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(Fark)   "Don't worry, I've done this a thousand times." Tell us about the one time you screwed it up   (fark.com) divider line
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137 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 03 Aug 2020 at 2:56 PM (25 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



37 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-08-03 2:03:48 PM  
Sure, hang on a sec.


"Son, come on over here...I want to introduce you to Fark..."
 
2020-08-03 2:18:05 PM  
i.stack.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-03 2:31:11 PM  
One?

Oh I don't think I can narrow it down to one.
 
2020-08-03 2:31:54 PM  
Hold my beer.......
 
2020-08-03 2:40:45 PM  
I can still totally do a flip on a trampoline at 42.  I totally won't drive my knee into my nose, breaking it, spewing blood in front of a dozen 8 year olds.

//I do think I had someone hold my beer for me
 
2020-08-03 2:42:42 PM  
I "lost" a rental car once.. Flight arrived early just before sunrise for my 8th week onsite, it was shiatty, cold, and damp, and the National Emerald Club car section had already been wiped out, so I wandered out into the open lot, saw a row of white Malibus closest to the covered section, tossed my stuff in the first open trunk of one of them, and drove off.

Later that day I went out from my customer visit and couldn't find my damn car at all.  Hit the horn button on the remote, and nothing.

I ended up calling the cops to file a report, and during the initial investigation, they asked for the make and model of the car and license plate info.  I said well it's a rental, generic white Malibu, no idea on year or plate.

The cop said well if it's a rental, that info is on the key tag, so I pulled that out of my backpack, and.... I had rented a grey Hyundai.

I told the cop I had hit the horn button to find it earlier, and nothing, so even though I completely screwed up on the rental car info, it had to still be gone.  She said, well, try holding the button down for a few seconds, some remotes work that way, so I did.

A feeble *BEEP* came out from between two work trucks, and there it was.  My gray farking Hyundai rental.

I apologized profusely for wasting her time with my farkup, and she just laughed and said it was the most excitement she had all week.
 
2020-08-03 2:58:41 PM  
Put me in the One? list
 
2020-08-03 3:07:17 PM  
I was testing a stack of AT power supplies at the computer shop I worked in in the '90s.  I was doing this by just swapping them in and out of a PC case and making sure they power up when I flip the PC switch.  Basically I'd unplug the old supply from the APC (Mistake 1) and then use a screwdriver to slide the connectors off the posts on the PC switch, then slide the new connectors on, plug it into the APC and go.

So /one/ time I didn't unplug the old supply from the APC before sliding the connectors off the switch.  It popped the shop's circuit breaker, but then the APC drained the entire battery through my screwdriver and welded it to the case.

The locksmith shop next door was drilling a safe at the time and their drill just slowed down and seized in the safe steel too.  Turns out I took out like 3 or 4 shops on our street.

I've definitely got bigger screw-ups with a lot more damage to way more expensive equipment, but that one was funnier.  Lucky I didn't take any voltage myself.
 
2020-08-03 3:13:55 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


Always wear steel toed shoes when mowing.
 
2020-08-03 3:17:00 PM  
Nope, can't.

There are waaaaay more than one example.
 
2020-08-03 3:21:05 PM  
About 10-15 years ago I was a really good league bowler. Like, really good. (Injuries have gotten in the way the past few years.)

Anyway, one year, in a city tournament with hundreds of entrants, I came in 3rd. I would have come in first (difference of $500 or so in prize money), except one frame I got up, threw my ball like I always do...splat, went right into the gutter. UGH!
Another time I took $500 to Atlantic City to play poker. Within 24 hours I'd run that up to over $1200. And within the next 24 hours ran that down to $0. Fun times.
 
2020-08-03 3:21:48 PM  
Oh that sinking feeling when you know you've messed up good. Yup, know it well.
 
2020-08-03 3:22:08 PM  
I'm a Systems Administrator, but I'm also a hardware guy.  I built my first computer in 1981 from a Heathkit, with a soldering iron.  I built every PC we use here at home, from parts.  I enjoy building PCs as a hobby, and over the years, I must have built well over 50 PCs simply to give them away to friends who needed them, just to have an excuse to build machines.

