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Good Bye. [Jul. 8th, 2006|01:20 pm]
Chris Johnson
This is, the very last post in this Journal.

No kidding.

I am still very much alive, and I will be updating.

ChrisDoesLoans is my next and final resting place, and I'll use rename tokens in the future. I will largely be blogging on the creation of the new business, me running my own personal business, and me going after my own goals. I won't add anyone anytime soon, but I'll be readding people after about 60 days, +/-.

You can safely delete this name from your FL, as I've deleted everyone from mine. I will be back, sooner rather than later--but not here. I wish the very best of luck to all of you, and i'm very glad to have had the time here to deal with you nice folks.

I'm doing this because I want to get to the point where I'm writing for ME and not for some stupid audience. I want to use this for my purposes, and I want to invite the people in ...
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(no subject) [Jul. 7th, 2006|09:28 pm]
Chris Johnson
And that is why when Brian Wilson, 33 years old, died of a heart attackon June 17, the news was relegated to a two-sentence blurb.

I have to get healthy. 33. Holy crap.

In that vein:

No McD's this week. No Beer.

Not enough exercise.
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(no subject) [Jul. 6th, 2006|09:18 pm]
Chris Johnson
I am going to be the boss, the direct employer of five people very soon.  2 of them are picked out, and 3 are still out there.  I'm responsible to train, recruit, motivate, and manage the people that work with me.  I want this ball, really badly, it's a command, and it's something that I've sought for a long time.  I had one last in 2004, my best income year.

Ultimately, we need to develop a feedback loop that allows usto respond to things (ideas, etc, etc,) that aren't working and improve all of the time.  We need to be highly scripted, highly trained, and full of energy and ambition.  Each person needs to think of what they do as "their business," and think of themselves as "basically self employed."   That kind of dedication will produce a level of client care that won't be matched elsewhere.  To get that, we need daily(every day) training that will give people the tools that we need to focus mostly on our customers (i.e, our paychecks), in a most sincere and a most earnest manner.  You can't fake earnestness.

So, the road map:

1.)Develop best practices for all of the functions of an LO: (prospecting calls, taking an application, delivering each piece of routine news). Make these verbatim, and have sufficient collateral (e.g. marketing pieces.) that will make us different from other companies.  

2.) Develop a database system that tracks contacts, and allows us (i.e the owners) to keep our finger on the pulse of every loan to make sure that the loans are being done in a way that goes along with our values.

3.)  Develop a.) a uniform, and b.) a practitioner specific business plan that we can refer to and plug anyone into and they can win the game.  

4.) Develop processing standards--what the LO is doing, and collecting, and what the processing staff is doing, and collecting.  Make sure that we have a 'makes sense' checklist, and have collateral that goes to underwriting that tells the story of the loan. Be willing to walk away from "bad" deals.

5.) Develop 2 parts--one a way to track ALL behaviors of loan officers (e.g. when they arrive, when they leave, what they do, how many calls they make, get, how many fliers that they have) that is not to onerous, and is quick to fill in.

6.) Develop/create uniform pricing standards to protect company from liability.  Allow deviations in favor of customer, but not in favor of house, except in extraordinary circumstances.

More coming.  I think that we need to create a <i>system</i> for originating loans so it's not haphazard, so income won't fluctuate, so we know what's going on.  This requires a level of control over loan officers that experienced ones are not generally accustomed to yielding to the house, particularly not at the commission splits that I'll be offering (which will  be fair, and competitive, but not aggressive). We will compete on total income--and use the line "hey, if you're only going to do 2-3 loans a month, we don't want you, and you won't be happy here."  That's the truth--for my vision to work, people have to be producing

It's sacred, being the creator of a place to work .  I've made a lot of mistakes, and learned a lot of lessons that are going to helpme make sure that I don't fail at the new gig.  I just wish that the state would update me from Pending to licensed today.

Me myself, I'm hating hating this state mandated limbo.

Some mundane stuff--

1.)see if the link sys NAS drive setup that I'd like is safe enough to use remotely and house everything, or most everything, at my home office. It's slick, and it seems to be okay, but I need to know if it's secure or not.

2.) I need to update my database chops--I need to be able to do something via the web, and it's somewhat complicated, but not horrific.  I want to do it in ASP, probably, or ACCESS and do a simple multi user relational database that can track the stuff that I'm proposing to track.

