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January 12, 2011

Notary Respect

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 1:30 am

Notary Respect
“When you arrive at the building, please use the service entrance.” That was the closing sentence from a client for an assignment in a midtown Manhattan office building. I called, and made it quite clear that was not the way I would proceed. “I do not use the back door; I am a commissioned office of the State Department of the State of New York on official business. I do not use the messenger or pizza delivery entrance. If you will kindly confirm to me that a pass will be waiting for me in the main lobby, I will be able to confirm your appointment”.

The above was yesterday. The client did assure me that a building security pass, at the normal entrance would be waiting for me. It was. Even though I carried a large bag with my fingerprinting supplies, I was directed to the elevator without incident. The assignment also included notarization; though both require my standing as a notary to establish ID.

This evening I had a title company call with a refinance. The location was nearby and they readily agreed to my fee. The assignment was for the next day, a Saturday. “The borrower has an early flight and would like you on location at 6AM.” Gulp, that will cost you an additional $50 as it would require me to wake at 5AM. “Why – $50 more, it’s not that you are likely to have some other conflicting appointment scheduled.” My only reply, censoring what I wanted to say was “Thank You for calling, find someone else”. Clearly my loss of sleep had no value to them, but it certainly does to me.

Chances are you are polite and respectful to callers and clients. However, not all callers are respectful to us. I found the position taken by the 6AM job caller disrespectful. To me that warrants an abrupt, but polite – end to the conversation. Sometimes our clients can be a bit unreasonable. At the door I heard large dogs growling and snarling. I like dogs, and usually have no concern about them. But, at this location they seemed very aggressive, not the “I like you” kind, that want some attention. I asked that the dogs be placed in a different room prior to entering. “My dogs are always free, enter or not; it’s your choice.” Away I went.

Do you have dignity? It’s rather a shock to me to have to ask the question. Of course you do, but do you demand respect both for yourself and your office as a notary? I have been asked, on a signing to literally “sit in the corner till you are required”. I’m not furniture. “He’s “just” the notary”, superfluous condescending word “just”. More accurately: He is the Notary. Even if you have a low self image, project the status and honor (yes honor) of your profession and office.

I’m not talking about being pompous and acting superior. Folks at the signing table are not expected to stand when you enter the room. You are an integral and necessary part of our legal system. A document can become evidence in court – because of your certification. We are the front line troops defending against and eliminating much fraud. There is a long and honorable history behind our roles as notaries. Our impartiality and objectivity define us.

Respect, just like trust; has to be earned. One way we earn trust is being sworn under oath to uphold our state’s laws. Respect is a bit more difficult to earn. Snide and demeaning comments as: “just a notary” must be immediately and politely voiced objections. When you dress, act, and practice your profession honorably; the respect you deserve will generally be forthcoming.



1 Comment »

  1. Thank you –Well said! We should stand up and be proud of what we do and who we are – not only as notaries, but as dignified human beings! I had a signings company call for an assignment when I had a family funeral. He wanted me to leave family right after the funeral and do a signing. How disrespectful! I told him NO, my family is important, I need to be with them, sorry! Another time, same signing company wanted a spur of the moment signing. I reluctantly accepted, with a headache starting. Shortly later I called back to decline the signing explaining I had a migraine and couldn’t drive with my vision impaired and all he could say was, \Can’t you take something for it? It shouldn’t take too long to feel better… you’re not going to leave me in the lurch here are you?\ He kept trying to convince me and when I finally got a word in edgewise and spoke loudly over him, I put him in his place–told him I was sorry, but find someone else. I love being a notary and helping people with their docs, but I am not only some \employee\ that needs to answer to an unreasonable employer. I have learned that my respect begins with ME. I am generally a very soft-spoken person, but I don’t have to let people step all over me, when I have a valuable service to offer. Thanks again for confirming my thoughts on this!

    Comment by C, Holmes — July 21, 2015 @ 7:33 pm

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