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April 12, 2016

Handling Aggressive Callers

Filed under: Etiquette,Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 2:45 am

Handling Aggressive Callers
Perhaps it’s because I live in New York City. Fortunately, the aggressive caller is really a rare event. But, they do occur and it can be a challenge to handle the call. Some want to transfer their problem to a notary, others have exploitation in mind. The worst, due to upbringing or position are used to having things precisely their own way. As notaries we facilitate, within the bounds of reality and legality, their objectives. But, that does not require us to be manipulated.

Our fees are often a point of contention. Some, used to going to the bank and obtaining free services consider mobile notaries on Sunday to be appropriate replacements. Blithely ignoring the fact that expenses and time are incurred going to them, the often demand free or trivial charges. I have been told that as a “public servant” it is my “duty” to acquiesce to outrageous demands. Well, I for one am not any kind of “servant”. It’s a challenge to communicate with these people, but that is what we must do.

Don’t throw gasoline on the fire! An indignant or hostile response to aggression will only escalate the problem. Professional prize fighters know to deflect a punch, redirecting its energy away from them. In a similar manner providing an alternative (to you) notary service often works. I generally suggest the office of the County Clerk – in NY State they notarize at no charge. Be helpful. Even if you do not want this particular client; you can still provide them with some procedural information. It’s not legal advice to suggest they bring Govt. issued photo ID to some other notary. Being helpful will diminish the other persons rage.

Don’t take the bait to respond in kind. Assume a recording device is in use. Make sure that what you say on the phone is accurate and polite. Many “rabble rousers” will quickly disappear when they realize you are not taking the bait. A calm flat professional tone of voice, devoid of emotion works wonders. I have a standard reply for “semi-insulting” comments. I tell them “thank you for sharing your opinion”. Of course true screaming profanity receives an instant hang up.

I had one nut on a vendetta. That person called me 9 times, insisting that I explain in detail the procedure to process an Apostille. After the third call I started a log. With each subsequent call my only response was that I am logging the date and time and my request to not call again. Also, that I would file a criminal complaint for harassment with the police. Now I have Extreme Call Blocker software on the phone. Duds connect for half a second, and then the call is disconnected.

It’s all about being in control of the call; which of course starts with being in control of yourself. I have found that silence on my part often works well. Eventually they say “are you there”? A response of “I was listening carefully to what you had to say and was waiting for when you would give me an opportunity to respond”, politeness does defeat hostility.

There are many possible reasons that you cannot continue to remain on a hopeless call. Perhaps you have a call from France on hold, or you might be booked for the next few days. Generally, the less you say the better. Sometimes frankness works. One aggressive caller chided me for not having a walk in facility. “You are supposed to”. I responded my revenue would not pay Manhattan rent, it was just economically unfeasible. But, sometimes the “devil” on my shoulder gets the better of me. “The only way I could provide you a walk in facility is if you pay the rent!”

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You might also like:

Unilateral commitments in the Notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15812

Notary Respect
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15367

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March 27, 2015

Notary Etiquette from Atheist to Zombie

AKA: How to be polite when you’re in Affix!

Atheist etiquette
If you are notarizing an Atheist and he/she sneezes, don’t say God bless you.

Don’t sell people’s signatures
If you are notarizing a celebrity — Don’t rip out the portion of your journal with their autograph on it and sell it on ebay. That is considered to be bad manners in certain circles and is also a violation of notary law! Don’t sell your roommate’s notary seal on ebay either.

Don’t second guess family relations.
If you notarize who you think is the guy’s mother, but the woman is the guy’s wife, keep it to yourself. I once asked a guy, if I was going to notarize his mother, then he said, “That’s my wife.” — awkward… Oh, and don’t ask people if they are lesbian lovers even if you are asked to notarized an affidavit of domicile. Let them volunteer that information if they care to do so.

Guns & Religion
If you bring a gun to a signing, don’t talk about other loaded subjects like religion. On the other hand, if you go to a signing in a church, circumvent the issue of circumcision. If the phone rings during a Church signing, if it ain’t Jesus, don’t answer it.

If you are doing a signing for a hunter, should you bring up guns?
It’s worth a shot!

Tips for Notarizing Assassins
Avoid asking an assassin any direct questions such as, “What do you do?” Rather, ask more roundabout open ended questions, such as, “Have you done anything interesting recently with your career?” After all, if their deeds were done in some African country, they can speak freely in the United States about it with no fear of an awkward moment at a party.
If you make a mistake notarizing an assassin, don’t say, “SHOOT!”
If you are doing a signing for an assassin, make sure you include their middle name in the document.
I once asked an assassin, what is the difference between a murder and an assassination — where do you draw the line?

Loud televisions
Instead of bluntly asking someone to turn the TV down, you can say, “It’s very hard to hear you — did you say you liked your rate, or that you were having trouble staying awake?”
If you are mumbling under your breath, “What an idiot” in the context of asking someone to turn their TV down: make sure you say that with a safe margin of error before they actually turn the TV down.
If an elderly relative is watching a loud television. Politely let them know that you don’t want to let them know that you don’t want to become as deaf as they evidently are.

Notary Notes Sections
Rather than write the regular stuff in your notes section, you could write, “I will never insult the borrower, and I have a policy against parking in people’s lawns.”

Going to the bathroom in an outhouse
Notaries should never make a signer feel uncomfortable about having an outhouse. You should gracefully address the issue, but only if you actually are forced by natural causes to use that infrastructure. “I just loved the quarter moon in your outhouse, how quaint.”
“I just loved the latest issue of Outhouse & Gardens that I read while I was doing my business.”

Signings with beautiful women
If they ask you to do a Deed, it will be far more disappointing than doing “The Deed.”

Tips for Notarizing Zombies
It is considered bad manners for the notary to participate in the chanting, especially after they bring out the dead chicken, unless given express permission, otherwise it might cancel out the curse. Never tell a zombie that they look deathly ill — rather, tell them that they look deathly well. If you are having a zombie swear to the authenticity of a curse, it might be wiser to have the swear to a written version of the curse verbiage rather than to have them do a completely sworn Oath (otherwise you might become cursed or start hearing voices.) If asked to notarize a zombie’s death certificate, rather than claiming that it is against notary law to do so, ask them, “Which one?”

Popular Zombie Documents
It is common to have a formal Affidavit of transfer of Custodianship of Soul. This is where the zombie officially grants Power of Attorney to the “Bokor” or sorceror to have full control over their soul and body (or what’s left of it.) Please be advised that many zombies only have half a soul.

If a zombie commits perjury, it is punishable by life in prison. But, it is not stipulated which soul will inhabit the body during the sentence.

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You might also like:

Borrower etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2995

Notary etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=300

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May 1, 2014

Thank You – Excuse Me – I’m Sorry

Filed under: Etiquette,Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 11:36 pm

Thank You, Excuse Me, I’m Sorry
Now that’s an odd title! But the three are actually related, much more so than you might expect. The first thing that comes to my mind is the term (that applies to each) underused. The second term that seems to apply is overused. Paradox? Of course. My regular readers expect no less from me, and this blog will not disappoint you.

GENUINE Thank You(s) are way too few and far between. When you are leaving the borrower’s home do you take a moment to say “Thank You for your time”? Do you send a Thank You when receiving an assignment? Think back when you were a little kid. Mom often said “What do you say” to prompt you for giving a Thank You to the person who did a kindness to you. Mom stressed that thousands of times to drill it into your little brain so it would become a lifelong part of you. When did you start to forget that Mother Knows Best?

Thank You is just the first two words. They should be followed by “for” and a description of what action the recipient has taken to earn your gratitude. Thank You for your nice compliment about my shoes, is an example. A Thank You without details seems robotic and a bit hollow; kinda like an autonomic mindless reflect statement. Make your Thank You genuine and actually talk with substance and conviction; let them know your words are relevant and genuine.

Excuse Me has some very interesting uses. Recently, it seems to be spoken after deliberate bad manners; to absolve the transgressor for their misbehavior. It does not accomplish that objective. I know one person, basically a nice guy, who has a most annoying habit. He constantly interrupts when I am speaking to him. His interruptions are always prefaced with a loud “EXCUSE ME” followed by whatever he wanted to say. He seems to feel that a formerly used for politeness term can be invoked to permit bad manners. A real Excuse Me is for, typically, an accidental transgression. You are in the supermarket reaching for the last can of tuna that has been marked down. Just as your hand is about to grasp the can, the shopper behind you, moving a bit quicker; snatches the tuna for their shopping cart. You are momentarily stunned by their action. They say “Excuse Me”, Jeremy would not publish what I would say to that shopper.

