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September 19, 2017

The Bum’s Rush- a story about agitated notaries who are in a hurry.

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 12:13 am

The Bum’s Rush
The bum’s rush. Forcible ejection, abrupt dismissal. For example, When Henry started shouting, the bouncer gave him the bum’s rush, or Within hours of being fired, Alice was given the bum’s rush. This idiom uses bum in the sense of “a vagrant or tramp.” [ ; early 1900s ] – Per Google.

That IS how some of you are treating the persons with whom you interact. Strong statement? Well, perhaps; but it is based on feedback I have received from some of my clients. They relate meeting with notaries who not only frequently looked at their watch, but constantly fidgeted. The “Notary in a Hurry” acted as if they had an immediate need for a toilet break. And, said facility was scheduled to be available to them only in a few minutes, but not thereafter.

But, in reality, “the call of nature” was not the motivation for this abysmal behavior. Abraham Lincoln said “A Lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade”. To a great extent this is true of Notaries and many others who provide a “personal” service. When servicing the needs of client “A”, we cannot work for client “B”. Thus some desire to “save time” to an inappropriate extent.

A minor example: We have all encountered the “Notarize” stickers placed on documents to show specific pages that need our processing. Do you trust these? I do not. After notarizing the page the sticker is removed; then it is time to “turn the pages” – one by one; looking for a page that did not have a sticker but should have had one. Gotcha, a page that clearly needs stamp and seal! You can be sure that the “Notary in a Hurry” will be blamed if that un-stickered page is missed.

We have to react appropriately to the environment. Sometimes a bit of polite conversation, some “getting to know you” time is called for. Other times, with a client finishing an important email, it’s best to remain silent, not distract; and perhaps check your own email on the cell phone. Are there young children in the area, if so watch your step; toys can be slippery. Would you walk on an immaculate white shag rug without removing your shoes, I hope not.

From The King and I – Getting to know you. Putting it my way, But nicely. They are the King, you are in their castle; but, even at the expense of time – you must have proper working conditions. Often I have been seated on a couch and handed documents to notarize. It would be quicker to “attempt” to proceed. However, requesting a table and chair, with good lighting is best.

Sometimes we have a tight schedule, it happens to all of us. However, the most important task is the one currently in progress – we must think that way. Last week I was told I would only have 10 minutes to complete three fingerprint cards. I replied that it would take closer to half an hour to do a proper job. “Do the best you can in 10 minutes” was the response. You have a choice: allow me the half hour or find someone else. The client held firm, I left. Better to not rush a job, and become involved in a failure. Clearly I was getting the “Bum’s Rush”.

Thus the “Bum’s Rush” can apply both ways. You can try to hurry, and your client may attempt to hurry you. Either is a path to shoddy results. The processing environment is quickly forgotten, and only the work product remains. Three rejected fingerprint cards would require an additional trip to correct, anger the client; and probably cause them financial harm. I shudder to think about the review they would rightfully submit. The only standard must be “personal best”.


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