What am I Doing?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meet "Literal Larry"

Dear Diary,

Did you notice that I highlighted the word "literally" in my post yesterday?  Good job, Diary.  I knew you had eagle eyes.

Diary, I would like to introduce you to "Literal Larry."

I call this guy "Literal Larry" because he feels that it is necessary to use the word "literally" in the most sentences possible.  His record, which is solely from the times I heard the word, is 13.  He said "literally" 13 times in one day.  That should be illegal.

The other thing this guy does is he qualifies everything before he starts talking.  For example, he and I are having a conversation about some numbers.  Obviously, we are brain storming and none of the numbers are real.  "Literal Larry" feels that it is necessary to say something like, "I'm just making this up, but..."

Listen dude.  I'm not going to hold you accountable to a number if we are having a brain storming session.  It's okay to use a fake mortgage balance of $100,000 instead of someone's real balance of something like $367,393.  It makes the math easier to use nice, round numbers.

One day I'm going to throw his words right back at him.  I'm thinking something along the lines of, "I'm just making this up, but I literally want to kill you and bury you in a shallow grave if you say the word 'literally' again."

Of course, I'm joking.  :)  But seriously.  :|  Stop it.  One day "Peet's Matt" might get a hold of you.  And if that happens then you'll be the feature clip on "When Animals Attack: Part 29."

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm the Grammatical Barney Fife

Dear Diary,

Effective December 17th at 3:20 PM I instituted a "Bad Grammar & Punctuation" policy.

The policy is simple: use good/decent grammar and punctuation when you e-mail me.  If you e-mail me and I determine your e-mail has violated my policy then I will not respond to you for at least 30 minutes.

The genesis for this policy was a poorly written e-mail to me from someone in the office.  This person constantly writes grammatically horrific e-mails and I am tired of it.  Not only are you asking me to do something, but you are making me do work to understand what work it is that you want me to do.

For your viewing pleasure, Diary, I will post verbatim the e-mail that set me off:

??? No I beez more confused---Is there any other codes in any of the other fields from the initial email otherwise I am thinking we need to get on the phone with them and find out how we can best organize checking what is going on (if possible) in the data---for delq accounts (it may not be because of the way it is gathered)

Is this a sentence or a paragraph?  I can't tell because there is not one period (.) in it to help me understand.  I must have read this e-mail at least three times before I finally understood what this person was talking about.

I better go Diary.  Ironically, I "literally" just got an e-mail from this very person.  I need to go start his timer.

Please note that this policy is not effective for anyone that controls:
  • my employment status
  • my salary, or
  • my year-end bonus (if applicable)


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let's Meet for Coffee

Dear Diary,

Sup D?  I know it has been forever since I've talked with you.  As you might recall, on July 31, 2008 I left [...BEEP...] to start working for a new company.  What's interesting is that [...BEEP...] is now bankrupt too.  Just like Bankrupt [...BEEP...] is.  To date, that means I have worked for five companies all of which have gone bankrupt.

On August 1, 2008 I started working for a private-equity firm (I have not come up with a fancy nickname for them yet).  I have been in observation mode for almost five months now and I think it is time to start sharing with you again.

When would you like to start meeting again?  After Christmas?  Sounds good..

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So Long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Good Night

Dear Diary,

This is it Diary.  After this entry I will be packing you into one of my boxes and we will be moving onward.  When all is said and done, I will have worked for [...BEEP...] (I used it for old-times sake) for 1 year and 2 months.

Here's a quick run down of yesterday and today's activities.

1) "QC Ted" and I went to lunch.  He couldn't afford to pay for a meal out so I bought him lunch.  It's weird taking someone out to lunch because I'm leaving, but that doesn't matter.  I like "QC Ted."

When we got back to the office he did give me a long (3-seconds) hug good-bye.  So if someone that knew me happened to be driving by at the time they would see me locked in an embrace with "QC Ted."

2) My boss called and joked about how I should be glad that I am leaving because I work for someone that doesn't even take me out to lunch on my last day.  I laughed and said, "yeap." ;)

3) This morning I'll be taking my boxes to the car and will be closing my checking account.  As soon as an employee stops working for the company they slap all kinds of "normal customer" fees on the account.  I'm not up for that.

4) My exit interview is scheduled for noon.  I am still debating how much I should reveal to my boss about why I am leaving.  I guess it'll depend on how my boss grills me with the questions.  I'll be prepared if she draws first blood.

It's been real and it's been fun, but I can't say that it has been real fun...

...my next job, though...now that's going to be fun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are You Happy to See Me?

Dear Diary,

I need your help with something.  This might be hard for you to understand because you're a book and not human, but still I value your insight.

We guys have a problem that women do not have to deal with.  And that is...uh...how do I say this?  We have a special tool that we carry around with us.  And it's a great tool.  We like the tool, but it causes havoc sometimes.  For example, in junior high and high school we had to hide our tool sometimes by strategically placing books as we walk around.

Now that we're grown-up we have a bit more control of our tool, but the thoughts of junior high and high school still linger, and that is the problem I need help with.

Guys, when wearing certain pants, experience the "tent effect."  For example, most of the pants that I wear to work create a "false tent" when I sit down.  Personally -- and I suspect other guys do too -- I find this awkward and I do not want to give off the impression that I am pitching a tent.

It's even more awkward, though, to push down or poke your tent because then it just looks like you are playing with yourself, which we are not doing.  We are trying to make the tent go down.

What would you do to solve this problem, Diary?  Should I staple my pants to my boxers?  Or use paper clips?  Please share your ideas.

For now, when I meet someone and we sit down I say: "Hello, my name is Mattrix and I am not happy to see you."


Monday, July 28, 2008

What's my age again?

Dear Diary,

Hang on...I want to turn my iPod on.

Artist: Blink-182
Album: Enema of the State (1999)
Song: What's my Age Again?

This is so great.  I learned last week that "Firestarter" is ADHD.  That's awesome because it explains a lot to me.  For instance, like why can she not keep her yapper shut for more than 15 seconds.  At the meeting where my boss showed me all the resumes she's gotten so far, "Firestarter" interrupted everyone at least once.

I wish I knew this coming into this job.  That would have been good information to know so I can figure out how to deal with "Firestarter."  Looking at Wikipedia, ADHD is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder.  It typically presents itself during childhood, and is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control or impulsivity, and distractibility.

See that..."poor impulse control."  That's her.  Oh well, too little too late.

I am, though, going to play Blink-182's song "What's my age again?" a lot more before I leave [...BEEP...] Downey.

And that's about the time she walked away from me
Nobody likes you when you're 23
And I'm still more amused by TV shows
What the hell is A.D.D.?
My friends say I should act my age
What's my age again?
What's my age again?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

No, Try Not, Do or Do Not...There Is No Try

Dear Diary,

It appears that the niceties between my boss and I are starting to fade.  Yesterday I sent an e-mail to my boss' secretary asking her for some copies of minutes from various meetings.

I am trying to get the second quarter Sarbanes-Oxley ("SOX") testing done before I leave because I think that would be nice.  The testing is not due until mid-August so I probably could blow it off if I tried.  I feel guilty doing that so I am working as hard as I can to get it done.

Check out the e-mail conversations below.  What would your reaction be?

From: Mattrix
To: Boss' Secretary
CC: Boss

Hello.  I'm trying to get the 2Q08 SOX testing done before I leave.  Can you help me get copies of the documents listed below related to Q2 2008?

1) Audit Committee Meeting Agenda
2) IAR Meeting Notes
3) Minutes of Audit Committee

An hour later I get an e-mail back from my boss.
From: Boss
To: Mattrix

Your use of the word "trying" makes me uncomfortable.  Can you make a commitment?  Thanks.

Immediately I did not like this e-mail.  Who talks like that?  Normal people say things like, "I am trying to get such and such done."  That's how people talk.  I am not Robin Hood.  If I were I would have said, "If it were pleasing in thy lady's eyes, please allow me to commit myself to the completion of me lady's kingdom of reports."

If I am going to bust my butt getting SOX testing done for this defunct department then I do not deserve to be talked to like this.  So with great pleasure I fired back an e-mail to my boss.
From: Mattrix
To: Boss

"Trying" refers to the fact that I am dependent on others for their reports and tests.  If I get everything I need in time I'll get it done before I leave.

I am not going down for this because "Firestarter," "Cryor," and "Wall Knocker" do not give me their crap on time.

Who does she think she is with this "trying" bit, Yoda?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Odor

Dear Diary,

Today is the day after the day I gave notice.  It is a weird feeling.  I am excited to leave Downey Savings (a.k.a. [...BEEP...]) and move on to other better things, but I have so much material left to write about.  What should I do about that?  Maybe I'll keep writing after I am gone.

