Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Still Alive

Just wanted to pop in before I headed out the door to let you all know I am alive and well.
Brief Overview....

-St. Louis trip went well, glad to be home. We were able to tour the Edward Jones facility - that was pretty cool.
-Job still going great, I'm in Deposits, Research and Debits this week.
-Received my last pay day from FNC today- sort of the last tie to it all. (tear)

More to come when I get the chance. I'm still trying to keep up with everyone else's blog in the mean time.

Love to all,

Friday, June 15, 2007

Lack of Energy

Whoa, what a week. I am completely pooped. I enjoy my new job and love meeting the new people. Today, Friday, I sat in on the Board of Directors meeting. This is where they approve the big loans on though. It was a lot more fun than the Wednesday Loan Committee meeting because one of our long time friends is on the board and he is a hoot - always has something funny to say about everything .... which made time pass by faster. I then moved my way from the proof department to the computer room. I don't have a total grasp on all they do there yet, but will learn more about it Monday and Tuesday. At 3:30 they had a baby shower for one of the girls in the office. I knew her so I pitched in and got to partake on the punch and cake. Yum.
So next week I have Monday and Tuesday in the computer room learning more with Kelsey who thinks that the water park is the greatest invention since sliced bread. She did have on the new Mary Jane Crocs and now I must have a pair. Adorable! Then Wednesday I think I have to go to Memphis for the Loan Committee meeting and then drive around and look at properties we have made loans on - that should be fun. Then I have off Thursday and Friday because hubby and I will be going to St. Louis for his regional conference. Should be interesting and I'm looking to have fun. Chippy is dreading it, he doesn't much care for St. Louis, but I've never been and am looking forward to it. Hopefully I will have time to post some next week, unless I drop dead from exhaustion. I guess I'm not use to eventful days - so this is a good thing. I had become a hermit, which is why I know I needed the change.

Hope everyone has a good weekend! Special shout out to the Janii who is moving cross country this weekend - safe travels and let us know all about the adventure!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Going to hell, but I like my new job

So the new job is great! I get to learn so much before I actually start "my real job," I'll get into that in a minute. First off, I had absolutely no clue how many people and things there are working and going on at this bank. It is extremely impressive, all the machines and people doing different things - it seems so costly to me. I know that sounds silly, but I guess just haven't thought about EVERY operation of a bank. Which leads me to what I've been doing.

This first week I have been going to the proofing department - that is where they enter in the amount of your checks and deposits. I made a little game out of it - you have to make the balance end up at $0.00 so you know it all totals out. I see how many tries it takes me. It's a numbers game, but reminds me a lot of OCR at FNC. You read the scanned item (check or deposit slip) enter the amount, account number and/or routing number (of the ones that didn't scan) and then if it's all good - it lets you move on. It's a lot of numbers and buttons, and I like pushing buttons!

Next week I get to go to the computer room. I've been in there a couple of times already, but never got to touch anything. It's a nifty, fast, expensive piece of machinery that scans the checks and slips and the ones that don't read go to proof to manually enter in. It's all computerized and precise - should be interesting too.

After that I think my journey leads me into a few more months of shadowing other departments like deposits, tellers, CSRs, loan operations, and most any other department you can think of. It's really a neat concept - learn the process as a whole and their main goal is for me to become familiar with everyone in each department....so if I needed something in the future, I'd already have established that rapport with people in that area.

I've made some fun new acquaintances and have run into a lot of people I know as well. So far so good. It's still a small town though, so when someone says - Where are you from? Because they don't know me or I have a "different accent", so obviously I am from somewhere else......then it's the whole 6 degrees of separation type deal - where we HAVE a connection somehow, but we must figure it out now. They all have known my husband since he was in the womb and need to tell me his parents names in case I didn't know. It's amusing. Really amusing. I feel like a foreigner, kind of. It's a good feeling though because people want to know about me - - - and everyone loves to talk about themselves....right, ok maybe I just love to talk about me.