Well, we'll see, won't we.
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an uber specific shout out. [Jul. 5th, 2006|05:17 pm]
Chris Johnson
HEY, chrissmari, have you seen the site: www.jordanisyourhomeboy.com ? Lots of non-jordan pictures, but still...
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The Rebooting has a cost. [Jul. 5th, 2006|05:15 pm]
Chris Johnson
[Tags|, , , ]

Cut for 1100 words, to preserve the sanity of my 3 readers.Collapse )
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Selective Intelligence. [Jul. 4th, 2006|11:51 am]
Chris Johnson
Reading, as i've been doing, about the Revolutionary war has put more of a spotlight on a truth that I can consistently be counted on to underestimate: people have different skills and abilities. I have a set, and I tend to view people through the prism that is my set--I'm good at finding inefficiencies in the market, I'm an alright writer, and I am somewhat perceptive and able to change, and understand things quickly.

However, that's my formula for surviving in the world. I (wrongly) think that people without the same acumen in the same areas are somehow inferior to me. That's obviously an ego thing and a defense mechanism. It's easier to be right if other's are wrong. I look at myself, and realize that I'm neither an amazing story or a compelling success, and so...'

who am I to judge.

Next: Heather and Chris's Constitution.
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(no subject) [Jul. 4th, 2006|08:37 am]
Chris Johnson
Ironic that the only country he hates is born today as well, but whatever. push_loud_pens, a heart felt congratulations on another year of life. May you conquer all of your demons, and leave this world better this year than it would have been without hyou.
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(no subject) [Jul. 2nd, 2006|08:29 pm]
Chris Johnson
[music |Liz Phair - Rock Me]

The "old" new Liz Phair album isn't terrible. It's not a gem, but, like the current Ben Folds, I can support it. But the "new" new liz Phair album is. I loved whitechocolatespaceegg, and I liked even the Matrix produced deal. This new thing--I think honestly, I'd rather listen to Bush read Langston Hughes.
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So I've said I was a Writer before. [Jul. 1st, 2006|11:49 pm]
Chris Johnson
At one point, I had the name columbus_writer. I changed it because a.) I wasn't writing much, and b.) I wasn't writing well. I think, as a writer, I peaked at 24. Not that I can't still write, but I had a confidence and an ability to plow that I don't have today.

Today, though, I've got other abilities that I didn't have then, so I'm going to make a crack at dusting off the 260 page novel that is called "Searching For Bedford Falls". There's a lot that I know now that I didn't know then--I've probably read 150 books since then--50 of them novels. I've got the patience to stick with stuff that I didn't have then. I read it, and there are some good ideas, there are some ponderous passages, and the story is still good.

Searching for Bedford Falls

Synopsis: Steve Langley graduates college and tries to exist as a free agent in the late 90's boom times in Washington, DC. He accepts a job that's beneath him, a relationship that's beneath him and an existence that's beneath him mostly because it's expedient at the time. He marks time through his mid twenties and searches for some type of earnestness and a life without Irony..


Characters:

Note: This is stuff that I kind of discovered after the fact, not all of it makes it into the story. It's better to "show" someone something than to "tell" them, and it always will be.

Steve Langley Protagonist; Male, age 25, graduate of American University, works at Synaptric, a tech services provider as a tech demonstrator for the sales people [1]. Has worked there since he was an intern, and the company was only 7 people. It's 100 people, and everyone knows him.

Melanie: Steve's "buddy"; Age 27. Smarter and more subtle than Steve is. Has better and more natural people skills, and is reasonably attractive, but she wants to quit smoking and lose about 8 pounds. She's fallen in love many times and is prone to doing so and exaggerating the virtues of the women that she dates. Steve has, from time to time, found himself in her bed after too many drinks.

Rachel Age 25, Melanie's hot roommate. Minor character. Definitely ana. Works as an assistant at a stock brokerage for a broker that she despises. Hates her job, but hasn't applied. Didn't finish her degree--sensitive about that and it controls her life. Works out often, mostly eats only yogurt. Really judgmental toward boys, and everyone tries to set her up.


Jimmy Fowler Age 29. Steve's Coworker, and arrogant prick. Ridiculously good looking guy. He has an ex wife (not quite divorced), a 4 year old daughter, a Fiancé and a girlfriend. In sales. Every cliché applies to him. Has to drive long distances with Steve on a regular basis. The world rewards him for everything. Good hair, bad guy.

