But today the fileroom people were working to get the file room in order. My department is divided up somewhat strangely. We're all under the umbrella of "loan operations", which is divided into three basic categories: the fileroom people, who work with the existing files, and loan processors, who create the documents for new loans and renewals, and me.
I'm kind of a category unto myself. I think this is mostly because my boss and I both prefer it if I report directly to her rather than to one of the intermediary supervisors.
I don't normally work in the fileroom, but at the Wednesday loan operations meeting they'd asked for volunteers to help out on the project. For no good reason, on Friday I'd said that I'd come in for a few hours, so I did.
When I got there, I asked Patti what she wanted me to do. She was struggling with a shelf full of Other Real Estate Owned (OREO) files. These are files on foreclosed properties that the bank is currently trying to sell (or finishing up in anticipation of selling, in some cases). The problem, it turned out, was that most of the files were -- by now -- Other Real Estate Formerly Owned. We figured out that no one's been telling anyone in back when OREO properties have been sold and that the file should be closed.
So I dragged four boxes of files back to my desk and sorted through them to verify their status. Some of the files, as it happens, had no OREO connection at all. One of them was missing its label, and held an appraisal for a perfectly good loan that's still on the books. One of them had been paid off ten years ago in a perfectly normal fashion. Which would be five years before the merger. I have no idea why that file hadn't been shipped to storage years ago. At this point, it's destined to be shredded -- we don't need to keep files for that long after they've paid off.
I was the only person in the loan department who showed up and didn't work under the backroom supervisor. Almost everyone in the backroom thanked me personally for helping out. The supervisor gave me a hug. "I didn't know where to start with those files!"
When I said yesterday that I'd come to help, I thought 'They don't really need me, but it's probably a good gesture of solidarity to show up.'
That's about right. I didn't get a whole lot done that I couldn't've done during the week. But I made the people who work the fileroom feel less alone, and that was worth doing.