I wanted to see a visiting friend and one of my long time escrow officers needed an emergency loan signing performed in the Los Angeles area. It was not only serendipity but one of the most memorable signings I’ve ever had.

I  got to my signing early while he was running late, that’s L.A. traffic for you. When I arrived I sent out a quick text to make sure I was in the right place. I thought I was going to a residence. But, according to the returned message, I was at the correct location. This was the signers place of business and he would be there momentarily.

It was one of those overwhelmingly unbearable one hundred and something degree days in SoCal. So I parked, but left my car running to have air conditioning. What did this guy do for a living? This address was a very nondescript commercial building located in a not so great industrial area. There were bars on the windows and a front door that may have led to an office, but given the cobwebs, it obviously wasn’t used very often. His paperwork was no help, it said he was a farmer.

Soon, he pulled in next to me, informed me that it was easier to enter through the back door and used a remote to open a gate on the side of the building. Hmmm… I hadn’t noticed that gate.

I followed him down a long driveway around to the back of what appeared to be an unkept warehouse. There were multiple locks on the back door.

The sun scorched the asphalt while he opened it up, then stale heat enveloped me as I entered the building. The area inside was very small and run down with canisters, boxes and what I thought to be miscellaneous things haphazardly around. He quickly checked a thermostat, then we walked right and turned left down a long corridor.

This was some type of warehouse within a warehouse, and we were walking the perimeter of the smaller warehouse while being in the larger one.

He then turned right into a dingy little room that had a small T.V. on a stand, two mattresses stacked on the floor, and a small desk with two chairs.

“It’s my office and the only other room in the building with AC.” He shrugged as he motioned toward a chair at the desk while turning a portable air conditioner on at the same time.

I would be lying if I said this wasn’t a little creepy, but the confidence I have in my job immediately pushed down the eerie feeling welling up in me and the first wave of cool air was allowing me to breathe again. I hadn’t realized how profusely I was sweating.

We both sat down, I glanced hesitantly around the room and couldn’t help my self. “What do you do here?” I asked, immediately feeling stupid. The expression on his face as he looked back at me said it all. He didn’t even have to answer and to be honest I don’t even remember the term he used. I just knew I felt dumb for even asking.