The next time I create the universe I’ll make sure we communicate at length

For those who were concerned, thank you.  The echocardiogram and stress test were fine and I’ve been cut loose to wreak havoc on society once again.  Apparently, there was a little protest mounted this morning in response to the fact that I was returning to work.  I gently explained that since I am the only household member with opposable thumbs, it is necessary for me to go out and forage so that we can afford more of that high end dog chow they enjoy.  It was met with tepid approval.  I guess I’ll be sleeping on the couch tonight.

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A subject that keeps coming back up is the people who are taking the pay cuts right now and being taken advantage of by the big four right now. It’s just a matter of time before Mercury Companies is gone completely, so they’re kind of an also ran now. While I would love for someone to pierce the corporate veil and attach Patty Hauptman’s plush lifestyle, ain’t going to happen…but I digress.   I was talking to friend of mine who is an Escrow Officer.  We talked about how all the staff is taking cuts and in his case, he’s been given a brutal REO account to work and is working stupid hours to get the deals closed.  And oh yeah, no overtime.  We’re talking about a formerly rock solid resale desk in a now very depressed area.  This isn’t one of those fly by the seat of your pants lender desks that blew up, this is a high end resale desk in a stagnant market.   You have to ask, what about all the freaking money he made for the company over the last seven years?  This is a guy who refused lender business because it took away from his ability to service the resale business.  He’s got a job and a pay cut and a thankless account that’s making the company some money.  What happens when the market straightens out?  Do they remember the old salary?  Do they rectify things by restoring it?  Do they add the missing increases?  You know they won’t.  In the last year the cost of gasoline alone has doubled.  That economic Waterloo has caused the cost of every single thing we need to live to increase.   Everything.  From bread to heating oil, to clothing.  Everything.  While I understand that it’s necessary to trim back, I’ve got to ask the folks who are getting that “executive compensation”, what have you done for me lately?   Are the boards just rubberstamping this nonsense and then they take it out on the FTE’s?  What kind of cut did Ted take?  How about Bill?  Anybody know the answer to that?  Or are we the disappearing middle class.  But we all know the market will come back and when it does, quality staff who haven’t been properly compensated during all this nonsense, and who don’t get the “catch up” package are all going to jump ship.  Management will whine about “loyalty”.  A giant game of musical escrow desks will take place and I, don’t blame them one bit.

Last night I had a discussion with a guy about lender’s title policies.  His question: “Why do I have to buy a new policy every time I refinance?”  Answer: because your lender requires it.  If you want the loan, you pay for the policy.   That should have never been where the title companies made all that money.  Many of those loans should have been at the re-vamp rate and weren’t.  They should have been driven back to the company that wrote the original insurance and then repackaged at the much lower rate.  It ain’t sexy, but it’s right.  Otherwise, it’s full boat baby.  The more we understand our own pricing, the better it is for the client.  We can’t be pricing based on what our personal rip is going to be.  That’s where the consumer lost out.  I see deals out of Southern California that are priced in such a manner that I just think “I hope you wore protection buddy”.  That’s how we keep getting into trouble and until we’re ready to step up to the plate, we will continue to see our jobs outsourced and our quality compromised.