It’s been a scary (Friday the 13th, get it?) few weeks in terms of employment. Some back story… Jim was an underwriter for Company A. Company B out Company A. Company X hires Company B for a “project”. Jim was underwriting for that company who did not renew their contract which left Jim without work a week prior to the cruise. Layoffs? New project assignment? With Jim’s prior company owner, Company A, it wasn’t uncommon to have layoffs. Job uncertainty really sucks. As you know, we went on our cruise, had a blast and then it was back to reality. Back to work we went. Jim continued doing “busy work” which consisted of a lot of computer based training for nothing in particular. On Monday, he was assigned to a new project which means learning a new system for the bank he’ll be underwriting for. Yay!
Meanwhile, when I get back to my job, different company, underwriting like Jim, I find out that there were some layoffs in a similar department. Mortgage laid off many people, I work in Home Equity which is typically second mortgage. I think a lot of the layoffs had to do with that government mortgage refi program, HARP that was going to expire soon.
On my first day back, I find out that we’ve been “slow”. All week I experience it firsthand. Our underwriting system is set up that we pull tasks from our queues. It might be an appraisal review, maybe just a file note, perhaps a document to review or even a new loan altogether. Well, sometimes, when I pull for another task I get “no tasks available”. Others may have tasks to work on their files based on their levels or just depending on what’s in their pipeline.
Management assures us that we’re being staffed to be ready for surges. I can buy that; when I started we had a 5 hour mandatory overtime requirement… we were that busy. They say that they’ve added more underwriters to the other sites which decreases the work load. We’re being staffed at 90% of our busiest need. It all makes sense. I’m concerned but not worried. I’ll roll with it. What else can I do? For now I’m tweaking my various checklists, forms, notes and other stuff I use.
Some photos from my phone:
Above: This guy is like my unofficial hero. Everyday he carries a Superman lunchbox to work. On this day he also had a Superman mug in the same hand. Sorry for the blurred picture, he was almost moving at the speed of light.
Above: Taken at a Flea Market in Augusta. It reminded me of an excerpt from a blog entry while in Roswell:
I’ll just add that to my collection of other bizarre business combinations: