Alright, brave blogosphere, this is your fair warning. Prepare yourselves. What is about to happen will quite possibly fall under that category of musings one tends to keep to herself, more often than not, for fear of disrupting the natural order of things and the contented indifference of the general public. My friends, as you may have well guessed, I refer to the rant. That noisy airing of one’s urgent qualms with life’s happenings in a manner that may as well include podiums, megaphones and a faithful posse of picketers chanting phrases of the obscene variety.
I will try to keep the obscenities to a minimum, for the children.
In this particular instance, the origin of my feelings of rage and fear of potential spontaneous combustion can be easily traced back to one comprehensively loathsome source: the utterly incompetent. You know them. You’ve seen them in action. Dare say, you may even be friends with them. Well, dear blogosphere, my utmost apologies, but THEY MUST BE DESTROYED.
Okay, okay, I suppose that was a bit harsh. Deep breath. Positive thoughts. You see, I have recently been bombarded with such people – people who (bless their souls) lack the basic life skills to, well, you know, successfully or efficiently accomplish anything. Ever. Normally this wouldn’t irk me, disturb me or pose any threat to my happiness or productivity whatsoever. Normally I would simply go about my business as a capable human, and they would go on wrecking everything they touched, poor fools, and our paths would not not cross and everything would be fine. But all of that changes, treasured blogosphere, when the unthinkable occurs: I need them for something.
Oh dear. Upon this realization, the first thing that occurs is a combination of bewilderment and panic. “How have I possibly found myself in a situation where I must interact with this imbecile in order to obtain the thing that I need?” followed by “Shit. Chances are I am never going to get the thing that I need” and then, in the less dire of cases, ultimately followed by “Oh well, let’s have a nap then.”
Unfortunately, my present situation does not lend itself to such casual acquiescence. The thing that I need requires my full and immediate attention and has little patience for my laissez faire attitude. The thing that I need is a house. You heard me, a dwelling purchased by people who claim to have reached “adulthood” and must therefore prove to their friends and family how grown-up they are by ditching their dingy, mismatched digs for a proper abode suitable for holiday visits and the upbringing of children. Yep, apparently I must prepare to accommodate my future children who do not yet exist.
Don’t get me wrong, the prospect of being a homeowner is positively thrilling. Here, I’ll even present you with a list of the reasons I think buying a house is a swell idea:
1. The yard. A little patch of earth that is mine to do with as I wish. Oh the possibilities! I can plant things and watch them grow! (Assuming acquiring said yard will magically improve my plant-growing abilities…) My dog can run around outside instead of doing laps around my bedroom! I can grill things!
2. The space. Finally, a place to display all the wedding gifts that have been crammed in the closets for the past year! And more closet space in which to cram other things! And a kitchen that two people can navigate at once without head on collisions ensuing, sending bits of food flying about!
3. The financial benefits of buying vs. renting, and other grown-up reasons. My husband would be happy to explain these to you because, let’s face it, I can barely add and subtract in my head. This is one of those areas in which I would be determined utterly incompetent.
Which brings me back to the subject of my fury and intense desire to blow things up – the subject which has presently driven me into such a tizzy that I have devoured an entire bag of chocolates whilst writing this blog. See, sweet blogosphere, in my 27 years of life, I still have yet to fully understand the concept of finances. I’ve mastered the basics. Those who have money can buy things. Those who do not have much money can also buy things, but it’s probably not a very good idea. I do not yet have a lot of money; therefore, I do not buy very many things. There you have it – the whole of my monetary expertise. Thus, when posed with the daunting tasks of getting pre-approved, establishing a reasonable budget, understanding what the hell a mortgage actually is, I went straight to the bank. (Like I said, I’ve been desperately avoiding being a grown-up for a very long time. I may as well have been hiding out in Neverland.)
See, the bank, sweet blogosphere, is where people who know what mortgages are tend to hang out. You make an appointment, show up with your financial papers, and the rest is a breeze. At least that was my previous understanding of the matter. In reality – my reality – this assumption of competency among mortgage consultants was tremendously miscalculated.
