September 13th, 2005

Summer Hat

Your tax dollars at work

As part of my job I deal with programs that process files from FNMA, GNMA and FHLMC, aka Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac. These are big government-run agencies that deal with mortgages. I could give more detail, but you really don't need it.

So, as an example of how being a government agencie and being stupid seem to go together, we have this morning's example. We use a couple of files that are supposed to be delivered on the 11th calendar day of every month. Simple right? Now if you look at your September calendar you will note that this month the 11th fell on a Sunday -- not easy to forget given the other signifigance of the date. Of course, people in the financial world don't work on weekends, so sending out files on weekends just doesn't happen much. Its generally not a problem, though, as there is this nice convention set down by the agency that when the calendar day falls on a weekend they will send the file on the next business day. Given this, my programs had set themselves up to expect the files on Monday the 12th. The problem is, the files didn't come on Monday. OK, sometimes there are problems that cause delays. So the nice folks at my company enquired as to where the files were. The official excuse that FNMA is giving is that the files are late because the 11th calendar day was on a weekend. Ummm... WTF? Excuse me, but by you own policy that meant you owed us the file on yesterday, the 12th. I mean, if you going to screw up, at least come up with a plausible excuse.
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