Dave A dork that Steve works with. Not a slight to my brother or father, and i'll probably change his name. Based on someone that used to work with me at Manpower named Dave. I think I'll rename him to Trevor.

Bruce The shocking guy. Based loosely on my roommate from 1997, this man is kind of a burnout that didin't finish school and is still running around trying to make ends meet in expensive downtown DC. He's got schemes and scams, and is a part time drug dealer.

Beth Late 40's. Steve's boss. Grown daughters. Dislikes Steve, likes Jimmy. Has a watchful eye over Steve because Steve didn't recommend she get hired when asked by Jeff, the owner of the company.

Ryan Steve's college buddy. Just got his MBA and is now working for the World Bank. Hates, hates, hates his 140,000 a year job. Likes his wife, and Steve managed to get trashed at the wedding and kind of alienate himself from the wife. One of the times Steve lost control. That's why Ryan meets him for drinks.

The Red Brick A combination of the Brickskeller and the Red Brick here in GV.

The Train Girl Steve's ideal companion. It came before that lame song "You're Beautiful," came out, and was fully developed. He met this girl that was warm and sincere.

Dad Steve's dad in Indiana. Steve sees him at thanksgiving.

Andie Stacey A lame girl in the first scene. Enamored with Steve. The only character that is the archetype here--a woman that's easily led, easily manipulated and all too common. Brags about her exes, and their resumes.

Anne Steve's ex. Long term ex, he was not nice to her. She went to law school. They meet for a disastrous lunch.

There are currently 10 chapters in this thing, and I know that I'm ditching the "Thanksgiving" one because it's ponderous, stupid, preachy, unsubtle, and heavy handed. There were once 12 chapters, but we changed stuff around.

1.) Andie Stacey and the morning after.
2.) Jim and salespeople.
3.) Black Rage.
4.) Money and Stuff.
5.) Liquid Lunch is a bad idea.
6.)Thanksgiving (scrubbed)
7.)Only losers quit their jobs.
8.)Dead man on campus.
9.) Love isn't settling.
10.) constitution avenue.

11.) Broke for the holidays. is what should replace #6.

Some of the arguments that I try to illustrate (they don't correspond with the chapters):

1.) People cohabit ate for expedience and cheat themselves more often than not.
2.) Women have lower than necessary expectations.
3.) Manners and character are often regarded as substitutes; people with good comportment are often given a higher regard than is warranted.
4.) Holding true to your own values is important, and being 'open minded'[2] can allow you to be 'blah.'
5.) The normal pattern of the mid 20's person leads to an empty and sad life.
6.) It's okay to be a free agent in your job.
7.) It's okay to enjoy something, pursue something.
8.) Idiots and zealots will not only laugh at you there are lots of evil people that
9.) It's okay to be committed to something.
10.) Don't expect loyalty from this world.
11.) Be loyal to yourself, and through th1at you can serve and show loyalty to others...

I'm not like Ayn Rand--the idea for this was based on a date that I had once in my early 20's. I met a girl, asked her out, and she was ready to go home with me, and expected to...it was clear that she wanted to have sex, and I didn't know her, and I didn't understand that concept. She thought I was a wonderful person, and all I did was buy dinner, take her to a penguins game, and hold the doors open and do other stuff. I just took that idea and kind of ran with it. It was sort of the 'rules' of the game for me, and knowing what the rules were allowed me to land Heather though I've done little to deserve her.

This takes place in 1998, and I think I'll ramp it up to 1999 or even 2000; the gist was that it took place pre-real estate boom in DC, but I'm not sure that we do that or not.

Anyway, I've gotten a new LJ name, search4bedford and I'll post some snippets of this thing through that. I can't see myself posting the whole thing, and I think that I'll revise it again over the course of the last part of this year and then try and get it sold.

[1] voicetrack calls them "sales F@@@'s" and this guy would be in that vein, just exploiting inefficiency for personal gain and not adding much value.
[2] I don't mean non-bigoted, I mean it's okay to believe something and reject inferior ideas. In the same way that a free society is better in every way than a fascist one, and it's always bad to torture toddlers.
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(no subject) [Jun. 28th, 2006|11:17 pm]
Chris Johnson
notably absent from superman returns was "truth, justice, and the american way."

too tired to write more.

B/B+ movie. Not better.
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