Back around 1996 or 1997, when I was still working for TRW, we were upgrading a lot of our user PCs.  Surprisingly, management decided to simply buy new motherboards (with CPUs and RAM) instead of all-new machines.  (I was delighted.)

This was shortly after the ATX specification came out, but all our machines were still the old 'AT' design.  In ATX, there is a single main power connector to the motherboard, (It gained a small extension along the way, but it's still pretty much impossible to plug it in incorrectly.)

AT was different.  There were two mostly-identical power connectors to the motherboard, which plugged in side by side on a single MB connector.  The rule was to orient them so that the black wires in these two connectors were next to each other.  (I called that 'Laces In'.)

Sure enough, expert me managed to put together one box with 'Laces Out', and the instant I hit the power button, the board went "POP" in a most spectacular manner.

God, was I embarrassed.

For something more recent, on Saturday I was putting away groceries, and managed to knock a big bottle of molasses down off the top shelf.  It hit the edge of the granite countertop right next to the gas range and cracked like an egg.  Glass and molasses, all over the counter and all over the floor, mostly all over the mat in front of the dishwasher.

Oh, that was a real joy to clean up, let me tell you.
 
2020-08-03 3:23:00 PM  
I once forgot the tilda on a virtual destructor which cause a trivial memory leak. In code that processed requests on the BlackBerry network. Like... every request. It crashed the first cell we brought up in about 90 seconds.

6 hours of hunting later I found the spot I needed to type one single character. We went live at 7 am and I went to the diner for a big breakfast on my way home to sleep.

/I was just the co-op
 
2020-08-03 3:26:08 PM  

xrayspx: I was testing a stack of AT power supplies at the computer shop I worked in in the '90s.  I was doing this by just swapping them in and out of a PC case and making sure they power up when I flip the PC switch.  Basically I'd unplug the old supply from the APC (Mistake 1) and then use a screwdriver to slide the connectors off the posts on the PC switch, then slide the new connectors on, plug it into the APC and go.

So /one/ time I didn't unplug the old supply from the APC before sliding the connectors off the switch.  It popped the shop's circuit breaker, but then the APC drained the entire battery through my screwdriver and welded it to the case.

The locksmith shop next door was drilling a safe at the time and their drill just slowed down and seized in the safe steel too.  Turns out I took out like 3 or 4 shops on our street.

I've definitely got bigger screw-ups with a lot more damage to way more expensive equipment, but that one was funnier.  Lucky I didn't take any voltage myself.


Hey!  Someone else who's had fun with AT power supplies!
 
2020-08-03 3:27:56 PM  

MelGoesOnTour: Nope, can't.

There are waaaaay more than one example.


Okay. Here goes:

I was (well, still am) a really good classical woodwind player but when I was just out of high school (and just before college) my ego about this was pretty big. So when I lived in Monterey and listened to some great jazz combos on Cannery Row I eventually decided to ask the leader of this little combo if I could gig with him one day. On my Bass Clarinet. He said sure probably figuring I was great at improvising (I'm not).

I realized I was a flop when one guy in the (packed) club one night hollared out to me "Keep your day job!"

What's worse is that I realized her was totally right about that.

I stuck to playing in Symphonic Wind ensembles after that. No more jazz for me!

/ luckily the place was dark so maybe no one recognized me afterwards. Maybe.
 
2020-08-03 3:28:37 PM  
Oh, a story.

Wife and I traded in our old phone for new ones and switched carriers when the new iPhones came out. Verizon was offering $300 on old phones, even crappy older models.

Problem was that my wife's phone had a small crack in the screen and Verizon wouldn't take it like that. No problem, will order a $20 screen and replace it myself, done it many times.

So I get the screen, remove the old one and start to install the new one. Everything is going swimmingly, get the camera and mic swapped out and start to put all the fiddly connectors back on. But there's one that just won't go on. So I force it.

Turns out that it wasn't the right connector and I failed to unplug the battery so In a puff of blue smoke I killed the phone and lost $300. Crap.
 
2020-08-03 3:29:54 PM  
I should have said I, too, am a charter member of the "Too many screwups to count - or comfortably remember" club.  (Like - most personal relationships I've ever attempted.)