Over a year ago I complained about the office "Stank Factor."  Briefly, it outlined people taking walks around the bay and coming back to the office hot and smelly.  I even made a chart.

I am writing to let you know that yesterday I contributed to the Stank Factor.  In fact, I am going to take it a step farther and say that I was beyond stank; I was rank.  I went running last Friday and put my sweaty clothes in my gym back.  Over the weekend I intended to wash everything, but I forgot.  Even worse is that I thought that I did wash the clothes.

I got to work on Monday and started getting ready for my run only to be slapped in the face with a horrible locker room odor.  It was vile.  Did I shove the clothes back into my back and forgo the run?  Of course not; I am a dude and dudes do dumb things.  I convinced myself that no one would notice.

Walking out of my office (that is where I change by the way) I walked past "CCL."  As I did, though, I noticed that she snickered and covered her nose.  This is no coincidence; she got a big whiff of nasty Mattrix.  I walked even faster out of the office and took the elevator down.  I did not take the normal elevators too.  I took the freight elevator.

"CCL" and I don't talk about "The Odor," but the looks on her face are enough to make me feel embarrassed.  So you know what that means...

[CLICK x1][?]

Embarrassing Moment Counter Total: 6

Monday, July 21, 2008

[...BEEP...] Is Revealed

Dear Ms. [Boss Lady]:

This is to inform you that I am resigning from Downey Savings. My last day will be Thursday, July 31st.

My experiences here have helped me define my goals, and I have accepted an associate position with Cerberus Capital.

Thank you for all your help. Please be assured that I will do all that I can to help during my departure.

Matthew D. Mullins

CC: Human Resources

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

Today's Friday fun is an experiment.  [...BEEP...] allowed us to wear jeans today so I decided to have some fun.  I am wearing a Bankrupt [...BEEP...] shirt.  Do you think anyone will notice?  And if they do, will they say something to me about it?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All That and a Bag of Chips

Dear Diary,

I am furious right now.  I have a 9:00 AM deadline and my SQL server has been shut down.  I would like to assume that there was a problem and the server is rebooting, but that does not appear to be the case.  After a call to I.T. I have come to the conclusion that incompetence is the culprit here.

Some schmuck in I.T. decided to take the server down for "processing and maintenance."  What!?!  When I challenged that decision I got a stick-up-their-butt answer.  They tried to outwit me with their buzzwords.

Listen here you ITT Technical Institute graduate.  I've been working with SQL servers for 10 years now and I think I know when a good time and bad time to shut down a server is.  Professor Smith in your Bryman College class Server 101 should have told you to never shut down a server during business hours.  Do you think the server sleeps at night like we do?  It was built to do work at night.

Morons!  You think you're all that and a bag of chips because you play World of Warcraft and know what a SANS drive is.  Well guess what?  I like to play James Bond video games and I'm an expert with the sniper rifle.  You best respect my A game.

Peace out.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Is This Your Best Idea?

Dear Diary,

We have reached the end of the quarter at [...BEEP...] and now everyone is frantically trying to get everything ready so we can announce our quarterly earnings.  The genius on the other side of the building (i.e., my boss' secretary) came up with a great idea.  We received an e-mail the other day from her that said:

Talked to [Boss] - It would be a good idea for everyone to carry their cell phones if you are away from your office. thanks!

No really!?!  Actually, I prefer to use my cell phone as a paper weight in my office.  Why would I want to carry a mobile phone around with me?

I would rather have my boss mandate that we staple ourselves to the chairs and not leave instead of beating around the bush.  Can you tell I have had enough of these passive-aggressive e-mails?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

Last week I noted that [...BEEP...] started allowing casual Fridays.  I still suspect they are doing this to lift employee morale, so I have come up with some of my own casual Friday ideas.

Below are three new recommendations for casual Fridays.  I've also included pictures to help you get the idea.

1) Fix an REO Friday (see picture)
2) Listen to '80s Music Friday (see picture)
3) Rehabilitate Sick Animals Friday (see picture)

I think it's safe to say we'll see our stock price start to go up after my ideas are implemented.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Conference Call Bloopers

Dear Diary,

Recently I participated in a training session using WebEx for the slide presentation and I dialed into a conference call for the audio portion of the training.  I had no problems logging and dialing in to the training.  Some others at [...BEEP...], though, did have some problems.

First, we had the person that somehow managed to log into the WebEx training platform six times.  Is that even possible?  The best part -- and it's always the best part when computer users say this -- was when the user said, "I don't know what's happening.  I didn't do it."

Excuse me?  Do you not know how computers work?  You type in commands and the computer executes those commands for you really fast.  It's most likely a user error (see this for a fun laugh).  Dork.

Next, and this cracks me up the most, is when people dial in to conference calls.  When you dial into the conference call an automated voice tells you something to the effect of, "You are the 15th caller on the line."

Okay folks.  When you hear that you are the 15th caller should you assume that you are on the call by yourself?  Good, no you shouldn't.  So then why do you talk on the phone to others like you are the only one on the line?

I heard two guys talking about their weekend and planning lunch after the training was done.  I heard a woman complaining to herself why she has to be a part of this stupid training.  And I heard someone with a cold sneezing and coughing for the entire training session.

For some reason when people get on conference calls all common sense fly's out the window.  It's as though people forget how phones work; you speak and the spirally wires shoot your voice to the other end of the phone.  C'mon people!  Use common sense.  Better yet, use the mute button!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It Rhymes With a Female Body Part

Dear Diary,

I've gotten to know a lady slowly by bumping into her in our office's kitchen.  We are on the same coffee drinking schedule and slowly started to chit-chat.  About a month into this, I realized that I had not yet introduced myself to her.  Yet she knew my name and I was not quite sure what her name was.  I've heard other people say a name, but I never felt comfortable that it was really hers.  I feel like my real life is acting out a Seinfeld episode.

Do you remember the episode where Jerry dates a woman and tries to find out her name, which rhymes with a female body part?  That's me, Diary.  Every time I see this woman the fear of saying the wrong name pops into my head.

I keep wanting to say, "Good morning, Melva."  But I fear that "Mulva" will slip out just like Jerry tried.  I'm going to need to figure out a way to get that episode out of my head before the next time I see Melva.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Trippin' on Taco Bell

Dear Diary,

Last week I went to Taco Bell for lunch and I did something I rarely, ever do.  I changed my order.  I'm a guy that when he knows something works he sticks to it.  My Taco Bell order has not changed in 5+ years, but for some reason I changed it.  The result?  I was trippin' on Taco Bell.

I'm not a scientist, but I do play one on TV.  And I think my experience is attributable to the new menu items I ordered.  Either they had "special mushrooms" in it or I was poisoned by the salmonella outbreak in the tomatoes.  Below is a list of the things I noticed:

1) The music was quiet.  Normally this Taco Bell likes to blast the music.

2) A guy walked in with a girl hanging all over him.  They were being all schmoopy with each other.  The reason why I was watching this guy is because he looked exactly like me, but he was FAT!  A scary sight.  I got down on the ground and did a few crunches for good measure.

3) I saw the world's ultimate wedgie.  This woman's jeans were so tight I could not see a single thread of fabric where her seam should have been.  Take a look at this picture.  You see that seam there (inside the yellow box)?  It was completely engulfed by her fleshy seat cushions.  And you're eating lunch at Taco Bell?  I got down again, but this time I did some glut squats.

4) A woman brought in a Diet Coke can to Taco Bell.  What!?!  That's heresy.  Taco Bell is a Pepsi only environment.  Get that trash out of here.

5) Sitting in a booth, I eat my lunch.  The booth in front of me was empty until a guy sat down.  What's weird though is he sat down facing me.  Everytime I looked up from taking a bite of food we would lock eyes.  Creepy.  Who sits in a booth facing the person next to you?  Every bite of my burrito felt awkward.

And there you have it Diary.  My trippin' Taco Bell lunch.  I don't know if I can handle another lunch like that.  My mind absorbed everything I saw and heard.  I'm going to switch back to my normal menu items next item.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Funtastic Funtime Happy Hour

Dear Diary,


Observation.  I have so much energy I parked my car on the freeway and ran the rest of the way to work.

Observation.  I can't feel my fingers and toes.

Observation.  Oh, look at me.  I'm a big, tough man because I put giant holes in my ear lobes.  Oh, look at me.  I'm from Australia and I pretend to live in an Aboriginal village.

Observation.  When the real Matt sees a fat woman he keeps walking.  When "Peet's Matt" sees a fat woman he asks, "When is your baby due?"

Observation.  I think I just pooped my pants.

