Dr. PHIL: You have asked me to moderate your ongoing dispute between Notaries and signing companies. I hope that we will have a fruitful session and resolve some of your issues.
FRANK: Thank you Dr. Phil. We Notaries have been complaining for years about low-ball fees. We are sick of it and want to get paid what we deserve.
SAMANTHA: Thank you Dr. Phil. We signing companies used to have better quality Notaries to work for us. In the last several years, the quality keeps going down and down. We feel we shouldn’t have to pay much money to these Notaries who in our opinion, should not be commissioned in the first place.
FRANK: If you want better quality Notaries you are not going to get them based on what you pay.
SAMANTHA: Well, if you want more money, you won’t get it with your communication and notary skills.
Dr. PHIL: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This conversation isn’t going anywhere. Now, Frank, I don’t know what your level of competency is as a Notary Public. If you want to get paid good money, you have to be good at what you do.
FRANK: Oh, I’m good at what I do.
SAMANTHA: No he’s not. He claims to be good at what he does. We tested him and he got 30% on our test which is so easy, high-school student could pass. We only hire him because the other Notaries are either just as bad, or charge a lot more.
Dr. PHIL: Too bad you don’t get paid for deluding yourself, you’re good at that. Now, you think you are good at what you do, but Samantha here has given you a standardized test and you failed. How can you call yourself a great Notary when you failed a very basic sounding standardized test?
FRANK: Well that’s because I’m anything but a standard Notary. And by the way, you’re just as bad as she is.
Dr. PHIL: Well, what do you think your average standard person is going to think if they know you failed your test?
FRANK: They’ll think I’m an idiot.
Dr. PHIL: So, do you think someone functioning at the level of an idiot deserves high pay? Do you think they deserve to be hired at all? Would you hire someone who failed a professional exam?
FRANK: Oh, well now that you put it that way. Hmmm. Well I thought I was good at what I did. I don’t get complaints?
Dr. PHIL: You have a complaint sitting right next to you. Do you think you’re being honest with yourself?
FRANK: In all honesty, yes… wait, can I start being honest now? Well at least I thought I was being honest with my self.
Dr. PHIL: The fact remains that you are not honest with yourself about how you are severely lacking in your knowledge of notary and signing basics. Those that hire you are not happy about that fact. They will never pay you much as long as you don’t live up to their expectations.
FRANK: What about my expectations?
SAMANTHA: We put up with this type of attitude to save $50 per signing. If we didn’t do that, we would not be able to turn a profit.
Dr. PHIL: Well you get what you pay for. Frank here is not living in reality and exhibits no willingness to learn his profession to the point where he seems hireable. Now, let me ask you a few questions Samantha. How often do the Notaries you hire make mistakes and what are the potential damages to your finances when they do make mistakes? Try to give me as many realistic scenarios as possible.
SAMANTHA: When we hire new Notaries, we screen them out first to get rid of the ones that sound really bad on the phone. The ones we hire, we encounter a 3% error rate, at least with the new hires.
Dr. PHIL: And what are the damages?
SAMANTHA: It’s really hard to say. Sometimes we have to resign. Other times we have to redraw documents. Once , a client lost his lock. But, in one isolated incident, an identity thief was notarized with a fake ID that a good Notary would have spotted. That cost us $20,000 and time in court.
Dr. PHIL: So, that sounds dangerous to me. What is the average cost of a notary mistake, all factors considered?
SAMANTHA: After doing the math, it looks like the average mistake might cost $400. Since mistakes only happen 3% of the time the cost per average job hiring questionable notaries might be $12. We are saving a lot more than $12 to hire cheaper Notaries so it seems worth it to me.
Dr. PHIL: What about the cost to your reputation and the risk of losing clients because you hire less than perfect Notaries?
SAMANTHA: That is always an issue, but since we clean up problems quickly, we haven’t lost more than a few clients. But, that does seem to be a bigger issue. How many Title Company clients have we lost due to the quality of the Notaries we have hired, and how many more would we retain or attract if we used better Notaries. It might be worth $30 extra to hire a better Notary.
FRANK: Now, I’m out of business for sure.
SAMANTHA: Unless you study. It wouldn’t kill you to crack a book.
FRANK: It might.
Dr. PHIL: It looks like we have had a good discussion here. I have learned something, and I think you, Samantha have learned more about the various factors in this complicated equation of who you hire, how much you pay them, and why. Now, Frank, have you also learned that you need to study more to be able to pass standardized tests to make a good impression on people who hire you?
FRANK: 123notary is the only entity who has quizzed me recently, and they are a directory. They don’t even hire people. I don’t think anyone else cares if I know anything, so why should I care?
Dr. PHIL: If you want to get more work at higher prices, you should care. I read an article that says that 123notary certified signers make $8 more per signing and get a heck of a lot more work.
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