Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pamela (Meeting Day)

Had to do something to combat the weight gain from Office Treats.

This industry seemed to be peppered with Gays and Lesbians. I found it remarkable that Stan didn't have a homophobic bone in his body considering he was such an Alpha Male Italian Stallion. He was surrounded by Gays at the Mortgage Brokerage.  He gave off some vibe that made me think of my brother Peter for some reason and I never got the "boss" crush that I sometimes got with all my male superiors. I was beginning to grasp the loan process and all it's tedious rules. After putting me through the ringer -Christine was beginning to have faith in the fact that I was a quick learner. Understanding the path of a loan is actually simple if you are naive enough to think the underwriters will just merrily agree to it. They often don't, and that is just the one of the primary examples of how things might go awry. Satisfying those "conditions" that the underwriter had to get the loan to documents at the title company was often left to me. I would call  the client and ask, " The lender wants to know why you didn't work for all of 1998? (the borrower had a baby and took a year off), or the lender wants to know why you forgot a payment this particular credit card. ( oh I dunno- yeah I do, that was the year I was traveling in Taiwan and a go-go boy, who I got drunk with and had sex with me, and stole it. I thought I had paid it all off but I guess I didn't) . Telling the lender the REAL reason payments weren't made wasn't really an option. It wasn't called lying, it was called "getting creative". I would write the Letters of Explanation (LOE) with reasons that were much easier for a tired, overworked, embittered underwriter to forgive.  Most of my information that I gave them was omitting key parts so the following excuse would be that his card was lost in Taiwan while on vacation and upon realizing it, the tried to contact the credit card company immediately. Unfortunately the credit card company's office in Taiwan screwed up the communication and a payment was missed.

Since the refinance business was booming and Stan was a "Top Producer" he naturally progressed to heading his own office. along with his friend Bill. Stan snatched Bill away from a competing Mortgage Brokerage but they had actually known each other for years. Bill was good friends with Stan's wife. What was even better was that the new office was going to be very close to where I lived at the time in the West Portal district of San Francisco.  Bill was a lanky Gay agent whose personality made him more attractive than his actual appearance. He looked very average, but when he smiled or told a story it seemed to increase his sex appeal. Well... it did to me anyway. Bill would take on the responsibility of hiring a new office manager and finding the new loan agents processors to work with.

  Bill took a couple of loan agents from his previous employer , (much to that company's chagrin),  and a peculiar, but lovable loan processor that resembled a marionette, with his overly large head and slim body. His name was Johnny. Johnny and I would become very close in a short amount of time. Johnny was wired just like me: he was in a constant state of Jungle Fever. What made it worse was that we were both attracted to the same types of black men. Our type was masculine well built men with either a bald head or a very closely shaved head. Johnny called them "milk duds" but the term never caught on with me.  I had an advantage over Johnny though. I was single and he was not. Bill had gotten me very excited about meeting him because he told me that Johnny was one of my biggest fans. I was still deeply engrossed in performing theater career at night. As it turned out, Johnny had never even SEEN me perform. He was such a voracious reader that he recalled my name in reviews of plays that he had planned on seeing but never got around to it. He was a loan processing whiz but lacked Christine's focus and clean organization. His real saving grace was that he was brilliant. He could quote anything from Shakespeare to John Waters. When he donned his wire rimmed glasses and explained how to solve a work situation it was very very difficult to believe he was the same man that squealed " Guuuurrrrrl Ya wanna grab a COCKtail and check out some Milk Duds after work? "
The truth is that I would be the one asking if he wanted a cocktail after work. Many a night he was stuck at his desk probably doing work that the loan agent he worked for should be doing.  Christine's cool, quick efficiency rarely kept me after 5:30PM. Johnny didn't have a loan coordinator to work with- AND he was processing many loans for fledgling Loan Agents who were CONTINUALLY freaking out about the loans they were working on. Christine didn't have the patience to mollify an Agent.

Everyone but me had heard of Pamela, our new Office Manager. Pamela's former boss was right out of "The Devil Wears Prada" She was a control queen from hell who had nearly micromanaged Pamela into a state of psychosis with inappropriate baby sitting requests and trying to achieve impossible deadlines. Regardless, she spoke highly of Pamela, and Bill and Stan hired her as a result.
When Christine and I returned from a coffee break and Stan and Bill introduced us I immediately wondered if her qualifications were true. She looked like a white woman, but her hair was styled similarly to what I had seen the middle class Latina high school girls from the Mission District wear. It was heavily coated with some shiny shellac hair product that formed it into stiff wavy ribbons of hair that she folded into a clip so there was an odd bubble bun made with these ribbons of hair near the top of her head. It greatly resembled a Sea Scallop made from shiny twine. I later learned that she felt her hair was hopelessly curly and the hair product lamination was necessary in order for her to get control of it.  She was also extremely overweight with the unfortunate positioning of the fat situated primarily around her hips and derriere. She covered up her swollen looking frame in some smartly tailored black pants, a white blouse and a black cardigan sweater. Unbeknownst to me she had 20 of the very same outfit (or damned close to it) hanging in her closet. Her skin was smooth and vaguely olive complected. Her tiny-bee-stung-Clara Bow -lips were thickly glossed and one heavily mascared eye seemed vaguely smaller than the other heavily mascared eye, particularly when she smiled. She smelled divine and when she extended her hand and said a chirpy, "Pleased to meet you!" all my critical observations of her appearance flew out the door.

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