What am I Doing?

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.