*I interrupt this post to inform any mortgage consultant who is currently reading this that I do not accuse you of arrant incompetence. I refer merely to the particular ninny I have been in contact with. There are no blanket statements being made. Thank you.*
Precisely one month ago, my husband and I strolled into Wells Fargo for our appointment with the kind, efficient woman who would go above and beyond to expedite our pre-approval process, who would keep us up-to-date with the progress being made, who would answer all our questions in a timely manner and who would get us into our new home in no time. We made this up. This did not happen. In actuality, the consultant we were paired with was – how do I put this – BAT. SHIT. CRAZY. This is not an exaggeration. Not only was she certifiably insane, she proved time and time again that she was quite incapable of doing her job.
Let me elaborate. Said woman – let’s call her Pam – Pam greeted us in the manner you would imagine a cheerleader on cocaine greeting someone. I believe she told us her name and entire life story in about ten seconds, all the while bouncing around the room fiddling with the 90’s style scrunchie that held a pony tail on top of her head. She then sat us down and began to gather our information. Here is the gist of our conversation with Pam:
Pam: HELLO! WELCOME! So-you-want-to-buy-your-first-house-do-ya?-My-name-is-Pam-and-I-will-be-your-Wells-Fargo-mortgage-consultant.-So-glad-you-could-make-it.-Sorry-if-my-phone-rings,my-daughter-has-been-sick.-She’s-six.-They’re-so-cute-at-that-age-aren’t-they?-Anyway-let’s-chat-about-getting-you-folks-into-a-house!-Sit-down,make-yourselves-comfortable!-I’m-going-to-need-your-tax-information,your-bank-statements,your-contact-information.-Here-let-me-write-that-down.-E-mail-addresses-please?-Got-it.-Okay-so-how-did-you-two-meet??
Me: I was just…
Pam: Ah!-Did-you-give-me-your-W2’s-yet?-Oh!-Here-they-are!-(reaches under desk)-Let-me-go-make-copies!-Be-back-in-a-jiff!
And so it went. By the end of our meeting, I believe we’d given her our contact information about eight times, but who’s counting? Pam assured us that we were in good shape and should hear back from the underwriter in a few days – a week at most.
Now, I’m not going to go off on how I could do Pam’s job better than she could, nor am I going to pretend I know what in God’s name an underwriter is, but I am going quietly state one tiny little fact: PAM IS FULL OF LIES! I’m sorry. I got carried away again. I just find the following sequence of events so perturbing that I have to restrain myself from smashing my face repeatedly into this keyboard.
January 26, 2014:
We meet with Pam. Pam assures us with full confidence that we will be contacted by the almighty underwriter promptly. Pre-approval is imminent.
Nothing. Aside from an e-mail from Pam asking me, yet again, for my husband’s contact information.
Pam calls. There has been an ice-storm, a polar vortex of sorts (thank you for that brilliant description, Becky), such that the entire city of Charleston has completely ceased to function in its apocalyptic state. Pam wants to chat about the weather. “The bridges have closed!” she exclaims. “Giant slabs of ice are falling and crushing cars! Isn’t that crazy?!” Pam, you are crazy. Tell me about my mortgage. And then, “Oh by the way, I’ve been out of the office so I haven’t had a chance to send off your paperwork. Sorry, bye!”
I hate you, Pam. I proceed to stab household objects repeatedly with a fork.
Pam informs us via an e-mail written, presumably, by her six-year-old child that she has just submitted our paperwork for review. Today. REALLY, PAM?! Thank you for validating my hypothesis that you are UTTERLY INCOMPETENT. [insert lengthy string of expletives here]
Pam goes to California. Pam does not tell us this. We check our phones with the ferocity of a rabid squirrel. Our shoes become worn from frequent pacing. We hear nothing. We are livid.
We cannot take it anymore. We contact Pam. “What’s that? The underwriter hasn’t contacted you? He contacted me a week ago. I was in California. Someone from the bank should have called you.” YOU SHOULD HAVE CALLED US, PAM, YOU B****. “You’ve been pre-approved, by the way. You should probably start looking for a house, you know, your lease runs out pretty soon, doesn’t it?” I punch my hand through a window.
Whew. Let me pause for a moment for some meditative breathing. That’s better. Now, in a race against the imminent approach of our lease’s end, I suppose we will hastily begin our house hunt. But all is well. Even the most severe incompetence may be tolerated with patience and a positive attitude, especially if the intended result is achieved. At least that’s what my therapist keeps telling me.
So, in conclusion, ever-so-attentive blogosphere, if you are contemplating buying a house in the Charleston area at some point in the next twelve years, I would advise you get on it. And send Pam our love.
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