Things Fall Apart (Seriously)

I came in the office today and walked directly over to Online Dater Jason to inquire about his love life. Instead of finding a smiling, noisy Jason like usual, I found a gloomy Jason all hunched over his desk wearing a visor and glasses (he doesn’t wear glasses). Here’s the thing. Jason woke up in the middle of the night with his allergies going haywire and eyes itching galore. Two hours later he woke again, scratching at his eyes like a wildcat. And this morning when he finally got up, the guy was nearly blind. “Jason,” I said, “I think our readers need to know what you’re going through.”

“I don’t think so,” he said.

“You above sympathy loans?” I offered.

Not above sympathy loans, after all.

Not above sympathy loans, after all.

That got me thinking, maybe I could play up everybody’s ailments here. I passed Hottest Mortgage Banker in Texas Hayley’s cube. “Got any ailments?”

She thought for a while, and then lit up. “I bumped my hand on the door!”

“Perfect!”

Please send us loans.

Please send us loans.

After seeing the attention everyone else was getting, V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will offered to drum up a flesh wound by smashing his head into his desk.

Ailing Will

Okay, y’all, I’m not even kidding about this next part. As I was prancing around the office asking people for their ailments – “Anybody got any bursitis?” – the ole Boss James walked in. He’d been at the doctor. An orthopedic surgeon. And he was wearing this giant leg cast! I may have physically pushed Jason to the side when I saw James’ ailment. “Sorry Jason. You just got upstaged, buddy.”

Thankfully, James isn’t above trying to score a few sympathy mortgages either.

Help this man. Send mortgages.

Help this man. Send mortgages.

Turns out, James has been experiencing mystery foot pain that resembles, as he says, “someone shoving a knitting needle into my ankle.” (I’ve not had that experience so I’m not sure what’s going on with the ole feet.) He’ll be in the boot for three weeks, and after that, well, we really don’t know. I’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE

What the heck is going on? Y’all, I know I stretch stuff here, but I am not making this up. Just So John just showed up. Half his face is swollen – he just had a tooth pulled! He said the dentist offered him laughing gas for $130 but he said he’d rather buy a new mermaid shirt with that money because it’d make him happier in the long run.

Here’s John demonstrating how he can slap his face and not even feel it.

Help a guy out, y'all.

Vicodin rocks

UPDATE # 2

Jason is back from the optometrist. Poor guy has an ulcer. On his eyeball. Caused from contacts or something.

It’s official. Jason wins. Jason has the worst ailments. Send him the loans.

Okay readers,  please remember to tune in to 700AM in Houston tomorrow evening at 6:00 and listen for my breathing in the background of the finance show (because that’s cool, right? Listening to AM radio on Friday nights?).

Now, I’m out of here before one of my co-workers drops dead. Have a great weekend!

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).

A Secret Handshake, Scientology, and a New Guy

So there’s this new guy working here named Shane. Shane is a mortgage banker. He’s also a bit ornery but for some reason I like him anyway. He used to work for a crazy boss who was BFFs with John Travolta, too. Y’all just need to read on…

The Church of Mortgageology

An Interview with Sassy Mortgage Banker, Shane Davis

Just the Assistant: First things first, why do you think you can sass me?

[Note: Shane sassed me a couple of weeks ago and I threatened to write a whole blog post about his attitude.]

Shane (obviously not hearing my question): Did you see I put up some new pictures of my kid on Facebook?

[He had actually emailed me a few hours earlier to tell me he put new pictures up of his son. I’m not making this up.]

Just the Assistant: Mm hmm. So cute. Now listen, how long have you been in this business?

SD: Since 2006. I started working in Dallas at this company that was straight off of Boiler Room. The owner of the company would go to these big marketing conferences that were all hosted by Scientology – he was a Scientologist – and then he’d come back and change things at the company.

[Note: You should totally see Boiler Room.]

JTA: Wait a minute. Scientology? Did Tom Cruise work there, too?

SD: No, but my boss was friends with him, and one time after one of those conferences, John Travolta flew my boss back to Dallas on his private jet.

JTA: Shut UP!  Wait a minute. What kind of place was this? Are you nuts?

SD: It was crazy. I was only there a year. Sometimes if my boss was having a bad day, he’d just fire people.

JTA: That won’t happen here. The ole Bosses are typically pretty level-headed. Except for this one time I forgot to order lunch for an event and James went bananas on me. And I’ve never heard them mention Tom Cruise when discussing their weekend plans. Did you go to college?

SD: Yeah I went to Texas Tech and got a degree in  marketing and management.

JTA (immediately cautious of a power struggle like Dwight on “The Office”): Wait a minute. Management? Are you trying to get James’ job? Oh no, you aren’t like Dwight are you?

