, a very brave child. By this point all I could do was hold on and keep my head down and try not to cry as we sped through the sea, salt water splashing my face and listening to the laughter of the eight-year-old we picked up.

My friends felt like this:

Fun banana boat

But I felt like this:

Banana Boat Ride

In the end, I lived. I’m still kind of in shock over the whole thing. It’s weird – I’ve been much closer to death before in my life (I’ve run from an avalanche (later to find out it was on a mountain beside the one I was hiking, but still), I’ve been in car crashes, and once thought a bear was charging me (turns out, someone was throwing rocks in the woods), but I’ve never been as terrified as my thirty-minute banana boat ride. I have to say, it’s good to be back on dry land.

Now that I’m back in the office, it’s time I properly introduce you all to our new guy, Britt. (I realize there’s no transition there, but I couldn’t think of a good one between “I almost died” and “meet our new guy.”) I’ll interview him tomorrow so that you can get to know him better, but for now here’s a taste: I have a business lunch tomorrow with an important world leader (not really but it’s someone more important than me, that’s for sure), and leaned over to tell Britt about it (I’ve been squatting in the cube next to his). But before I could tell him any details, he goes, “Need to know what to wear?”

“Huh?” I asked.

“You wanting to know what to wear?”

“Uh, no. I just wanted to tell you about my lunch tomorrow. But, uh, what should I wear?”

“Wear a skirt. Something like you have on now, and wear your hair up; you’ve got pretty wild hair.”

“Yeah, I do have wild hair. Uh, okay. Thanks?”

Okay, you all stayed tuned to find out why Britt cares so much about fashion and why he’s going to be a really great mortgage banker, and I’m off to sue that lady with the banana tattoo.

Will Zugheri got in Trouble

We had a meeting today, a meeting in which V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will got in trouble…

Before we all headed to the conference room, Will leaned over to me like he was about to let me in on a secret. My ears perked up because I figured if Will had any secrets, they’re really good ones, like maybe he’s with the mob (he’s not).

Instead, Will quietly said, “If the occasion arises, if you feel the need to stand up for me in the meeting, I give you permission.”

“Like if I say you have a good heart and that the bosses should think about that?” I suggested.

“That would be great,” he said. He nodded. “Yeah, talk about my heart.”

Once in the conference room, things got tense. It started with James studying a sheet of paper that somehow represents Will (y’all know good and well I don’t understand this business so don’t even ask me what the paper was about), and Will staring at the paper, too, but looking like a scared little boy:

(If the pictures show up small, refresh your page because I spent like an hour on these.)

Will in Trouble 1

Then James was like, “Will, you’re in big trouble, man.”

Will in Trouble 2


Will in Trouble 4

Here’s what Will said back, and y’all I’m not making this up – this is verbatim from my notes:

“I’m getting more and more aware of, uh…But I did…uh…”

Then he started talking about himself in third-person plural for some reason. I’ve heard the third-person thing is a self-defense deal but the plural part is new to me.

“We’re taking steps to…”

Will in Trouble 5

After the meeting, James called everybody out to watch V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will do 100 push-ups (we don’t play here).

The funniest part of this picture is that nobody’s even watching except for Front Desk Wonder Lady Christi and she was only watching because she got bored at the front desk . It’s like, totally normal that they’re doing push-ups in the middle of the mortgage office (and for the record, James did the push-ups alongside Will):

Will is in Trouble 5

Also for the record, after forty push-ups, James swapped from doing man-push-ups to push-ups like my mom does them (which are fine for my mom, but come on y’all).

And lastly for the record, people, V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will does have a good heart (spiritually and physically thanks to the push-ups).

My New Pal Sandra and the Unfortunate Incident with a Man’s Nipple

I stopped at Kroger yesterday on my way home from work. As I walked towards the store through the parking lot, I noticed a tall man, probably in his thirties, prancing out of the store wearing long shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. We caught eyes, and while I immediately looked away (one man woman, I am), he continued the stare. “HEY! I like your necklace!” he shouted. We were still a good thirty? forty? feet away from each other. Forgive me; I cannot guess distances beyond 18 inches. However far it was though, I knew good and well this dude couldn’t make out anything about my necklace.

“Thanks!” I chirped, planning to skip right past him.

By this point he’d walked up to me. “I got this one a while back,” he said, standing over me and holding out a large carving of an eagle dangling from a black leather strap tied around his neck.

“I like your necklace, too!” I smiled, and began to walk away. “Have a good day!”

“Okay you too! AND I LIKE YOUR EARRINGS!” he shouted to my back.

“Uh huh! Thanks!”

You want to know what the funny part was? Besides the eagle, I mean. My earrings were new and afterward  I thought, “I knew these earrings were super chic!” as I stuffed my organic kale into a sack.