Anyway, it's been fun so far. The other 2 analysts are nice and helpful and a year or two younger than me because they started this right out of college. When they explain things to me they always preface it with, "you probably already know this" because they know I have some experience. They are sweet and I always tell them to explain it to me because I may not know how things are done here. I look forward to hanging out with them more. They are both getting married, not to each other, within the next year.

Today was an introduction to my typical Wednesday. 8am Pricing Committee Meeting where we go over what to set the rates to, how to promote them, keep them in line with competition, etc. Interesting process. Then I went to the Loan Committee Meeting at 9am that lasted until 12:30. It was neat to see what one day I will be doing and know the "lingo" to....but in the mean time - it made me feel really poor. I guess I've never dealt with Joe Schmo who has a net worth in the high millions. It was a long and rigorous meeting and everyone was motioning and seconding right along - or we'd have been there until 3:00 pm. Afterwards, I met with my boss - who by the way I haven't talked about, but absolutely love to death! I had made notes about questions I had throughout the meeting and she sat down with me to answer them. I was surprised with all the things I caught onto and I think she was too. LOOK AT ME KNOWING STUFF! I got to ask question on why they approved specific loans and learn a little terminology all at the same time. This will help me better understand Friday when I sit in on the Board of Directors meeting. In this meeting they go over all the loans over $600,000 or a million (I can't remember because I am poor and it's all a lot of money to me). Should be interesting.

That is my past couple of days in a nutshell. I have really enjoyed it so far. I think once I get the swing of things and more involved instead of observing it will be great!

PS - The highlight of my day ----- I got my supplies in today! I have all colors of highlighters, all sizes of note pads (literally like 5) and sticky notes, a ruler, pens, pencils, tape, binder clips, paper clips, thumb tacks to hang my Grey's Anatomy calendar up, my own printer and computer and phone line and trays and oh it's so exciting! I love supplies! They gave me enough stuff to last me until my AARP card comes in the mail.

PSS - A friend asked me the difference in atmosphere from FNC to M&F and the best way I know how to explain it is that here in this small town where everyone talks about their kids or how they've been there 45 years this fall it's the total opposite end of the spectrum because noone has worked at FNC for 20 years and everyone there is younger and seemingly a little more open minded in a diverse manner. But the one thing I noted is the "jib-jab" gossip is totally different....it's all personal stuff where FNC it was more professional - like (FNC) so and so sent an email to so and so and now we have to come up here this weekend and do a push (M&F) so and so told so and so that Aunt Jane's neighbor had 5 lb squash.

Also, yesterday I said "hell-bent" and I felt like I was going to go to hell afterwards.

Monday, June 11, 2007

New Everything

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is my big day. The beginning of my new adventure in commercial banking. I will let you all know how it goes. I have a ton of new clothes so I am sure to be the cutest girl there. Too bad my Chippy isn't here to see me off for my first day - I'm like a little girl getting all set up for her first day of school. I've laid out my clothes and maybe I will get new supplies - I love supplies. I'll bet they give me my own note pad, pens and hopefully a binder! How fun, new clothes, new job, new people, new challenges, new perspective, new supplies - what more could a girl ask for? Wish me luck team!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

New J-O-B

As most of you have caught wind...I am no longer an FNC'er come Thursday. I put in my resignation because I am going to be an M&F'er. I guess I'm meant to work for companies with acronyms? Acronyms that can be swirled derogatory if you say them just right...silly me.

I accepted a position as a credit analyst with Merchants & Farmers Bank. The commercial side of banking is allegedly where it's at. The credit analyst position is a two year "training" to become a commercial lender. I am excited about this because as it's been explained to me it is somewhat of a "specialty" division. You have more authority and bigger promotions as opposed to the retail side. Once I have the training under my belt the sky is the limit. As one of the commercial lenders told me, he moved "light years" ahead of the game. It gives him a sense of job security because not every one is capable to just walk in and be a commercial lender. In this company when a bank President leaves, they don't call on a branch manager to step up, they call in the commercial lenders. So, the future looks bright in this area. I love the banking industry and think that this new skill will help me better myself. I'm looking forward to a new challenge and being involved face to face with people again (I say that now, ha). I also look forward to the training because they are really hands on and will allow me to sit in on loan meetings and board of director meetings, thus helping me learn more.

