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March 16, 2011

Do you like your job?

Filed under: Hospital & Jail Signings — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 8:43 am

Do you like your job?
Once, during a hospital signing, the signers kept me waiting forever while they puttered around, and drafted a document on my time. After keeping me waiting for 45 minutes and seeing my facial expression, the lady asked, “Do you like your job?”. I said, I like it better when my clients are prepared and have the document ready BEFORE they call me.
I killed myself to arrive on time for that job.  I had other things to do.   I rushed to the hospital in Pasadena to serve a family of unprepared and unconcerned people whose kids were running around, and parents were casually talking.  I tried to be very patient, so I wouldn’t rush them. The clock was ticking. It was late at night, and there were no other jobs to go to — just my comfortable bed, and television.  I sat staring at the wall and the minutes went by.   In the mobile notary business, you get complaints when you rush people. But, when you don’t rush people, they take all day! 
What bothered me most was their casual laissez-faire attitude.  Not one person in the family could care less about how they had wasted my evening.  They took their sweet time preparing the document and having casual conversations while they did it.  Where was the sense of urgency? What prevented them from preparing the document ahead of time?  It is experiences like this, that provoked me to write materials to keep newer notaries out of this type of situation to begin with.
Smart notaries announce their terms over the phone.  Here is what the down-to-business types would say:
“I want my travel fee at the door.  I charge waiting time. Its $15 every 15 minutes — no exceptions.  Its $10 per signature to notarize documents.  If the signer is not able to sign for any reason — I’m out the door.  Please make sure they are awake, sober, and conversational.”  But, I was very friendly and relaxed.  I didn’t want people to think I was a hustler, and look what happened to me.  45 minutes down the drain for nothing.
I had been very patient for a very long time watching them unnecessarily waste my time.  The lady looked at me and said, “Do you like your job?”.  I didn’t want to be rude, but, this lady really provoked me. 
I had another job in Long Beach which was exactly the opposite.  The signers were jazz musicians and stayed up all night.  They needed me to go to a hospital to notarize for a sick relative. They knew the drill and everything was prepared, ID and all.   What a relief!  Not only were they prepared, but they entertained me with their conversation, and made me happy with their friendly disposition. Sure, they had me come at 2am, but for this crowd, I would have notarized them at 4am they were so nice.
I wish it were possible for a California notary to notarize across the border in Las Vegas.  Boy, would that be fun.  You could work for a few hours doing signings, and then entertain yourself, get a hotel, and drive back the next day.  A long time ago, I used to do feng-shui consultations for people.  I admit, I was not the best in town, but I met some wonderful people doing those jobs.  A very personable Filipino lady from Las Vegas called me.  She talked me into driving all the way out there to Las Vegas.  She bought me dinner, talked me up, and got me a free hotel room through her connections.  It turns out to have been the most fun feng-shui job I had ever done, and I’ll remember that particular short, but sweet Las Vegas trip forever.



  1. I like this. I wish I’d read it before I wasted time going to a hospital where the lady was barely lucid and couldn’t even make an “x”. I ended up leaving without even getting my travel fee.

    Comment by Connie Jones-Steward — March 22, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

  2. I’ve been doing this job longer than any other job I’ve ever had…and I’ve had several careers. I was in sales for 15 years and the sales cycle often took many months or even years to finally get to the closing table. Now I get to close deals every day! I like the fact that I am finishing things up and have to move and work with a sense of urgency. There is no room for procrastination in this job, and that spills over into my private life, too. One of those former careers was in the title business, which a served me well as a full time notary.

    Comment by Violet OBrien — April 5, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  3. I love my job..I sign Loan Docs in Las Vegas for Title Companies. No general public contact and I am paid very well. I love my job.

    Comment by Reasie — August 22, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

  4. I had a similar experience. I never go without docs. I think that is part of our responsibility. I purchased a box of Power of Attorney forms. Now I need to sell these! Ugh!!

    Comment by Connie Kuest — February 20, 2014 @ 7:38 pm

  5. I love what I do. Yes, things sometimes get difficult but God has blessed me with this opportunity to be self-employed. After 20+ years, I am still grateful.

    Comment by Patricia Davis — June 25, 2018 @ 10:55 pm

  6. No matter how well you prepare signers before a signing, there will always be that signing that takes forever over circumstances out of your control. I have 8 years of college, but I really enjoy doing Notary Signings. I can liken it to successfully completing the notoriously difficult New York Times crossword puzzle, all spaces completed, every answer correct, all puzzling questions of the puzzle solved. Still, I plan on every signing taking 2 hours to complete, longer is there are two sets of signers, as in a Buyer/Seller package. What I DON’T like is a recent phenomenon that suggests that a Notary Public is responsible for finding another Notary Public who speaks the language of the signer OR that a Notary Public is obligated to perform a witness service just bc someone asks. What other profession takes an oath and is required to be at the beck and call of another citizen?!? And YET, I have seen NNA articles in the last year where these notions have been put forth. OMGosh!! NOT even POLICE are required to perform while off duty or are compelled to work off duty bc a crime is taking place!

    Comment by betty — November 20, 2019 @ 5:37 pm

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