Monday, February 25, 2008

You know what really grinds my gears...

...when I have this great idea for a post and then when I finally sit down to write about it I have no idea what it was supposed to be about. U. G. H.

Seriously. This weekend something happened and I was like...OMG that is so annoying & I should blog about it bc I'm sure its an irritation people can relate to. Or something like that...but no dice.

Nothing too pressing to talk about now but thought starting a post might jog my memory about that "thing" I can't remember....still nothing.


You likin' these one or two sentence paragraphs I got going? I bet you do. I mean...they're pretty sweet. Short & sweet. Or brief & boring. I'm not sure which.


I still haven't gone on my blind date. She was sick all two weeks ago and so she didn't feel like doing much of anything, let alone meet a new person. So I told her to give me a ring when she was feeling better....and its been over a week and a half now and I have yet to hear from her. Needless to say now I'm not as excited as I was before. I'm sure she was sick, but its now been over a week so I'm not sure if she's even interested anymore. Oh well. I'll probably give it one more shot.

Who has seen that Adam Sandler movie about being Chuck & Larry? Not me. It looked horrible. I like Sandler just fine, and Kevin James is pretty funny too (his stand-up is quality...especially his bit about being a bank teller), but it looked horrid...even with Jessica Biel getting felt up by Sandler while she's only wearing a bra. Meh. Well I had lunch with my friend Pomona today and she said its one of the funniest movies of all time. WHAT?! I refuse to believe this. I may watch it...if I can see it for free. Maybe. After I shared my feelings about that, she asked if I had seen Grandma's Boy and I just about lost it. If Chuck & Larry looked horrid then Grandma's Boy looks like the illegitimate bastard son of that movie. Sorry Pomo, but yes.

Speaking of movies...I've been lucky enough to see two sneak previews in the past two weeks. Be Kind Rewind is freaking awesome. Not your usual Jack Black comedy, but its quirky, fun & endearing. When I went to see it the line to get in was on the opposite corner of the movie theater entrance (the theater is located on the top floor inside a mall with several restaurants up on the same its a good sized floor with an open middle (meaning you can see down to the lower floors)). There was maybe 150 or so people in line in front of us...definitely less than 200 but more than 100. Yea. If you've been in Pacific Place before...we were standing in line over by Mexico, the (omg no way!!!) Mexican restaurant. So I thought this was a pretty wicked long line seeing as I was near the end of the line.

Well...last week I went to the Vantage Point sneak preview, and line was much longer. We managed to get someone in line closer than for Be Kind, but the rest of the line extended all the way back to the THEATRE. So roughly 60-70% longer than my first sneak preview. Granted this was a "bigger" movie but wow. Anyway...the movie sucked (hahaha!). Interesting idea for presenting the starts with six or seven different "points of view" for the same incident. So the movie begins, then gets to a certain points and does this cheezy rewind sequence thing, and starts again but from someone else's point of view. This goes on for roughly the first 50 minutes of the movie, and shows how all these different people are interconnected in the movie...well sort of. Then the last "vantage point" continues past where the rest have and after about 10 minutes, all the plot twists and unresolved conflicts in the movie are quickly explained in the next 20 minutes....then the movie is over. It was 98 minutes long...ending in some very, very horrible lines (that are supposed to be dramatic but just made the whole theater laugh) and my "favorite part"...where Forrest Whitaker's character saves a little girl from being hit by an ambulance then shortly after the child's mother comes over to hug her daughter. Pretty dramatic & brave thing for him to do. How does the mother repay him? With a soft spoken "thank you," then walks away. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!? That's all a mother would do if some stranger saved her daughter from being killed? Stupid. The movie had an interesting idea and plot, but fell far short of delivering a worthy movie. Boo big action-suspense flicks loaded with stars that don't deliver.