"Peet's Matt"

P.S. Don't tell the real Matt I wrote this.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stock Chart or Intelligence Meter?

Dear Diary,

For your viewing pleasure, please look at the chart below.


What do you think that chart is for?  [...BEEP's...] stock price?  Perhaps.  It is true that over one year ago our stock was worth $74.85 and today it's only worth about $3.88.  I don't think it's our stock chart, though.  I think it's more of an intelligence meter of this company.

I offer you two examples as to why this is our intelligence meter instead of our stock chart.  Both of these examples occurred this morning.

1) This morning, we received an all-employee e-mail.  Before I share the e-mail with you please note that I have not modified it in any way.

Power ties are red

Jeans are blue

Friday is casual day

From Executive Management to you!


That's so stupid.  When I first started working here Casual Friday's were non-existent.  Now, though, because our stock is in the crapper you are letting us wear jeans?  You disgust me.  Don't get me wrong, I'll wear jeans, but I'm not going to be happy about it.

2) Redundancy.  We just talked about this the other day.

Audix: You have a voicemail from [my boss] at extension 4341.
My Boss: Hi, Matt it's [boss' name] at extension 4341.  I have a question for you about our loan modification program.  Can you give me a call?  I'm at extension 4341.

Oh, I better go Diary.  I should call my boss back.  Oh crap, I don't know what her extension is though.  Sorry, I need to go find someone that knows my boss' extension.

See ya later.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wanna Feel my Butt?

Dear Diary,

Most of the time, during my lunch breaks, I go for a quick two-mile run around the bay by my office.  As you would probably guess, I return to the office sweaty.  I do the best I can to cool off outside in the shade, but I'm usually still sweaty.

"QC Ted"[?] is fascinated that I go running during lunch.  He likes to say, "have a good run" when I walk by his cubicle to leave the building.  One day he asked, "What do you do to clean up after you run?"

Thinking quickly I said, "Oh it's easy.  I go into the restroom and give myself a sponge bath."  I got two responses from my comment.

The first was from "QC Ted."  The look of shock and horror on his face thinking I get naked in a restroom he uses was priceless.  My comment served it's purpose.

The second response I got was unexpected.  At the same time I was talking to "QC Ted" I noticed that "CCL"[?] heard my comment.  She swiveled around in her chair, pushed her glasses to the tip of her nose and gave me, what I thought was a look over.

I instantly felt used and abused.  I'm pretty sure she was undressing me in her mind.  Life has never been the same for me since then.  That's why I wear a burka to work now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Beautiful and Natural

Dear Diary,

Office refrigerators are often referred to as science experiments because of the food that employees don't claim or clean-up after a few days.  It baffles me that so many food items and food containers go unclaimed each week that we have to throw everything away once a week.  How hard is it to remember what you brought to work for lunch?  That's beside the point of this entry, though.

Back to mold and science.  I have seen a lot of stuff in refrigerators: mold, mildew, decomposing seafood and even blood worms.  At Bankrupt [...BEEP...] there was a fad of having beta fish at your desk.  Beta fish eat blood worms and so our freezer had lots of frozen blood worms for a few months.

The point is I've seen a lot of stuff.  What I have not seen though, but did surprise me was to find body fluids.  Ewww....  There are two Moms in the office suite that returned from maternity leave and they have been pumping milk and storing it in the freezer.

I get that breastfeeding is beautiful and natural.  Heck, I've got four kids and have seen my share of breast milk.  But to see someone else's breast milk in a public freezer does not sit well with me.  I'm concerned that breast milk molecules are floating around the freezer landing on my food and ice cubes.

[Dry Heaves...]

I'm considering writing a note on the refrigerator white board saying, "Please keep your body fluids to yourself."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Morning Musing

Dear Diary,

I might be one of the few people in the world that can get upset over something as trivial as voicemail, but I don't care.  I need to voice my frustration.  I can't stand it when people misuse voicemail.

The one that bothers me the most is when someone calls and says, "Hi, its so-and-so.  Please call me back."  For anyone that leaves me a message like that I impose a 30-minute penalty until I return your call.  You can't leave me hanging with why you are calling.  Man up and tell me what you want to talk about so I can be prepared.

Redundancy is also a problem.  I find that when a co-worker leaves me a voicemail they like to repeat what I already know.  To start, when I get your voicemail, the Audix voice lady tells me who you are, what time you called and what extension you are at.  My boss is the worst at this.  "Hi, it's Jane at extension 4341.  It's about 9:00 AM.  Would you please give me a call back?"  Nothing in her voicemail adds value.  30-minute penalty!

Tell me, Diary, do I need counseling?  Be honest.  I can handle it.  A good friend of mine is a licensed, clinical psychologist and he might give me a discount.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Acronym Fail

Dear Diary,

Have you heard of the term "phishing?"  It is used to describe an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords, from unsuspecting people.

I received an all-employee e-mail this week talking about our privacy policies and how to protect our customers from phishing scams.  I also read about a new threat.  It is called "SMiShing," which is like phishing but through text messages (or "SMS" messages).  How weak is that?

Listen all you Internet-loving, sleep in your Mom's basement so you can play World Of Warcraft all day technological geeks.  "SMiShing" is weak.  Come up with a better name.  I am angry at you for not trying harder.  How are you ever going to get out of your Mom's basement so you can try to salvage what's left of your lives with a weak acronym like that?

You failed kind sirs.  You failed.  I am imposing a 150 point penalty to your team and I am lowering your team rating to 1050[?].

Monday, June 9, 2008

Is that a Long Entry or are you Happy to see me?

Dear Diary,

Symposium originally referred to a drinking party (the Greek verb sympotein means "to drink together") but has since come to refer to any academic conference, whether or not drinking takes place. (Source: Wikipedia)

I went to a symposium last week and had a good time.  It was easy for me to have a good time because I was given a free breakfast.  I cleaned house: I ate eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, hash browns, a bagel, coffee and a cup of water.  I was not hungry near lunch time.

Special surprise.  Haywood, an 11th Floor-ee[?] was also at the symposium.  We sat next to each other and did some people watching.  Below is a list of what I/we saw.  I saved the best for last; Haywood's favorite.

1) One guy was asleep for about half the presentations, which was a good use of his time.  Get a free breakfast and then sleep it off.

2) There were lots of typos in the slideshows.  A few of the slides were labeled as though we were in London.  Lots of parentheses were started, but were not finished.  (For example, how hard is it to remember to close the parentheses?

3) One of the presenters I thought was funny because he kept presenting to two women in the front of the room.  Occasionally he would look at the rest of us, but he was mostly infatuated with these two women.

For the annoying category there were two types of people.

4a) The first is the "side talker."  These are the people that reiterate every single point with a point of their own.  An economist was presenting about gas prices and driving in So. Cal.  The "side talker" had to make comments like, "good luck with that" or "if their lucky they won't."  Every important talking point made by the presenter was followed up by this guy with his own dorky comment.

4b) The second is the "whisper talker."  There was a gal that basically did the same thing, but instead of speaking out loud she would whisper to her colleague.  Strangely, I find that to be even more annoying than the "side talker."  When the presenter would ask a question like, "We're not sure how this will impact the mortgage industry, but we're staying tuned."

The "whisper talker" lady would turn to her colleague and whisper, "We know how it's going to turn out."  She kept doing that over and over again and I was going to go bonkers, but then we took a break and I regained my composure.

5) The best by far has to be this guy that Haywood and I both noticed.  What's nasty is that we both noticed him for different reasons.  I first learned about "shoe boy" (that's what Haywood called him) when I heard one of the loudest sneezes in my life.  It was one of those sneezes that if you weren't looking at him while he was doing it, it would scare you because you don't know what that loud noise is.

"Shoe boy" sneezes multiple times, looks at his hands realizes they're full and then looks at his table for a napkin.  Unfortunately, the bus boys cleaned the tables and the napkins are gone.  I watched "shoe boy" look at his hands one more time and then rubbed them together as though the friction would magically make the snot go away.

Later on during the presentation Haywood tapped me on the thigh, just kidding, on the arm and motioned to look at "shoe boy."  We now see "shoe boy" with one of his shoes off massaging his feet and cracking his toes.  To me, his hands have fully transformed into a mobile petri-dish.  There's no way that I'm going to shake his hand and introduce myself to him.

I don't mind all these things, though, it's fun to get free food and to watch people.  I am looking forward to next year's symposium.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

Before you click the link, read the text below the picture and then look at the picture.  She's a smart cookie isn't she?

Pregnancy Fail


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stick and Stones May Break my Bones, But...

Dear Diary,

A while ago, my friend @PapaNug had the brilliant idea to shorten the name of my department.

