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January 30, 2022

Don’t park in the driveway?

This article was originally published many years ago.

Don’t Park in the Driveway?
 
This sounds like a dull topic, but the type of responses we get, keep getting better by the day. This issue is the least clear cut, and most confusing issue that notaries face.  Yet, so few notaries ever have this issue cross their mind. 
 
Don’t Park in the Driveway.
Its rude and unprofessional to park in the driveway.  You are leaking fluids on someone’s driveway, preventing them and their family from parking there, and potentially blocking someone.  But, sometimes, there are situations where you should park in the driveway.  You could make several Seinfeld episodes out of this topic.  There is a general rule, and there are dozens of exceptions.
 
(1) I’m confused, isn’t that what driveways are for?  No! The driveway is for the borrower to park in, not the signing agent.  You are a guest, and not the resident.  Don’t park there without permission, and don’t ask permission unlesss you really have to.
 
(2) In regards to “Don’t park in the driveway”, please be aware that many gated communities have banned on-street parking. Check with the homeowner if street parking is allowed when you make the confirmation call. (This is true especially in Florida.)
 
(3) In regards to “Don’t park in the driveway”……where I live most of the time that is ONLY place to park. When I was a new signing agent, that piece of information caused me a lot of stress, but have since realized that I have to do what I have to do. I try not to block in vehicles, but that isn’t always possible.
 
(4) If there is a snow storm, you need to park in the driveway, otherwise the snow plow will cover your car with snow.
 
(5) In rural communities, driveways might be more than a half a mile long, so it behooves you to park in the driveway in such a situation. In winter, it wouldn’t be safe to walk up such a long driveway.
 
(6) Some notaries say, they always park in driveways taking care not to block someone in and never had any trouble. Other notaries say that they would never park in someone’s driveway no matter what.
 
(7) One lady says that a customer complained that she parked in the street instead of the driveway.
 
(8) There might be signs on the street not allowing street parking. That means you are forced to park on the driveway.
 
(9) In some neighborhoods the streets are very narrow, making it a better choice to park in the driveway.
 
The bottom line is that if you value etiquette and manners, and take them to the highest level, just ask where the borrower would like you to park, and then everyone will love you, and might even love your leaking coolant too!

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January 27, 2022

Crayons and dog treats at the signing

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

NOTE: The point of this article is that the Notary put unique and interesting information about how she brings crayons and dog treats to the signing. This refreshing information got her a lot more business. Learn from her!

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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January 13, 2022

A notary gets sued, but E&O won’t help out!

This was originally published many years ago.

We had a notary public whose name will remain anonymous. I will not disclose her location either. But, she is being sued because a lender pulled a fast one on a borrower. The borrower is suing everyone connected to the loan. But, the borrower should know that the notary public has nothing to do with the loan, doesn’t know the lender, and doesn’t benefit from the loan other than to collect their small fee.

The story gets worse though. This notary’s E&O insurance policy wouldn’t help out with any of the legal expenses, or potential damages simply because they claim that the notary never made a clerical error which is true.

The notary public went to get legal counsel, and a neighbor / friend of the notary public offered to help at a discounted rate. But, the discounted estimate for the entire case was $30,000. It doesn’t make sense to me why a notary should pay $30,000 to defend themself from a false accusation.

In any case, we should pray for this notary public, so that she can get off the hook of being falsely accused. She did nothing wrong and shouldn’t suffer like this.

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December 8, 2021

If you are offered a job at 7:45 and the phone just rings?

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 11:59 am

Here is a scenario that Jennifer gave to me. I really like it because you can see how people handle situations in less than twenty seconds with this question.

The Title company offers you a job to do a signing at the Anderson’s at 7:45. It is already confirmed, but not by you.

It is 7pm now. You just called the Andersons, but they are not answering. If you leave now you will be exactly on time. Should you:

(a) Just wing it and go to the signing. Perhaps make more calls on the road.
(b) Make a quick call to title letting them know you are going but that nobody is answering.
(c) Keep calling all related parties and wait for a response before going.

There is no correct answer here. The issue is — who do you want to please? Do you want to make sure you don’t waste a trip? Or do you want to make sure you get there on time. Hmmm. This is sort of a personality quiz.