FNC has been good to me and I loyal to them as well. With where I am in my life right now I think my new venture is what I need. I am extremely grateful in everything they have taught me and I hope our great rapport continues on because I consider everyone there my family. No hard feelings, just room for growth.

So to all my FNC friends that read this, when I come to Oxford or go to Jackson -don't think I won't be calling you to hang out! I will still crave my nights on the Square and dinner and movies in Jackson. You guys are my family, not some fair weather friends ---- you are stuck with me!

Unfortunately I won't be able to blog or IM during the day at my new job, but maybe one day I will learn to wake up early and leave you a blogg-y treat for your morning reads. I will keep you updated as often as I can. Love to all, this is not the end.....but just the beginning.

So much to say....

Sorry for the long blog, but I have a lot to catch everyone up on. Grab a drink and your favorite blanket and curl up next to your computer. I'll divide it out in chapters so you can stop if you need to.

Chapter 1: Airport Round 1....
Texas was fun it was a "whirlwind" but I managed to see everyone I needed to for at least an hour or more. Friday when I got to the airport my flight was delayed a bit so I sat at the bar. The bartender, she always remembers me and I really don't fly that often. I sat next to Teresa and John, they are frequent flyer's. John, 47, lives in Victoria, TX and contracts out for Nissan in Canton. He travels every weekend back to Tejas and has been doing so for about a year and a half. Teresa, 32, is in the Air National Guard and is hilarious. I don't think she's ever met a stranger and she lives in Clear Lake, TX on a boat. She is based out of Meridian and too travels every weekend to be back on her boat. So, then we have Little Amy....she is a MSU student and was traveling to Houston to see her ex boyfriend. She was a cute little blond, reminded me of SM's sister. We all became BFF instantly. I hate to fly so Teresa being a pilot made me feel more at ease until she was like, "yeah, I hate turbulence, it scares me." - You're a pilot for pete's sake! John was an old pro and so as we sat by each other on the plane I warned him that I would possibly grab his arm or leg at points throughout the flight...he assured me that would be alright. No freaky-sneaky going on. It was a great flight - no worries. The stewardess was hilarious and cracking jokes over the intercom the whole way. Then we landed...We all exchanged numbers and made sure Amy had our numbers in case her ex decided to leave her for freak out or if she decided she didn't like him anymore. (which when I told my dad this story he said that not too long ago a boy killed his girlfriend after the broke up and he BBQ'd her to cremate her on the grill - great dad, thanks!) So we figured out who was going to be on who's flight back to MS and I was to travel with Amy.....I'll update you on that later. I didn't get to approve of the ex boyfriend, but the rest of the gang went to meet him and make sure it was safe. Crazy kids.

Chapter 2: Picking me up
My long time friend Amy (not to be confused with MSU girl) picked me up from the airport in her bling bling'n new Tahoe and instead of eating somewhere fabulous like PF Chang's or Cheesecake factory we headed onto her mom's house where they cooked steaks. It was good to see her mom and step dad and of course Clayton aka. Potty her fiance. Potty and I went to school together and I had forgotten why we called him Potty until words foul-ly flowed from his mouth. He's a good guy, but his name gives him justice. (Potty, Amy Chole & Rudy)
It was late and she dropped my off at my mom's house. My mom and I stayed up until 1 am chit chatting and she had to go to bed because she had to wake up early and start cooking for my Great Aunt Martha's 100th birthday. My mom caters a lot.