[Paraphrased Conversation]

@PapaNug: Hey, Mattrix.

@PapaNug: How funny would it be if the name of your department, "Internal Asset Review" was shortened to "Internal Ass. Review."

@PapaNug is laughing and he has some of the other guys laughing too.  At first I thought he was a dork for saying that, but then Bloomberg Magazine took the name of my department and kicked me in my "front bottom" (hat tip: Brian B).

"Internal Asset Review" is a long name so the magazine shortened it to fit on a mailing address label.  The label on my magazine reads: "Matthew Mullins, Internal Ass"

Oh, yeah @PapaNug and Bloomberg!?  You're all poopie faces anyways!

Stick and stones may break my bones, but subprime mortgages will never hurt me.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No Entry Today

Dear Diary,

I am writing this entry to let you know that there will be no entry today.  Weird, huh?  I had a rough start this morning and I am not in a good mood.  Thus, I do not feel like writing something funny.

I do, though, have an interesting question for you to think about.

P.S. Can you guess who's got me in a crappy mood?  I'll give you a clue: it starts with "Fire" and ends with "Starter."

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Way I See It

Dear Diary,

Yesterday, June 1st, marked my one-year anniversary at [...BEEP...].  I almost would have forgotten, except that I accidentally clicked a link to my LinkedIn profile and noticed my start date.

I'm excited that it has been one year because that means I have been able to spend precious time with you, Diary.  I am not excited, though, because that means I have been away from Bankrupt [...BEEP...] for over a year.  Which, by far, continues to stand out as a great place to work.

People can insert all the "subprime," "bankrupt," and "new shade of blue chip" jokes as they want, but what is unique about my experience is the group of people that I worked with.  For the most part we all got along very well and there was not much animosity amongst the ranks.  Except towards the end when things got screwy and our situation turned dire.

No matter what, though, I've been in the mortgage industry for 10 years now and my five years at Bankrupt [...BEEP...] were priceless.  Working in Secondary Marketing on the 11th floor gave me a chance to experience a lot more than others have.

Yes, we did not know what we were doing.  Yes, we hired some crappy people.  Yes, the company is now bankrupt.  But I see those as invaluable learning experiences.

Look at it this way, I witnessed first-hand what it is like for a large, national public company to go under.  My company was on CNBC.  I was contacted by news reporters asking for interviews.  I watched M&A attempts trying to save us.  I worked on weekends to help try to save the company.  I got to steal two plasma screen TVs on my last day...oh, err, never mind.  Somebody else did that.  ;)

I was a part of a great company that eventually allowed it self to be mismanaged.   I can either cry, complain and let the subprime jokes get to me.  Or I can take my experiences, whether they were successful or complete failures; and apply them to my job today and my future career.

The bottom line is this: fail early and fail often.  The sooner I learn what not to do, the sooner I'll be able to be able succeed.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Karma

Dear Diary,

I don't subscribe to the "that's Karma" way of life, but I'm pretty sure this would be a good example.

Yesterday I ditched work to go to Disneyland (see Twitter).  This morning I get to work to find out that today is a casual Friday.  I did not get the e-mail in time to know that.  So now I'm all dressed up for work and everyone else is in jeans.

Is that a good example of Karma?  Perhaps.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Out of the Office

Dear Diary,

Shhh...don't tell anyone where I am today.  Watch Twitter for more details.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Do I Smell Paul?

Dear Diary,

I am not a smoker, but I do play one on T.V.

Part of my job that I do not like is the smell smokers bring with them back inside the building.  You know what I mean.  When a smoker comes back from their break the elevator stinks to high heaven.

[Side thought:] I love pipes though.  Why do those smell so good?

At Bankrupt [...BEEP...] there was a guy named Paul who was an 11th Floor-ee[?] that smoked.  However, what is special about Paul is he had a special smell.  When the elevator smelled of this smoke we all knew that Paul had gone outside.  Between his brand of cigarettes, breath mints and cologne; Paul had created his own essence.

Yesterday I went out for lunch and was stopped at a red light.  All of a sudden I got a sniff of Paul.  I'm not lying when I said out loud in my car, "I smell Paul."  I looked to my left and the car next to me had its window down.  Low and behold, Paul was driving the car smoking his cigarette...amazing.

I don't care what legacy I leave behind for my family and friends.  All I know is that I never want to be known for a certain smell.  I think most people should make that a goal in life.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

UPDATE: May 23, 2008 at 9:45 AM I solved the problem.  I signed my name on the list.

My Friday fun might turn into rage if I don't solve this word problem.  So far I'm stuggling with this one.  If you figure out the answer let me know.  Don't tell me the answer just rub it in my face that you got it sooner than I did.

Word Problem:
If you can open the spreadsheet, you'll see it's a very small list of people who have gotten the correct number -- but the list is getting longer.

There are 7 girls in a bus.
Each girl has 7 backpacks.
In each backpack, there are 7 big cats.
For every big cat there are 7 little cats.

Question: How many legs are there in the bus?

The number of legs is the password to unlock the Excel sheet.  If you open it, add your name and send it on to see who else can unlock it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

ESL is for Quitters

Dear Diary,

"Wall Knocker"[?] is Korean and speaks Koreanese.  Or is it Koringrish.  Oh, duh, it's Korean.  He is Korean and speaks Korean.  That's embarrassing that I just did that.  Almost embarrassing as the time I went to Hong Kong express and ordered some food.  Instead of saying flied lice I accidentally said "fried rice."

"Wall Knocker" asked me for my opinion about some footnotes he was writing for one of his reports.  He thought the sentence sounded awkward.  After reading the sentence, I agreed, it sounded bad.  We rewrote it and as he was leaving my office he said, "Thanks, English is my second language."  I laughed and said don't worry; Korean is my second language so we're even.

My beef with "Wall Knocker" using the English as a second language, or "ESL", bit is that he moved to this country when he was eight years old.  When you're 26 and you've been in this country for 18 years I don't think that you can use the ESL card anymore.  If you do, then I probably should not have hired you because writing and publishing written reports is a part of your job description.

ESL is for quitters.  Don't use that excuse as a cop out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Watch What you Click

Dear Diary,

I enjoyed reading this article this morning.  It's about Countrywide's CEO Angelo Mozilo.  He received an e-mail from a borrower asking him to modify his loan.  Angelo, instead of clicking "forward," clicked "reply" and responded to the borrower; but he did not know it.   Fun ensues from there.

I like the story because I can sympathize with Mr. Mozilo.  I remember a time when we were negotiating a new contract with a vendor and he was being a tool.  The vendor sent me an e-mail asking for some additional information and asked my boss (via e-mail), "Do you want me to respond to his request or ignore it like we were talking about earlier."

Can you guess which button I clicked?  Yeap, "reply" instead of "forward."  That e-mail went straight back to the vendor and yaddi yaddi yadda; he stopped sending us his business a week later.

I wonder how often this happens everyday in Internet land?  I suspect it has to be quite often.  That would be a great idea for a website, too.  A website that compiles all of the e-mails that were "replied to" instead of "forwarded."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rise of the "Empire"

Dear Diary,

In the past I have shared with you the disliking I have towards [...BEEP's...] accounting department (see here and here).  My biggest beef with them is the excessive use of the word "ASAP."  Normally it's the low-on-the-food-chain staff accountants that use ASAP the most, but this morning I discovered the problem is much worse.

Yesterday afternoon at 2:31 PM I received an e-mail from accounting asking me to provide them with my projections for when loans are going to have their interest rates reset.  On Mondays, I leave at 3:00 PM to go to my son's baseball practices.  I have been doing this for about three months.  I sacrifice my lunch hour so that I can leave early.

At 3:55 PM I received a voicemail from the person that sent the e-mail asking when I'll send them the projections.  I am out of the office and I am certainly not going to log on from home to do it.

This morning, at 5:38 AM the C.F. freaking O. of [...BEEP...] e-mails my boss and says, "For budget purposes, we need to input the most recent forecast of recasts by month ASAP.  We’ve asked Matt to provide this data."

Oh great!  Now the CFO and my boss are involved in this.  To summarize, based on this timeline, I received two "ASAP" requests in 1.5 hours and one CFO-sized "ASAP" at 5:38 AM.  Accounting, from here on out, is dead to me.  They are evil incarnate and shall now be known as the "Empire."

Now that I think about it, I think my story would make a great movie.  Here's what I'm thinking:

[Begin Mattrix's movie idea.]

From the bloated carcass of bankrupt [...BEEP...], an ambitious politician carved the Moronic Empire, a New Order of government meant to sweep away the injustices and inefficiencies of its predecessor.

