At the moment I'm still wrestling with a ravaged attention span. Just spent ninety minutes trying to figure out something simple with <div> not aligning because I was distracting myself with reddit, Twitter, and Discord. I remember when I used to be able to focus for hours at a time working on my site, its structure, the cascading style sheet, and other sundry bits while now I struggle with the basics. Mind you, I fixed the issue!

I did discover that I created a dropcap element to the stylesheet for this site and I'd totally pat my past self on the back for that bit of cleverness. Dropcaps are completely unnecessary and merely serve my vanity since dropcaps imply what's being written is important to the reader. Like a Bible verse or a new chapter in some fantasy novel. Reckon I need to discover nerding out over my website, getting into the nitty gritty of form and function to aggrandize what I write here for whomever deigns to read it.

Wednesday was a good day. Completed a bunch of jobs, one job is prepped while another is awaiting advice from management on finding a particular deed. I mentioned before that I'm a title searcher and a title searcher's job is to gather all the information on a parcel of land and determine if there are any encumberances to it (e.g. tax sale certificates, lis pendenses, judgements, liens, open mortgages, etc.) or if it's affected by easements, grants, or right-of-ways. Nothing sucks more than buying property then finding out "Hey the previous owner never paid their taxes and you owe what they didn't pay!" Tax sale certificates, in New Jersey at least, last twenty years.
When I interviewed for the job, the woman told me how all searchers have respect for the books at the county clerk's office. When she spoke those words it hit me that title searching is a secular monastic order for capitalism. Rather than tranlating and transcibing ancient texts, one copies down the book-and-page for a particular instrument (deed, mortgage, etc.) then prints out any instrument which is still affecting the property. Instruments which do not affect the property in question are merely recited on the run sheet and marked accordingly either with DNAPQ (does not affect property in question) or the details determining how the instrument is irrelevant to the property in question (PQ). For example if 123 Main Street in Podunk, NJ is on Block 12, Lot 6 and 567 Elm Avenue in Podunk on Block 24, Lot 12 are owned by the same individual but 123 Main Street is the PQ, then Block 24 is what's noted on the runsheet. Older deeds, at least in New Jersey, tend to omit blocks and lots leaving a title searcher to rely solely upon the recital or other obscure and arcane bits of data.

In keeping with this ersatz religious theme I recall back when I was starting to do bookkeeping with Edna. I was staying at her house and sleeping in the basement so we could work together. I remember this afternoon where I ran upstairs and caught her coming down.
"This is all a cosmic pun. I write and hope to write a story or get a book published. You're a liberal evangelical and one could say you are "of the book". We're bookkeepers. It's like there's a weird plan for our lives except we're going about it in a roundabout way!"
Now as a title searcher, it's all about books. They're not necessarily good books you'd want to read. Basically one scans them for the recital, dates, owner names, blocks and lots, among other nonsense. Sometimes there are restrictions on the land telling the owner what they can and can not do with their land. The really interesting ones harken to ye olden times before 1960 when they'd say, "You shall raise no poultry nor swine, nor are you permitted to distill spirits". More egregious are the covenants stating, "You shall not sell this land to a colored person". Now that's a cold splash of water on any enlightened 21st century face where racism is left to hillbillies, rednecks, people who died of COVID-19, and Republicans.

One thing which gave me agita on Wednesday was the constant presence of 'T'. 'T' is a title searcher who I find to have a chip on his shoulder all the time. On June 9th I found him in the deed room, alone, but he wasn't wearing a mask. This was before Governor Murphy rescinded the mask mandate, and I went to the deed room manager to tell them someone's working back there without a mask. I wore a fucking mask everywhere, even when I was alone, because it's not just about my health but everyone else's health. I guess the deed room manager told 'T' who squealed. Mind you this is all conjecture.
Since the county is very strict about who comes in and out of the deed room, they have a policy where one needs to take a lanyard to enter. On June 9th I had to make copies but there were no lanyards so I sat on the nearby stairs to wait. 'T' walks into the deed room a moment later and I say, "Hey, you need a lanyard to get in there." Completely ignores me. I go to find the deed room manager, she's outside on break, so I go to find her.
"Hey, do we still need to take a lanyard to get in the deed room?"
"I don't really care." Since this county is red, I'm not surprised.
I head back in and see that 'T' is coming out of the deed room. He gets into my face and says, "I don't take orders from you, scumbag."
He says this in front of a woman from mortgage recording, the manager of the mortgage recording room, and a sheriff's deputy. The latter is an asshole, which is to be expected of anyone in law enforcement, but the former two are adamant that I did nothing and what he said was completely without merit. I head back downstairs to do my work, see the deed room manager come down with two sheriff's deputies and they disappear down the hall. A little while later I heard 'T' was ejected from the building for the day.

Anyway, back to today, his presence was unusual since the guy's usually out of the county clerk's office by 10 a.m.. He always seemed to be where I was on Wednesday. I'm reckon he's trying to get me ejected. Yet we ignored each other, my work was done, and went home. I consider 'T' to be an idiot, but it's always the ones who are underestimated who are full of surprises. So I emailed my manager with my concerns.

On Thursday I'm in my other county and that's going to be a bit of a relief since the commute is more reasonable and the title searchers are less prickly.

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