Chapter 3: Saturday
Amy picked me up at 10am to go and be fitted for the brides maids dress (royal blue). We traveled to the next town over and my flip flop broke so I had to walk into this store with no shoes - how red neck am I? I apologized and asked if I could be fitted and purchase my shoes so that I could wear them to go eat breakfast! I was fitted in 2.4 seconds and then we went and picked up Prasek's because it's only the best meat you can buy in Texas. I ate my ham and cheese and a cream cheese kolache (if you aren't bohemian that is pretty much a danish). Super yum. Amy took me to her new house and we ate and talked then she took me back to my mom's so I could help her with the food. When I got to my mom's Jason and Jenn (brother & sister in law) were there and we all helped out as much as we knew to do - my mom makes fancy food and I just don't know much about gourmet cooking since Chippy does the cooking and it 99% of the time deals with a grill. But I did my best for my mom.

We went to the party early, about 2 to set up. I knew no one except like 4 people including my mom and Aunt Martha. (pictured in purple is Aunt Martha with her 2 daughters - couch, their 2 girls - each side of chair and the grand daughters 2 daughters - behind chair) When the party started up a few cousins came and it was good to see them even though they seemingly have 3 kids a piece. Jenn made me sit outside with her the whole time because she was afraid that the old people were about to die. When you are 100 all of your friends are no younger than 85. They were all so fragile and so Jenn got scared. After sitting in the 100% humidity for an hour I decided it was time for me to see Jason and Jenn's new house and try out their pool. We went and got a lot of beer, called Amy and swam for a couple of hours - that was a lot of fun hanging out.

Then we decided we were hungry and went to Greek Brothers. Pictured (l-r) is Jenn, me and Rachel - Jennifer's sister. I ate shrimp cozumel with a salad with jalapeno ranch dressing - yum. Then we had too many shots sent over to us by Rachel's fiance, Matthew who owns Greek's; my brother; and Jenn's mom. Glad I wasn't driving! Amy was with me the whole time and then my friend Christy came. It was good to sit back and talk about our crazy times....me, crazy, nah! At times throughout the weekend we felt like it was our 100th birthday, talking about gardening, flowerbeds, kids, what old mo-mo's we are! But we had a super great time. Christy starts her invetro (sp)fertilization on the 16th of this month. So, she may be having triplets in a year if all of the eggs/sperm take. On that note, both Christy and Amy informed me that Chip and I don't have to worry about having kids - if we don't then their kids will take care of us when we get old....we just have to move back to Texas, which isn't a bad deal!
Pictures...me kissin' Amy! - Christy, Amy, Me - Jason & GoldenTee.

Chapter 4: Sunday, Rachel vs. Airport
With all that said, I got home about 2am - sooo tired and woke up at 10:30am Sunday. I called my dad when I woke up to see what time he was coming to "the camp." He and my step mom were coming to El Campo to see progress on Jason & Jenn's house and then eat lunch and take me back to the airport. And that is exactly what we did when he got to town at around noon. It was good to visit with everyone. But...before we left town I had noticed a sign that cracked me up and I HAD to take a picture to share it with all of my blog readers. My dad was kind enough to not tell me to my face I'm an idiot, but I had to....This picture was taken at the local oil change place. Does anyone find that as knee slapping hilarious as I do?

I'm tired of typing and you are tired of reading so I will wrap up my airport story - I got to the airport tried to check in...My flight was booked for Saturday, not Sunday. I must have rolled the mouse up when I booked my flight and changed the date - story of my life. I was on standby for the 4:10 flight and it was over booked, as was the 9:45pm flight so thanks to my awesome husband he aggressively checked Southwest.com until it said - 9:45 flight Available. I paid extra money to get on it, but at least it was a guarantee. I got home at around 1:15am saw my husband for 2 waking seconds until he left at 7am to drive to Bama. If you were wondering about my airport friends...Little MSU Amy, had a fun time with her ex boyfriend. We had a chance to talk about it before she got on her real 4:10 flight back to Jackson. I'll be visiting her in Starkville soon. As for John - we flew back together and because of weather I did have to grab his leg a couple of times. We will go eat at Amerigo's in Jackson soon. And Teresa - she wasn't flying out until Monday night, I'll email her.
So, good friends, good fun, good times, fun memories.......Texas was good. Need to do it more often.