Rather than offer the people of the galaxy newfound hope, the Empire instead became a tyrannical regime, presided over by a shadowy and detached despot steeped in the dark side of the ASAP.  Personal liberties were crushed, and the governance of everyday affairs was pulled away from the senate, and instead given to unscrupulous regional governors.

Accompanying the growth of the Empire was an unprecedented military buildup.  The many shipyards in the Emperor's domain churned out immense fleets of Star Destroyers and TIE-out fighters.  The Imperial starfleet maintained order in the mortgage industry, a role previously undertaken by Jedi Mattrix, a protector wiped out during the Emperor's ascent.

It was through fear that the Empire ruled.  Its power hungry lieutenants and technocrats developed greater and greater instruments of destruction to cow a rebellious populace.  This philosophy culminated in the creation of the Stupid Star, a mobile space station with a prime weapon of unspeakable power.  When fully charged, the Stupid Star's superlaser had the ability to destroy a planet by emitting thousands of ASAP requests.

[End Mattrix's movie idea.]

That's all I have so far, Diary.  What do you think?  I think if I work on this it might be great.  I can't think of anything else that has been done like this already.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Peet's Matt Hit List

Dear Diary,

A long time ago I created a "Peet's Matt"[?] Hit List.  "Wall Knocker"[?] was bugging me and he was the first to go up as a victim, err, target.  I'm writing today to report that last week "Peet's Matt" struck with full force and got "Wall Knocker" good.

For a refresher, re-read this post that originally got "Wall Knocker" on my list.

Background Information.  "Wall Knocker's" last name is Shin.

The Scene.  Five of us are in "Cryor's"[?] office looking at some SQL code and trying to figure out some protocols and procedures.  We were considering using Data Transformation Services packages ("DTS") to move data between two different servers.  "Wall Knocker" asks, "what is DTS?"

Aha, I found an opportunity to strike.  I now know a weak point in his knowledge of SQL.  After bantering back and forth with others in the room "Wall Knocker" thinks he gets the concept of DTS.  That's when I decide to jump in and take a shot at the Hit List target.

Through the power of Peet's coffee I said, "It means Don't Touch Shin."

Boom!  Laughter erupts and I throw my hands up in the air claiming my first hit.  After a few minutes "Wall Knocker" gets that I have just paid him back for not sharing his SQL knowledge with me.

Order and balance has been restored.

[Updating Hit List]

Peet's Matt Hit List
1) "Wall Knocker"
2) "Cryor"

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

Happy Friday, Diary.  It's time for some Friday fun.

My high score is 2057.  Can you beat that?  I dare you to try.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stupidity Begets Stupidity

Dear Diary,

I am not a spontaneous guy.  I prefer to think things out so that I can be prepared for the "unexpected."  However, one summer afternoon when I was a sophomore in college a friend of mine had an extra ticket to a 311 concert in San Diego.  Without thinking I accepted the offer to leave my house right then and there to go to the concert.  I had a great time and it will be an experience that I will never forget.  In fact, for a few weeks after the concert I carried the ticket stub with me in my wallet as a reminder of the fun I had.

Those that were more fortunate and got to go backstage of the concert probably had to wear a backstage pass.  I kept my ticket in my wallet, but a backstage pass needs to be worn around your neck for a few extra days, right?  I can see that.

Well, a growing number of people at [...BEEP...] have decided to take the backstage pass concept and apply it to our cardkeys.  I have been working at [...BEEP...] for almost one year now and I am seeing more and more of my co-workers wearing their cardkeys like they were backstage passes.  Stupidity begets stupidity.

It is absurd to me that they are doing this.  Our cardkeys do not have our pictures on them and they do not open doors.  They do not do anything except for letting us in and out of the parking structure.  Here is the picture I took of you and the cardkey, Diary.  Do you see how ugly that cardkey is?

I am at a loss for words on this one.  It makes no sense to me.  I do not know what is worse; wearing a cardkey like a backstage pass or that time in elementary school when I wore curly shoelaces for the whole school year.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pink = Success

Dear Diary,

I feel confident that I have found the way to succeed in business.  Wear pink shirts.  Hear me out, Diary.

At Bankrupt [...BEEP...] a fair amount of the Senior Management team wore pink shirts to work.  The 11th-Floorees[?] and I, used to tease them about that, but alas, they were the ones laughing at us.

They would not tell us at the time, but I have since figured out that Pink = Success.  "CHESTer," a Vice President at [...BEEP...] wears a pink shirt too.  This weekend I am going out to buy five new pink, button-down shirts.  Victory (and success) is mine.

With my luck, though, people will probably think that I am a "Save the Tatas" campaign supporter.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Where to Begin

Dear Diary,

It has been so long I feel like I don't know where to start...

[Looks out office door]

(Click to enlarge)

Ah, yes, "Crazy Coffee Lady."  Or, as I like to call her, "CCL"[?] (pronounced See-cil).

A funny thing happened last Friday.  "Wall Knocker"[?] returned from somewhere and came into the office saying that a fire alarm was sounding off in the hallway.  No one in our office suite could hear it except for when "Wall Knocker" opened the door.

"CCL," being the older lady that she is, started to panic and would not stop talking about whether or not we needed to evacuate.  I was not going to evacuate because the alarm was not going off in our suite and there were no fire trucks outside.  I shared that with "CCL," but she was still worried.

Being the kind, gentle man that I am I decided to play some soothing music for "CCL" on my iPod. [Evil Laugh]

A long time ago I bought a sound effects CD with 100 various sound effects on it.  I also copied the CD to my iPod so that I could have access to it.  Scrolling through my iPod I found this track: "Fire Alarms & Trucks." [He he he]

I cranked up the volume on my iPod speakers and played the track..."CCL" went nuts.  She jumped up and out of her cubicle like Bugs Bunny being shot in the butt by Elmer Fudd and began running towards the door.

Now I feel horrible (for real) and chase after "CCL" to let her know that it was a joke.  Her poor 60+ year old heart almost gave out on me.  Maybe I'll lay off the sound effects for a little while.

Monday, May 12, 2008

If It's Okay With You

Dear Diary,

If it's okay with you I'd like to start writing to you again.  I know that I said I was too busy because of quarter-end, the new baby, etc.  After some reflection, though, I think I lost my writing mo-jo (yeah, baby) and that is the reason I have been so quiet.

Alas, I found some inspiration.  A balance between you and Twitter.  I like writing Twitter updates because it is quick, easy and fun to throw out one-liners.  However, since I am limited to 140 characters I can not share fun stories with you.  Writing to you allows me to share more details about my life at [...BEEP...].

So with that, I say "Hello, my name is Mattrix." [Puts on a "Hello my name is" sticker]

Going forward I'm going to try to balance things out by using Twitter and you to document my journey while riding this train called: Corporate America.

To ensure you receive all updates, stay tuned to my Twitter page at http://twitter.com/mattrix19.  Through the magic of technology I'll have your diary entries sent to Twitter and then you can read my updates and get a link to diary entries.

This is great Diary.  I feel like you and I are having another revival moment.  Similar to my first entry almost one year ago.  I'm going to re-read that entry to reignite my man love for diary writing.

See ya later 00-Diary... [WINK]


Friday, April 18, 2008

Have Not Forgotten You

Dear Diary,

I have not forgotten you.  It is earnings season and I am under a lot of pressure to beat deadlines.  When I write you I give it all I got to do you justice, and I do not have that kind of time now.  I only have time for quick bursts of comments.

So for now, please read my mini-posts on my Twitter account at http://www.twitter.com/mattrix19.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I'm Back. Physically, but not Mentally

Dear Diary,

Hey Diary, how's it goin'?   I know that I have been back to work for over a week now, but I did not have the mental strength to write you.  Usually, it takes all my mental abilities to write an entry in the morning, and with a brand new, wee baby I didn't have the mental capacity to write you when I got to work.

Things are better this week.  The kiddo is sleeping longer, and so I will resume my entries.  Below are some of my observations during my paternity leave.

1) The movie "Mr. Mom" did not help me one bit.  Michael Keaton did a horrible job showing me how to help around the house.

2) I learned that sometimes I should keep my mouth shut.  Benjamin was born on Saturday and Monday I said to Jennifer, "I can't wait to go back to work."  I made my comment in response to how "bad" I perceived our other three kids were acting, but I'm sure it was partly my fault.  See #1 above.

3) "QC Ted" and I crossed a new line of friendship when I returned to work.  He saw me, threw his arms open and said, "Matt, you're back."  Next thing I know we're locked in a long man-embracing hug.  Wow, I wasn't expecting that one.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Dear Diary,

Benjamin Bergon Mullins was born at 2:07 PM on Saturday and weighed 8 lbs 8ozs and was 19 inches long.  The funny part is that Jennifer didn't have to push him out.  I said a joke and the laughing made Benjamin "fall out."  The doctor was telling her to stop laughing because he couldn't get his scrubs and gloves on fast enough.  That made things funnier, which, of course made Jennifer laugh more.