Anyway, back when I was on the farm, there was that one time I was running the hay conditioner with the first new tractor we'd bought in 40 years - and did one whole lap around the field with both brakes (separate brakes for left and right rear wheels) on and locked.

Never, ever had the courage to admit to that one.
 
2020-08-03 3:35:10 PM  

scumm: I can still totally do a flip on a trampoline at 42.  I totally won't drive my knee into my nose, breaking it, spewing blood in front of a dozen 8 year olds.

//I do think I had someone hold my beer for me


Andrew?
 
2020-08-03 3:43:04 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: I'm a Systems Administrator, but I'm also a hardware guy.  I built my first computer in 1981 from a Heathkit, with a soldering iron.  I built every PC we use here at home, from parts.  I enjoy building PCs as a hobby, and over the years, I must have built well over 50 PCs simply to give them away to friends who needed them, just to have an excuse to build machines.

Back around 1996 or 1997, when I was still working for TRW, we were upgrading a lot of our user PCs.  Surprisingly, management decided to simply buy new motherboards (with CPUs and RAM) instead of all-new machines.  (I was delighted.)

This was shortly after the ATX specification came out, but all our machines were still the old 'AT' design.  In ATX, there is a single main power connector to the motherboard, (It gained a small extension along the way, but it's still pretty much impossible to plug it in incorrectly.)

AT was different.  There were two mostly-identical power connectors to the motherboard, which plugged in side by side on a single MB connector.  The rule was to orient them so that the black wires in these two connectors were next to each other.  (I called that 'Laces In'.)

Sure enough, expert me managed to put together one box with 'Laces Out', and the instant I hit the power button, the board went "POP" in a most spectacular manner.

God, was I embarrassed.


You're *not* the only one to fry an AT board.  Thank goodness for generous RMAs.

And I've actually fried an early ATX board by not seating the connector all the way.
 
2020-08-03 3:43:50 PM  
When I had my flower shop, a lady called up and wanted a yellow rose corsage to be picked up in a month's time. She kept saying "now don't forget." I got a little huffy because I'd never forgotten an order in my life. She comes in a month later and you guessed it, I'd forgotten to make her corsage. Not only that but I didn't have any yellow roses in the shop. I ran down about six city blocks to the nearest flower shop. I raced back whipped up her corsage and promptly sprayed it with Windex instead of flower preserve. At least she didn't seem to notice that bit. Felt like such an idiot.
 
2020-08-03 3:45:16 PM  
I tend to be more of the "There is no way X could happen. X immediately happens" variant.
 
2020-08-03 3:51:13 PM  
On the industrial equipment end, while I was working at that computer store in the '90s, I was also working second shift in a warehouse doing order-checking and inventory control.  Basically if it left our dock or was in our racks, I had to count it.  One night I was in a cherry-picker and climbing around in racks counting whatever, baby gates or teething rings or something:

crown.comView Full Size


As we were getting ready for lunch break at 8, I was lowering myself down and the corner of the cage hooked the corner of a box, and it twisted just enough to shatter the little windshield thing.  It was weird, it should have crushed the box like an ant.  I felt stupid, left the machine to go get a tag-out tag and whatever.

As I got to the front of the building, there was a massive BOOM and the whole building shook.  We were right next to an airport runway and thought a jet had crashed.  But some other guy had crashed his Hi-Lo.  Think those extended reach forklifts you see driving agonizingly slowly around Home Depot with 5 layers of escorts and cones and stuff:

crown.comView Full Size


The driver, Donnie, had just put a pallet in the third tier of racks, and instead of doing the "recommended" move of pull straight out, lower your mast, then make the turn up the aisle, did the "everyone does this" move of pulling out, making the turn and lowering the mast at the same time.  However his forks weren't really clear of the skid he just put up, so the fork got caught, the mast twisted and the whole thing went down.

These forklifts weigh about 8000 lb, and that's before 2500 lb of battery.  So that cracked the battery open which leaked everywhere.  Broke the floor, poor Donnie was able to just curl up in a ball and ride the thing down since he was just little.  If it'd been me I'd have probably lost an arm or worse.

