The Hippies

Envoy Mortgage has its very own real life hippie…

So I told y’all that last week I went to the corporate office to snoop about and sucker the new team into loving me, right? While there, I met this hippie loan officer named Shaun whom I briefly introduced you to.

In order to allow you at least five minutes of shopping left before Christmas, I’m not going to write out the entire interview because Shaun talked for ninety minutes, and at one point he was literally talking about the marine life in Galveston and I was like, “Dude. Just stop. I’m not writing about squids.” But I do want to give you a glimpse of this guy because he’s fascinating.

Free Range Beef and Free Range Thoughts

An interview with Envoy Mortgage Loan Officer/Hippie Shaun Brennan

Just the Assistant: So Shaun, you work for Ty, right? Are you afraid of Ty?

[Background on Ty here.)

Hippie Shaun: No, but the first time I met Ty he was in a fight. We went to rival high schools in Pasadena and at a party one night Ty got in a fight with two guys and won.

JTA: Stop it right there. I don’t believe you one bit. Nobody gets in a fight with two guys at once and wins. That’s just on TV. Or, you’re romanticizing high school, because in my high school, fights lasted like twelve seconds.

Hippie Shaun (nodding): It’s true. He fought two guys and won and one of the guys was named Bubba.

JTA (shaking my head because I still don’t believe him): How did he beat up two guys? Why were they fighting?

Hippie Shaun: He punched one and pushed him, then punched the other guy and ran out of the garage. It was all just because Ty was from another school.

JTA (slaps Shaun’s desk): Were you in high school in the fifties? What were y’all, the Outsiders? Did you get in a fist fight, too?

Hippie Shaun: Yeah. Everybody did! That was just what Pasadena was like. But I’m a more peaceful person now. I like to shop at thrift stores and listen to music and promote musicians.

JTA: What? You’re like a hippy? You’d love my mom. She only shops at Goodwill.

Hippie Shaun: I’m kind of a hippie.

JTA: I bet you didn’t vaccinate your kids, did you?

Hippie Shaun: Well, we did have two all natural home births with the help of a midwife. My wife went entirely without medication and I helped deliver both of my children.

JTA (delighted): What!? That’s awesome! Your kids are going to live to be, like, a hundred I bet. Now, tell me about the music stuff.

[Just the Assistant Note: This is the part where Shaun made me watch his hippie videos.]

Tambourine Man

Hippie Shaun: So I’m in charge of distribution for this guy.

JTA: Like you have to make sure his CDs are sold? How are you going to do that?

Hippie Shaun: I don’t know yet!

JTA: You’re in trouble! You better start asking your borrowers to buy this guy’s CD!

Hippie Shaun (laughing possibly at my joke or possibly from the vibrations from the earth that only he can feel): I get along with a lot of different people. I once did a loan for a district attorney, and later I was at a concert with a friend who was, a, um, he had some run-ins with the law –

JTA: Hey, it’s cool Shaun. I come from a family of criminals myself.

Hippie Shaun: Okay good. Well my friend and I bumped into the DA at the concert, and it turns out the DA had convicted my friend a few years earlier. I like having my feet on both sides of the railroad track.

[JTA Note: Though Shaun has friends in the pen, he’s a total love-peace-earth guy himself and refrains from illegal activity.]

Shaun Day and Night

JTA: So do you like to travel?

Hippie Shaun: Yeah, I do. I go to Big Sur every year. But, actually, don’t write about that.

JTA: I can’t write that you go to Big Sur?

Hippie Shaun: I don’t want everybody to know about Big Sur.

JTA (choking on my water): DUDE, how many readers do you think I have? Like, this mass of people is going to start flocking to Big Sur because I mentioned it in my mortgage blog? Ha! Oh that’s good stuff, man. Oh, and I know I’m suppose to know this, but what is Big Sur?

Hippie Shaun (not entirely appreciating my mocking): It’s this 150 mile long land mass. I go and camp, hike, hang out. People go to get lost and found.

JTA: Okay well from now on how about you not talk about stuff you don’t want me to write about because it makes my job kind of tricky.

