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Self-Quarantine: Day 20, Round 2

I feel like these posts might start coming in greater frequency.

Last week we had our monthly branch call. It's essentially where we all stop what we are doing for an hour so we can listen to how amazing the loan officers are (there's a little cheer for ops but Processing, Funding, and Underwriting get maybe 30 minutes total - the rest of the hour is just a pat on the back for sales). It's frustrating for a myriad of reasons.

They always go through the top three and ask them what made them so successful this month. And the answer is ALWAYS the same: teamwork and a clean application. Every now and then someone will through in good communication but basically every one says the same thing.

Like literally, half the time the answer is "like everyone else has said..."

And then the loan officers come on with a big pat on the back for how much money they made and how big their bonuses are because of all the 21 day CTCs.

You know who makes a 21 day CTC happen? Ops. You know who gets a special bonus for making a 21 day CTC? The loan officer.

And that's fine I guess, even if I don't think it is fair. But why make Ops sit there for 30 minutes while you brag about how much money the loan officers make? Why can't Ops just peace out and then the remainder of the call is just loan officers and management because that is who it pertains to?

The answer - I suppose - is because at the end of the call the owner of our branch usually gets on and does a state of the union sort of last hurrah. Which is usually fine. But last week's call really got to me and here's why:

In an effort to allay everyone's fears about our jobs right now, he also chose his words poorly. I'm going to paraphrase here but essentially he said "at least we have homes with yards and we are with our families and pets."

And then there's me. I swear I felt like the John Travolta gif from Pulp Fiction - you know the one, right?

It was just so insensitive. I don't think I'm the only one not living in a house right now but maybe I am. Either way, that was insensitive. He talks a lot about us being family but that hurt. Not unlike when I reached out to him last year and said hey THIS happened. The other managers responded. They said they were here for me if I needed them or if there was anything they could do to help. But not him.


I mean it's fine. Whatever. Just choose your words carefully ok?

This is getting to me a bit. I know you all are feeling it too. I know everyone is a little stir crazy. But I see an awful lot of you with families or pets and I'm just sitting here alone (I know I am not the only one and I am fully aware you can be stir crazy with a house full of people, I'm not trying to negate that.)

I've thought about getting a pet...specifically a dog. I miss Spike too much - I just don't think I've ready to let a new cat in yet. But a puppy? I love and miss Trixie and how we used to play or go for walks (sometimes). It feels exactly like what I need right now. And this quarantine doesn't seem to be letting up for awhile so why not?

I checked with my apartment today and I can confirm that I would have to pay a new pet deposit if I were to get a new pet. Even though I already paid $600 for Spike and they still have it because I won't get it until I move out (and only half of it then).

So no new pet for me.

It doesn't help that I've been working so much overtime. OT is great and I am grateful for it. There is so much work to do and working a couple of hours late does alleviate the stress a little.

It just feels like it is never enough.

I struggle with emails. It is hard for me to ignore them. But I get so many emails a day, I can't possibly respond to them all as I get them or I would never get anything else done. I'm working really hard on this because I've always sort of looked at my inbox as my to do list - and stopping at the end of the days with emails still there glaring at me is hard.

And it is really hard for me to work on a file and ignore them as they come in. But no matter how quick or easy the email seems to be, it is almost always followed by several more that inevitably lead to me stopping what I am doing, getting into another file to solve or answer the issue, then getting back into the original file...I just don't think they appreciate how much work they are causing.

So I'm trying. Some days I do better than others. But if I am working on a new file review I am going to do my best to ignore everything else so I can get through the file faster. I have to.

Except I also hate getting "yelled" at. Why haven't you answered me? You haven't answered me. This is very important - answer me. My file is more important than whatever you are working on now!

That's the one that always sets me off. It happened last week. How do they know their file is more important than the one I am working on?

But Mondays are the worst. I've said it before and I'll likely say it again. There's just so much that happens over the weekend and then you have people that didn't work on the weekend and now feel like they have to catch up on Monday and their file is always the most important.

And that's the crux. Every file is important. So it doesn't ease my anxiety any by trying to tell me your file is more important than the one I am working on.

Some people just need to wait their turn. I'll get to everyone eventually. Officially we have 24 hours to respond to an email but that message does not seem to have gotten through to literally anyone.

Oh well.