Anyway, The Boss didn't really care about my idiot windshield thing since he was busy with 3 other hi-los trying to pull the busted one back up again.

I also saw a kid take a pallet runner into the battery charging room at top speed, the brakes failed and he slammed into a charger, shattered his pelvis and broke his femur.  That was the scariest screaming I think I've ever heard, still.  And as the paramedics wheeled him out wailing in pain he asked the boss "I'm fired right?"  Boss is like "uhhhh, yeah pretty much".

/Also have seen video footage from that warehouse of a Crown repair guy going top speed on a tagged out pallet runner with the whole dock yelling at him to stop, he was like "pffff, this is what I do..."  He went off the dock, through the side of his low-boy truck and into the side of a 53' freight trailer.  That pallet jack was tagged out and being picked up for repair because its brakes had failed.

//If you can't guess the company from my vague hints above, you lose the game
 
2020-08-03 4:05:16 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: I'm a Systems Administrator, but I'm also a hardware guy.  I built my first computer in 1981 from a Heathkit, with a soldering iron.  I built every PC we use here at home, from parts.  I enjoy building PCs as a hobby, and over the years, I must have built well over 50 PCs simply to give them away to friends who needed them, just to have an excuse to build machines.

Back around 1996 or 1997, when I was still working for TRW, we were upgrading a lot of our user PCs.  Surprisingly, management decided to simply buy new motherboards (with CPUs and RAM) instead of all-new machines.  (I was delighted.)

This was shortly after the ATX specification came out, but all our machines were still the old 'AT' design.  In ATX, there is a single main power connector to the motherboard, (It gained a small extension along the way, but it's still pretty much impossible to plug it in incorrectly.)

AT was different.  There were two mostly-identical power connectors to the motherboard, which plugged in side by side on a single MB connector.  The rule was to orient them so that the black wires in these two connectors were next to each other.  (I called that 'Laces In'.)

Sure enough, expert me managed to put together one box with 'Laces Out', and the instant I hit the power button, the board went "POP" in a most spectacular manner.

God, was I embarrassed.

For something more recent, on Saturday I was putting away groceries, and managed to knock a big bottle of molasses down off the top shelf.  It hit the edge of the granite countertop right next to the gas range and cracked like an egg.  Glass and molasses, all over the counter and all over the floor, mostly all over the mat in front of the dishwasher.

Oh, that was a real joy to clean up, let me tell you.


The first DIMM any of us had ever held in our hand hit the store, and my boss tossed it to me to test.  Thing was worth more than my soul.  Plugged it in, fired up the motherboard.  Smoke.  Fark.  Dude didn't care at all, but still.
 
2020-08-03 4:18:16 PM  
I was a teenager working as a projectionist off a platter system projector setup

Fark user imageView Full Size


Now, when the new movies came in, they came in as 4 to 5 standard reels of film, which then get spliced together into one big-ass reel like above. All told, it's like 10 miles of film, maybe more- I forget. You have the combined reel on a large board, and then slide/transfer it onto the platter. The boss told me, every. single. time. we made a new reel "Now, be EXTREMELY careful when we transfer this. I promise you, if we drop this, it's gonna be the longest, worst night of your life"

You have no farkin idea what 10+ miles of sprung celluloid looks like. How much of a room it fills. And how gottdam long it takes to fix it. With a HOSTILE farking boss.
 
2020-08-03 4:18:30 PM  
Know how you test a UPS that your corporate headquarters (which services the CEO and E-team) server is plugged into?

Hint 1) You don't do it during work hours
Hint 2) You make sure the server has duplicate power supplies. What? This server doesn't have redundant power supplies?
Hint 3) You don't press the on/off button to the UPS

Answer: if you make it past hints 1 & 2, you pull the power from the wall to the UPS to simulate a power outage.