Hippie Shaun: Okay, well I also want to be a standup comedian for a year. It’s on my bucket list.

JTA: You want to be a standup comedian?

Hippie Shaun: Yep. I used to have loads of material, but it was in a backpack and the backpack was stolen on the beach (along with my wedding ring). And now there’s this other comedian who uses jokes just like I wrote and I think he stole my backpack.

JTA: I’m sure he did, Shaun. People are all the time stealing ideas from the hippies. Now, I’m going to go, and you get back to talking about mortgages/toiling in your organic soil/loving the earth, okay?

Okay y’all, stay tuned for more on Shaun because I am totally not finished with this guy. I may stop writing about anyone else at all and just focus on him and Galveston marine life and music that involves lots of tambourines. Well, maybe not the marine life, but definitely the tambourines.

Happy Wednesday, readers!

How’d this Whole Thing Start, Anyway?

Happy Birthday, Just the Assistant! It was three years ago this week that I wrote my first post. Little did I know how famous I would become.

(Kidding. I have like twelve readers.)

To celebrate, I have written a handy timeline explaining how this whole thing came about.

April 2008 – I refinanced a house and used James Beaver as my mortgage banker. At the closing table, James asked if I liked what I did for a living. “Nope! I’m about to quit!” I replied. When he heard that, and saw that I could write my name legibly on the closing docs, he mentioned that he needed a part-time assistant.

May 2008 – I quit my old job where I used to tutor naughty children in reading. I had read Lilly’s Busy Day with first graders who did not know the short o sound roughly eleven thousand times by that point, and I was done, people.

June 2008 – James took me to Houston’s and drew me a flowchart of the mortgage industry on his napkin. During the interview he asked if I had a desktop. Since I didn’t know that a desktop is what a non-laptop computer is called, I just stared at him blankly. Then I asked how much he could pay me. When he told me, I replied, “Well that sounds great. I’d really like to work with you,” and we shook hands. Looking back, I realize that I weaseled my way into the job as he never actually offered it to me.

James Can't Be Tricked

July 2008 – I showed up at James’ office wearing my newly purchased office lady clothes and for three weeks listened as he taught me the ins and outs of mortgages. I wrote everything down on a giant notepad that I would refer to for the next two years. Also that month, the mortgage industry decided to go on a vacation to the home of Satan and stayed there for six months. I am still not sure it was a coincident that the month I entered this trade, the whole industry went down the tubes.

Sorry, Boss

Winter 2008 – James’ business partner Chad noticed that I was really good at driving to Chick-Fil-A and picking up James a number four with a tea, and approached me about working as his assistant, too. I accepted. To celebrate, we all went out to lunch and ordered fancy salads.

July 2009  – The Bosses and I left the mortgage company where we’d been working and moved to Envoy Mortgage since our old company used scratch paper and wooden pencils to fill out loan applications and Envoy used this fancy contraption called the internet.

IMG_8677

November 2010 – I came up with the idea to write this blog. I talked about it to anyone who would listen and asked for feedback. Because I have really kind friends, I was convinced I could make this work. I asked James if we could meet, and in this meeting, I told him that if he wrote a blog (which he’d talked about) it would be totally lame and nobody would read it. Then I told him that I wanted to write a blog for our office and gave him two drafts of sample posts. Plus, I wanted fifty bucks to get it up and running. Bam.

December 2010 – I wrote my first post and emailed it to all my friends. Some of them read it. Within three weeks I would write stuff that sent the Bosses into panics. They all the time thought I was going to get them sued or fired. No one sued though. And nobody got fired.

January –July 2011 – I continued to perform as a less-than-average assistant, and fell more in love with writing the blog than filling out expense reports and stocking the office with toilet paper. The Bosses hired more people. Some came and went, and some stayed.

The mortgage industry decided to visit Hell again. I’m pretty sure there were months in which the Bosses paid us but couldn’t pay themselves.

July 2011 – The Bosses sat me down for what I thought would be my yearly review. During all my reviews I would always begin by saying, “Are you ready for your review?” (I’m a hoot, I tell you.) I began this one the same way, but instead of conducting my review, the Bosses told me that with the mortgage industry doing so poorly, they couldn’t keep me on as their assistant. But, they still wanted me to write the blog.

