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


Our wonderful maintenance man Juan is here fixing our broken lights today. I guess the Bosses had been trying to save money by making us all work in the dark for a while, but enough is enough, people. Online Dater Mortgage Banker Jason Bates is trying to loiter underneath Juan in hopes of having a drill dropped on his head so he can sue the building. “Then we’d change the name of this place from Midtown Plaza to Bates Plaza!” Jason hissed as he tried to weasel his way beneath Juan’s ladder.

Jason and Juan

A few people have been asking me if the ole Bosses were really going to take me down had I not delivered 50 readers to the Save the Blog party. Even my brother thought I was going to get fired. I have to say, I think it would have been totally hilarious if only 49 of you showed up, and then the Bosses could have dramatically pulled the plug on my laptop and shooed me out of the bar. Then y’all could have booed me and threw your free beers at my back as I slunk to my car…

But y’all, come on. Isn’t it obvious who runs this show? (That would be me.) I’ve got these ole Bosses eating out of my hand. I say jump and they say, well, they say something to the extent of “I seriously can’t believe you’re still here. Did you ever figure out how to use the copy machine?” And I’m like, “Not really.”

Speaking of jumping, the Bosses took us on a bowling excursion last week (most of us jumped up and down upon not landing gutter balls). Some of us handled ourselves nicely. Some drank shots of tequila upon arrival. I’m not saying who’s who.

Below, Spanish-Speaking Richard (he also speaks English, by the way) after nailing three pins. I don’t know why he always wears a nametag, but he’s so nice I feel like I shouldn’t make fun of him even though the nametag thing is a make-fun-of-worthy characteristic:


Online Dater Jason tried to teach Sandra to bowl. I think Sandra is better off ignoring Jason.

Pick up that Ball

But I can't see

Throw it!

Straight-Shooter Shane ended up winning. I can’t say we’re not nervous about Shane having yet another reason to gloat.

Shane the Winner

The bowling deal was spun as a team-building gig. Team building my eye, I say. An hour into it, the ole Boss Chad pulled me aside, in a bowling alley, to tell me how he didn’t like one of my recent posts. I squinted my eyes at him and asked, “Why are you telling me this in a bowling alley? On a team building event. You sure aren’t very buildy, Chad.”

Just So John wasn’t at the bowling soiree (and good thing since Chad was so rude). Instead, he was lounging on a Hawaiian beach. He’s back now (in a Hawaiian shirt). Said Just So John: “Do you think it’d be too gross to put my sunburned belly in your newsletter?”

Yes, John. Yes it would. And it’s a blog, not a newsletter. Get back to your loans.

Just So Hawaiian John

Okay folks, I’m out of here before Jason gets hit by a screwdriver, Chad tries to “build me up” again, or Just So John tries to give me any more ideas for my newsletter.

Loans for the Loaded

I have a nun reader. A real live nun – reading my blog! I’ve never met a nun before, so I feel like the blog is really special now, like it’s holy.

Now if you would all bow your heads with me…

The nun is the aunt of one of our new team members. Sandra (the nun’s niece) said her aunt, Sister P, is an avid reader. I’m thankful Sandra passed it along because now when everybody in the office asks why I have such a big head, I can blame her and her aunt and the Catholic Church.

Hey – are any of you rich? Not the nun – I don’t think nuns are allowed to be rich, but is anybody else rich out there? Because if so, Envoy’s jumbo loan rates are stinking low right now.

V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will just stood up from his cube and said, “Jason, have you seen our jumbo rates?”

Will and the Jumbo

Jason Jumbo

See, our mortgage bankers don’t just choose what rates are. Envoy Mortgage tells these guys what the rates are, and today Envoy  Mortgage tells them the rates on jumbo loans are stinking low, especially when compared to the janky Big Box Banks’. Compared to them I think we have, like, the lowest rates in the universe.

And just so you’ll sound savvy and with it at a dinner party this weekend, a jumbo loan is a home loan for more than $417,000. No clue how that number is chosen. They don’t tell me these things, so unfortunately this is where you’ll stop sounding savvy at the dinner party.

Speaking of sounding savvy, I just overheard one of our new guys, Richard, on the phone, and did y’all know this guy speaks Spanish?

Richard Speaks Spanish

Finally, if you will remember (and if you don’t, it means you are a normal person not addicted to a mortgage blog), I am renting out my former house and am now a landlady. Turns out, being a landlady is a wee more tricky than I’d hoped. Our renters (lovely renters) moved in last Tuesday, the same day as the fridge went out. And over the weekend Houston performed this dazzling little hail storm which resulted in rain streaming through the ceiling of the rental house. Charming, really.

One final note – remember Hayley watched her neighbor’s car being robbed? Well the next night the robber came back and stole the whole car!

Alright folks, while you all lock your car doors and check your bank accounts to see if you can swing a jumbo loan, I’m off to find my nun and confess that I am now a slumlord.

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.