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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.