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November 24, 2021

Notary loses NNA certification due to speeding tickets

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 9:17 am

I think I have heard it all now. But, to get NNA Certification, you need to successfully complete their background screening. Apparently, we no longer live in a free country. Big brother is constantly watching you, and the citizens like this — at least most of them. If you fail your background screening you can lose your certification as well.

I heard that another Notary suffered the same fate.

In real life, the way our industry works, is that the newer Notaries typically go for the NNA Certification and LSS and perhaps some of the other certifications. As Notaries progress in age and experience they drop the other certifications and keep the NNA as that is the biggest name in the industry.

But, many Notaries when they have ten or more years of experience think they no longer need to keep up their certifications. I learned this by going through people’s notes sections and contacting them regarding omissions of what I think belongs in a notes section.

The most important thing you can discuss in your notes is your notary experience, and the second are your designations — assuming you have any. Fidelity, RON, other title companies, signing agent certifications — they all look good on your listing. I recommend having as many as possible, especially the less common ones because that will get you more clicks.

I study what gets Notaries ahead, and designations are part of it.

So, for God’s sake — don’t speed, or you could lose your designations (certification).

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November 6, 2021

Doggie notarizations. Doggy do or doggie don’t?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 8:08 am

Do you do signings for people with dogs? I just talked to an ex-military notary who doesn’t like dogs for the same reason I don’t. You don’t know what they are going to do. They might jump on you while you are wearing a $1000 suit and the owners instead of apologizing will say, “Oh, he’s just being friendly — what’s wrong, are you afraid of dogs?” You are helpless and at the mercy of the owners at these signings.

I remember a signing where I asked them to put their growling little doggie behind a locked door. For ten minutes he was behind a door, and then mysteriously the door came open and a vicious predator was antagonizing me from several feet away. The owners were not even slightly sympathetic to how violated I felt and on top of that were rude to me.

Dogs can bite you. Dogs can upset you by being hostile. The friendly dogs can make you feel violated by molesting you which means touching without consent. There is not much that you can do.

But, there are things you can do. Here is my list. However, my list might get you blacklisted or in trouble. But, in my opinion it is good to set your terms and stand your ground if you feel strongly about something because your safety and feelings matter and dog owners don’t seem to get the message from members of the wishy-washy persuasion.

1. Set your terms. No dogs allowed within 20 feet of the notary. They should be behind a locked door at all times.

2. If any dog approaches you, you will not hesitate to leave the signing and they will not get their loan. You will get fired for this, but if you value your dignity, this is the only way you will get it. Many dog owners don’t really understand what “behind a locked door” means. They think that means for a few minutes until they let rover out so he can jump on nonconsenting people like he always does.

3. Pepper spray. You can let people know you carry pepper spray and will spray any dog that comes close to you whether he looks dangerous or not because after all, you don’t know which dog is dangerous until it is too late.

4. Making a scene. This is not a very professional thing to do, but then having you menaced by a dangerous predator isn’t either. If you are being attacked or menaced, professional behavior goes out the window. Taking the upper hand and defending yourself is paramount.

5. Kicking. If a dog attacks you, there is no time to pull a gun, knife or pepper spray. The one effective weapon against smaller dogs is kicking. You might break their face, but when a surprise attack happens in less than half a second, this is your only reliable and effective weapon. Dog owners rarely respect the feelings of those who don’t like dogs.

NOTE
I just had a situation in my apartment. I went out into the hall outside my front door. The neighbor in apartment A opened his door a little. I thought, “Oh God” because the last time that happened I was startled by a vicious dog who abruptly started barking out of control. But, this time two tiny dogs came out of the door at 20 miles per hour and started jumping all over me. I started yelling really loud and kicked one of the dogs. Six hours later I saw the owners in the lobby downstairs. They were holding their dogs, and their dogs once again WERE NOT ON LEASHES. The lady said in her thick Russian accent, “What kind of neighbor are you?” I responded that I am the type of neighbor that doesn’t like being jumped on by your dogs. Keep them on a leash!!! As usual, someone violates me, I react, and then I am treated like the bad guy. Next time I’ll kick ten times as hard and there will be an injury. Enough is enough. I told the woman that next time I’ll report them and I yelled at her very loudly.