SD: I had James’ job at my former company.

JTA: You were a manager? Oh my gosh, this can’t be good. I’ve got to warn James. Why did you come here if you were the manager?

SD: My former company took 40 days for underwriters to approve loans.

JTA: I don’t know what that means. How long does it take Envoy?

SD: 48 hours.

Sassy Shane

JTA: Oh, well that’s quite good. Do you like it here? I mean, why else did you come to work here?

SD: Gobe was the reason. I trust her. She’s been telling me to come on board for a while. James looked like an honest guy as well. You can tell when someone is sincere or is just telling you what you want to hear. I like the fact that it’s extremely hard to impress me…and I was impressed with the systems in place and the knowledge. What I can tell already, is Envoy is three steps ahead of everyone else…I know because I’ve worked at and know people who are at “everyone else.”

JTA: Oh yes, I forgot you are friends with Gobe [another of our famous mortgage bankers]. How do you know her?

SD: Her husband and I were pledge brothers. I was in their wedding.

JTA: Pledge brothers? That’s so weird. Do y’all have a secret handshake?

SD: Yep.

JTA: Well? What is it? Show me the shake.

SD: Nope.

JTA: That is so weird. That is just so weird. Do your clients know about this? And speaking of clients, I know you get a lot of repeat business. Why do folks come back to you?

SD: I do what I say I’m going to do. Even if it’s hard, I get the job done. And I don’t tell people what they want to hear. I tell them the truth.

JTA: You’re doing an interesting loan right now for a client. What is it?

SD: It’s a loan for people who want to buy or refinance a home and tie in some funds for home repairs or remodeling into the mortgage. It’s not for anything structural like adding on a room, but for remodeling a kitchen or putting down new floors, it’s perfect. It’s called a 203K…

[He told me all the details, but I lost interest. If you want to know more, he’s happy to give you the whole scoop – Sdavis@envoymortgage.com]

JTA: That’s cool. Do you do normal loans too?

SD: I do everything.

JTA: What does your wife think about how sassy you are?

SD: She’s worse than me!

JTA: Oh my gosh, y’all are like a match made in Heaven. Are y’all the people who take one picture of your child every day of his life so you can have some flipbook thing at his high school graduation party?

SD: No. I just put pictures up on Facebook because our families live out of town.

JTA: Okay, I’ll give you that. I totally get it because my mom is all the time, “How’s Cowboy?” and I’m like, oh yeah I need to put up some more pictures of my dog. Alright Shane, thanks for your time. Now go answer all those phone calls!

Sassy Shane on the Phone

If you’d like to get sassed by Shane or view the Facebook album of his son’s whole life, you can find Shane’s info on my fancy Who’s Who page. And while you do that, I’m off to contact his old boss about hooking me up to meet Suri Cruise so she can help me go viral.

Underwear, Boobs, and a Robbery

My husband and I moved into our new home last week. On our first night there, after hauling boxes up stairs all day and making four failed attempts at assembling a bed together and generally pushing our marriage to the limits of what is considered bliss (turns out, we’re going to make it), it was finally time to go to sleep (on a mattress on the floor since we couldn’t figure out the bed). Then we held pillows over our ears and harrumphed through the night as one of the cats paced the hallways of our gorgeous new home loudly mourning the loss of our old house. The next morning I awoke to my husband with a towel around his waist rummaging through the suitcases scattered on the floor. “Hey hon, have you seen my underwear?” he asked.

I scratched my head and thought back to the previous day. Packed the teapot? Check. Packed the dog food? Check. Packed water bottles and scarves and frozen peas and our wedding album? Check. I packed the whole house.

Except for his underwear.

We’d left our old house the day before empty, save for a small bathroom drawer that contained a neat stack of folded undies.

“Uh, I thought you packed your underwear.” Thought I’d try the ole “it’s all your fault” trick.

“No, I didn’t pack them. I guess they’re still in that drawer at the old house?”

“Um. Mm hmm.”

I didn’t have the heart to ask what my husband’s plan was, whether he was going to wear dirty undies or none at all or try to make a pair of mine work. All I know is that he went to work, and I drove to the old house and found the underwear.

So that’s the news on my personal life. Now, on to office scoop.

It’s Just So John’s and Richard’s (I haven’t nicknamed Richard yet) birthdays this week, and some title company brought in like a whole birthday party for them:

John and Richard and The Mermaid

I’d like to remind that title company that my own birthday is August 24th and I’ll be delighted to take some flowers and candies off their hands at that time.