Any ways, we're doing pretty good.  My sleeping schedule has been destroyed with the new kiddo, but it's fun to have him around.  Here's a link to some pictures of him.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

It's Good Friday, the stock market is closed and I'm bored at 7:12 AM.  Not a good sign.  I don't feel like starting a project because I'll be off of work all next week.  Jennifer is having our baby tomorrow...yikes.  I know, Diary, it kind of gives me the nervous poops thinking about it.

Hopefully the new kiddo will look like our other kids.  They turned out pretty good, if I may say so.

Below is a link to today's Friday Fun.  I'll be reading through this blog looking at the funny photos.

The Fail Blog

P.S. Assuming I get a cell phone signal in the hospital, I'll update my twitter account with the latest happenings of the delivery tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"CCL" Offers TMI

Dear Diary,

"CCL"[?] offered me too much information ("TMI") this morning.

Someone has placed a ton of Easter eggs around our office and "CCL" thought it was fun.  Seeing the eggs reminds her of a story and she felt compelled to whisper it to me.

Long story short, her ex-husband left a trail of Easter eggs to their bedroom, and, yadda yadda yadda...he was only wearing a bow.

Yikes!!!  Time out, TMI "CCL."  TMI.  I will forever be scarred by this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Started My Cycle Yesterday

Dear Diary,

Based on yesterday's entry, it appears that I have started my cycle this month because that was a hormonal entry.  After sipping on some wine coolers and a strawberry daiquiri (with whip cream) I came to my senses.

"I don't feel like writing an entry today?"  What's that about?  Grow some nads man.  So here's what I'm going to do.

[Turns on iPod]

I'm going to sing a modified version of Pennywise's Bro Hymn.  Actual lyrics are here for comparison.

Song: Bro Bear Hymn
Artist: Pennywise Mattrix

"To all the [Bear Stearns Employees] present past and beyond
Even though they weren't with us too long
Your [company] is [not] the most precious thing that we could lose
While you were here [you took us out to dinner]

blah blah blah

Just remember whose side it is that you [were] on
You [had] friends with you 'til the end [but then you got margin called]
If you're ever in a tough situation we'll be there with no [some] hesitation

Brotherhood's our rule that cannot bend
When you're feeling too close to the bottom
[it's because you are at the bottom]

[JP Morgan] will pick you up again we can conquer anything together
All of us are bonded forever if you die I die that's [because we're all subprime]."


Monday, March 17, 2008

Intra Entry: No Longer a Fan

Dear Diary,

I've been a Jim Cramer fan for a while, but after this I'm through with him.  I can no longer endorse Cramer.  It also goes to show that some of these "analysts" are not smarter than us.

As Warren Buffett has said before (paraphrased): "Beware the Helper."

Can't see the video?  Click here.


Bear Stearns

Dear Diary,

I don't feel like writing an entry today.  I'm too shocked and stunned from Bear Stearns' downfall.

I'll be here all day.

P.S. We're all doomed!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

Happy Friday!  We made it through another week.  I'm feeling pretty crappy today because of a sore throat and so I went online to find some inspiration.  I found some techno music to get me going.

Also, my sore throat compares nothing to this video.  Suddenly I feel like I can't complain about an uncomfortable, sore throat.  This DJ has no arms!  I'm rockin' the glow sticks at my desk as I type.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Watch Out Little Guy

Dear Diary,

Months ago I showed you pictures of "QC Ted's" neighbor's cubicle decorations.  It's been a while, but I recently noticed them again and I found some disturbing images.  The winking cup is gone and I think the lion is making a move for the little guy.

Look at the before photo.  The lion appears to be farther away compared to today's photo.

[Mattrix yelling at the photo]

Watch out little guy!  He's right behind you.

Oh man, this is intense.  My Little Pony better watch out.  I think she's gonna be the next to go.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quit Bugging Me

Dear Diary,

Mid-February we received an e-mail instructing all employees that we have to attend mandatory Bank Secrecy Act training on a quarterly basis.  The e-mail was sent February 11th and stated that we had until March 7th to complete the training.

My boss had her secretary send the e-mail to us and also instructing us to please notify her which class we will be signing up for.  For today's entry I would like to re-live the timeline with you.  Watch what the Secretary does and how I finally can't take it anymore.

Date: February 12th, 7:11 AM
From: Boss
"Please register for and complete one of the sessions.  It is mandatory.  Thanks."

Date: February 12th, 4:30 PM
From: Secretary
"Pls don't forget to give me your dates for this Mandatory BSA Training.  Thanks!"

Date: February 13th, 11:08 AM
From: Secretary
"Just a friendly Reminder Per [Boss]..
If you want me to register you, pls give me your emp. # and the date you prefer.

At this point I had it with her e-mails hounding me.  I have until March 7th and she wants me to sign up hours after I get the e-mail from Corporate Compliance.  I was not going to have it any more.  I'm trying to get our 10-K table done and other year-end reports...here's my response.

Date: February 13th, 11:11 AM
From: Mattrix
"You're sending lots of reminders.  Were we supposed to pick a date already?  Because we have until March 7th to get this done right?

I'm too busy to pick a date right now, but I'll let you know when I do."

I was going for the shut-up and leave me alone e-mail, but in a professional manner as best I could at the time.  Also, I went ahead and signed up right after I sent my e-mail, but I did not tell her about it for a few days.  I wanted her to sweat over it for a few days.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hey! Ho! Let's go!

Dear Diary,

The stock market (and my personal portfolio) is doing really good today.  This is a nice rally considering the last few days.  I'm a team player and so I'll be rooting for the stock market to do well today.

I've got my motivational music on: The Ramones' Blitzkrieg Bop.  Hey!  Ho!  Let's go!

In other interesting "market news," the price of oil per barrell continues to reach all-time highs.  I agree that we will see $4/gallon at the pump this summer.  That begs the question, where is all the oil money going?  I found an article that answers the question.  The pictures put things in perspective for me.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oatmeal on Your Face

Dear Diary,

"Cryor" [?] came in to my office to chat about something and I noticed that she was staring at my face kind of intensely.  After a few minutes of staring and talking she finally pointed and said, "You have oatmeal under your nose."  I rubbed my nose and caught something on my finger.

To my horror, it was not oatmeal...

[CLICK x1][?]

Embarrassing Moment Counter Total: 5


Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

Mrs. Mattrix got me an awesome gift for my birthday yesterday.  A Nintendo Wii!  I'm back Nintendo and I have a lot of catching up to do.

I connected my Wii to the Internet and found that I can download some of the classic Nintendo games from the 80's.  Below is a link to one of my all-time favorite games.  Ice Hockey.  Enjoy the video...it gave me goose bumps.

Nintendo's Ice Hockey, circa 1988

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Special Day

Dear Diary,

It's a special day for us today.  By coincidence today is my 200th entry since reviving you from the bowels of my desk drawer.  It also happens to be my birthday today.  I'm turning 31 and I am for real in my thirties now.  At 30, I felt like an older 29, but at 31 I have to admit that I'm a thirty-something.

When did we all become grown-ups?  I recently added the Boomerang channel to my TV lineup and found shows that I used to watch as a kid. Shows like: 1) The Herculoids, 2) He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, 3) Snorks, 4) Smurfs, 5) Voltron, 6) Pac-man, 7) Pee-wee's Playhouse, 8)Thundercats, 9) Scooby-Doo, 10) Superfriends, etc.

I miss those shows and being a kid sometimes.  In retrospect, time went by fast and now I have four kids and they are watching the shows that I grew up loving.

[Holding up a Coffee Mug]

Here's to being a kid and not worrying about life except for what will Pee-wee's Word of the Day be.  If you'd like to send me a birthday cheer and share what your favorite kid TV show was click below and give me a call.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Accounting, continued

Dear Diary,

Oops, I almost forgot about you this morning.  Sorry about that.  My boss called me over to her office this morning and dumped a bunch of work on me.  On the one hand, it's nice to have her out of the office for two days, but then when she gets back the work gets piled on.

Onward with Accounting rants.  The other thing that I wanted to share with you is how indecisive Accounting departments can be.  This is probably 75 percent of the source of my anger.

Accounting wanted a table showing the dollar amount of loans that will have payment shock because they have reached their maximum negative amortization limits.  I made a table, it looks sexy, I feel confident and then I get a call saying, "No, that's not exactly what we want."  Fast forwarding three weeks, I have sent over ten different tables and do you know which one they finally picked?  Exactly, the very first one I made.