I sobbed. They gave me tissues and told me how much they cared about me. I left the office and cried for seven days straight. I also decided that I would stop writing the blog. How could I write a blog from the point of view of the assistant if I wasn’t the assistant? I emailed the Bosses and told them as much, and wrote a few draft last posts.

Two days before I submitted what I thought would be my final post, the Bosses emailed me and begged me to keep writing for them. James even tried to tie scripture into his plea, something about the disciples writing for Jesus. As it happened, a potential client from Pennsylvania had contacted them after reading my blog, and the Bosses saw that this blog was something worth fighting for. We went back and forth for a couple of days. Finally, I called them and agreed to stay, but only if they’d let me have James’ office chair. They agreed, and now I sit in his chair and my fine cat Harold sleeps in my old chair.

We tried to put a positive spin on it on the blog. The Bosses were afraid that our readers would lash out or something if we said I’d been laid off, even though I told them that it’s really just my cousin and brother that read this and that they’re pretty mild mannered. Here’s the post where we announced the change: Just the Snoop.

July 2011- present – I come into the office twice a week to snoop and write. I go to team meetings, attend team events, eavesdrop on conversations, pilfer through desks (kidding!), and ask lots of questions. Then I write about all of it and for the most part, they let me write whatever I want. It’s the best job ever.

Thinking

(FYI – Since that happened, James has offered me my old assistant job back, but thankfully I’ve racked up enough other writing jobs that I kindly declined.)

Fall 2013 – My Boss Chad took a job at another mortgage company. We’d worked together for a long time and it was sad to see him go. (Post here). Afterward, our little branch of Envoy rolled under another branch, so now I have James as my boss just like always, plus this guy named Ty who is over the whole branch. I suspect Ty is in the mob.

Our little branch offices here in the Heights. The rest of the branch offices at Envoy Corporate. In the future, I think I might bounce back and forth between the offices to provide you all with the most gossip possible. I’m still working that part out.

So that’s where we are, dear readers. Thanks for reading all my ramblings and making this job possible. If you’d like to give me an early Christmas present, feel free to share my blog on Facebook and the like. Every once in a while, the people who pay me actually want to see my stats, and high numbers help me keep my job. Oh, and if you could drop me an Anthropologie gift card, that’d be cool, too.

Mr. Nicer Guy

There’s this guy at Envoy who works for the corporate office named Jim Hopkins. My Boss James told me I should interview him. He didn’t say why, but I think it’s because Jim is very important and James thought it’d make us look good. Too bad James forgot that I often make us look rather poorly in front of others…

There’s No Basement in the Alamo

An Interview with Envoy Mortgage Regional Vice President, Jim Hopkins

Just the Assistant: First things first, Jim Hopkins. I’ve heard that in addition to being an Envoy Mortgage Big Shot, you are a CrossFit coach. How many pull-ups can you do?

Jim Hopkins: Strict pull-ups? Ten.

JTA (snickering): My husband’s stronger than you. Just sayin’.

JH: But I bet he’s smaller than me, too and has less to lift –

JTA: Stop it right there, buddy! He’s stronger than you. Period. Now let’s  move on before you make me mad. How’d you get such a fancy office? What’s this, mahogany?

JH: I was the fourth person they ever hired at this company, so I worked my way up. I first started as a set-up tech. Oh, and that refrigerator is mine I brought from home.

JH - Refrigerator

JTA: What’s a set-up tech?

JH: I entered clients’ information into the computer.

JTA (wondering how he’s going to take this): Like, loan applications? Uh, Jim? You realize you were an assistant, right? And apparently they gave it a fancy name, because that’s exactly what I did when I first came here and you’ve seen the name of my blog, right? It’s not called Just the Set-up Tech. Okay, what do you do now for Envoy?

JH: I’m head of several regions. Think of me as a pocket CEO. I bring people into the company. I make branches more successful. I help with strategies, P&L stuff…I’m  like an executive sounding board.

[Just The Assistant Note: No clue what P&L stuff means. Come to think of it, I don’t know what an executive sounding board is either.]