I asked Richard (on the left) how old he’ll be and he proudly told me 50. “Hey! What a great birthday!” I said. Richard is a nice guy and I’m glad he’s been around 50 years. Then I asked Just So John how old he will be and he mouthed out his birthday number (which was his nice way of warning me not to splash his age across the whole internet (43ish)).

Hold up. I just realized John’s shirt has a mermaid on it with shells over her boobs.

Mermaid Boobs

I don’t even know what to say about that. If you get a mortgage with him, please inquire about it and let me know.

Other office scoop: Hottest Mortgage Banker in Texas Hayley witnessed a robbery last night! Oh yes she did. She heard a noise in the night, peered out her window, and watched some dude with a long beard pilfering in her neighbor’s car and putting things into a sack. And then get this. The neighbor had apparently left a drink in the cup holder, and as the thief was stealing everything out of this guy’s car, he paused to take a drink. Out of an old stale Coke! What the what? While Hayley’s husband called the cops, Hayley pushed her own car’s alarm button to scare the crook off.

Well, you know what the crook did? Run away? you ask. Nope. Slowly walked away, and ever so slyly slipped behind a tree. Call the creepy police. That’s nuts! And you know what’s funny?  I got so freaked out and screechy when Hayley got to that part of the story that I didn’t even ask what happened next. And Hayley didn’t say. She just kept going, “Isn’t that creepy!?” and I kept going, “Oh my gosh, yes!” while we grabbed each other’s arms.

Finally, I had a meeting with my ole Boss Chad in which he acknowledged that it appears I will never make this blog what he wants it to be (he wants me to make it some stupid mortgage info haven that nobody will read). I thought he might be about to fire me, but instead he kind of shook his head in disappointment and walked away.

Finally, stay tuned later this week to meet another new guy, Shane. Shane thinks he can sass me. Shane thinks wrong, sucker.

If any of you would like to wish Richard and John a happy birthday, provide Hayley with a home security system, gift my husband some new underwear, or send your condolences to the ole Boss Chad, please comment below. I’m off to stick some duct tape over those mermaid’s boobs.

Fuddy C. Duddy

A few months ago I showed up at the office looking like a street dweller. It was the week after I returned from Rwanda and I was still grappling with feelings of guilt over the fact that I own more than one pair of pants and a blow-dryer. Plus I wanted to show off my new African headscarf and handmade beads. So that’s why I rolled in wearing some wrinkled wide-leg pants, an equally wrinkled t-shirt that, in a stroke of fashion genius, was the exact same color as my pants and a grandma sweater that didn’t match anything. Oh, and I hadn’t showered. Then I topped off the ensemble with my African headscarf and beads. And you want to know the first thing Hipster Andie the Loan Coordinator said to me when I came in? “You look SO cute.”

“I look like a homeless person,” I replied. (Note –yes, we all know a homeless person or two and I’m being all stereotypical, but come on y’all.)

“No, you look really cute,” Andie said. Mental note: If Andie ever compliments my attire again, go home and change.

Fast forward to yesterday. As soon as I entered the office I noticed Andie looked totally pulled together. She had on dress slacks, high heels and a cute sweater and scarf set that said, “I am a grownup. I work in a mortgage office with professionals.”

“Andie, you look so nice today!” I chimed, getting ready to ask where she bought her shoes.

“Ugh! It’s laundry day,” she scowled, glancing over her outfit and walking away. It was as if some old fuddy duddy had doted on her top as she left for an ugly Christmas sweater party. Andie’s mental note: If Just the Assistant likes my outfit, store that bad boy in the back of my closet and save it for when I’m seventy and need something to wear to bridge.

Speaking of Hipster Andie the Loan Coordinator, I have a handy mortgage tip for you. See, part of Andie’s job is making sure loan applications are filled out completely. But, you don’t want to go overboard here. Here’s the thing. The way in which you type your name on the loan application is the way in which you will have to sign your name at closing on dozens of documents. I learned this the hard way when I filled out the app for my first mortgage and printed my full name, first, middle and last. Come closing, I wished I’d just used my middle initial instead. There. That’s it. Are you in shock at the wealth of mortgage advice you get here, or what?

Next week I’ll draw the winner of the Kindle Fire HD. Read about that here. I think like seven people have entered thus far, for those of you keeping score.

Oh, and for those of you who went all nuts the other day because I didn’t tell you how much I sold my gold for: $1585. Cha-ching! Now then, while you all tell  me your thoughts on office attire below, I’m off to polish my silver, or whatever it is rich old fogeys do.

Just the Assistant Style

I had a meeting with the ole Bosses today to discuss their relentless desire for our mortgage blog to go viral. “Maybe if you wrote more about mortgages?” they offered.

