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!
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!
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!!!
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!
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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Things that get notaries complaints
Things that get notaries complaints
Complaints are taken seriously at 123notary.com. None of the notaries on board have voiced an opinion supporting our review system which allows browsers to post legitimate complaints about notaries. Many notaries on board feel that they have a license to cause trouble, and that I have no right to ask questions or do anything about it since they pay us for advertising. Many notaries want the right to harm others without being held accountable. My point of view is that if you cause misconduct while on our site, ITS MY BUSINESS, and you will be held accountable.
I want to take a positive approach to this problem and let the notaries know what the common things that go wrong are, so that you can avoid getting a complaint in the first place. I’m going to list types of complaints in order of how frequently they come up.
Of all the complaints we have gotten, the largest category was rudeness which includes using bad words, hostility, hanging up on people, rude tones of voice, antagonism, harrassment, and threats. If a signing company doesn’t treat you the way you like, DON’T WORK FOR THEM. Don’t threaten to use their fedex account. Don’t threaten to put a lien on the borrowers house if you don’t get paid. Don’t withold a borrower’s documents until you get paid. Have a policy for what you accept from others. If others violate your terms, then stop dealing with them. Period!
(2) No Show no call
It amazes me that notaries think they can completely blow off a signing without even calling. Then, the excuses notaries give remind me of being a substitute teacher in eighth grade. The excuses are clevely worded so that you will feel guilty for asking them any more questions. Heartbreaking stories, grueling conditions, family crisises, and earthshaking emergencies. Many of these excuses are true, but there is no way to verify, because not once have I ever been offered a scan of a document that proves someone’s argument one way or the other. If you are offered a signing and you can’t make it, call at least two hours in advance. If you are having a family emergency, in a snow storm, in WW3, in a flood, or are almost dead, you better call otherwise you will get a complaint, and I am not too interested in the excuses.
(3) Notary Mistakes
Many notaries make mistakes. The good notaries triple check their work and are willing to go back if they made even one small mistake. But, not all notaries are good notaries. Many will be unwilling to go back to an appointment a second time to fix what they did wrong. If you make a mistake, fix it whether you get paid to or not, otherwise you will lose clients and get complaints.
(4) Failure to return calls or emails after a signing
This is another type of problem that people have every conceivable type of excuse for. Personally, when I’m on vacation, I answer emails. I had a vacation where I slept in my car, slept in a tent, and couldn’t find an internet cafe for half a day. I kept looking until I found it and answered as many emails as I could. Signing agents will go on vacation, or say they did, and use that as an excuse not to return phone calls or emails. I won’t accept this as an excuse. You have to be available up to 48 hours after a job is done in case there is a problem, and the problem could very well be the fault of the title company, but you still have to be available. No excuses.
(5) Slandering or sabotaging companies you work for
One notary said that the terms of the loan were not good. Another tried to sell the borrower a modification right at the signing. A third threatened to use the lender’s Fedex account # because she said she didn’t get paid enough. Another one sent porno spam to us and others.
(6) Other types of misconduct.
Some notaries just cause a lot of various types of trouble. Others are unwilling to fix mistakes they made. Once in a while a signer will outsource jobs to another signer and then not pay them. Last minute cancellations are completely unacceptable unless there is a documented health emergency or other type of uncontrollable circumstances. One notary has a habit of double booking appointments and then trying to reschedule them at the last minute. Two notaries walked out of an appointment. One had a family emergency and flaked. He forgot to even tell the borrowers who were in the other room that he was going to the hospital.
The moral of the story is to avoid all of these problems by being very careful to go to all your appointments, be polite even if others are not polite to you, and do a good follow up after the job is done. I’m personally tired of all the complaints, excuses, the dramas, and irresponsibility. We want good notaries on 123notary, and for the most part, the notaries on board are excellent. We do not want a few bad apples to cause a bad reputation for the others.
(1) Many notaries feel that since they pay us for advertising, we’ve no right to post bad reviews on their profile.
(2) Many notaries are rude to signing companies who manipulate them. Don’t be rude! Just don’t work for them.
(3) Many notaries just don’t answer their phone or email after a signing which can cause a nightmare.
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