Don’t Die Trying
Tight schedules are part of being a notary. “Can you be here in less than half an hour” is a common request. E-documents come late, borrowers have to leave at a certain time, the LO is stressing how you are “being depended on” to meet your commitment (even though the docs are late). The pressure to be ON TIME assaults you from all directions. Hill Street Blues, a popular police show had the phrase “let’s be careful out there” at the end of the roll call. Out there, includes your transit to the assignment; be it by car, foot or mass transit.
How much money is your life worth to you? Silly question of course, sane people don’t put a dollar value on their existence. But many otherwise sane people do borderline insane actions for the sole purpose of being on time. Long time readers might recall my telling of abandoning a late borrower due to the start of freezing rain. Do you think you can drive on that? Think again. Unless you are driving an army tank with treads in place of times; it’s a deadly folly. Sometimes as I sit at the PC writing these blogs I get the dreaded “writers block” and struggle to think of something worthy of your reading time. Not now, the multiplicity of dumb things that notaries can do is virtually endless. Fortunately, few do most of them, but some do a few of them.
New York State has just made hand held cell phone use a 5 point “on the license” violation. Get 11 points and you start walking. Even speeding is generally less than 5 points. That same law covers many in car electronic devices. Do you fiddle with your GPS when the destination changes? It’s the same penalty, also for any other electronic distraction. I’m 100% for this new law. I don’t want someone plowing into me due to their inattention. I’ve had only one accident in my 50+ year driving history. She crossed in the middle of the block and appeared in front of me from in front of a double parked delivery truck. I hit her before I could touch the brakes. Witnesses said it was not in any way my fault; I was only doing 20MPH in a 30 zone. But the terrible sound of her body rebounding from my car still haunts me.
Any activity in addition to driving is a distraction. The list includes talking to a passenger, drinking coffee, even listening to the radio. But the worst and most dangerous distractions require you to shift your eyes from the direction of the car. My Bluetooth cell device is totally hands off, as is my GPS which talks to me and takes voice commands. It’s not just the points, the guilt and probable criminal penalties for vehicular homicide are too terrible to risk.
I’ve written many blogs, but this one has my heart and soul. Please, be as late as necessary to that silly appointment. No Bluetooth device? Pull over, put it in park, call ahead and tell them you are driving safely and will be late. Missing a signing is much less traumatic than missing your eyes from having them removed due to being embedded with glass from the windshield.
Avoidance of the temptation to rush is really the best policy. Turn down unrealistic requests, ones that would put you and others at risk. Speeding, “tail ending the red light”, the illegal turn; or being distracted – are all easily avoided by prudent scheduling.
You can’t say “I’m sorry” from a casket. Not only do you risk death, you let your friends and family down. Who will be the one to replace you? Will your epitaph be “died a fool for a buck”?
(1) Can you put a dollar value on your notarial existence?
(2) You can’t say I’m sorry from a casket. Don’t try to book your appointments too tightly together
(3) How much money is your life worth to you. Scheduling too tightly could end it!
(4) Tight schedules are part of being a notary. But, don’t make it too tight or u’ll start feeling tightness in your chest!
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