“Nah, I don’t like that idea,” I replied. “I’m just going to write more about fashion.”

“But, Christina, you know you work for a mortgage office, right? Don’t you think people need to learn about home loans?” they asked.

Then I pulled the ole, “Sorry guys, I have a phone call,” and started perusing fashion blogs.

While the ole Bosses lock in some rates (that’s what it’s called when they seal the deal on a loan, and since rates are looking pretty today everyone’s poppin’ and lockin’), I’m going to tell you about my favorite fashion blog. Here’s the thing. Most fashion blogs are way beyond my fashion-forwardness tolerance. You won’t see this girl wearing onesies or harem pants or gas masks in the name of style.

But JCrew sweaters with skinny jeans? Bring it, sista. That’s what the chick on cstyleblog wears. Her name is Carly and she puts together all these effortlessly chic-looking outfits, complete with necklaces and hoop earrings. And get this. She’ll come to your house and make you throw clothes away just like on “What Not to Wear.” Then she’ll tell you what shirt to wear with which skirt and she’ll find some scarf you’d forgotten about under your bed and show you how to “pull the outfit together.” I’m currently reworking my budget to arrange for her to come to my house each morning and prepare my ensembles. I may also ask her (since she’ll already be there) if she’ll pour me tea, too, but that’s neither here nor there.

Since Carly’s blog is doing so well, and our mortgage blog has yet to go viral, I’m going to pull in a few of her tricks. People like fashion, huh? We can do fashion here, I thought. And that’s when I drug Online Dater Mortgage Banker Jason away from a loan he was currently locking to model his Just the Assistant t-shirt for me. Carly uses this pose a lot, so I told Jason how to mimic it. “Cross your legs Jason. Now put your hands on your hips and look to the side. That’s it.” He nailed it.

Jason's Fashion Show

She doesn’t use this one so much, but Jason liked it.

Jason's Fashion Shoot

Finally, I asked Jason for a mortgage tip since the ole Bosses are all crazy about me writing about that stuff. Jason said, “Tell everybody to refinance if they haven’t already.” So there you go. Your deeply insightful mortgage tip.

Oh yeah – I’ve still got that giveaway going. If you are a realtor, subscribe to my blog and I’ll enter you to win a Kindle Fire HD. Please note we’ve had three entries thus far. Chances are good, people. Chances are good. Contest ends March 31. And if your email address doesn’t make it obvious that you are a realtor (think @aol.com) send me a note to let me know who you are!

Finally, stay tuned later this week to find out the most common form of mortgage fraud.

Alright folks, off to go viral.

The Home Shopping Network

Back when I was busy pouring coffee and breaking the copy machine, one of my jobs was to buy pencil cups. See, we’ve always had this link on our intranet (that I don’t have access to anymore since my only job is to make fun of everybody and they took away my passwords) that shows all these little gifts we can buy new-hires or clients or referral partners. A way of saying, “We’d like to buy your business.” “Thanks.” Oh kidding. Even if we’d wanted to buy someone’s business we couldn’t have because the best thing on there was the pencil cup. Did I mention Envoy is a paperless company?

Anyway, because I no longer have access to the employee marketing site (they’re so touchy, I swear), I didn’t know we’d teamed up with a new marketing group. Thankfully, our new front desk receptionist, Christi, has a wicked lovely sense of humor and forwarded me her link to the new Envoy store. Thought you’d kept me away, didn’t you? Woo ha ha ha!

This is what I’m talking about! Who the heck are these people? And did Mr. Envoy forget to tell them we’re a mortgage bank?

I present to you my favorites:

The Envoy Mortgage Orange Safety Cone, because you might need to stop traffic in order for your kids to play in the street at leisure without those pesky Houston SUVs getting in the way.

Envoy Traffic Cone

Where’s my scanner? Can I register at this store like I did before I got married? Below, the Envoy Mortgage mini-bar. And see that red thing on top? That’s the pencil cup I used to buy folks!

Envoy FurnitureNothing sends a home closing to a screeching halt faster than a woman with a hangnail (or unruly eyebrows). Check yourself, ladies.

Envoy ManicureLots of couples like to start a family once they move into their new home. Why wait nine months for little Junior to arrive? We’ve got Envoy babies!

Envoy BabyLastly, buying a home can be stressful (not with us, but with other lenders). In the event that you’ve had a poor experience with another lender prior to crawling back to us like you should have done in the first place, we have squishy prostates for you to squeeze while you curse the Big Box Bank that ruined your life.

Envoy Prostate

If you would like your very own Envoy Mortgage offspring, orange safety cone, or squeezy colon, contact me today. If you’d like a lame pencil cup, call some other mortgage company.