Archive for May, 2009

Miatalac for 24 hours of LeMons

27 May 2009 at 2:15 pm
by Berck

Miatalac!

Work!

26 May 2009 at 9:29 pm
by Jonah

Last night I dreamed my father had divorced my mother to marry his gay lover in California, who kept trying to fondle me. I awoke and thought, “Oh, I’m so glad I didn’t have another dream about work!”

While you may have been enjoying a three day weekend, I went into the office on Sunday and started learning the ropes for my new job. Another girl started at the same time.

In the movie Secretary, James Spader’s character tells Maggie Gyllenhall’s character at the beginning that his office doesn’t use computers, only typewriters. At my office we use only WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, not Microsoft Word. The attorney actually only writes things out longhand, doesn’t type at all. And his wife, who forced herself to learn WordPerfect back in the 80’s, doesn’t want to have to change all the forms we use over to something else. So everyone in the office learns 5.1.

I used WordPerfect for DOS way back in the day. I wrote my college application essays on it. So though I hadn’t used it years, it started to come back to me. All you really need is that cheat sheet you keep above your function keys. The other girl, though, couldn’t make heads or tails of it. If you’ve never used it before and had only used a program with a mouse like the newest versions of Word, I guess you would be pretty lost. She left and said she was going to stop by the library to see if she could find a book on it. Of course, the library had gotten rid of their copies years ago.

Now, Berck and Nathan may scoff, but Ben will understand that, while not a true geek, I have a better sense of computer issues than the average bear. I’m not intimidated by new software (or old, in this case), and I generally figure it out quicker than most others. I was the go-to I.T. person for two of my past jobs. So before long I was shift, control, alt, functioning with ease. The other new girl came in on Monday too, but at the end of the day, the boss told her it just wasn’t working out. Then she moved me into a private office with a big window.

I finally felt like I was getting the hang of stuff today, and actually got as far as I could go in several folders. I guess I should mention my job title, which I eventually figured out: I’m a non-judicial foreclosure technician. I made a lot of people very sad today (or whenever they get their certified return receipt requested mail). I replaced Sara, who got married two weeks ago and sent the office an e-mail from a cruise ship off the coast of Mexico saying she wasn’t coming back in. Sara had written her name on the back of a fake wood placard that slides into a slit in the door. The other side has the name of another person long gone. My WordPerfect directory was ANGIE, but the computer guy came in yesterday and made me a new one for JOANNA.

Another new girl started today, but instead of doing what I was doing like the other new girl, she is working in collections. The boss’ grand daughter also works in collections. We also have someone who does judicial foreclosures, her assistant, someone who does bankruptcies, a part time gofer, and a part time guy who empties the trash and takes out the mail or something. Oh, and there’s the girl who starts every single file and then hands it off to one of us. She’s very important.

Whenever you start working somewhere, you wonder how the group dynamic is, what the office politics is. I didn’t get to experience any of that my first two days because it was the just attorney, his wife (who runs everything) and me. So today was the first day we were all together, and even though the wife is an intense Type A, she doesn’t seem to frustrated with any of her people. Everyone seems to like everyone else okay, as far as I can tell. That was a relief.

There are bagels and cream cheese available. The boss’ daughter apparently comes in with lunch for everyone twice a week. And there are peanut butter M&Ms in the judicial foreclosure technician’s office. Everyone pretty much wears whatever they want. Our clients are huge, far-away title companies, so we never see anyone. Dare I say I was a little fancy in my jeans, boots, and button down shirt.

I’m working full time, but I can apparently work as much overtime as I want. I keep track of my own hours. I can apparently also work when I want, since I asked the boss what time she wanted me to come in, and she said whenever. I worked ten hours today. I’ll work less tomorrow. Berck is coming home in the afternoon, though he’ll just miss the Thunderbirds. They were practicing over our office today, and I opened the blinds so I could see them turn around. I can take a lunch or work through it (which I prefer).

The job itself requires a brain but isn’t rocket science. There’s a list of notes you follow and make sure you send everything off correctly, in the right order, and at the right time. The learning curve was pretty steep, but I think I’ve got the hang of it now. There’s a signature machine that we use for the attorney’s signature (a pen that’s attached to an arm that moves around when we step on the foot pedal), then I notarize that he signed it. Right now I have to make sure everything is correct with the boss before sending stuff off, but it should get to the point where I can do everything on my own, and the attorney never actually sees any of it.

Now another day has gone by, and I’m exhausted again. I wonder if I’ll get used to this, if my body is just so tired because everything is new.

A History of FBI Terrorist Entrapment

25 May 2009 at 8:20 pm
by Berck

So, it turns out that some blogger has been paying a lot more attention than I have and has come up with a pretty impressive list of entrapped terrorist suspects. And all I knew about was Lakhani, but it appears he’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Fun METAR from yesterday.

25 May 2009 at 10:58 am
by Berck

KDEN 242023Z 01012KT 8SM FC TS SCT060CB BKN090 BKN200 18/13 A2992 RMK FUNNEL CLOUD B21 7 W AO2 FRQ LTGICCG VC W AND N TS VC W AND N MOV NE SHRA VC N AND DSNT W

The FBI is good at creating “terrorists”, not much else.

24 May 2009 at 10:41 am
by Berck

When the NY synagogue “terrorist” plot hit the news, I said, “This sounds awfully familiar.” It reminded of the story of Hemant Lakhani, a fellow the FBI hired to acquire an anti-aircraft missile for them, then sold him the very missile they asked him to acquire, and then arrested him for illegal arms dealing.

It turns out the latest arrests aren’t much different.

I feel a lot safer knowing the FBI is going out, convincing people to join an FBI-invented terrorist plot, then arresting them for it.