Dog owner psychology
Since dog owners are generally reincarnations of dogs, they relate to dogs. I relate to tigers and cats for the same reason — and cats hate dogs. Dogs are normally vile creatures (but, some act nicely), so if someone is a dog lover, they will probably have or accept vile behavior as a result. Humans have a facade of civility, but beyond the veil of etiquette, the vile behavior will eventually show.

Dog owners love dogs, and they normally assume that the rest of the world loves dogs too. They have tremendous trouble understanding that many of us don’t like dogs, feel threatened by dogs and freak out if their dog jumps on us. Even people over fifty can’t understand this. I like Chinese food, but I get it that not everyone likes it. I also know that if somebody doesn’t like Chinese food that doesn’t mean that something is wrong with them. Dog owners will treat you like you are abnormal if you don’t like their ferocious and poorly behaved little friends. It’s insulting.

SUMMARY
If you stand up to irresponsible and inconsiderate dog owners, you might get fired from several jobs, blacklisted, or even fail your background screening if you pulla knife on little mugsy even if mugsy is the bad guy showing his teeth and growling at you from three feet away. On the other hand, if we don’t stand up to these jerks (nice dog owners are not jerks by the way — just for the record) then they can walk all over us for the rest of our lives. My apartment complex used to have a no dog policy. This changed two years ago and I have had incidents almost every day since then. I have been bitten once, and jumped on twice which I consider an attack if it happens suddenly. For me this is woof war. What do you guys think?

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October 31, 2021

In 2028, will there still be a notary industry?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 7:32 am

I am working so hard, that sometimes I often lose track of how what is going on in the world is going to play out. I feel that the Messiah is going to reveal himself in 2034 (my guru says that is the year. I feel that society as we know it will be wiped out before that. Of course not all of it will be destroyed. God likes to wipe out civilizations with wars, invasions, plagues, diseases, floods, earthquakes.

All of the crazy things happening now have historical precedents in the bible, or were discussed in the Bible. Isaiah discusses a lot of the social realities of today, believe it or not, and that was written about 2700 years ago.

Covid was the appetizer. People were all afraid of Covid but not the economic consequences. Inflation, labor shortages, supply chain backups — who would have guessed. I thought we would have deflation, unemployment problems, and warehouses full of stuff that nobody wanted. Boy was I wrong. I think whenever I predict the future, I should just reverse what I predict, and that will be the accurate representation of the future. Just like the Seinfeld episode — The Opposite.

I feel that in this unpredictable environment, if there is something I really want to do, I better do it now, because I might not be able to later. On the other hand, going to China was my long term goal, and now is by far the worst time to go to China with all of the vaccine nonsense going on.

So, if Covid was the appetizer, then what is the meal? Asteroids, Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, WW3, starvation? All of these thoughts run through my head. My psychic channeled the angels and they said we would also have volcanoes — good God! If these things happen, they will happen in the next ten years. My guru said that the asteroid will come in 2028 and it will rain fire and God knows if our satellites will survive this. Our banking system is tied to satellites, so I wonder how safe our assets will be.

And if these things happen, what will happen to the Notary industry? If half of Americans die in the next ten years due to the various plagues, will there still be a Notary industry? What will I do? Will I do business with China? How many Chinese will still be alive? 98% of Chinese are atheists. I don’t think God will let too many atheists survive the plagues before the coming of the Messiah or as the Hebrews call him, “Mechiach Ben David.”

I think there will be a remnant of what once was in 2028 as far as the Notary industry goes. There will be a lot fewer people if my prediction is correct. I predict that America will have a population of 140 million in 2028 which is generous compared to what I think God will do to most of the rest of the world, especially places that lack faith in God or decency. Most of Asia will be completely wiped out including most of Israel if I guess correctly. But, some of Israel has to survive otherwise where will the Messiah live. There has to be a logic to my train of thought.