JTA: Do you get to fire people?

JH: Nobody “gets” to fire people. But some people have to fire people. Yes, I have to do that sometimes. When my wife was laid off from Enron, it devastated her. I’d never had to be at home with the aftermath of being sent home, so now that I know what that’s like, it’s that much worse, whether they deserve it or not. Outside of reports, it’s the absolute least favorite part of my job.

JTA: Has anyone ever freaked out when you fired them?

JH: Not when I fired them, but we’ve had to have someone escorted out by security, but that was many moons ago.

JTA: How did you get so important here? Why do they keep giving you promotions?

JH: There have been a few unfortunate accidents of people who would have succeeded before me. Just some freak accidents. Life gets much more dangerous if you’re more senior to me.

JTA: Ha! I should try that, too. So I guess you heard that our branch is under that guy named Ty now. I’m kind of intimidated by Ty. Are you intimidated by Ty?

JH: No, I recruited Ty. He’s intense though.

JTA: You’re intense, too.

JH: I used to be very intense as a branch manager. I once bet a loan officer his eyebrow over a deal. This was all before HR – those party poopers! But I’m much nicer than I used to be.

[JTA Note: When I first met Jim Hopkins, I was like, “Who’s that prick?” to my boss James. But lately he really has gotten nicer. It makes me wonder if he almost got hit by the light rail or something and started reevaluating life.]

JTA: What made you become nicer?

JH: You grow up. I just sounded like an idiot. You don’t have to be that guy that freaks everybody out because they’re terrified of him. I used to be in charge of interviews and they’d call it “the smoke down”.

JTA: Oh my gosh…what would you do that was intense in interviews?

JH: Rapid fire questions designed to see if you’d break under pressure.

JTA: That’s horrible! I’m really glad James is my boss and not you. James took me to Houston’s for my interview and drew flowcharts for me on the lunch napkins and hired me on the spot. Speaking of James, you might have heard that I kind of cussed him out a few weeks ago. Have you ever gotten in an argument with someone here at work?

JH: On a regular basis. David, Dana and I used to yell in every meeting. It was cordial, but very open.

[JTA Note: David Zugheri and Dana Gompers are the two founders of this company. If I were Jim, I think I’d stick to using my inside voice with those two.]

JTA: But now you’re nicer, right?

JH: I’m still intense but with different values. It used to be all about the money. I’d outwork anyone else and I wanted to win at all costs. Then I had kids and I realized there’s way more to life and I have a brief, finite time on earth.

JTA: Amen. Now, what if you were the CEO of Envoy? What would you change?

JH: Everybody’s loans would be approved instantaneously. We’d just give out money. As long as you pay it back. Boom.

JTA: Heck yeah! What’s that sign on your wall?

JH: You don’t know what that is? Didn’t you take Texas history?

JTA: Uh, they didn’t offer that in my high school in Atlanta.

JH: It’s from the Battle of Gonzalez. When Santa Ana came and wanted a cannon back. They said, “You want it, come and take it.” It’s the opening phase of the Texas war for independence!

JH - Texas History

JTA (not registering any of this): You’re so touchy, I swear. Hey, I went on a tour of the Alamo a few months ago. Does this have anything to do with the Alamo?

JH - Alamo Draw

JH (face dropping into hands in disgust): Are you kidding me?! You need to brush up on your Texas history!

JTA (trying to think of some Georgia history): Oh yeah, well do you know about…uh…

JH: Sherman? Yes. (Jim’s phone rings ). It’s Ty.

JTA (thankful for the distraction as I kind of don’t know who Sherman is): Ooh, ask him if he’s intimidated by me!

JH (answering phone): Hey Ty, I’m here with Just the Assistant and she wants to know if you’re intimidated by her. Oh, and she doesn’t know anything about Texas history.

JTA: Now please hang up because we aren’t finished.

JH (into phone): I’ll have to call you back, Ty.

JTA: Is there anything else you want people to know?

JH: No. I’m kind of dull. Can you make up something for me?

JTA: Of course!

[Jim would like you all to know that you should send me money. Like five dollars apiece should do it.]

