Did you answer mostly As, Bs, or Cs?

Sunday night my husband and I invited a few neighbors over for some cake and wine. After the obligatory chatter about how good the cake was (thanks bakery down the street!), the topic of conversation turned to mortgages. I’m not even kidding. See, my new house is situated in a new community that is still under construction, so barring that nobody flat out paid cash for their house (and if they did, I need to invite them over for cake more), all of my neighbors have recently secured a mortgage. I promise I didn’t bring the conversation up, and I didn’t even prompt them, but do you know what they were saying? I’ll tell you – they were complaining about the Big Box Bank and the crappy service they received. If my blog were a portable device that you could actually clasp in your hand, I would have thrown it in their faces and been all “Woo HA HA HA! Should have been reading my mortgage blog, suckas!”

So that you do not have to become one of my poor neighbors that didn’t close their loans on time and were led astray by the Big Box Bank, I have prepared some help for you. To help save you all the headache of one day deciding on where to secure a mortgage, I present to you a Glamour Magazine style quiz!

[Please note that even though I am writing a Glamour Magazine quiz, I am very angry with Glamour Magazine right now for putting 12-year-old old boys on the cover of August. Seriously, dudes didn’t even have chest hair and I felt dirty reading it.]

What mortgage bank should you use if you need a home loan? A Simple Quiz

1. You’re walking down the street when a pigeon poops on your left ear. You:

a. Chase after that bird and shoot him with your handmade bow and arrow and feed him to your family for dinner.

b. Look around to see if anyone noticed and then run into the nearest store to use their restroom to clean yourself up and possibly text your BFF to share the experience.

c. Shout out loud in the street that you are so happy to have been crapped on.

2. When ready to check out at the grocery store, you:

a. This question is difficult for you to answer because you grow all of your food in your back forty and don’t even know where the closest grocery store is.

b. Find the shortest line or proceed to self checkout.

c. Stand behind a lady with a three-ringed binder full of coupons who will be paying by check that she won’t start filling out until the cashier has given her the total. Actually, the lady hasn’t even pulled the checkbook out of her purse. Instead, she will raise her eyebrows in shock and ask to speak to the manager when her total does not come to zero. This does not bother you. You wait for four hours in line.

3. You are planning a romantic weekend away with that special someone. You:

a. Begin by replacing the horses’ shoes and securing a new hide to the top of your wagon in preparation for the long journey ahead. You will not pack “snacks for the road” as you will kill your own vittles throughout the journey.

b. Check out the hotel online and read the reviews.

c. Decide that you can “find a motel once we’re on the road” and leave your map at home. After seven hours of searching for a spot with vacancies, you convince your lover that sleeping in a truck stop parking lot on the side of Interstate 10 is “romantic.” (Your lover leaves you the next day. You are okay with this.)

You answered:

Mostly As – Transistor Radio Man

You like to keep things old school. The janky mortgage broker you find through clicking a blinking “Zero Percent Interest Rates with No Credit Score!” on the side of your Myspace page is the one for you. It won’t bother you that your mortgage broker works from his mom’s basement and makes you fill out your application in a number 2 pencil. You call that “simply charming!”

Mostly Bs – The Normal Human Being

You are a normal person, ready to tackle the world. You like things done well, in a timely manner by intelligent people. You are a perfect candidate for getting a home loan with the Memorial/Heights Branch of Envoy Mortgage.

Mostly Cs – The Masochist

Pain is the name of your game. The harder life is for you, the better. And if most of it is spent waiting, that’s fine, too. You’ll love the Big Box Banks and relish in the fact that they don’t give a toot about you and never close loans on time.

Alright folks, tune in later this week for some office gossip. Will Recycling Nikki garbage dive again? Will Former Online Dater Jason find true love and shout “Boom!”? Will John find the bathroom floor-peeing culprit? Will Straight-Shooter Shane stop drinking Dr. Pepper? Will Hayley thwart another robbery? Has Will learned his lesson about asking non-pregnant women if they’re pregnant? Will you get to hear about my co-worker Sandra once performing surgery on a man’s nipple? (True story.) Find out later this week. Happy Tuesday, readers.

A Pirate, a Pregnancy, and a Party

A Pirate

Y’all, a pirate tried to scam our branch. A real live pirate. An ink pirate. Listen to this. A couple of weeks ago, our Front Desk Wonder Lady Christi, received a call. “Envoy Mortgage, this is Christi.” The caller jumped right in, “This is Tim Andrews. Hey, I’ve got your ink ready for your [insert name of our printer here] and I just found out the price is about to go up. This is Tim Andrews. I can send you what we’ve got in stock right now. It’s ready to ship. Just let me know. This is Tim Andrews.”