So, I am afraid. Sometimes I want to just scream in terror. I don’t know what to expect. Perhaps I should just not think about it. The death of an industry and a nation — both of which are my home and economic stability.

When my father was in his early 50’s, my mother died. His friends told him that he was getting older — and that if there was anything he really wanted to do, he should do that now. I am giving this advice to myself. I think I want to spend more time with the cactuses in Tucson and work on my health.

I’m not sure what I will do for a living in 2028 if the Notary industry is over. I better learn more Chinese so I can do some trade work. That has always been my dream.

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July 16, 2021

Our quiz email — how it started, where it is going

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 3:30 am

123notary has always done quality control on its members. Some people don’t like that, but the people who use the site do. We keep track of who gets clicks, who edits their notes, who answers their phone, and who has difficult communication skills of which there are many. On the other hand we have some real personalities who are very professional too.

People who answer my emails are much more likely to get good reviews, and people who ignore my emails are very likely to get bad reviews. So, I use my quiz email not only as a way to assess how you handle tough situations, but if you answer emails in a punctual way or at all.

The quiz email asks Notary questions, but also questions about how to handle situations where things go wrong, or where people don’t return calls. It can get complicated and the answers are complicated too. Sometimes all the answers look right, but there is only one that I will accept.

After I looked at my quiz, I wanted to try to improve it. I tried to think of what I could do better. After an hour of thought I decided that the questions were good, but the answers needed a little refinement. Some of the answers were too tricky or misleading. So, I edited the answers a little. To some questions I removed some of the possible answers to focus on the main question and not whether you read the question carefully enough which is an entirely different skill set. And then on other questions I added answers to see if you knew your stuff or if you were guessing.

Unfortunately, the average score on my quiz is 30%, so for free people I am forced to accept a 20% to keep you only. It is kind of pathetic, but most people don’t even answer the quiz. Only 1 in 5 people answer the quiz email. If I send it out twice, I might get 35%, but that is still not good.

If you are in a quiz mood and want to take my quiz, assuming you have not taken it already, you are welcomed to email me.

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July 12, 2021

1 Million E&O is common as of Dec, 2020

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 3:17 am

Every week I do my welcome calls to some of the new Notaries. I no longer have time to call them all, but I call many. More and more are getting 1 Million Errors & Omissions or 2 Million in E&O Insurance. It is a shock to my system.

I joked that one day there would be a 6 million dollar Notary that would be called — The Bionic Notary would could notarize twenty documents in three minutes flat including journal signatures and then jump over fences.

It is a lot less expensive to get high E&O limits these days and that is why it has become more popular. So, I might suggest upping your E&O if you have signed at least 1000 loans so the title companies will consider you more.

Just wanted to share the news.

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July 4, 2021

Kaizen – constant improvement applied to the Notary profession

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 3:09 am

Toyota uses this Japanese concept of Kaizen. That means that you are constantly trying to improve yourself and how you do things. I am always trying to improve myself too. This is how we attain mastery.

As Notaries, what happens is that the new people tend to be very motivated, pass a bunch of tests, get background screened, get a million in Errors and Omissions, and try hard to do well.

The problem is that once people are in the door, they tend to stop trying as hard. I think that constantly reading up and trying to master Notary principles, sharpening up your marketing techniques and passing new certifications is a good thing. If you want maximum market share, you have to make a list of things you can do that you are not already doing — or, a list of things that you could try to do better.

Always making your notes section better every two or three months is another critical thing to do. Always asking people who like you for reviews is essential as well.

The most critical thing that motivated Notaries do is to email me and ask for tips. I remember the last Notary in Texas who asked me for tips. She was ALREADY doing a bang up job as far as I am concerned. She had a good notes section, reviews, and was getting experience. She had a good personality as well. She needed to get certified by us and a few other agencies for best results to impress people. But, she had a boring business name. So, I told her that a business name that has a feel to it would help. I made some suggestions of names that will have a warm and fuzzy effect on people. We’ll see what she does with the tips. The main thing is that she asked for tips, and she is always trying to improve herself.

The other thing you could do to improve yourself is to learn Japanese and visit the original Toyota manufacturing plant in Japan — and one more thing — don’t forget to bow, very important.

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