Sometimes I really hate how this website has a mind of its own...just now I hit enter and it jumped two or three returns down the page. WTH? It usually only happens when I save a post, then revisit it later to finish it let this be a lesson: "only start now what you can finish now, otherwise put it off until later or never do it at all." Yea...that sounds like some pretty sound advice, right? Eck. I have to share how great it is to work for WaMu home loans right now....RAR! Since I have started in August, the company has started tightening their credit & underwriting standards, to the point that loan consultants that had been here for years has never seen a market like the one that we've all be thrust into....and as a result, an unprecedented new amount regulations, policies & program terminations from within the company. So its been quite the "ride" so far. Its weird bc with so much change happening almost on a daily basis, sometimes I know more about what's going on than colleagues with 10 years experience or more. Just to show how far the company has gone to ensure they minimize their losses & maximize their profitability (regardless of what that means for its employees) here's what I can think of off the top of my head right now:

-elimination of Option ARMs & 5/1 Multipay products unless they're used for conforming limit purchaes

-elimination of the relationship discount for having wamu auto pay on jumbo, saleable loans

-restructuring of the sales associate qualification to units instead of $$$ (beyond stupid)

-large cuts in loan consultants' commissions (they are purely commission based)

-elimination, as of March 4th, of all stand alone equity transactions (this is what is causing me to think my job is in serious jeopardy bc equities were a big part of our units per month potential)

-forced equity line reductions on various, existing equity lines

-elimination of custom construction program (my team was one of maybe two or three total qualified people in the office who could do custom loans, so this was a big deal for us)

-soft market policy (basically all of the greater NW is in a 'soft market' tier B which means a 5% reduction in published LTV/CLTV guidelines, plus a max CLTV of 80%...luckily we're in tier B....tier C is 10% reduction & tier D is 20% reduction (which is many places in California, where the highest producing loan consultants work))

-as a result of soft market policy, we can no longer do 80/10/10 or 80/15/5 transactions for purchases...which puts us at huge disadvantage when talking to realtors (tho I'm not sure many people are doing 80/15/5's anymore (we haven't been for awhile now I guess) but no 80/10/10's is a big deal))

-minimum FICO score for an equity line of credit is now 660 (620, or even 600 used to qualify, but at a higher rate)

-we no longer offer new equity lines rates below the prime rate (in the past our best pricing was 0.51% below prime) the best pricing is the prime rate (6%) and only available if your credit score is 740+, CLTV is less than 65% & the loan amount is $50,000-$149,999 (ridiculous)

-we had a special discount if you were a teacher of -0.50 points, then it was changed to -0.375 but the loan consultant had to pay 0.125 of it, then it got changed to -0.25 w/o any it got halved.

-they rolled out a new loan origination system which has caused nothing but problems, evaluations errors & headaches for anyone (which in this case is everyone) who tries to board a new loan on this system.

-50/50 marketing program was terminated

-rates suck

So that's all I can think of right now off the top of my head...but I'm sure there's even some things that I've missed. They're slowly just taking away one thing at a time until we're going to have next to nothing left to sell as a home loan product. Pretty much all that's left is now fixed rate 1st mortgages & amortizing/interest only ARMs, with no equity products. Oh wait...we can still do a Mortgage Plus but those rates are even worse.

That's why I logged back into Boeing's website yesterday to apply for some jobs. They pay well. They'd pay for me to go back to school. And they're not affected by this housing market crisis that has infiltrated our once happy-go-lucky office. Even when I got here in August this place was lively, and even more so before when all was good. could hear a pin drop on some days bc it gets that quiet & somber. Now the only laughs you hear are when people make jokes about how bad things have gotten, and how this most recent cutback or policy isn't as bad as the when they eliminate the next program or the HLC as a whole. That's human nature to joke about things when they start getting tough, or morale is down....but the sad reality of it all is that our jokes about what's next might actually happen...even as ludicrous as they sound. I mean, all our joking around in the past wasn't too far off from where we find ourselves today, which is eerie. All I know is that I'm not banking on this job being here for 2009....and maybe not even when my birthday rolls around in June. Yikes.

Looks like its time to dust off that old resume and start applying for new jobs like crazy....bc as much as I would love to stick it out &/or go down with the "ship," I can't let it get that far w/o having an ace or two up my sleeve. Maybe I'm just projecting the worst, or being too pessimistic but when it comes to job security & maintaining the way of life you're accustomed to....better Safe (with a capital S mind you...) than sorry.

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