But here’s the thing. We have an ink guy. His name is Greg and he’s so nice and we’ve been using him for years. But this wasn’t Greg, it was Tim Andrews. How did Tim Andrews know what kind of printer we have? It wasn’t like he said, “your printer;” he said, “your something something 3293 something 007 printer.” And he really did say his name like eleven times and talked super fast. And I figure since he was so proud of his name, he wouldn’t mind me splashing all over my blog.

Finally, Christi said, “Who do you work for?”


Tim Andrews hung up. And Front Desk Wonder Lady Christi called Greg. Here’s what’s up. Did y’all know there are such things as toner pirates? Greg filled us in. What these pirates do (seriously, they’re known in the printer biz as pirates) is call offices and claim that they’ve got the last of whatever ink that office uses before the prices hike. Then, once you agree, they send like $2000 worth of that ink. They’ll say “I’ve got one shipment left” but by “shipment” they literally mean a whole pallet of ink. Greg said it’s happening all the time. He also said, “With my company, you will only talk to me.” Good ole Greg.

Christi then chatted with our beloved front door man Otis, requesting he not let anybody toting two grand of ink up to our office. And you better believe Otis has our back. You hear that Tim Andrews!?

I will cut you

But we’ve still got a mystery on our hands. How do the pirates find out what type of printer we have? If any of y’all know, please let us know. And if you happen to know Tim Andrews, let him know he messed with the wrong branch of Envoy Mortgage, punk. But say punk with a lot of force, like we’ll totally mess him up. Then go, “What!” and kind of throw your shoulders at him.

A Pregnancy

Speaking of people who have it coming, V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will is in trouble. Let me give you all a little background. Seventeen years ago, V-Shaped Will made a very poor decision. V-Shaped Will asked a woman if she was pregnant (she wasn’t). It was a horrible situation and he’s regretted it ever since. So wouldn’t it be great if he’d learned his lesson? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Below, some guidelines concerning when you can ask a woman if she is pregnant:

  • She is in labor and asking you for a ride to the hospital. Then you may ask if she is pregnant.
  • She is giving birth in the back of a cab and asking you to deliver the baby. Then you may ask if she is pregnant.
  • She is proudly rubbing her belly and says, “I’ve got a bun in the oven.” You may NOT ask. It’s still not safe.
  • She is from an insurance agency and brings breakfast to your mortgage office and says absolutely nothing about being pregnant. YOU MAY NOT ASK. Too bad Will did anyway. Too bad the lady was just full from lunch. Tsk tsk tsk, V-Shaped Will. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

Finally, before I beg you to come to my Save the Blog party, it’s time I fill you in on everybody’s ailments around here:

Online Dater Jason’s eye is healing nicely. He still can’t wear his contacts, but he says his eye feels less “on fire” than it previously had.

The ole Boss James is still in the boot and stomping around the office like he thinks he’s something.

Just So John had the stitches removed from his pulled tooth:

John's Tooth

Straight Shooter Shane didn’t have an ailment last week, but I hounded him for one today and he came up with an old shoulder injury from college:

Shane's Shoulder

It probably hurts like crazy

Sympathy loans welcome.

A Party

And speaking of sympathy, please come to my Save the Blog party:

June 13th – Drop by anytime between 5:30 – 8:30 PM at Cottonwood – 3422 N Shepherd Dr  Houston, TX 77018. Come hungry and thirsty!

If I don’t get 50 people to show up, my silly ole Bosses say they’ll take down the blog. Save Just the Assistant, people! There is no formal invitation going out. To RSVP, reply below or email me. Will you come?

The Office Stink(s)

I’m kind of wishing I’d gotten my flu shot now. I walk in our building today and Otis, our beloved front door man, stops me. “I think I’ve got something for your blog. The birds.” Then he points outside and I’m thinking, Sorry Otis. You’ve got to give me something better than bird watching, pal. I smiled politely and nodded, about to walk away, and then Otis tells me more. “They’re falling from the trees and dying.”

“What!?” I asked, shifting my laptop bag from one shoulder to the other.

“You want to see them?” Otis offered.

“No! What are you talking about, Otis? Are the birds flying into the building? Because you know I’ve seen stuff like that happen.”

Thankfully, Otis is a patient man. “They’re just dropping from the trees. I called the Humane Society, but they just said to leave a message. Health Department’s here now though,” he said, pointing out the back door of the building toward a truck.

Then he pointed out front, indicating a woman in a business skirt and heels. “See those wings at that lady’s shoes?”

Oh my gosh. I might throw up.

Y’all, there are dead birds falling from the tree outside our building. I thanked Otis for the scoop and told him we’d check back in with him later to find out if we’re all about to catch bird flu or whatnot. (If this picture shows up small and crooked, refresh your page, because I worked for like an hour on this. My janky blog site has been making my pictures small for some reason, but it’s important you fully understand the bird situation.)