Speaking of chic, I’ve got some scoop for you.

Are you ready?

Here it goes:

My co-worker Sandra performed surgery on a man’s nipple.

It was her brother-in-law’s nipple. What the what!? Oh yes she did! Oh, and the chic part comes into play because in addition to being quite skilled when it comes to impromptu surgeries, Sandra always dresses really nice, like she’s about to go on television. I don’t think that’s why the Bosses hired her but it’s for sure why I would have hired her.

See? Ain’t she a beaut?!

Sandra's Clothes

Sandra is a loan partner with V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will and Hollywood Insider Gobe. This entails very important, super secret powers that I do not understand, but I’ve heard Sandra is fabulous at what she does so let’s just leave it at that. I’ve also heard her on the phone and she’s so nice it kind of makes me want to get another mortgage, just so I can talk to her.

On one of her first days here I started badgering her about any funny stories she had up her sleeve. I had been thinking, like, mortgage stories (snore), but that Sandra is quick on her feet and did me one better.

Let’s pick up right after Sandra broke the news to me…

What the Heck did You Just Say?

An interview with Loan Partner, Sandra Grein

Just the Assistant: Sandra, what in the world are you talking about? Oh my gosh.

Sandra: He had a nipple ring, and he was trying to squeeze past a truck. So he was shimmying between the garage wall and the truck, and the nipple ring got caught on the brush guard and ripped off, taking the nipple with it.

JTA (gagging and covering face): Caaaglaaableh! Oh my gosh! Then what happened?

Sandra: But it was still attached. Just dangling by a little piece of skin, like a flap.

JTA: I can’t handle this. Oh my gosh I’m so glad they hired you.

Sandra: He wouldn’t go to a doctor, and I had some numbing cream, so we numbed it, and I clipped off the dangling part with fingernail snips.

JTA (peeking through fingers): Oh. My….Fingernail clippers?! Does he have a scar? Does he still even have a nipple?

Sandra: It’s great! The scar is gone and it looks really good now!

JTA: You’re amazing! Now we know who to turn to if we have any “incidents” here in the office. I honestly don’t know whether to throw up or hug you. That’s the best story I’ve ever heard.

Y’all, this lady is awesome. If you’d like to get in touch with her, let me know and I can give you the hookup. Until then, you all have a smashing weekend and I’m off to buy more earrings.

Random News and Gloomy News

The Random News:

  • Spanish-Speaking Nametag Wearing Richard has begun answering his phone with “Envoy Mortgage this is Richard” instead of his usual “Hello?” He claims it had nothing to do with me making fun of him about it. Mm hmm.
  • Online Dater Jason has taken a break from online dating to focus on business. Says Jason: “With online dating you have to go home, check for comments, read bios, reply to emails, and I thought, I could be out providing mortgages during that time.” Dates: On hold.
  • A blog reader called for a mortgage! The whole time Online Dater Jason (good thing he gave up dating so he had time to answer the call!) talked to the guy I punched the air behind him practicing my boxing moves and hissing “Yes!” Fly like a butterfly sting like a BEE!
  • Could Be You!
  • It’s not going to surprise me when our new guy Britt completely snaps and beats the crap out of Online Dater Jason (or should I say “Former Online Dater”?) and Hottest Mortgage Banker in Texas Hayley. Jason and Hayley won’t even see it coming, either. It’ll be nasty, folks. Chairs thrown, desks overturned, Jason and Hayley running for their lives before the final blow. I can just see it: murder in the mortgage office. See, Britt is in the process of becoming a mortgage banker. In the meantime, he’s helping Jason and Hayley with all their work, which means he spends approximately six hours per workday receiving various insults from them. Jason and Hayley have been making signs for Britt. Sassy things like, “Shhhhhhhh” they hold up whenever Britt asks stupid questions like, “Would you like me to call this borrower for you and ease your workload dear, co-workers?” And they’re all RAHR! Hiss! Shut up, Britt!”


  • Britt is going to lose it.
  • Earlier Britt goes, “If you’re under forty, shut up!” Ha! I’m really going to like this guy.
  • I sat down to interview my Boss James yesterday and this is how he looked when we finished:

James Depressed

  •  My Boss James is overwhelmed by me.

The Gloomy News

I realize this is kind of hokey to put on a mortgage blog, but this isn’t really a normal mortgage blog, so here it goes: My sweet cat Thomas passed away last night. You might remember him from the time he brought a live bird into my house. He was small, orange and poofy, and I will miss him. Other than hunting, his favorite pastimes were snuggling against sweaty gym clothes, occupying boxes, having his head scratched, and sleeping on papers, usually important papers. Here are some pictures of him enjoying life…

Thomas in the Shoe

Thomas in a Box

Thomas on Important Papers

I’ll miss you, Sir Thomas. I hope there are lots and lots of birds to catch, sweaty clothes to burrow in, boxes to fill and important papers to sleep upon in Heaven.