Lastly, I come to “I’m Sorry”. So very inappropriately used, especially by business entities. As I write this I am waiting for an item to be delivered that should have been here yesterday. I ordered the item at 10AM and paid for 2 day FedEx delivery. I was assured it would be shipped the day ordered and arrive in 2 shipping days. Well, today is the third day and I checked and found the item is “Out for Delivery”, a day late. When it did not arrive yesterday I called the vendor and complained that I paid for 2 day delivery and did not receive the service that was promised and paid for.

“I’m Sorry” about the delay, we did not ship till the day after you placed the order. You did order in plenty of time for us to make the shipment that day, again we are sorry about the situation. My response was direct and probably a bit on the aggressive side: I’m sorry and other apologies are for small children when they deviate from proper behavior. Your business is not operated by small children. Businesses make “restitution” for their errors and do not “wash them away” with a blithe verbal apology.Kindly refund the price of the shipping. There is a 2 day FedEx rate and a 3 day FedEx rate. Subtract the smaller from the larger and refund it to me. I’m sorry does not “cut it” in commercial transactions. I was fortunate to speak to a senior manager who appreciated the logic of my argument and issued a partial refund.

As a http://newyorkmobilenotarypublic.com I have ample opportunity to say Thank You, Excuse Me, and I’m Sorry. I thank persons who extend me a courtesy, such as selecting me for a notary assignment. I ask that the homeowner excuse me when I forgot to wipe my shoes on their entrance rug prior to entering their spotless house. I have made I’m Sorry but I will be a few minutes late calls; when stuck behind a fire truck on the way to a signing. They are magic terms, when used appropriately. It is the intentional misuse of these phrases, as a perceived exoneration for anti-social behavior that leaves a very bad impression. Sincerity, politeness and honesty will never go out of style.

Tweets
(1) I’m sorry and other apologies are for small children when they deviate from proper behavior. Your business is not operated by small children.
(2) Businesses make “restitution” for their errors and do not “wash them away” with a blithe verbal apology.

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March 3, 2013

Crayons and dog treats at the signing

Filed under: Etiquette,Ninja Theme Articles,Pets at Signings — admin @ 12:30 am

I just spoke to a delightful notary. It is fun talking to the new notaries, because some of them are so interesting!

This lady likes to make everyone comfortable at a signing, and she gets a lot of repeat business, so her method is working. When she walks in the door, she greets the animals and children first. She gets to know them a bit, and explains to them what she is going to do there. She also offers treats to the dogs, and crayons for the children!

The result of her nice way of getting to know everyone, is that everyone is happy during the signing. Dogs are much happier if you introduce yourself to them and tell them your name. They like it if you let them sniff you a bit. Cats are a little more tricky. It takes cats a few years to warm up to a human, and feeding them chicken daily for a few years facilitates the process. The children feel very happy, that someone thought of them, and now they have something to do during the signing that will keep them quiet.

It is fun to hear about the unique approaches that notaries have to doing signings, and this one was fun!

But, there is only one lingering question that I feel I must ask.
How come nobody gets ME crayons?

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February 28, 2013

Do you ramble? What do your clients think?

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 12:25 am

I talk to customers all the time. Everybody has a different style of communication.

Some just don’t answer the phone at all. Others answer only to tell me that they can’t talk to me. Why bother answering at all if you refuse to talk. Some people spend more effort resisting talking to me than it would take to listen to the single sentence that I wanted to convey to them. Others talk, but spend a lot of time complaining about many types of things. Sometimes they complain about us, and other times they complain about signing companies. But, what about another category of communication — rambling?

When you ask certain people a simple question about themselves, they become spellbound and speechless.

Q. How many loans have you signed in your life?
A. Ummm… Hmmm. Let me keep you waiting for about 10 minutes while I think endlessly, and still come up blank.

Then there are the people who give a different answer than what you asked for.

Q. How many loans have you signed in your life?
A. Well, I’ve been a Real Estate broker for 30 years.

Q. Nobody on 123notary will hire you as a Real Estate broker, but they might hire you as a notary if you communicate your skill as a notary.
A. Well, since I’ve been a Real Estate broker, I know my loan documents well.

Then, there are the people who ramble and give you far more useless information than you want and go on and on.

Q. How many loans have you signed in your life?
A. Gee, I never thought about that before. Hmmm. Well, I signed one today, and I think two yesterday… Nope… It was one, because the other one got cancelled because the borrower had a cold. And let’s see. The week before that I think I signed three — or was it four? Hmm, I forgot. The week before that I was sick, so I didn’t do many notarizations.