Dead Birds

Then I come in to find out one of our processors (Colorado-Bound Nikki (she’s constantly threatening to move back to her home state of Colorado)) has been pilfering through the mortgage bankers’ trash cans to retrieve any recyclables. I’m not making this up. She got so tired of asking everyone to place empty cans in her cube (she takes them home to recycle) that she gave up and began garbage diving. Next thing you know she’s going to tie herself to the dead bird tree outside in some sort of green protest.

Y’all, I know the grand purpose of this blog is to make you all fall in love with us and eventually get mortgages, but today is just not a good day. Don’t call. Don’t fill out a loan app. Don’t email. I don’t care how low interest rates are. Just don’t do it. Stay home. Enjoy your apartment. Lay out by the pool. Call the crappy Big Box Bank if you want a loan. Things are too bananas here for guests.

Alright readers, you all go get a shoddy loan from somewhere else, and I’m off to rent a Hazmat suit (and then give it to Nikki to recycle when I’m done).

Envoy Mortgage, May I Help You?

Several years ago, before my Bosses had built their team to a staff of close to a dozen and it was just the two of them, me and our rock star processor/rock star Boss’ wife Rachelle, we all went to lunch at a fancy restaurant in the Galleria area. It was a joyous celebration, as we were looking forward to doing great things together as a team. We ate, drank, and forced laughter at yet another telling of Chad’s “bacon story” that he recites at every function in which other people are around and he has the spotlight. It involves something a friend of his said about bacon and he thinks it’s just the greatest thing.

This was during the time in which I had tricked the Bosses into thinking that I would be an asset to their team. See, smiling a lot and acting generally enthusiastic will go a long way with these guys. It was before they’d heard me talk on the phone to a client, and before they discovered that no, I really never would understand the new Good Faith Estimate layout and how it functions. Business was good, the sun was shining in Houston, and we were going to provide home loans to the whole city; just watch.

And then, Chad’s phone rang. Just as we were about to toast to a prosperous future and all things mortgage, Chad rushed away from the table saying, “This is Chad” in his business voice, leaving us all holding our glasses up mid-air over the white table cloth. James rolled his eyes and shook his head as we lowered our glasses and picked at our salads without Chad.

My Bosses, James Beaver and Chad Helmcamp, have had an ongoing feud for about seven years now. As you may have guessed, it involves Chad and his phone. Chad is of the mindset that if a client calls, he has a much better chance of securing that person’s business if he answers his phone. Mind you, he wouldn’t answer his phone if he were actually in the middle of a client meeting, but he will answer his phone just about any other time.

James has always scolded Chad about the constant phone answering, saying that it’s rude to answer the phone if you’re in the middle of a conversation with a colleague, and that it’s totally acceptable to call a client back in an hour. Personally, I’ve always thought Chad’s method is kind of smart. I mean, I’m always pleasantly pleased when someone answers the phone when I call, and assume mortgage seekers of the world are, as well.

Fast forward to this week. As we began a sales training meeting, James passed a giant basket around ordering everyone to deposit their phones to ensure they’d all pay attention to the lady on our conference room screen who’d be telling us all how to be wonderful people with whom the world wants to secure loans. I caught Chad giving James a slight stinky eye as he dropped his beloved phone into the basket, and James nodded approvingly as he collected all the potential distractions.

The training began. Ms. C, the saleslady, began her first section by telling everyone that there was no AC in her office and to forgive her for not wearing her jacket.

We all nodded in forgiveness and typed “forgiven” into the webinar so she’d know she could continue. First topic of sales training: Answering Your Phone.

Chad and James cast sideways glances at each other, wondering whose side Ms. C would fall on. I glued my eyes to the screen, giddy over the prospect of the Beaver-Helmcamp phone feud finally coming to an end.

Okay, I think this sales training costs our company a boatload of money, so I’m probably not suppose to share the sales secrets divulged in this training. But for the sake of this blog, I think we need to break the rules, don’t you?

Ladies and gentlemen, lesson one in securing the deal: Answer the flipping phone (not to be confused with answering your flip phone). And if you can’t answer it, call the person back within two minutes. It increases your chances of securing the deal by something like 50%.

Chad’s maniacal laughter filled the conference room. He had won. James sulked in his leather chair, defeated. Or, was he? Why was James so hunched over? Oh wait, now I see:

(Please note image of Chad in the upper righthand corner, in the middle of shouting “BOO-YA!” to the staff.)

With interest rates being at darn close to nothing, home prices extremely reasonable in this fine city, and two Bosses convinced to answer their phones no matter what, I’d say it’s a good time to call 713.213.5205 and ask James Beaver for a home loan, or 713.826.8136 and ask Chad to tell you his bacon story.