I have to admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of Family Circus cartoons. In college I rented a house with four other guys and I can remember on several occasions taking cartoons and changing the dialogue. Dramatically. There was a direct correlation to the level of inappropriateness of our comments and how hard we laughed. I don’t think we would win any prizes for journalistic excellence but we certainly had a few laughs. Now that I have a daughter, I get the strip. Kids say and do things that are absolutely hysterical from the perspective of a parent.
A few days ago my daughter was asking me why I was still working after finishing a phone call. I then proceeded to tell her that I had been given a referral and I needed to take care of it right away. Ella looked at me with great concern on her face and asked me “Daddy, are you in trouble?” At first I didn’t understand but then I got it – at her school a referral is something a kid receives when they are in serious trouble. I explained to her what a referral is in my world and how it is so different from what she was thinking of. She was relieved and I was amused.
As can be expected, Ella asked me if I ever received any referrals when I was in school at her age. Quite frankly, it’s pretty hard for me to remember back that far. When I was in third grade I was still in Canada learning how to speak and read French, of all things. The only practical application to my brief introduction to the French language was being able to explain that no, Canadian McDonald’s fish sandwiches are not “poison” and that “poisson” is the French word for fish. This happened during a high school trip to Expo in Vancouver, BC. My fellow classmates were skeptical of my explanation and still made me try their sandwiches first, being that I was Canadian and all.
I would imagine that if Ella were to explain to her friends that her Daddy receives referrals regularly her friends would wonder if I was one or two steps away from doing hard time. They would envision me in an old school striped prison uniform breaking rocks at the local stone quarry. I would sadly make visual contact with them and explain that if I had conducted myself differently I never would have received all of those referrals and wound up in the miserable and deplorable conditions I found myself in. The kids would all leave the scene with an enhanced appreciation of conducting themselves properly in school. No one would receive a referral again. Ever.
Contrary to what Ella and her friends imagine, referrals are the one thing that someone like me relies upon professionally to stay in business. Without the support and advocacy of our customers and business partners, Sara and I would be sunk. On a daily basis we understand that receiving a referral is the highlight of our day and we are only as good as our most recent transaction. It’s a lot of pressure but we understand just how crucial our role in a mortgage transaction is.
So if you were concerned about sending a referral our way, please don’t be. I promise we won’t get in trouble with the principal.