The call comes in for an urgent notarization. We need to file some important paperwork within the next 2 hours; can you positively guarantee arrival within that timeframe? Knowing the 5 star hotel was only a mile away I replied “sure”. Oddly, for an “individual” request; the caller stressed that the notarization had to be “absolutely perfect” and withstand close scrutiny. I assure the caller that my work would stand up to any examination; and that I required “Govt. issued photo ID” and acceptance of the standard oath given by Notaries. “A by the book Notary is exactly what we require”; please be sure to be on time.
The caller had identified as an aide to the affiant, but assured me that the affiant had a driver license that was current. May I speak to the person signing, I asked. Sorry, no; however we will prepay on your web site your fee; and I can assure you there will be no problems. Moments later the familiar “ding” comes from my phone – the sound of a PayPal payment. Figuring “movie star”, I depart for that rather expensive hotel. Traffic was kind and I arrived within an hour.
Manhattan has many celebrities, and a tiny fraction of them have called upon my services. But I was unprepared for the scene upon my arrival. There were barricades around the hotel entrance and a large police presence. Not the usual police, these had the big guns and riot gear. Groan, how would I ever get into the hotel? I never suspected they were there to protect my client! I did not even know the client’s name – yet. The one thing I did have was the room number.
Stopped at the security perimeter, I was asked my business at the hotel. I explained that I was a Notary Public with an appointment to go to room xxx to notarize a document. Someone in plain clothes is called over by the uniformed officer. That person talks into a device, and a moment later I am cleared past the outer barrier. The polite person follows me into the lobby. “I will need to inspect your bag” – fine, it’s just notary supplies. A very detailed search is made. “To go to room xxx I will need to search your person”, “it will be a very complete search of your body, do I have your permission to search you?” – “do you have any weapons?” – I have no weapons, go ahead. I am taken to a small room off the lobby. The agent proceeds to very thoroughly search me, hat to shoes; making sure there is nothing anywhere on my person that is a weapon.
After the search I am escorted to the door of room xxx. Behind the door is a bank of computers and a full staff busy at work. I am taken to a desk and told to wait. A few minutes later the aide who initially called me hands me my fee (again) – this time in cash. I reply that my fee has already been paid. This is extra for the delays in granting your clearance. We also ask that you do not disclose to anyone who you will be notarizing or the nature of the document. I agree, and am asked to sign a non-disclosure document; I read it and sign it.
A few minutes later in walks a person wanting to become President of the United States. That person gives me a warm greeting and actually asks if I would like some coffee! I decline citing that it’s bad procedure to have liquids on the same table as documents. A warm smile and a chuckle – followed by “of course, that’s a good policy”. The notarization proceeds in a routine manner with ID, signing, oath and notarization (with embossing). Afterward, the aide hands me a paper cup of coffee and walks me out past the security screen. That’s all I can say.>