/20 years and haven't made that mistake again
 
2020-08-03 4:41:58 PM  
Working in a machine shop with old equipment, shortly after the shop sup stopped checking up on my setups and just doing a qc of the parts. We had a radius punch, which would take bar stock and put a half-round on the end. It worked on various sizes of materials, so for each radius there would be two dies, and a matching punch to go between them. Since this was an old piece of tooling, all this was manually set in place and adjusted with set screws, and you'd adjust the clearance with a brass punch, hammer, and feeler gauges. Or in 18yo me's case, a brass punch, hammer, and cockiness. Instead of ten thou clearance, I had about an eighth interference. Punched the dies right through the bottom, completely destroyed a 10k piece of often-used tooling.

/Didn't get fired though.
//One of the few times nepotism worked in my favor.
 
2020-08-03 4:50:37 PM  
Many.  But the one that still haunts me, I was CC'd on an email requesting budget info ( I was budget officer for the department) .  I didn't notice that I was CC'd and I responded.  Then the boss gave a different answer and I got my a$$ chewed out.

/I was right
 
2020-08-03 4:56:13 PM  
Maybe 4 or 5 years ago, I had to use a very old PC, like maybe a 486, because my company keeps some ancient medical hardware that requires Windows 95 and a 5.25 floppy. Pulled it from storage, put it on a shared desk in the office, grabbed one of the many IEC cables lying around and plugged it in. About 3 seconds later, the unmistakable BANG of electronics exploding, followed by billowing white smoke from the case. I yanked the cord, immediately thinking how screwed we were because there were no replacement PCs and where the hell would we find a new one, and why the hell was a PC this old load-bearing in our production process in the first place? Upon closer inspection, the IEC cable I had grabbed wasn't one of the plethora plugged into the benchtop power strip, it passed right over the strip, and trailed underneath the table to the 120V 60Hz to 240V 50Hz adapter a coworker uses for testing equipment headed for Europe. I'm honestly impressed the PSU lasted a whole 3 seconds under that voltage. When I took it apart, the diode rectifier had a dime-sized crater in it, and both of the large electrolytic capacitors had the tops blown clean off. There was even a small dent in the case across from the rectifier where the chip of ceramic impacted the (steel) case. Luckily, we had time to create a workaround, but that PC should have been retired two decades ago.
 
2020-08-03 5:48:22 PM  
Mine is an IT one. I long while back I was working on a NT4 server.

Back in those days you would instruct a machine to shut down and a screen would come up saying "it is now safe to turn off this machine". Machines were also more sensitive to being shut down without going through the proper procedure ... so you had to be careful when doing this.

Anyway, I instructed a machine to shut down and the "you may now turn off ..." message came up on the screen. I reached down and hit the power. And the "you may now turn off ..." message was still there. It took me a second to realize I powered off the wrong machine.

So then the phone was ringing off the hook asking why email wasn't working. Meanwhile we were scrambling to get the primary Exchange server back online.
 
2020-08-03 5:51:34 PM  
I designed and built a ton of bridges over the years, but this one time when I walk past a goat farm...
 
2020-08-03 6:15:04 PM  
Well, there was this one time at band camp.............
 
2020-08-03 7:03:21 PM  
Many years ago, when I was young and immortal, I worked as a railroad switchman during the summer in a midwestern city.  My dad was a high-level executive for the company, and nepotism has always been a cornerstone of railway employment.  One night my crew was marshalling freight cars in a small railyard.  We dragged, shoved, and kicked cars from one track to another, decompiling and recompiling trainsets.

Kicking freight cars is a technique used to speed up distribution in a flat yard as opposed to a hump yard (pause for laughter) where gravity does the work. You run your happy switch engines down a lead and couple onto a drag, haul it back to the throat of the fan tracks, and then walk down the drag to the first designated cut of cars described on your list.  There are no brake hose connections so the cars can roll freely.  You lift the uncoupling lever on the car adjacent to the string to be sent onto (hopefully) the proper track, signal the engineer for full throttle, wait until you estimate it has enough speed to send the cars as far as they need to go, then signal the engineer to stop.  The engines and the rest of the drag squeal to a halt, and the released cars go sailing off into the darkness.

Things were going smoothly and we were about to finish up early for a change.  The last task was to kick an old, worn-out, shabby yard caboose down one of the leads basically to get it out of the way.  I was working with two coupled switch engines that night instead of the usual single unit, and I overestimated the weight of the light caboose and the distance it needed to travel, while underestimating the horsepower and tractive effort of the two locomotives.  I lifted the pin to uncouple the caboose from the lead locomotive, signaled for full throttle, and then signaled for a stop a bit too late.