After our interview, Jim paraded me around to higher-ups in the company and told them how little I know about Texas history. I may or may not sneak back into the corporate office and place some moldy ham in his fancy office fridge.

JH and JTA - Envoy

But for now, I’m off to brush up on my Georgia history. Happy Wednesday, readers!

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.

A Post for Pastor Christi’s Friends

Last week Pastor Christi was at a party (I guess like a pastor party or something), where she met several people who read this blog. Yay!

Pastor Christi at the Party

She also discovered that most of them don’t know what we do around here.

Boo!

Dear friends, allow me to explain.

If you were to buy a house tomorrow, would you pay for it in cash?

Paying Cash for a House

No?Not Paying Cash

Okay, then you’d call us.

Here’s what we do:

What Does a Mortgage Banker do

That’s it. Call us when you are ready to begin house-hunting. We’ll get you the loot to buy the house. (Well, James or Will or Shane or Gobe will get you the loot. I’ll be in my cube browsing the Anthropologie website and eating quinoa.)

Now please continue to read my blog and please continue attending parties with Pastor Christi and please call us when you need a home loan so that they won’t fire me.

Happy Tuesday, folks!

The Firelady

First of all, for those of you who are still willing to read my ramblings after knowing I kind of cussed out my Boss, thank you. James was all panicky about me posting what happened, so I lied and told him it’d make us go viral. (It didn’t.)

Now then…

Somebody from corporate was here last week. She seemed kind of important so I interviewed her…

Spill it, Shaw

An interview with Envoy Mortgage Regional Operations Manager, Lynn Shaw

Just the Assistant: First things first, Lynn. Are you my boss James’ boss?

Lynn Shaw: Um, I don’t think so.

JTA: Well listen, if you find out that you are, would you please tell James to give me a permanent cube so I can stop doing this migratory thing? This is my third cube in this office, and I bet you ten dollars he’s going to give it to someone else in the next week.

LS: Well you don’t have anything substantial on it. You should get some really heavy decorations, like statues, and put them on your desk. Then they’ll look at it and be like, “Ugh, I don’t feel like moving all that stuff. Let’s just let her keep it.”

JTA: I like you, Lynn Shaw. Okay, what is your job here at Envoy?

LS: I’m the regional operations manager. I’m looking over the operations in the branches, making sure morale is up, issues are down and fixing any kinds of complaints we may get.

JTA: First of all, I didn’t even know we had regions in this company. What region am I? Second of all, that job sounds horrible because people will only call you when they’re ticked off.

LS: You’re in the Central region. Region 3. It’s not that they call mad. Right now I’m just putting out fires. I’m a fireman. Well, a firelady.

[Note: Microsoft is telling me “firelady” isn’t a word – you’re so sexist, I swear, Word.]

[Other Note: Region 3 in tha HOUSE!]

JTA: Do you have an office or cube?

LS: I have a cube with the rest of the world. I used to sit on a ball sometimes, but I lent it out to someone and never got it back.

[Note: Dear Whoever Stole Lynn’s Ball, give it back, you thief.]

But I work three days a week from home. I took over my husband’s home office (he works from home, too). So now in the middle of the day I’ll hear, “BABE!” and he’ll ask me about lunch. And I’m like, “What did you do for lunch before I worked from home?”

Lynn Shaw is Not the Lunch Lady

He never used the office though. It was just the one room in the house I let him decorate.

JTA: Oh gosh I bet he put, like, an elk head on the wall huh?

LS: Pretty much.

JTA: What do you do for fun?

LS: I like to be outside – camping, swimming – anything outdoors when it’s sunny.

JTA: Do you have pets?

LS: I have a black cat named Cole.

JTA: Aw! I love cats. Speaking of love, who is your favorite branch?

LS: Y’all of course!

JTA: Smart one, you are. Is there anything else you want people to know?

LS: Yes, that I really enjoy reading your blog and that everybody should get three friends to read it, and those three friends should get three friends to read it.

JTA: Oh my gosh, they should give you a raise. Thanks for answering all my questions! Now go answer all those phone calls! Actually don’t. Just help me move this cat statue into my cube, would ya?

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).