Response: Sorry to interrupt, but the information you are giving me is completely useless. I am trying to fill in a box that has room for a number, not a long story. Once again, do you know how many loans you have signed in your life?

The key point here is to understand that if you ramble with clients, they are not going to want to use you for anything, even if you are a good notary. Imagine that you work for a busy signing company and have to talk to 100 notaries a day. The last thing you want is someone who screws up, as that would be a nightmare to clean up. The second worst thing is someone who talks endlessly without giving you any useful information. It is not only extremely annoying, but a waste of their time — and trust me when I claim that people at Title or Signing Companies don’t like to have their time wasted — not even a minute.

Sure, it’s nice to make small talk and polite conversation. You gain points for this because it is pleasant. Don’t over do it on the small talk either, because once again — people are under time pressure. But, don’t ramble on when you talk to business people — they don’t have time. The worst offenders are retired folks. Since THEY have very little to do, and a very open schedule, they often forget that the rest of the world has more to do than they can handle, and doesn’t have time or patience for rambling.

So, the moral of todays story is — don’t ramble if you want to have clients!

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February 19, 2013

The notary who called me back to tell me she couldn’t talk

Filed under: Etiquette,Ninja Theme Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 12:06 am

Today I called a California notary public about her renewal.

She had an automated message when she called, and some bassoon music to listen to while I was on hold. It seems that whenever I call her, I always get bassoon music, but never get the notary. In any case, I waited for a very long time on hold, and then gave up.

Two minutes later I got a call from a different phone number from a different county in her state. I suspected that it might be her, since it was still a California number. But, the number was from San Francisco which is about 70 miles from where this notary lives — or where I think she lives.

The notary called and asked, “Can I call you back, I can’t talk now”.
I said, “You are calling me back right now”
the notary said, “Yes, but I am with an elderly signer signing critical documents, I can’t talk now”

I said, “If you can’t talk now, why are you calling me? Why not call me when you can talk?”
The notary said, “I can’t talk now, I have to go”.

I said, “Why not send me an email — when I am doing outgoing calls, I can not answer incoming calls simultaneously”.

The moral of the story is that many notaries make it like pulling teeth just to talk to them. If you want people to feel aggravated every time they contact you, my suggestion is that you should not answer your phone, and then call people back only to tell them that you can’t talk.

Maybe this California notary and signing agent needs a good receptionist. It is hard when you are in business and are overloaded, but still don’t have enough business to merit hiring someone new. I seem to always be in that position. I can relate! But, it is time for her to find someone else to answer the phone, so you get a warm furry human when you make a call to her number!

You might also like:

Do you ramble? What do your clients think?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4122

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December 31, 2012

Borrower etiquette from A to Z

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: , — admin @ 10:16 am

Borrower etiquette from A to Z

A year or more ago I wrote a blog about notary etiquette from A to Z. The topic arose from a very interesting and detailed discussion about where it is polite to park. The discussion went on and on, and everybody made really interesting points! But, a discussion on NR broke out about borrower etiquette, and I’m surprised that I didn’t publish this topic first, since I love the topic of etiquette (even though I don’t have very good etiquetee myself). In any case, there are many points to consider in borrower etiquette — so, here they are.

PREPARATION

(1) Make sure you finish your meal and clean up your kitchen before the notary arrives. Make sure the smell of your cooking is somehow ventilated.

(2) Make sure you have communicated adequately with the LENDER before the notary arrives. You should be off the phone, and have listened to all of your messages before the notary arrives, especially messages (if any) from your trustworthy lender.

(3) Have all dogs, cats, snakes, birds, cockroaches, vermin, and other creatures behind a securely closed door at least 30 minutes before the signing — for good luck. Many notaries do not like dogs jumping on them. Additionally, if there is an angry or over-zealous dog in the driveway, the notary might be afraid to get of of his/her/their car.

(4) Tell your children not to come into the room of the signing. If they must come, then make sure they are quiet, dressed, and don’t make any sudden movements. Please find a way to deal with screaming babies too as that can be very distracting during a signing.

(5) The TV, radio, and all other noise should be silent during the signing so that people can focus and not make mistakes

(6) There should be a clean surface for the signing, preferably a dining room table. The ENTIRE surface should be free of any clutter and have been cleaned with 409, or Fantastic, etc., immediately prior to the signing.