Thomas getting a Head Scratch

Hidden Cameras, Hidden Winnings

The elevators in our building have black glass walls, sort of like mirrors. I do a quick booger-check every morning on my way up, assuming I have the elevator to myself, but it just dawned on me for the first time yesterday, What if it’s a camera? What if it’s two-way glass and there are actually security folks behind the glass, riding up and down on a tandem elevator of their own?

If you have any information on whether it’s a camera or not and if so, who’s watching the video feed, please comment below.

Speaking of our building, Otis, our beloved front door man is on strike. He’s not on strike from work, per se, rather, he’s on strike against all of us. Here’s the thing. Every single person who works in this building loves Otis. Seriously, if anybody mentions him, everybody standing around is like, “Otis! I love that guy!” Well, turns out we are all loving him to death. See, whenever any of the offices in this building have extra food, the first thing you hear is, “I’ll bring it down to Otis – he’s so great to us and we should thank him for all he does with these leftover breakfast burritos, all fourteen of them.” And being the accommodating guy Otis is, he graciously takes the burritos. Until now…

Otis’ doctor went bananas and told him he had to stop, or else he’d have to start taking all sorts of medications. Otis knew what he had to do, and that’s why I walked in one day last week and it hit me – Otis is shrinking. “Otis! You’ve lost weight!” I exclaimed.

“Ten pounds.” Seems Otis has begun turning down all the food the folks in this building deliver to him.

“We’ve got to get a picture of this!” I encouraged. Oh, well don’t you know Otis cannot stand to have his picture taken. You’d think he was a ghost or something, like we’ll find out he’s not real once the camera flash goes off. “Got a lot more to lose!” he claimed, patting his belly. I finally convinced him I’d make him famous (which is a total lie because, let’s face it, this is a mortgage blog, so…) and he allowed me one picture. Granted, he grumbled the whole time…”This won’t be good. Uh uh. I’m not gonna like it. Uh uh…” He was still mumbling through his teeth as I took this shot.

Below, the new, svelte Otis:

Otis Lost Ten Pounds!

I told him y’all would love it though, so please leave Otis a bit of love in the comments section below because the guy is awesome. Once he loses ten more pounds we’ll get another shot. Then this will turn into a weight loss blog and we’ll fill it with all these before and after shots. Then, we’ll go viral together, dear readers.

Until then, I’ve got some scoop on Spanish-Speaking Richard. He won third place in some contest Envoy held. I still don’t understand the rules because Envoy took me off their email distributions due to my naughty tendencies to copy and paste the contents onto my blog, but it has something to do with going to lots of open houses and mingling with realtors, two things which Richard does a lot of. I tried to interview Richard about his big win, but interviewing Richard has proven to be one of the more difficult aspects of my job due to the fact that Richard is more polite than anyone else in this office and he won’t make fun of people, nor will he talk himself up. Nada. Here is an enthralling account of the interview:

Just The Assistant: So you went to a lot of networking events, huh? Did you meet anybody you didn’t like?

Spanish-Speaking Richard: No, they were all very nice.

JTA: No way, dude. If you met that many people, at least one of them had to be a jerk, right? Or did anybody get wasted and make a fool of themselves?

SSR: No, it was just very nice.

JTA: Can you give me anything here, Richard? Hey – did you let folks know you can speak Spanish? And did you wear your name tag?

[Dude loves his name tag.]

SSR: Of course I wore my name tag! And yes, I let people know I speak Spanish.

JTA: How do you let them know? Like, do you just drop it on ‘em, like start talking in Spanish? That’s what I’d do. I’d be all, “Hola! Hola! Casa! Biblioteca!”

SSR: No, I just let them know I’m bilingual and I can help their Spanish-speaking clients. I’d tell them while I was out drink- uh, meeting with them.

JTA: Now we’re onto something, Richard! You went out drinking with realtors? That’s great! Then what happened?

SSR: I made a lot of new contacts. Everyone was very nice.

JTA: I’m going to slap you, Richard. Congratulations on your big win.

Spanish-Speaking Richard

Finally, V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will found an app that tells him his wins and losses for this casino he frequents. He hasn’t pulled up the final results yet, but I’ve saved him some time: Will, you lose. Every single time, you lose. Casinos always win. Haven’t you ever watched Dateline? Now if you’d all please give me one million dollars for my “app” you can make checks payable to Just the Assistant.

Alright folks, while you all send your notes of congratulations to Otis and Richard and Will (not really because he doesn’t win), I’m off to confiscate the elevator feed so that images of me staring up my nose don’t end up splashed across the web.

Booger Check