The wretched little caboose went shooting into the shadowy unlit yard at a speed it had probably never traveled in its long miserable life (probably 20 mph, but that's way too fast for yard work).  I stopped and listened to see if it would couple onto a drag of cars that was quite far down the lead, and was quite surprised at the loudness of the crash.  I hopped on the front porch of the switcher and we trundled down the lead about a quarter of a mile until we reached the caboose.  Surprisingly, all looked well at first glance.  It wasn't.  The caboose had hit a short drag of boxcars so hard that it's rear end had lifted up and the rear truck (two axles & four wheels) had dislodged and slammed into the front truck.  The caboose was canted awkwardly to the rear.  Further, it had shoved the string of boxcars dangerously close to splitting a switch and sending them onto a passing track.  That would have been even less cool.

The rest of the crew and I pretty much figured my young railroading career had also slammed to an unexpected halt.  We called the shops and were told they'd send a small crane out in the morning to lift the caboose, roll the wheels back in place, and assess the damage.  I went home - I was still living with my folks at the time - but neglected to tell my executive vice-president dad about the incident.  The next day, surprisingly not being told by him or the company that my services were no longer required, I went into work and discovered that the caboose was actually ok after they plopped it back on its feet, and I heard no more about the escapade for the rest of the summer.  Years later, after he had retired, I told my dad about the adventure.  He laughed and said that he had never heard about it.  Apparently no one really wanted to inform him that his son was a dangerous idiot.
 
2020-08-03 7:12:58 PM  
Gonna throw up another one.

My first real job in an office, working for a mortgage company that had been around for 60+ years. We would buy loans to service from banks/other mortgage companies. If your loan has ever been sold, that's what happened. If you want to know why this happens, I'll explain further down post.

Anyway, it's 1989. I'm in Fort Worth, and working for the princely sum of what ended up being $13,500 a year even after two years of being there. I was in a cheap apartment and living beneath my means even though I had a new car (at 12.5% interest!), so it wasn't breaking me.

My job was in Loan Acquisitions (LAQ) verifying original documentation (mortgage/title policy) for each loan that we purchased - or certified copy thereof. If it wasn't there, fire a letter off to the servicer asking them to provide the original or a copy.  If they didn't have it, I'd have already given them the information needed to request a copy from the county recorder. Sometimes they didn't bother responding, so we'd end up doing it ourselves and keeping track of the expense so we could bill them later. When you're buying 10K+ loans at a time, this can be time consuming and usually copies were $8-$10 each, plus postage. It added up.

I'd have to look up the county, fire off a letter to the courthouse requesting same w/ a check for the copy and billing the previous servicer if they couldn't come up with it.

Was a fairly easy job - if grunt work - and I soon took on new responsibilities. One such responsibility was informing the previous servicer when we received the last of the documentation. They had a contracted amount of time they had to provide the documents, or else they had to pay a penalty and *still* have to provide it. I never knew how much that was until the day I got called into the boss's office.

"Did you send this letter to XYZ Bank?"

<hands me letter w/ my initials as the person who typed the letter. All documentation we sent out was signed Larry A. Quinn, with LAQ/xx as a sub-signature, where xx was the person who actually sent it out.>

"Yes, I did. Is there something wrong?"

Oh boy, was there.  We only had an original IBM PC (dual 5 1/4" floppies! greenscreen!) and weren't storing documents electronically, so we had to use templates and then make sure we had enough printed copies to file.

Apparently people pay a lot of attention to the words you do or don't use in corporate e-mails, because I hadn't specified that we had received all the mortgage/title policy documentation. I had specified that we had received *all* the documentation that the servicer was supposed to provide us. It didn't matter that this came from the LAQ department and *everybody* knew what it meant. Legally, I had just given the previous company a $25,000 nose to thumb at us - almost twice my yearly salary.

