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November 30, 2017

Why are older Notaries so argumentative?

One of my clients who hires Notaries says there are three types. The new ones who know nothing but want to learn. Those who are six to twenty-four months in the business who know a lot and are still trying. That client thinks that after two years people stop wanting to learn. My take on the situation is that after four years people stop learning. So, what happens after people’s will to learn atrophies? They get worse and forget things.

Older Notaries forget more every year and their attitude gets worse too. I just had a Notary with 24 years experience argue and argue and argue by email with me. If she wants to get ahead on 123notary, you get ahead by proving your knowledge and good attitude, not by fighting. The other problem is that with age, people get a little nutty in the head and cranky. So, old Notaries can sometimes be some of the worst.

So, what is the solution? Old Notaries cannot become new Notaries. However, can an old Notary learn the spirit of a New Notary? Can they make a new beginning?

This reminds me of the saying that there are old pilots and bold pilots but there are very few old bold pilots.

Carmen and I are trying to get the older Notaries to go back to the books and study more. It only works when we spoon feed people, because Notary old wants to study. But, during a discussion with Carmen I realized that we are part of the problem.

I started this business when I was thirty with great dreams, spirit and a desire to make a huge impact on the world. I had no idea what would happen, but I had a ferocious work ethic that kept me going 70 hours a week every week. I am 48 now and believe me I do not have the energy to do more than 40 hours a week. At my age I have learned the art of efficiency because I don’t have the energy or the will to do what I did when I was thirty. I admire the person I used to be and I admire the skills I have learned in the past eighteen years. I have really grown up, but I have also become a cranky old man in the making. So, how can I too learn the spirit of young Notaries?

Our whole site 123notary has the spirit of old Notaries. Our high placements are almost exclusively owned by cranky old Notaries. Carmen and I are cranky and old. We need some hard working new people with some spirit. Where are those people? Oh, and by the way they have to pass my test too which narrows it down.

The Notary profession is one that appeals to those who cannot get a real job. That is why we have so many apathetic people who don’t cooperate. To succeed in this business you cannot be that way. You have to be responsible. Where are the people who are responsible, and study and succeed?

Maybe I need to take some time off and try to re-become what I was when I was thirty. Do something by going out on a limb not knowing what the final outcome would be but basing my risk on pure desire, commitment and hope. It’s not a bad way to begin. America began that way.


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  1. Hi,

    I happen to be an “old notary,” just turned the big “70” over Thanksgiving weekend. I’ve been a notary for over 12 years and yes, I can still learn a thing or two and have done so by talking to you and Carmen’s mentoring. I just want you to know that I really appreciate the two of you!

    Comment by Ellen Michaels — November 30, 2017 @ 9:13 pm

  2. I happen to also be an “old” Notary, 60yo, and I have been witnessing since 2009, NSA since 2013. The industry continues to change and be in a state of flux. Right now I am filling out paperwork to work directly for Title Companies, who have contacted me to do so. I just found out that $65.00 check for a vendor bounce, DH said that they are probably out of business, but it just shows that there is no reward for a cheap signing!
    I am HAPPY to learn new things about the business. I do study, and I am pleased that at a Seller’s signing, when their atty was going through the Settlement Statement and all of the other paperwork, that I could have located same information just as easily, although I make it clear that not only am I NOT an atty, I am also Not Their Attorney!
    I try not to argue, but more and MORE I tire of the vendors who expect 11th hour reprinting when I am walking out of the door for their signing or expect services that can only be offered if the signers sign at DH’s Law Office, but argue that they don’t Want them to sign there.
    Even though things are slow right now where I live, My prices are rising. $50.00 extra for ANY scanbacks, for instance, and higher rates when they don’t like my fees, but nobody else will drive there, so I get a callback same day as the signing. Why should they get a break, when they know that they should have met my fee 3 days ago?
    More and more and more I spend extra time on each job. I am persistant and push to get documents at Least one day ahead of time. I go through the entire PDF of each job with the printout, page by page, and make a notepad file of all notarizations. Then I am sure that the printer didn’t miss a page. I fill out my journal as much as possible ahead of time so that I only need the signatures of the signers. I can go back and complete the rest of the cells later on, as long as one is complete. As we know MANY loan signings have 12 or more notarized documents in their packages. If I have multiple signings same day, I give them 2 hours scheduled time and travel time in between and I print out the notarized document list to fill out for the signing(s) later in the day. I am there to WITNESS a signing, not sit while an angry borrower, seller, buyer renegotiates his/her loan on the phone with the lendor/title company. I am HAPPY to spend adequate time at a signing, but I call it a Refusal To Sign when the package isn’t ready for both parties, although I will help the signer to actually Reach their lendor. Too often they think it is polite to leave a VM. It is rude to the NSA to do so, so I take the phone and keep calling numbers until I reach a party who can help.
    I double check at the signing table and then stop just down the road for a long distance signing (or at the Law Office for local signings) to check again the signer’s names, dates and initials. Then I do a last check before dropping to make sure that my signatures, etc and stamps are on the notarized documents.
    For my own purposes I create a notepad file for each job listing the title company, vendor (if one), my negotiated fee, the FedEx/UPS tracking#, and the order# for the job (bc many checks come in with only that for a reference.
    I transfer these to the cells of the Outgoing Mail Log at the office, and then I can copy and paste the Title Company/Vendor, name & Date and Town for that signing, and amount of check. I then know who hasn’t paid me yet.
    I believe that being a Notary Signing Agent has taught me how to be calm and think while pressured and to insist that a late day signing sit until the next day so that I can check it thoroughly.
    I have a husband and daughter who are both attorneys. Their practices changes with new legislation each year, and ours does, too. If you don’t keep up it affects your own performance and I have established a good reputation with people that I have worked for for many years now. I trust them and they trust me.
    When you insist that you have nothing new to learn people aren’t going to trust you or want to work with you.

    Comment by Betty Dedman — June 11, 2018 @ 3:11 pm

  3. You can’t teach an Old Notary New Tricks!

    Comment by Robert Mahon — June 11, 2018 @ 3:54 pm

  4. I disagree with your characterization about notaries being people who cannot find real jobs. I had a career as a corporate accountant for 30 plus years, and as that career ended, my notary business, as well as doing taxes and bookkeeping, has been a wonderful new adventure. I continue to learn each day and look forward to the opportunity.

    Comment by Gayla Faith McKelvy — June 11, 2018 @ 5:23 pm

  5. Your statement,”The Notary profession is one that appeals to those who cannot get a real job.” The Notary Profession is a real job with multiple bosses, ever changing regulations, Federal Government oversite, annual background checks, with every piece of work we turn in being checked for accuracy and completeness as well as many other responsibilities. At 81 years old I take great pride in each job I successfully complete.
    Not a real job? Really?

    Comment by Richard E Stewart — June 12, 2018 @ 2:00 am

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