And here's the other thing about the OT. Usually I am pretty good about ending my day at 5:00. Maybe I have plans, maybe I don't. But right now? I definitely don't. And it just feels wasteful to sit and binge watch another terrible (or even a good) TV show when I could be making more money (especially since I constantly whine about how I don't have any money). So I end up working too much and having meltdowns and yelling at loan officers.

And that's definitely counter productive.

So I took this weekend off. I clocked out at 5ish on Friday and I turned off my computer and I didn't log on again until this morning.

Which of course I have regretted all day because there is so much to do. But still. Yay me?

I didn't have any big plans this weekend. Obviously. But I did do something pretty radical that I haven't done in awhile.

I barely turned the TV on. Seriously. Maybe 5 hours all weekend total. I mostly read. In fact, I read 2.5 books this weekend.

I read the Elton John autobiography which was pretty cool. Followed that up with the Bobby Bones autobiography - I used to listen to him in Austin before his big move to Nashville and I always liked his show. That was a shorter book so I also started the Felicia Day autobiography I had recently acquired. It's also short and I'll finish it tonight.

I love fiction but I have always really enjoyed reading biographies and autobiographies. I find them fascinating. I tend to stick with actors usually but I'll read about just about anyone.

Except Truman Capote. I tried reading his biography one summer and I just could not get through it. It was really thick and kept jumping around...I definitely prefer a linear biography. There was also a biography on Marlene Dietrich I tried to read last was written by her daughter but it just kind of went nowhere. I don't think I finished it.

If you know me at all, you should understand what a statement that is. There are very few books that I have started and not finished. I devour books. And I always assume they will get better if it isn't my cup of tea. Sometimes, it just doesn't.

My new hobby/craft kit came in last weekend! I didn't work on it this weekend any because I was busy reading, but I worked on it last weekend and a bit during the week. I'm learning wool felting. Which is a pretty cool hobby if you are stressed because essentially you stab wool a bunch of times with a needle (sometimes a lot of needles at once) until it gets firm and takes shape. I bought a Christmas kit because I figured it's sort of a little MCM in style and who doesn't need more Christmas decor?

I started on the tree thinking it would be easiest and while I haven't started on Santa or the reindeer yet, I stand by my statement. The hardest part is the instructions are not very good - in fact I'm having issues with my star for my Christmas tree because the instructions are "felt a pentagram shape". That's definitely easier said than done. And I know my tree is a little skinny but I felt it had more of an MCM feel that way and I did it on purpose for all you know.

It even stands on it's own! #feltedwool

I'm looking forward to working on Santa because on page 3, the already useless instructions are in German. At least I think it is German. So that should be fun.

It's kind of a fascinating process though. Stabbing wool until it gets hard. There is no sewing involved. I had no idea.

I finally signed my lease renewal. I hated doing it but I'm not ready to move yet so there you go. I know I'll get another dream house someday with another backyard oasis but man I wish I had it now. Although the move to Dallas has been tough at times, definitely more good than bad has come of it. But I still wish I could have kept that house somehow. I promise I try not to dwell on it. It's just a little harder at the moment.

Shelter in place in a big house with a beautiful backyard with swimming pool and hot tub would definitely be more pleasant than being stuck in this apartment with stompy upstairs neighbors. Not to mention I would have kept Trixie had I been able to keep the house and I would be a lot less alone.

I know this post has been a little whiny and I'm sorry. But I feel a little less alone when you read this. Bobby Bones' book is titled "Bare Bones - I'm not lonely if you're reading this" and I get it. Just knowing someone is out there paying attention to what I have to say - even for just 5 minutes - really does help.

So, thanks for reading. <3

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Robert Held
Robert Held
Apr 14, 2020

As soon as my house is ready, we'll tear up that lease and get you outta there! And get you a dog and a pool.

You know I worry about you, getting burned out, though I do understand the desire for the overtime payouts. Soon enough you'll let me come over and break your solitude, at least for a time until my house is ready. 🥰

But I know you'll weather this covid storm and the isolation fallout. You're one of the strongest people I know. And you know I love you. We'll get through this.


Apr 14, 2020

It has to be especially tough to be quarantined by yourself! I guess it could be worse to be stuck somewhere with someone you can't stand, but still... And I think we all go through the hills and valleys, so to speak. Most days, I can just take it as an inconvenience, but really not so bad, because I totally agree it is necessary; other days, I feel like I will want to scream. But at least, I have someone to talk to and a needy dog to let in and out, over and over. LOL I'm sorry it's been so rough for you. It stinks that a nice weekend has to be followed by everyone wanting you t…

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