Fortunately, I wasn't fired, but my letter-writing to servicers had to pass through my boss's hand before I could mail them out. Given that we only went through 3-4 purchases a year, this wasn't a big deal. I'm surprised they didn't let me go after that one.

I did some other boneheaded things there, but I'm restricting myself to one per company.
 
2020-08-03 7:35:07 PM  

Thosw: Gonna throw up another one.

My first real job in an office, working for a mortgage company that had been around for 60+ years. We would buy loans to service from banks/other mortgage companies. If your loan has ever been sold, that's what happened. If you want to know why this happens, I'll explain further down post.

Anyway, it's 1989. I'm in Fort Worth, and working for the princely sum of what ended up being $13,500 a year even after two years of being there. I was in a cheap apartment and living beneath my means even though I had a new car (at 12.5% interest!), so it wasn't breaking me.

My job was in Loan Acquisitions (LAQ) verifying original documentation (mortgage/title policy) for each loan that we purchased - or certified copy thereof. If it wasn't there, fire a letter off to the servicer asking them to provide the original or a copy.  If they didn't have it, I'd have already given them the information needed to request a copy from the county recorder. Sometimes they didn't bother responding, so we'd end up doing it ourselves and keeping track of the expense so we could bill them later. When you're buying 10K+ loans at a time, this can be time consuming and usually copies were $8-$10 each, plus postage. It added up.

I'd have to look up the county, fire off a letter to the courthouse requesting same w/ a check for the copy and billing the previous servicer if they couldn't come up with it.

Was a fairly easy job - if grunt work - and I soon took on new responsibilities. One such responsibility was informing the previous servicer when we received the last of the documentation. They had a contracted amount of time they had to provide the documents, or else they had to pay a penalty and *still* have to provide it. I never knew how much that was until the day I got called into the boss's office.

"Did you send this letter to XYZ Bank?"

<hands me letter w/ my initials as the person who typed the letter. All documentation we sent out was signed Larry A. Quinn ...


Duh. Forgot to explain how mortgage loan sales work.

A certain portion of the interest that you pay on your mortgage goes to pay the salaries of those who manage the loan. Usually, it's just collections (if you don't pay your mortgage), advertising (Wanna refinance? Wanna take out a HELOC?), and maintaining the mortgage department in general.

As you pay down your mortgage, that percentage coming in gets smaller. The bank still wants the money, but they'd rather not wait for it - so they'll sell the loan to another servicer for a percentage of the original interest rate. (Example: You purchased a 30-year loan at 6.25%. After five years, the bank's gotten a lot of your interest payments, but trends show you might move in the next five years, plus the money they get every month is going down. You might also be late/delinquent on your payments so they'd rather not deal with you.)

They'll put together a package of loans to sell to another servicer who (after doing due diligence on the package - usually looking over a random 10% of the package) will give them a lump sum and a future percentage of every payment that comes in from those loans. (i.e. The new servicer will keep, say, the 6.0% of the interest and send the 0.25% portion to the old servicer.)

FYI: If the people doing the due diligence find too many delinquent/problem loans in that 10% they look at, they'll negotiate terms down or just walk away. It's kind of a hide-and-seek deal. You know they're probably in there, but can you find them before you get burned?

Incidentally, if the mortgage is government-backed (FHLMC, FNMA), the agency has a say in the servicing of the loan, since they're getting a percentage from the original servicer (it's kinda of a matryoshka doll of money).

NCSB: The mortgage company I worked for had been in receivership after the S&L scandals in the 80s. We ended up being sold to what turned out to be a predatory lender (high-interest loans for mobile homes!) who then wouldn't cough up the money for us to purchase more loans as they started getting paid off. When you have a multi-billion $$$ inventory that you can't keep up because there's no additional funds coming in, the government agencies who ultimately own those loans take notice and they *will* take them from you to give to someone else. RIP Foster Mortgage
 
2020-08-03 10:24:33 PM  
One more quick one and I'm out I promise.

Always, always have a cage nut tool in your gear bag.  Always.

NSF Lunch

That wedding ring never did make it back on my finger.  Still married, but I have no idea what happened to that thing.
 
2020-08-04 8:45:29 AM  
Vic told me to "hit the bid!"

I "took the offer".....
 
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