(7) Make sure that all of the parties involved in the signing are there 30 minutes in advance and have their ID’s ready.

(8) Make sure you know what your rate and APR are supposed to be BEFORE the notary shows you the corresponding pages with that information.

COMMUNICATION

(9) Leave your outside lights on for night signings, so the notary can intuitively know which house to go to.

(10) It is polite and helpful to let the notary know where to park

AT THE SIGNING

(11) Offer the notary a drink right away. Most borrowers are cheap and inconsiderate — it takes them 30 minutes to figure out that, “Oh, did you want something to drink?” And then, they offer you tap water. Why not offer the notary something of a higher quality such as fruit juice, soda, or coffee? Unless you are so poor that you are dying of malnutrition, it is cheap behavior to only offer tap water.

(12) Keep drinks off the table. We have had in-depth discussions about spillage, and what happens when you spill your latte on the deed of trust. Check our forum and blog for older discussions on this topic. Keep the drinks on a chair, or an adjascent table.

(13) Don’t read documents for two hours. The notary came for a signing appointment, not a reading appointment. Your borrower’s copies are for reading. Behave in such a way that the signing will take 45 minutes or less. Read the key points, and the rest can be read on your own time.

(14) Don’t blame the notary for the faults of the lender doing the old bait and switch, or for other problems you have with the lender.

(15) Don’t make phone calls or leave the room during the signing except to go to the bathroom.

(16) Smoking during the signing shouldn’t happen. If it is a really long signing, and after an hour you need a smoking break, perhaps one quick smoking break might be reasonable.

(17) (State specific for MT and TN) It is poor etiquette to expose a gun or other weapon at the signing, or to discuss guns. Notaries usually don’t feel comfortable around guns — at least the notaries that I know!

(18) Don’t discuss politics, gender issues, or anything else controversial at the signing.

(19) Don’t have an argument with your spouse, kids, or anyone else at the signing.

(20) Sign your name as it is typed below the signature line — don’t argue with the notary about this. This should have been discussed with the lender a long time ago.

(21) Don’t make a fuss about being thumbprinted

(22) After it is all said and done, visit the notary’s page on 123notary.com and write a very glowing review about how wonderful and capable the notary was.

You might also like:

Do you ramble? What do your clients think?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4122

The notary who called me back to tell me she couldn’t talk
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4098

Rude Notaries and what they do
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2198

Notary etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=300

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August 25, 2012

Borrowers With Guns

Stay with me here! It may be a wild ride. Yee-haa!

A few years ago, a Texas professor showed his class this wonderful, funny animation, a kind of protest song, “Cows With Guns,” about the underdog…or in this case, the undercow. That was where I first saw it. You can still see and hear this humorous short animated musical cartoon: http://www.cowswithguns.com/cgi-bin/listen_animation.cgi?cart=1344148843.

I am smiling and thinking that it’s kind of like that in the notary business: naturally peaceful, calm notaries begin to feel they have to arm themselves with guns in response to formerly secure, mild-mannered clients who used to be their friends but are now arming themselves with guns. Some people feel taken advantage of…and that stress makes them try to retaliate. They crack. Now that we’ve had our laugh, here are a few stories that are snapshots of how crazy things are…at least in some parts of the country.

There are companies that prey on people, particularly the elderly, and try to get them to take on more debt than they can manage. Internet loan companies are notorious for that. One Texas notary came to the door ready for a signing, and was greeted by a man with a rifle pointed at her. All he knew was that his grandmother had taken out a few loans and had a few debt collectors after her. Says this Texas notary, “He looked at me suspiciously, and growled ‘My grandmother is sick. What do you want?’ He thought I was coming to collect a debt…when in reality, I was doing a notarization from a debt relief company to help the grandmother get out of debt.” In Texas, the law basically states that someone can fire a gun if there is even a remote possibility that a person is threatening you…so a Texas notary might very well feel the stress and carry a weapon, too.

A second Texas notary says, “I have done more than one notarization where there are guns in the house. Cows with guns? How about borrowers with guns? Now I know a few borrowers who feel that they need guns…but a closing is no place for a weapon.There is already too much stress.” She continues, “One time a woman did not want to sign because she thought she was being cheated. She took out a rifle and yelled, ‘Oh no you don’t! I’ll kick your butt!’ and started shooting at the ceiling. She didn’t care what she hit, and that is a fact. I got out of there so fast I almost forgot my notary bag with my glasses and the paperwork for the refi. I had to go to the bathroom real bad, but I got out of there and stopped at a gas station a few miles down the road,” our Texas notary concludes.