I, hereby, place a moratorium on letting Accounting choose which tables get put into public disclosures and reports.  They never know what they want.  Shut up Diary!  I know that you are not supposed to say "never," but in this case I am right.

The world would be a much happier and Peet's free place if Accounting would stop being so stupid.  I am glad I dropped Accounting as a second major in college.  I can not believe that at one point I tried to associate myself with them.

I need to be more assertive with them.  I'll probably get shot by some Accounting Underground Movement for saying this, but accounting, especially staff accountants, are functional and robotic roles.  Whereas Finance is a skillset that actually utilizes tools and concepts like: 1) Thinking, 2) Common sense, and 3) Practical application.

Take that Accounting!  Here's your journal entry for that: 1) Debit your self-worth and 2) Credit my Peets-fueled, self-righteous ego.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Dear Diary,

Yesterday I shared with you how I was hating my job because of a 10-K table that I helped to produce on behalf of our Accounting department.  I took some notes about why Accounting sucks.

1) Using the word "ASAP."  I have never heard or seen anyone use ASAP more frequently than people from accounting departments.  Bankrupt [...BEEP...] had two people that were notorious for using ASAP in every one of their e-mails.  In fact, they used it so much that it is forever tainted in my mind.  "ASAP" means nothing to me anymore.

What infuriates me even more is when they try to spin "ASAP" other ways.  For example, "if I could have the report sooner than later."  Listen people!  You'll get the report as soon as it is done.  I'm a big boy, I understand what a 10-K is and I understand what the SEC can do to us if we don't file on time.

2) E-mail Priority.  Accounting folks, for some reason, love, love, lo-o-o-ove to set their e-mail priority levels to the highest setting possible.  So during the month of February my e-mail inbox was littered with red exclamation marks (!).

Listen bean counters.  I get it.  I know you have to close the books and I know you need to get a report to management, but you don't need to set my inbox on fire with the red exclamation marks.  I've received much more important e-mails from Senior Managers trying to sell billions of dollars worth of mortgage bonds with no "ASAP" or exclamation marks.  But yet when "T.Lam" needs to reconcile $20 of interest I get exclamation marks followed with "Call me ASAP!"

3) Excel.  During the making of my 10-K table I was working closely with [...BEEP's...] Vice President of Loan and Investor Accounting.  During the month we sent back and forth I don't know how many different Excel files.  At one point I told the VP to unhide one of my worksheets so that I would not have to resend a file.

Silence.  I asked, "Did you find it?"  She responded, "Not yet.  How do you unhide a sheet?" ... [THUD!].  I fell out of my chair.

How on earth can the VP of Accounting not know how to unhide an Excel sheet?  I get it, Diary, that you don't know how, but put this into context.

People like me and folks in Accounting work pretty much with nothing but Excel.  In my opinion, at bare minimum she should know how to hide/unhide a worksheet.  Now, because she can't figure it out, I am even more furious because I have to teach someone how to use Excel.  Don't come at me with your "ASAPs" and exclamation marks if you can't even unhide a freakin' worksheet!

I've got more Diary, but I need to stop I'm getting agitated again.  Besides, I've practically written two pages worth of an entry this morning.  You must be exhausted.  We'll continue this tomorrow.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Let's be Friends Again

Dear Diary,

Thanks for meeting me here.  I know it must be hard for you to see me after the hurtful things I said to you, but I'm glad you came.  So, it's March 3rd and February is gone.  I had a really crappy month at [...BEEP...] and I'd like to explain myself to you.

The short of it is that I threw you across the room and yelled at you because I was trying to hit somebody else.  I was not trying to hurt you.  I could never hurt you, Diary.  It turns out, though, that I can use you to hurt somebody else.

"Firestarter", my boss, and Accounting all got on my nerves and I reached a breaking point.  You happened to be the closet object to my hand and so I threw you.  It all stemmed from us filing our Annual Report with the SEC.  I experienced so much grief and turmoil trying to put this table together (click "Open" and then go to page 42), that I was seriously doubting my job here.  At one point I was begging for a recruiter (or someone) to call and offer me a job elsewhere.

As you can see, I was under a lot of stress and was not a very kind owner to you.  On the flip side, I think you owe me an apology too.  No matter what I do or say you should never run away from me.  You are a diary and contain some very sensitive material.  I would die if this stuff got leaked out on to the Internet.  No matter what, you should stay by my side.  So next time we have a spat, please don't run away with another magazine.  By the way, that Teen People you ran away with.  She was printed barely 18 weeks ago.  You need to be careful with that kind of stuff.  That's close to statutory reading.

I'm willing to call things even and move on with our lives.  I've been keeping notes about my dealings with folks from [...BEEP...] during February and I'd like to share them with you.  Let's be friends again, okay?


Monday, February 11, 2008

Intra Entry: No, Really!?!

Dear Diary,

I'm live right now...

"Firestarter" is giving me a lecture on what a loan repurchase is.  She has no idea that I understand what they are.  I knew the Director of the repurchase desk at Bankrupt [...BEEP...].  ;)

I'm trying to find a spot to jump in to tell her I don't need an explanation, but she won't stop talking.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Entry Update

Dear Diary,

Weekend Thursday Update with Mattrix.

Entry: Do you remember "QC Ted's" revealing lunch?
Update: He's now sitting on a donut cushion.  That can't be good.

Entry: Do you remember my boss' secretary asking for more money and I didn't know what to do?
Update: I calmed down and contributed the $25.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Low

Dear Diary,

I reached a new low at [...BEEP...] yesterday.  I was reprimanded for making a PDF file and e-mailing a memo to a co-worker in our department.

My boss' argument: Why couldn't "CHESTer" just look at the MS Word version?

My argument: Because I wanted him to have a copy that was locked down from making any changes.

Her counter argument: That doesn't make sense.

My counter argument: Does it really matter?  They're both the same thing.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Big Profit Margin

Dear Diary,

When others do not understand Microsoft Access and I do, it is a great way for me to build up my capital at [...BEEP...].  Recently I built a MS Access database, which has spawned itself into a new (and important) department at [...BEEP...].

Because the department is new, I have been working closely with the VP of the department.  She does not understand a lick of MS Access, thus when she asks for a report she thinks it is hard and complicated.  I am honest and tell her it is not too hard, but she still sees it as being difficult.

This morning I built a summary report in 10 minutes that quantifies her days work on one page.  I showed it to her just now and she was amazed.  She has been very kind, by talking me up to the Executive Management team she works with, which, in turn; builds up my capital at [...BEEP...].

I love days like this.  I am earning a big profit margin on this database.  It is like I am the owner of Disneyland.  I am selling you a medium soda for $2.25 and it only costs me $0.05 to make it.  That is a nice profit margin; 4,400% to be exact.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Dear Diary,

What is she doing!?!  This gift giving thing is getting completely out of control!  I got another e-mail from my Boss' secretary.

We would like to get Carol a nice Gift – We know she loves pampering so a gift certificate for a spa treatment, etc. would be fabulous!

We are asking $25 per person. If you would like to contribute, please give the money to Sue asap and we will take care of the rest!

Thank you so much!

I am truly stuck in that Seinfeld episode where Elaine gets an afternoon sugar rush from all the Happy Birthday cakes.  Remember the part when she goes nuts on everyone?  I am close to that point.  Stop the party bus!  Our industry is tanking and people are losing their jobs.  Save your money for when we all get laid off.

It's hard for me to justify spending money on someone's retirement when I'm worried about my job still being around in three months, and I have four kids depending on me.  I've been working at [...BEEP...] for almost nine months and I have spent $75 so far on this type of stuff.  If I were to do this, it would be $100.  What do I do Diary?


First Base

Dear Diary,

I accidentally made it to first base with "CB Ty" this morning.  Well, probably more half of the way than all the way to first base, but still, it was much farther than I ever wanted to go.  I went to change the temperature in the car and I grabbed his knee.  Hopefully I didn't squeeze; he'll have to tell me if I did.

In other news.  The lady that took the day off Tueday because of "stress" was back.  She was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  I kept hearing, "I'm so busy I don't know where to start."  Hmm, maybe you shouldn't have taken the day off then.  Because of that comment, I added her to my "Peet's Matt Hit List."

Peet's Matt Hit List
1) "Wall Knocker"
2) "Cryor"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Random Thoughts

Dear Diary,

Maybe it is because of the longer weekend, or because I am caffeinated out of my mind, but I can't think clearly right now.  Today's entry, as a result, will be my random thoughts.

1) Why does the lady that cries get the day off because "she's too stressed?"  Today is going to be our busiest day of the month and she gets the day off.  Furthermore, why does my boss let her do that?  If all it takes to get an extra day off is crying, then I'm in.  I can cry with the best of them.

2) My knee hurts.  Probably from Disneyland yesterday.  I remember carrying a kid on my shoulders and pushing the other two in a stroller.

3) I got dressed in the dark again.  I'm wearing olive green pants with a white and grey long-sleeved shirt.  Does that match?

4) I must have shaved in the dark too.  I have a patch of hair on my neck that I completely missed.  Hopefully no one thinks that I'm trying to grow an Adam's Apple goatee.

5) "CCL" said something to me, but I couldn't understand her whispering.  So I said, "that's true" and kept walking.  Hopefully my response was appropriate for whatever it was she said.

Friday, January 18, 2008

dd2go: Not Possible

dd2go: Not Possible
Originally uploaded by mattrix19

Dear Diary (to go), I know now what kind of a car morons drive.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

An Excellent Lunch Becomes a Bogus Adventure

Dear Diary,

"QC Ted" last week asked if I would go to lunch with him; I said yes, but I couldn't go until next week.  Time passed by and yesterday we went to lunch at a Ralph's deli.

The lunch was going surprisingly good.  We talked about his art, he likes video games, I like video games.  He went to Biola, I got my MBA at Biola.  Time was almost up and we needed to head back to work.  I was thinking, "this is actually not that bad."  "QC Ted" is a very nice guy, but then suddenly he must have thought we had a deep bond because he changed the topic.

As we were leaving the patio he had a look off pain on his face as he stood up.  "QC Ted" decides to tell me what his problem is.  His coccyx (i.e., tailbone) has been hurting him lately.  He then goes into unnecessary details about how the pain shoots down his butt crack.

Are you kidding me?  Who tells someone that your butt crack hurts and how you are going to the doctor tomorrow to have it, uh hum, examined.  Our lunch at Ralph's instantly became tainted and ruined.  Speaking of Ralph's, that's what I wanted to do in the parking after imagining "QC Ted" a** up, face down in the pillow; at the doctor's office.

P.S. If you need a "QC Ted" refresher, here are some previous "QC Ted" entries.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Dear Diary,

No witty entry for me today.  This is my first year-end at [...BEEP...] and I am quickly learning that is total chaos.  No one knows what they are doing and no one's numbers tie out with any other department numbers.  I'm stuck in the middle and I want off this ride.

Some of my previous entries sum up what has been going on.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Fake Career Growth

Dear Diary,

I do not like it when people beat around the bush when trying to ask me to do something.  If you want my help ask me; don't try the passive-aggressive maneuvers.

My boss does this a lot.  When a project comes up that is outside the "scope of my job" she sends e-mails with subjects like:

1) "It's time to shine."
2) "Another one of those opportunities."
3) "Oh, Matty you're so fine, You're so fine you blow my mind, Hey Matty!"

Okay, so I made up that last one, but you get the picture right?  Here's the thing... [looks for a soap box]...

To Mattrix's Boss:

You and [...BEEP...] are paying me to sit at a desk for eight hours to do work.  As far as I am concerned these "time to shine" e-mails are bogus.  I do work, you pay me for that work and the cycle continues.

[Turns on Elton John's Circle of Life]

Let's not beat around the bush anymore.  When you want me to do something, ask and I'll do it.

The mortgage industry is going to the crapper and I need a job.  So chances are I'm not going to complain and say, "That's not in my job description."  These fancy e-mail subjects are not necessary.  Besides the last time I built up my "time to shine" savings account, the company went bankrupt and I lost all my deposits.  "Time to Shine" accounts, it turns out, are not FDIC insured.

Mattrix out!


Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

The coffee is flowing today and I am feeling it!  I joked around with the head of our Fraud department this morning that I'm going to make a fraudulent loan at [...BEEP...] to see how long it'll take her department to figure out what I did.  Hopefully she knows that I was joking, otherwise I might be getting a visit from some guys in suits with silver "bracelets" for me to wear.

Here's a Friday Fun video for you too.  If Fred and Barney are doing it, it must be okay, right?

(Can't see the video?  Click here.)


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Caution! Dork on Board

Dear Diary,

I don't remember what I was thinking about, but I was really zoned out when I pulled up to the parking structure at [...BEEP...].  I had trouble getting the gate to open this morning because I was using my garage door opener.

I sat there for about 20 seconds pushing the button on my garage door opener trying to figure out why it wasn't working.  Then it hit me.  Maybe it doesn't work because it's NOT A GARAGE!

I'm glad no one was behind me waiting and honking.  That experience probably would have rivaled one of my first embarrassing moments at [...BEEP...].

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tear Ducts of Steel

Dear Diary,

One of my "resolutions" for 2008 is to use my gym membership more frequently.  After all, since I'm paying for the service I might as well go too right?  Well, I also need to find a way to strengthen my tear ducts.

Let me explain.  I finished watching a video of a marine coming home from Iraq.  He surprised his wife and kids by showing up at his daughter's school assembly.  After seeing the daughter's reaction I lost it.  Instantly, my eyes welled up with tears and now I'm trying to hide them from anyone that might show up at my office door at any moment.  I'm a sucker for those kinds of videos.  Probably because I have kids, right?

So how do I strengthen my tear ducts, Diary?  What good is it if my pectorals are perky, my biceps are bulging, my deltoids are delicious, and my glutes are gorgeous, if I have the weakest tear ducts on the block?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

He's On My List

Dear Diary,

"Wall Knocker" needed some help with a SQL query and asked if I would help him.  After reviewing the code, I found the problem and told him how to fix it.

He fixed the problem and then commented out a large block of code with a shortcut keystroke.  I asked him how he did that and he laughed and said, "Ha, now I know something that you don't about SQL."  I thought he was joking and laughed along.  I asked again, "How did you do that?"  He smiled and said, "Nope, I'm not telling."

Visibly irritated with him, I walked out of his office, sat down at my desk, pulled out a piece of paper and wrote this:

Peet's Matt Hit List
1) "Wall Knocker"

Effective immediately, for 2008, I have created a "hit list."  The next time I have Peet's Coffee I will refer to my hit list and identify my next victim target.  I don't know when or how Peet's Matt will strike, but when he does it'll be great.  Sort of like the "shock and awe" campaign used when the U.S. bombed Iraq for the first time.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Intra Entry: She's Awake

Dear Diary,

She's awake now.  Total time asleep = 10 minutes.

That's a long time to fall asleep at your desk.  I was getting ready to go check for a pulse.

Intra Entry: Ironic

Dear Diary,

"CCL" is asleep at her desk.  Her hands are positioned like she was typing and experienced narcolepsy.  How ironic is that?  My entry this morning was about me taking a nap in my car and here we have "CCL" sleeping at her desk.  I wonder how long she'll sleep for?

Stay tuned, I'll write when she wakes up.

Wake up Sleepy Head

Dear Diary,

I experienced my first blunder of 2008 last Friday.  The dreaded "over sleep in your car during lunch" problem.

After having eaten lunch at one of the greatest restaurants ever, I had 30 additional minutes to kill.  The Newport Back Bay is within walking distance from [...BEEP...] so I decided to park my car and take a quick snooze.

After dozing off, I was awoken to Nirvana's song "Rape Me."  I was still half asleep, but I remember saying, "huh, they just played that song a few minutes ago."  I sat up to look at the clock and I had been asleep for over an hour!

Frantically, I sat up and started driving.  Forgetting to put my seat belt on and forgetting to lift the back of my seat to its upright position.  I try to dash back to work as quickly as I can.  As I make a hard left at the stop sign I wipe drool off my face with my sleeve and check my hair; I have "bed head."

I park the car and do the best I can with my hair and briskly walk back into work.  No one notices I'm late and I sit down to field fake phone calls so it looks like I'm busy while I try to slow my heart beat down.

Who knew that a song like "Rape Me" would have been so helpful?  If it weren't for that song playing I might have slept the afternoon away.  From now on, Diary, I'm bringing you to all my lunches so that you can make sure I wake up on time.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Dear Diary,

I think it's going to be an awkward day between "CCL" and I.  I kinda, sort of, possibly cut her off pretty bad in the parking structure this morning.  I had no idea it was her in the car; it is just that she was going so sl-o-o-o-w-w.  I could not take it any longer and squeezed in ahead of her.

She must not have liked that because after I parked and got out of my car I noticed that "CCL" was slowly rolling by trying to get a look at who cut her off.  After we made eye contact she quickly turned her head and kept going.

She hasn't whispered "hello" to me today and so I think she's upset.  Should I give her a peace offering?  Perhaps offer her some free electrical services?