Another Texas notary adds, “One man insisted on my doing the entire notarization for refinancing his house while he kept a pistol on the table. Turns out it was an air pistol, but he was acting like it was a real one and he kept fingering it. About halfway through the signing, he went outside to shoot a cat with it. But it could have been me! I didn’t know the difference; I couldn’t tell it was an air pistol. As a Texas notary, I have seen many homes where there are guns…and they are 100% real and loaded!,” squeaks the notary.

An Arizona notary tells us, “Some folks are just crazy…and are probably too crazy to responsibly use the money they borrow. One time, I was greeted by a man in the driveway with a rifle. His girlfriend was in the house and he didn’t want his wife to come in and sign to refinance. Their marriage basically broke up right there in the driveway.” She bites her nails, and continues, “Then there was the man who started yelling ‘This is FRAUD!’ It wasn’t fraud, just some of the documents weren’t correct…and I never found out what he was yelling about…but he had an AK47 in a gun cabinet, and I just decided to skedaddle out of there,” she says. “Another Arizona notary told me that, in one town, a notary was murdered. This woman was a part-time notary, and she was missing and found dead under mysterious circumstances…right after she went to notarize a mentally ill man at his home. A lot of women who are Arizona notaries carry guns in their cars or trucks these days when they go out on jobs,” this Arizona notary asserts.

As all the pro-gun sites claim, only people kill people; guns don’t. Certainly cows don’t. However, as one Arizona notary asserts, “In my experience, people who are so emotional and irrational aren’t always capable of using weapons responsibly…and if those people are my clients, I’d rather they didn’t deal with me with a loaded weapon! If I do not know the people whose signatures I am notarizing, and I have to go way out in the country and deal with these folks…as a single female notary in Arizona or Texas, I just might carry a gun. Based on some of the borrowers I have met recently and the situations I have seen and heard about….If only cows had guns, we’d all be vegetarians–and would probably be a lot better off!”

Tweets:
(1) The notary went out and bought a gun because he heard the borrower had a gun!
(2) Mild mannered peaceful notaries are arming themselves with guns to protect themselves from crazy borrowers.
(3) One Texas Notary went to a signing & was greeted by a man pointing a rifle at her.
(4) 1 borrower felt she was being cheated, whipped out a rifle and said, “Oh no you don’t!”
(5) people who are so emotional & irrational aren’t always capable of using weapons responsibly, especially at a signing!

You might also like:

I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15896

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January 11, 2012

Rude notaries?

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:56 am

Rude notaries? 

At 123notary, we have 6000+ notaries on board, and we talk to most of them at one time or another.  We take pride in how dedicated and professional our notaries are.  Our notaries answer emails promptly, and have a high rate of answering their phone.  But, once in a while we will get a complaint of rudeness.
 
Who are these rude notaries?
Rudeness is a two-way street.  Most of the time, if a notary is accused of rudeness, the borrower or signing company was unreasonable with them or harrassed them.  Is it the notary’s fault?  In my opinion, a professional should try to maintain their cool at all times.  The defining line that separates the men from the boys is how well you handle a difficult situation with finesse.  Can you calmly handle a difficult client?  Can you smoothly work your way through a difficult situation?  Can you keep your cool when others around you are screaming?  Its difficult to know what to do when a notary is accused of being rude.  I usually keep these incidents off the record, and only in my private records.
 
Incomplete information?
What bugs me the most, is that when I get a complaint about a rude notary, I  only see text such as, “The notary was rude”.  My question is, what did the notary say?  What did you say to them first to provoke this reaction?
 
Notaries who hang up on clients.
We get regular complaints that the notary hung up on someone.  Was the client rude? Did the notary have a cell phone that routinely drop calls?  Was the notary just being a jerk?  Sometimes clients call after hours and the notary doesn’t want to be bothered. 
 
Antagonistic emails
Be careful with this one.  Nobody can remember what you said, other than the fact that it was polite or rude.  However, if you write a rude email, it can be forwarded to me — and that is proof that you really are rude!
 
Threatening clients with lawsuits
When a notary and a client get in an argument, some notaries quickly start threatening clients with lawsuits.  This is really unnecessary and rude.  It reflects poorly on us and on you.   You should not threaten someone with a law suit unless you have serious damages which you can prove.
 
Criticizing the company you are working for.
If you work for a signing company, its not good manners to criticize them or their borrowers. If they are horrible people, just don’t work for them anymore!  If the borrowers are horrible, just try to put up with them.
 
Summary
99% of our notaries are fantastic, and this blog entry doesn’t apply to you. If put in a difficult situation, try to be polite and then refuse to work for the difficult company again!  Don’t criticize people (even if they deserve it), and don’t write threatening emails.  Just do your job, and go home!

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March 19, 2011

What to say and what not to say.

Filed under: Etiquette,Posts With Many Comments — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:43 am

Notary Etiquette – what to say and what not to say
 
Politeness is hard to gauge in any society.  In a social environment, if people don’t like your comments, they just won’t associate with you.  But, in a business environment, you will lose valuable clients.  Personally, I am the worst person to write this post, because I am notorious for saying the wrong thing at every given opportunity.  On the other hand, maybe thats why I am the perfect person to write this article — I know what one has to lose by opening their mouth!
 
Being professional
Some people treat professionalism by being overly uptight, no fun, and addressing people as Mr Smith, and Mrs. Sutterfield.  They never crack a joke, and never express an opinion.  They will dress well, and get their job done, but were they a pleasure to deal with? Sometimes I really tune into this issue at the Japanese restaurant down the street. 
 
The Japanese restaurant

Its less than two miles away — a Japanese restaurant so good, its worth walking a mile to get to.  With the lack of parking, sometimes I do walk at least half a mile, and then wait to be seated. They are the best cooks, and are very professionally dressed in their black ninja outfits.  Politeness is never an issue, but there are never opinions, and small talk is …. well… “small”.  Then, a new guy started working there.  He is ultra friendly and talkative while being extremely polte.  We talk about every topic under the sun (not the rising sun).  He can talk about any subject while being careful not to criticize others.  Maybe he should be writing this blog entry!
 
Being friendly!
To get good reviews with the signing services, you need to be  a pleasure to work with.  Being human and friendly is part of the game — of course without sacrificing professionalism.  I really want to get responses from this blog on what the notaries consider the “right amount” of being friendly.  The trick is knowing what to talk about and how to talk about it.  With me, I’ll quickly digress into some inappropriate political discussion: a big no-no.  But, weather is a much safer bet.  But, even weather can be controversial.  Talking about rain is safe, but should you wait for the other person to bring up the subject of tsunamis just to be safe?  If its me, I’ll even ruin the subject of weather by bringing in the concept that God is upset with humans and thats why we are having the tsumani.  I’ll alienate borrowers even with the safest of topics.  Maybe I should stick to hurricanes.  At least with hurricanes I can blame the government for being neglegent about building levies, and leave God out of it!!!
 
Safe topics
Traffic is a safe topic, especially for me, since its clearly the fault of humans and not God’s wrath. But, what if you are late and talk about traffic.  Then, its no longer fun conversation — its an excuse… There’s a no-no!  Only talk about traffic if you are on time!  If its me, I’ll ruin even a nice conversation about traffic, by blaming the government for keeping gas taxes so low.  After that remark, even the socialists will outcaste me!  But, its true — if gas were $7 per gallon, there wouldn’t be any traffic — ever!!!
 
Fashion – is it safe?
Fashion could go either way.  It depends on whether the other person has the same tastes as you.  But, sticking to more “universal” topics like where the best sales are for general items is relatively safe.  Talking about general items is politically correct, but when it gets into tweed blazers, you are entering an area of sociological barriers.  The professors will like the conversation, and everyone else will raise their eyebrows!
 
Guns and Religion?
Obama really blew it with this comment.  Religion teaches peace, so how can religious people love guns so much?  Do they want to fight for peace? Don’t talk about this at a signing!  But, if you can pull off talking about what happened at church last week without alienating those of a different caste, creed or faith, I’ll be impressed.  If you can make this type of conversation “universal” in nature, you are a professional at knowing what to say and how to say it.  I would personally give you a reward!
 
Politics?
OHG… stay away!!!  The most political statement you can get away with is how you bumped into Obama at the swimming pool.  That will work.  You can mention how he out swam you.  I heard he keeps very fit!

If you follow these tips, you will be a more professional notary!

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